Our Renew / Cancel Index predicts potential renewal or cancellation for scripted broadcast primetime shows for the 2010-11 season (includes results through November 29, 2009):

  • Likely To Be Canceled By May, 2010
  • Some Danger Of Being Canceled By May, 2010
  • Likely to Be Renewed For The 2010-11 Season
Program Renew/ Cancel Index
Numb3rs (F), (P) :mrgreen: 0.54
Three Rivers (P) 0.55*
Cold Case (P) 0.61
Medium (F), (P) 0.61
New Adventures of Old Christine (S) :mrgreen: 0.62
Ghost Whisperer (F), (S) 0.63
Gary Unmarried :mrgreen: 0.67
The Good Wife (P) :mrgreen: 0.86
Accidentally On Purpose (P) :mrgreen: 0.92
CSI:NY (P) 0.98
How I Met Your Mother (S) 1.07
The Mentalist 1.09
CSI (P) 1.11
NCIS: Los Angeles (P) 1.14
Criminal Minds (P) 1.11
CSI: Miami (P) 1.20
NCIS (P) 1.36
Two And A Half Men 1.41
Big Bang Theory 1.51

CBS is again shaping up as the network with the most shows on “the bubble” that will keep fans worrying until the last moment in May when the new schedules are announced. At least five shows (Numb3rs, Old Christine, Gary Unmarried, The Good Wife, Accidentally on Purpose) are in some doubt for next season, although within that group the individual prospects vary widely. Nail-biters may wish to invest in gloves.

*Three Rivers is off CBS’ schedule and as close to canceled as you’re likely to get from CBS. Its Index is frozen at the point of the last week it aired, since it has no announced return date.

Accidentally On Purpose’s good timeslot following How I Met Your Mother makes its borderline Index look weaker than it would be were it elsewhere on the CBS schedule. Its prospects for next year are not bright.

In a big vote of no confidence, the episode order this season for Numb3rs was reduced to 16 episodes. It’s now in significant danger of not coming back.

The Good Wife ratings seem to be settling just on the edge of the danger zone for cancellation. On NBC, it would be a star, on CBS it’s borderline.

New Adventures of Old Christine and Gary Unmarried ratings remain horrid, they were last season too. If CBS is determined to weather their terrible ratings to establish another night of comedy they may be renewed for yet another season.

Update: Medium, Numb3rs, Ghost Whisperer, CSI and The Mentalist appeared in their regular timeslots in the past week, but were designated “specials” by CBS, , so they are not included in any season averages. That’s a somewhat arbitrary distinction, but since its the convention, I am following it.

Beginning this week, for shows in the Some Danger category only, I am including short term Index indicators for  shows either with sharply improving :mrgreen: or deteriorating 😳 Indexes, based on 4 week Indexes instead of season to date Indexes.

This is a breakdown of CBS scripted shows and their renewal and cancellation prospects. Here are links to the other networks:


The Renew/Cancel Index is a show’s Season To Date adults 18-49 rating divided by its network’s Season to Date average 18-49 rating. If a show’s season to date 18-49 ratings average equalled its network’s 18-49 average, the show would have an Index of 1.00. Without special factors, scripted shows that were more than 10% below their network’s average are typically canceled by the end of the broadcast primetime season.

Factors that could cause a show to be renewed with well below average index:

  • (F) -Fridays: Shows airing on Fridays have been renewed with significantly lower than average Indexes.
  • (S) – Syndication: Shows nearing syndication (66-88 episodes), often have economic factors that trump ratings leading to renewal.
  • (T) – Third Party: Shows that have a portion of their cost underwritten by a 3rd party can be renewed with substantially lower ratings.
  • (P) – Produced by the network’s production company – For shows on the bubble, being produced by the network’s corporate production company can be a survival advantage. For real losers, it’s unlikely to help.

While I initially tried to designate shows with “plum” timeslots, I think that’s hard to make that call at this point in the season. It’s likely still a factor, but will have to be an “after the fact” call.

What’s the History of the Index and How Did It Do In the Past? Check out the results from the 2007-8 season and the 2008-9 season.

Nielsen TV Ratings Data: ©2009 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved. All ratings used are Live+Same Day viewing.

Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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