Our Renew / Cancel Index predicts potential renewal or cancellation for scripted broadcast primetime shows for the 2010-11 season (includes results through April 18, 2010):

  • Likely To Be Canceled By May, 2010, Officially Canceled
  • Some Danger Of Being Canceled By May, 2010
  • Likely to Be Renewed For The 2010-11 Season
  • Renewed For The 2010-11 Season
Program Renew/ Cancel Index
Better Off Ted 0.42
Ugly Betty (Fri) (S), (F), (P) 0.46
The Deep End 0.53
Hank 0.54*
Ugly Betty (Wed) (S), (P) 0.55
Scrubs (P) 0.56
the forgotten 0.61
Eastwick 0.62
The Middle 0.75
Castle (P) 0.86
FlashForward (P) 0.89
Cougar Town (P) 0.96
Private Practice (P) 1.01
Brothers & Sisters (S), (P) 1.09
V 1.12
Modern Family 1.17
Grey’s Anatomy (P) 1.46
Desperate Housewives (P) 1.56
Lost (final season) 1.61

Two weeks ago I wondered if V could hold its ratings, or if it were on a slippery slope downwards. With adults 18-49 ratings since its return of 2.8, 2.4 and 2.2, it now looks more like it fell off a ratings cliff. At that ratings level cancellation is now likely.

Note that V’s ratings average contains only one repeat, unlike most other ABC scripted shows.

FlashForward fell to a series low 1.4 adults 18-49 rating last Thursday. Nothing’s going to save the show now. It is stone cold dead. Ignore the desperate fan pandering from the TV entertainment sites.

Note that FlashForward’s ratings average includes only a single repeat, most other ABC shows have many, and its recent ratings are far below its average rating.

At this point ABC’s renew / cancel picture is pretty much complete for the season. There’s no chance that any of the three remaining shows in green (Private Practice, Desperate Housewives and Grey’s Anatomy) will not be renewed. ABC has to be happy about holding onto 3 of their 4 new comedies, but the fact they’ve likely gone 0 for 5 on their new dramas is troubling.

The ABC boneyard:

The Deep End has ended its season and will not be coming back. Better Off Ted will be canceled. Zach Braff says Scrubs is canceled, but no official word from ABC yet.

Ugly Betty, Hank and Eastwick are already officially canceled, and the forgotten’s cancellation is a certainty. Lost is in its final season.

I’ve added a new category, Renewed For The 2010-11 Season, for shows who’s renewal has already been announced for the next season. It may take a while to get all the past announcements noted, let me know what I have missed, yet be patient.

This is a breakdown of ABC 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 a 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.

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: ©2010 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved. All ratings used are Live+Same Day viewing.

Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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