Our Renew / Cancel Index predicts potential renewal or cancellation for scripted broadcast primetime shows for the 2010-11 season (includes results through December 6, 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
Ugly Betty (S), (F), (P) 0.39
Hank 0.54*
Eastwick 0.58
the forgotten 0.62
Scrubs (P) :mrgreen: 0.65
The Middle :mrgreen: 0.68
Castle (P) :mrgreen: 0.75
FlashForward (P) 😳 0.95
Cougar Town (P) 0.99
Brothers & Sisters (S), (P) 1.02
Modern Family 1.10
Private Practice (P) 1.18
V 1.23
Desperate Housewives (P) 1.53
Grey’s Anatomy (P) 1.77

Flash Forward ended its fall run on a down note, scoring just a 2.1 rating for adults 18-49. Short of a miraculous reversal in it’s ratings trend when it returns in March, it’s not coming back next fall.

Scrubs returned to its second season on ABC with a 2.0 rating. While that’s not good, I would not have been surprised with much worse. I’ll give it a few weeks before wondering whether it will become another According to Jim -type zombie show ratings loser kept alive just to generate more episodes for syndication.

The Middle had one very hopeful ratings night after it was freed from Hank, but fell back last week with just a 2.0 rating. It’s still on an upward trend, but just barely. The final results from last night aren’t yet in for Castle, but its preliminary 2.3 rating would be an indication its recent upward trend had stalled.

Ugly Betty will be moving to Wednesday at 10pm beginning January 6. Short of a ratings miracle, there is no chance this does anything but change its final timeslot before cancellation at the end of this season.

the forgotten, has an order for additional episodes, but has continued to drift downward in the ratings and there is no chance it returns in fall 2010. Eastwick and Hank have both been officially canceled, but since Eastwick may continue to air for an unknown number of episodes, I will not freeze it’s Index yet. *Hank’s Index is frozen at the point it was removed from ABC’s schedule.

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

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.

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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