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
Numb3rs (F), (P) :mrgreen: 0.53
Three Rivers (P) 0.55*
Cold Case (P) 0.62
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: 0.89
CSI:NY (P) 0.98
How I Met Your Mother (S) 1.03
The Mentalist 1.06
CSI (P) 1.07
NCIS: Los Angeles (P) 1.14
Criminal Minds (P) 1.11
CSI: Miami (P) 1.16
NCIS (P) 1.36
Two And A Half Men 1.38
Big Bang Theory 1.47

Conventional wisdom is that CBS has put up with the poor ratings for The New Adventures of Old Christine and Gary Unmarried on Wednesday nights because it wanted to establish a second “comedy block”.  They could still want to do that, but nothing says they have to keep the same two comedies there. At the end of this season, Old Christine will have 89 episodes, so there will be no absolute need to produce more for syndication. And Gary has done about 10% better in the ratings than Christine, both overall and in the last month. Not that it’s necessarily going to be an either / or situation between the two, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Christine finally shipped off, while Gary remains next season.

*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.

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 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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