Our Renew / Cancel Index predicts potential renewal or cancellation for scripted broadcast primetime shows for the 2010-11 season (includes results through December 20, 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) 0.51
Three Rivers (P) .55*
Medium (F), (P) 0.56
Cold Case (P) 0.62
Ghost Whisperer (F), (S) 0.63
New Adventures of Old Christine (S) 0.63
Gary Unmarried 0.68
The Good Wife (P) 0.84
Accidentally On Purpose (P) 0.89
CSI:NY (P) 0.98
How I Met Your Mother (S) 1.05
The Mentalist 1.07
CSI (P) 1.09
NCIS: Los Angeles (P) 1.11
Criminal Minds (P) 1.13
CSI: Miami (P) 1.17
NCIS (P) 1.32
Two And A Half Men 1.41
Big Bang Theory 1.51

There’s been some discussion on our site about the possibility that Medium may be canceled. It’s true that Medium has done poorly in the ratings this season compared to CBS Fridays last season, but so have its bretheen Numb3rs and Ghost Whisperer. But I significantly doubt that CBS would cancel two of its Friday shows in a single season, no matter how far they fall. So, like the joke about the two guys running from the bear, all Medium needs to do to survive for another season is outrun Numb3rs.

The Good Wife is doing a bit below average ratings for CBS. On NBC it would be a hit. On ABC or Fox it would be safe. On CBS, something’s gotta go, that puts it on the bubble for next season.

The New Adventures of Old Christine and Gary Unmarried’s low ratings could be tolerated for yet another season if CBS sticks to its goal of a second “comedy block”, but don’t be surprised if Christine goes and Gary stays.

*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.

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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