Our Renew / Cancel Index predicts potential renewal or cancellation for scripted broadcast primetime shows for the 2010-11 season (includes results through April 11, 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
Miami Medical (F) 0.50
Numb3rs (F), (P) 0.54
Three Rivers (P) .55*
Medium (F), (P) 0.58
New Adventures of Old Christine (S) 0.61
Ghost Whisperer (F), (S) 0.62
Gary Unmarried 0.65
Cold Case (P) 0.68
The Good Wife (P) 0.82
Accidentally On Purpose (P) 0.86
CSI:NY (P) 0.94
How I Met Your Mother (S) 1.02
Rules Of Engagement 1.03
Criminal Minds (P) 1.06
NCIS: Los Angeles (P) 1.06
The Mentalist 1.09
CSI (P) 1.09
CSI: Miami (P) 1.10
NCIS (P) 1.23
Two And A Half Men 1.48
Big Bang Theory 1.55

Last week’s 1.6 adults 18-49 rating for the Miami Medical premiere (even on a Friday) didn’t have me reaching for the buzzer as quickly as it usually would since it did  better than both Ghost Whisperer and Medium (which were both down sharply) on the night. Well, last Friday’s 1.4 rating (vs. GW’s 1.5 and Medium’s 1.7) indicates the show’s stone cold dead. Oh well, even normally steady CBS has shows that flop quickly. Note: An earlier version of the post and graphic was, in retrospect, a bit too personal, and has been replaced/edited.

Accidentally On Purpose’s first new Wednesday episode grabbed a 1.9 adults 18-49 rating. That’s well below Gary Unmarried’s new episode average in that slot (although it was 0.3 points better than Old Christine on the night). It’s still probably got some time before decisions are made, but my guess is it needs to elevate to at least the 2.4 range to make a good case for renewal.

Things I’ve written before that haven’t changed:

CBS’ record of few total failures means that shows with mediocre ratings are in danger because the network will want to premiere several hours of new shows next fall. The New Adventures of Old Christine, Gary Unmarried, Accidentally On Purpose, and Medium could all go either way depending on how CBS feels about its pilots, and/or its interest in continuing to be battered on Wednesday to create a second comedy block.

While the numbers for Numb3rs have placed it in danger of cancellation from the beginning of the season, all the press surrounding its season finale leads me to believe that CBS will be canceling the show.

Cold Case is certain to be canceled. We have a few readers who trot out their laments every time it gets mentioned in one of our posts. While it’s nice to have a hobby, may I suggest one that’s more fulfilling, like knitting or bow hunting.

* I have frozen the Index for Three Rivers at the point it was removed from the CBS schedule.

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 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 (in CBS’s case I have removed the season effect of the week including the Super Bowl for the calculation). 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.

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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