Our Renew / Cancel Index predicts potential renewal or cancellation for scripted broadcast primetime shows for the 2010-11 season (includes results through October 11, 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) 0.50
Three Rivers (P) 0.54
Medium (F), (P) 0.58
New Adventures of Old Christine (S) 0.60
Ghost Whisperer (F), (S) 0.60
Cold Case (P) 0.61
Gary Unmarried 0.66
The Good Wife (P) 0.88
Accidentally On Purpose (P) 0.90
CSI:NY (P) 0.99
How I Met Your Mother (S) 1.04
The Mentalist 1.04
CSI (P) 1.13
Criminal Minds (P) 1.15
NCIS: Los Angeles (P) 1.15
CSI: Miami (P) 1.20
NCIS (P) 1.35
Two And A Half Men 1.36
Big Bang Theory 1.45

There’s not much more to say about Three Rivers. It is certain to be canceled by the end of this season, the only remotely interesting thing left is when CBS pulls it from the schedule.

Cold Case was pre-empted by a football overrun this week, but because CBS’ average ticked up sharply (thanks again to football!) its Index sank. “Oh woe is CC, it can’t catch a break” wail the fans!

The Good Wife ratings continue to slip. It’s now at least in some danger of being canceled at the end of the season, particularly if it continues to slide.

New Adventures of Old Christine and Gary Unmarried are stably pitiful, but what’s new? If CBS is determined to weather their terrible ratings to establish another night of comedy they may be fine for yet another season.

Numb3rs ratings are again close enough to those of Medium and Ghost Whisperer to put its future in less doubt. Last season Numb3rs was renewed with a gap between its Index and that of Ghost Whisperer of 0.10. At that gap or less, I figure the show is safe, above that gap there’s a risk it gets canceled.

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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