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) 0.54
Three Rivers (P) 0.58
Medium (F), (P) 0.65
New Adventures of Old Christine (S) 0.65
Ghost Whisperer (F), (S) 0.67
Cold Case (P) 0.67
Gary Unmarried 0.72
Accidentally On Purpose (P) 0.99
The Good Wife (P) 0.99
CSI:NY (P) 1.10
How I Met Your Mother (S) 1.14
The Mentalist 1.15
CSI (P) 1.26
Criminal Minds (P) 1.27
NCIS: Los Angeles (P) 1.30
CSI: Miami (P) 1.32
Two And A Half Men 1.47
NCIS (P) 1.49
Big Bang Theory (P) 1.58

As bad as the ratings were for the Three Rivers premiere, its second week was even worse falling to just a 1.7 adults 18-49 rating. With CBS’ recent history of axing its worst performing new drama before the November sweeps, the show’s demise may be announced at any moment.

Cold Case keeps getting colder and is still in significant danger of being canceled before at the end of the season. New Adventures of Old Christine and Gary Unmarried are stably low, but what’s new? If CBS is determined to weather their terrible ratings to establish another night of comedy they may be fine for another renewal.

While I don’t think Numb3rs is in extreme danger, it’s opened enough of a gap between its ratings and those of Medium and Ghost Whisperer to be in some danger. 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.

In response to some comments about color blindness and problems with the colors in the list, the shows in red (the greatest danger) are now also bolded. Does that help?

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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