Our Renew / Cancel Index predicts potential renewal or cancellation for scripted broadcast primetime shows for the 2010-11 season (results through January 3, 2010):

  • 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
Til Death (S), (F) 0.23
Dollhouse (F), (P) 0.27
Brothers (F) 0.27
Fringe 0.64
Lie To Me (P) 0.78
Bones (P) 0.84
Glee (P) 0.90
American Dad (P) 0.93
The Cleveland Show (P) 1.10
The Simpsons (P) 1.18
Family Guy (P) 1.26
House 1.35

Note that the Index values for all Fox shows will continue to be very depressed for some time because the World Series ratings have boosted Fox’s overall 18-49 average (3.2 vs. ~3.0 before baseball). That will slowly subside as Fox’s average declines post-baseball. For the time being, the order of the shows is far more important than the Index values.

Since there have been few new episodes aired in the past two weeks, I thought it would be a good time to review Fox’s mid-season scripted show situation this year compared to last year.

Mid-season 2008-9:

  • 1 show canceled (Do Not Disturb)
  • 2 more shows ultimately canceled (Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles, Prison Break; plus King of the Hill which was to finish its run)

Mid-season 2009-10:

  • 3 shows canceled (Dollhouse, Brothers, Til Death)
  • 2 shows in some danger (Fringe, Lie To Me)

While I still believe Fringe is in more danger of cancellation, I think the risk for Lie To Me is high enough to put it in some danger. But unlike the CW’s situation, which is simple, Fox’s fall 2010 schedule situation is very complicated.

If Fox brings back So You Think You Can Dance? (or another 3 hour/week reality show in its timeslots), then they either have to:

  1. Cancel one or both of Fringe and Lie To Me
  2. Move Fringe and/or Lie To Me to Friday
  3. Debut new scripted shows on Friday (which I think is very unlikely)
  4. Add no new scripted shows at all (which I think is very unlikely)

Alternatives 1 or 2 are bad news for either show (obviously 2 isn’t nearly as bad as 1).

But if Fox doesn’t fill SYTYCD’s 3 hours with reality, then all bets are off, and Fringe & Lie To Me could easily be accommodated in the fall schedule along with new shows.

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 Fox 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.

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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