dollhouse2There have been hundreds of comments about the potential fate of Dollhouse on our site with all sorts of theories and questions about its future. Do the C+3 ratings make up for its Live+SD ratings? Does the big increase in viewing from Live+7 ratings give the show a better chance? Since I’m sure that all 13 episodes of Dollhouse will air this season, I will repeat the one thing fans of the show can be certain of: The ratings of the later shows, and their trend, will matter a lot more than the shows that have already aired. If ratings stay where they are though, I don’t believe the show comes back.

Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles is going to be canceled at the end of the season. But there is one bit of good news for the show. Some (not me) thought it might be pulled from the schedule before its episodes finished this spring. Since the return of Prison Break has been announced for April 17 (which would allow all completed TSCC episodes to air on Friday at 8pm), TSCC looks likely to finish all of its episodes this season.

This is a breakdown of Fox scripted shows and their renewal and cancelation prospects.  Here are the others:

Our Renew / Cancel index predicts potential renewal for *next* season: Canceled/Not Returning, In Danger, or Renewal Likely for 2009-10.

PROGRAM Net STD 18-49 (LIVE+SD) (000) Network Avg. STD 18-49 Renew/ Cancel index Status
DO NOT DISTURB FOX 2,097 3,530 0.59 canceled
DOLLHOUSE FOX 2,250 3,530 0.64
TIL DEATH FOX 2,364 3,530 0.67
PRISON BREAK FOX 2,988 3,530 0.85 final season
AMERICAN DAD FOX 3,586 3,530 1.02
KING OF THE HILL FOX 3,768 3,530 1.07 final season
BONES FOX 4,035 3,530 1.14
SIMPSONS FOX 4,192 3,530 1.19
FAMILY GUY FOX 4,556 3,530 1.29
FRINGE FOX 4,586 3,530 1.30
24 FOX 5,084 3,530 1.44
LIE TO ME FOX 5,780 3,530 1.64
HOUSE FOX 6,215 3,530 1.76

The Renew/Cancel Index is a show’s Season To Date adults 18-49 viewership divided by its networks Season to Date average 18-49 viewership. Note that the Fox average used above is its final Season to Date average prior to American Idol (see below).


Prison Break is in its final season.

‘Til Death has done terribly, and has been off Fox’s schedule since October, Sony Pictures has reportedly made Fox such a sweet deal for future episodes that Fox has bought another entire season, proving that at a low enough price that even a ratings black hole is worth suffering through.

Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles: The numbers above are for only its Friday airings that began on February 13, 2009. FYI, It’s 13 episode 18-49 average on Monday this season was 2.726 million.

How did we come up with our Index? We found that last season, the future of a show was nearly directly related to its adults 18-49 average viewers divided by its networks 18-49 average viewers. Many other factors may matter, but they all seemed to boil down to that one number. Because American Idol so skewed Fox’s 18-49 average, and would make nearly all Fox shows fall into the “cancel” range, for Fox, I used the last STD 18-49 average *before* Idol. Last season, if a show had better than 92% of its network’s average 18-49 viewership (0.92 in our index) it was pretty safe, below that level it was in danger.

Remember that plenty can change before the end of the season, particularly for the shows with indexes between 0.80 and last season’s renewal line of 0.92. The list is presented in a (and has to be, since I cannot predict future ratings) “what would happen if the season ended today” mode. Could the renewal line be 0.86 this season? Possibly. It might also be 0.95. Might it be 0.70? No chance.

Nielsen TV Ratings Data: ©2009 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved. All viewership numbers are Live+SD.

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Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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