Starting this week, instead of using the 18-49 viewership for the calculations, I’m going to instead use the 18-49 rating, which simply is the percentage of the US 18-49 TV adults population. (There are an estimated 132 million US adults 18-49 in TV households, so a 1.0 rating is equal to 1.32 million adults 18-49). Since we only get 18-49 demo ratings for each show on an overnight basis, that makes the values in the Renew/Cancel Index easier to compare with the overnight demo ratings results.

There have been rumors over the past few weeks that Privileged might be returning next season. They sound to me like fantasy caused by a disrupted medication schedule. The show is certain to be canceled.

Even with (at least for the CW) not terrible results under heavy competition, the odds are stacked against Reaper. It’s the wrong kind of show for the network, it doesn’t have a long history and it just lost its producers. Don’t look for it to come back next fall.

The numbers for Everybody Hates Chris and The Game indicate cancellation as well, but there may be some hope for The Game.

This is a breakdown of CW 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, Renewal Announced.

PROGRAM Net  STD 18-49 Rating (LIVE+SD)  Network Avg. STD 18-49 rating Renew/ Cancel index Status
EASY MONEY CW 0.2  0.8 0.25  canceled
VALENTINE CW 0.3  0.8 0.38  canceled
PRIVILEGED CW 0.7  0.8 0.88  
THE GAME CW 0.7  0.8 0.88  
REAPER CW 0.9  0.8 1.13  
GOSSIP GIRL CW 1.1  0.8 1.38  returning
ONE TREE HILL CW 1.1  0.8 1.38  returning
90210 CW 1.1  0.8 1.38  returning
SUPERNATURAL CW 1.2  0.8 1.50  returning
SMALLVILLE CW 1.4  0.8 1.75  returning


Friday night – Friday is quickly becoming an 18-49 wasteland, so these shows may be allowed a lower threshold for success than shows on other nights.

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.

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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