4/23 Update: ABC announced the official pick-ups of the following shows for the 2009-10 season: America’s Funniest Home Videos, The Bachelor, Brothers & Sisters, Dancing with the Stars, Desperate Housewives, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Grey’s Anatomy, Lost, Private Practice, Supernanny, Ugly Betty, Wife Swap. Not a surprise in the bunch. I have updated the chart below for Private Practice.


After being gone last week, there’s a lot to catch up on, and a change in the numbers in the tables. 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.

In the past two weeks, two new ABC shows have premiered to very different results. Surviving Suburbia opened well and looks likely for renewal. On the other hand, The Unusuals fared poorly and looks likely to be canceled.

Castle continues to drop from its premiere ratings, which were good enough for renewal. Last night it had a 2.2 overnight rating for the 18-49 demo. At that level, it’s going to be canceled.

These shows are also likely to be canceled: In the Motherhood, Cupid and Better off Ted.

Private Practice and Samantha Who? look likely for renewal.

This is a breakdown of ABC 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
ELI STONE ABC 1.7 2.7 0.63 canceled
ACCORDING TO JIM-TU 9:30P ABC 1.7 2.7 0.63 final season
BETTER OFF TED ABC 1.8 2.7 0.67
PUSHING DAISIES ABC 1.8 2.7 0.67 canceled
THE UNUSUALS ABC 1.9 2.7 0.70
DIRTY SEXY MONEY ABC 1.9 2.7 0.70 canceled
CUPID ABC 1.9 2.7 0.70
SCRUBS-TU 9PM ABC 1.9 2.7 0.70 final season
LIFE ON MARS ABC 2.2 2.7 0.81 canceled
BOSTON LEGAL ABC 2.2 2.7 0.81 final season
UGLY BETTY ABC 2.3 2.7 0.85 returning
SAMANTHA WHO? ABC 2.4 2.7 0.89
CASTLE ABC 2.5 2.7 0.93
PRIVATE PRACTICE ABC 2.9 2.7 1.07 returning
BROTHERS & SISTERS ABC 3.4 2.7 1.26 returning
LOST ABC 4.3 2.7 1.59 returning
GREY’S ANATOMY ABC 4.6 2.7 1.70 returning
DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES ABC 5.3 2.7 1.96 returning


To remove clutter from the table, I have included only the day/timeslot with the most airings for According to Jim and Scrubs.

According to Jim: After 8 seasons, and recent horrible ratings, but presumably great sydication profits, ABC’s According to Jim looks like its prime-time run is coming to an end this season as one of the stars says the stage has been bulldozed. That seems pretty final to me.

Scrubs: Eight seasons is the end for Scrubs as well. Update: Or perhaps not. I am doubting that retraction, I believe he spoke the truth initially and then got his hand slapped and tried to backtrack. I’m keeping it marked as final season.

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.

Category: '
Posted by:TV By The Numbers

blog comments powered by Disqus