Our Renew / Cancel Index predicts potential renewal or cancellation for scripted broadcast primetime shows for the 2010-11 season (results through March 14, 2010):

  • Likely To Be Canceled By May, 2010; Officially Canceled
  • Some Danger Of Being Canceled By May, 2010
  • Likely to Be Renewed For The 2010-11 Season
  • Renewed For The 2010-11 Season
Program Renew/ Cancel Index
The Beautiful Life: TBL (P) 0.49*
Melrose Place (P) 0.57
90210 (P) 0.75
Gossip Girl (P) 0.86
Smallville (F), (P) 1.02
One Tree Hill (P) 1.06
Life Unexpected (P) 1.06
Supernatural (S), (P) 1.07
Vampire Diaries (P) 1.41

Life Unexpected continues to play its unique (for the CW) “bubble” show role perfectly. When things seems to be getting a bit bleak, it gives fans a bit more hope. Example: After having settled into a 0.8-0.9 adults 18-49 ratings range, it increased to a preliminary 1.0 rating last night, when other 8pm broadcast shows took dives. A little more hope, but not enough to get it out of the woods.

Life Unexpected’s adults 18-49 ratings have drifted below the range where I’d be confident of its renewal, but its certainly still possible. I would not expect a decision until the last minute (mid-May).

Note that Life Unexpected’s ratings Index includes only new episodes, while the rest of the CW show Indexes contain many repeat airings, so it’s difficult to make an apples to apples comparisons without looking at individual episode numbers. That’s why the show is colored orange in the list with an Index of 1.06.

One Tree Hill is on far more solid ratings ground. Conventional wisdom is that One Tree Hill renewal is dependent on contractual issues. It has the ratings for renewal.

Melrose Place has no role left to be played other than canceled.

*I have frozen The Beautiful Life’s Index at its value the week of cancellation.

This is a breakdown of CW 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: ©2010 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved. All ratings used are Live+Same Day viewing.

Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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