Our Renew / Cancel Index predicts potential renewal or cancellation for scripted broadcast primetime shows for the 2010-11 season (includes results through December 13, 2009):

  • 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
Ugly Betty (S), (F), (P) 0.41
Better Off Ted 0.50
Hank 0.54*
Eastwick 0.60
the forgotten 0.62
The Middle :mrgreen: 0.71
Scrubs (P) :mrgreen: 0.72
Castle (P) :mrgreen: 0.77
FlashForward (P) 😳 0.92
Cougar Town (P) 1.01
Brothers & Sisters (S), (P) 1.06
Private Practice (P) 1.14
Modern Family 1.15
V 1.27
Desperate Housewives (P) 1.58
Grey’s Anatomy (P) 1.70

Anyone who’s been a reader of the site since last season knows that I had long predicted Better Off Ted would be canceled at the end of  the 2008-9 season, but ABC brought it back even though it had dreadful ratings. ABC aired new episodes of Ted in the summer, and it received worse ratings (even considering the season). It premiered last week to just a 1.5 adults 18-49 rating. No one really knows why ABC brought Ted back, but, once again, I can’t imagine they’ll keep him for next season. Let the commenter chorus of “But you were wrong before!” commence.

Flash Forward ended its fall run on a down note, scoring just a 2.1 rating for adults 18-49. As Gary Seven once said it’s ratings can be described as “Descending and accelerating“. Only a miraculous ratings turn around after its hiatus can save it now.

Scrubs increased to a 2.3 adults 18-49 rating in its second week. Any sign of life at all like that and it could become another According to Jim -type zombie show ratings loser kept alive just to generate more episodes for syndication.

The Middle has a fighting chance to increase its ratings now that it’s been freed of the Hank albatross lead in. Castle fans will not be able to sleep easily until mid-May, the show’s certain to be on the bubble the rest of the season.

Ugly Betty will be moving to Wednesday at 10pm beginning January 6. Short of a ratings miracle, there is no chance this does anything but change its final timeslot before cancellation at the end of this season.

the forgotten, has an order for additional episodes, but has continued to drift downward in the ratings and there is no chance it returns in fall 2010. Eastwick and Hank have both been officially canceled. *Hank’s Index is frozen at the point it was removed from ABC’s schedule.

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 ABC 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 a 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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