Our Renew / Cancel Index predicts potential renewal or cancellation for scripted broadcast primetime shows for the 2010-11 season (results through March 21, 2010):

  • Likely To Be Canceled By May, 2010
  • 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
Law & Order (F), (P) 0.57
Mercy (P) 0.66
Trauma (P) 0.70
Law & Order (Monday), (P) 0.71
Parks & Recreation (P) 0.81
Community 0.86
Heroes (P) 0.91
Chuck 0.94
Law & Order: SVU (P) 0.99
30 Rock (P) 1.11
Parenthood (P) 1.14
The Office (P) 1.53

Last week it was the shift to Daylight Savings Time, this week it was the premiere of Dancing With The Stars, but after two weeks of 1.9 ratings, excuses aside, it’s time for Chuck fans to hit the panic button.

Chuck’s below the ratings level that would indicate likely renewal now. Some think NBC is so devastated that Chuck has to come back. NBC is certainly devastated, but that doesn’t guarantee anything for Chuck.

At this point, if Parenthood goes no lower than a 2.3 rating (which it had last week), I think it will survive another season. If it goes much lower, even Ron Howard may not be able to save it.

Some would put Heroes on NBC’s bubble too. For me, its final show ratings of 2.2, 2.1, 1.8, 1.9, 2.0, 2.0 say its a goner, even on NBC.

As horrible as the situation is, NBC will try something new other than keeping the ratings sinkholes Trauma and Mercy.

This is a breakdown of NBC 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 (in NBC’s calculation  I have removed the ratings effects of the weeks that included the Winter Olympics). 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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