Our Renew / Cancel Index predicts potential renewal or cancellation for scripted broadcast primetime shows for the 2010-11 season (results through November 15, 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
Til Death (S), (F) 0.20
Brothers (F) 0.24
Dollhouse (F), (P) 0.25
Fringe 0.58
Bones (P) 0.75
Lie To Me (P) 0.77
Glee (P) 0.89
American Dad (P) 0.91
The Cleveland Show (P) 1.10
The Simpsons (P) 1.12
Family Guy (P) 1.23
House 1.48

Note that the Index values for all Fox shows will continue to be very depressed for some time because the World Series ratings have unusually boosted Fox’s overall 18-49 average (3.7 vs. ~3.o before baseball). That will slowly subside as Fox’s average evens out post-baseball. For the time being, the order of the shows is far more important than the Index values.

Dollhouse has been officially canceled. The only difference between it, ‘Til Death and Brothers is there has been no announcements about them. There may never be. They’ll continue to air episodes for some unknown period of time and then vanish.

With those 3 shows out of the way, Fringe is the only remaining scripted show in Fox’s lineup in some danger of cancellation. Could Fox renew it based on the fact it knew it was going to get crushed at 9pm Thursdays? Yes. But they also could decide they could do better in that time slot. It’s an interesting situation because I’m not sure how much new useful ratings information about Fringe’s situation we’ll get before the end of the year when decisions are made, short of an unlikely big change upwards or downwards in the ratings.

This is a breakdown of Fox 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.

While I initially tried to designate shows with “plum” timeslots, I think it’s hard to make that call at this point in the season. It’s likely still a factor, but will have to be an “after the fact” call.

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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