big fringe 3
Our Renew / Cancel Index predicts potential renewal or cancellation for scripted broadcast primetime shows for the 2010-11 season (results through November 22, 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) 0.26
Fringe 0.59
Bones (P) 0.77
Lie To Me (P) 0.79
Glee (P) 0.92
American Dad (P) 0.93
The Cleveland Show (P) 1.13
The Simpsons (P) 1.16
Family Guy (P) 1.27
House 1.52

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 (3.6 vs. ~3.o before baseball). That will slowly subside as Fox’s average averages out post-baseball. For the time being, the order of the shows is far more important than the Index values.

I have already written a lot about Fringe’s move to the brutally competive Thursday 9pm timeslot, and its subsequent ratings devastation. Fox will certainly be breaking the “rules” of the Renew / Cancel Index if it brings Fringe back next season, but they might just based on their limited expectations for the move. Or not. I have no way of knowing. Neither do fans. Nor entertainment writers fed PR spin. You just gotta believe. Or not.

Dollhouse, Brothers and ‘Til Death are all canceled, either in fact or in practice. Dollhouse fans will see all its episodes that were produced, that’s the best the other two can hope for as well.

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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