Our Renew / Cancel Index predicts potential renewal or cancellation for scripted broadcast primetime shows for the 2010-11 season (results through April 4, 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) 0.58
Mercy (P) 0.67
Trauma (P) 0.70
Law & Order (Monday), (P) 0.73
Parks & Recreation (P) 0.83
Community 0.88
Heroes (P) 0.93
Chuck 0.93
Law & Order: SVU (P) 1.04
Parenthood (P) 1.08
30 Rock (P) 1.14
The Office (P) 1.52

Reading the comments of optimistic Chuck fans (and at least one TV critic) you’d think that NBC was in such bad shape, that renewing  Chuck was its only hope.

Well, NBC is in very bad shape. But renewing Chuck is hardly its only hope. (although if there are any Jeff Zucker hologram mashups out there, I will post them). NBC has commissioned quite a few pilots, and there’s an anecdotal (meaning, no data to back it up either) argument that a fresh start is the best thing for NBC.

Even though Parenthood hasn’t faced 2 new broadcast competitors these past 2 weeks, the recent 2.7 and 2.5 adults 18-49 ratings give it real hope for renewal. It will face new episodes of The Good Wife and V tonight, so a good performance may clear a final hurdle for renewal, and a bad performance can start the worrying all over again.

Note that Chuck and Parenthood’s ratings averages contain only new episodes, most of NBC’s fall shows have many repeat episodes factored into their ratings averages.

Some would put Heroes on NBC’s bubble. 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 hulks Trauma and Mercy. Apparently, the bottomless pit from the Lenopocalypse isn’t entirely bottomless and has allowed NBC the ability to cut Trauma loose earlier than it had hoped it could.

I continue to believe that Law & Order will be renewed based on earlier statements by NBC’s Angela Bromstad that she wasn’t going to be the one to cancel the show short of the broadcast drama longevity record.

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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