Our Renew / Cancel Index predicts potential renewal or cancellation for scripted broadcast primetime shows for the 2010-11 season (includes results through February 28, 2010):

  • Likely To Be Canceled By May, 2010; Officially Canceled
  • 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
Numb3rs (F), (P) 0.54
Three Rivers (P) .55*
Medium (F), (P) 0.59
New Adventures of Old Christine (S) 0.62
Ghost Whisperer (F), (S) 0.64
Cold Case (P) 0.66
Gary Unmarried 0.66
The Good Wife (P) 0.84
Accidentally On Purpose (P) 0.89
CSI:NY (P) 0.99
How I Met Your Mother (S) 1.03
CSI (P) 1.09
The Mentalist 1.09
NCIS: Los Angeles (P) 1.10
Criminal Minds (P) 1.11
CSI: Miami (P) 1.12
NCIS (P) 1.28
Two And A Half Men 1.45
Big Bang Theory 1.54

There’s nobody outside of CBS that can say with a straight face they thought Undercover Boss would be the big ratings hit it has been (maybe not even inside CBS). Certainly not me. I assumed the hour of the schedule it occupied this spring would be temporary, leaving another free hour for a scripted show next season.

Not so. It’s done so well, a return next season is certain. That removes one more hour from CBS’s schedule (for all or part of a season) that would otherwise have gone to a scripted show (since Survivor and The Amazing Race will also certainly return).

Which of these shows (or two) would have been the last renewed, but will now be the last canceled?

  • Numbers
  • Medium
  • New Adventures Of Old Christine
  • Gary Unmarried
  • Accidentally on Purpose

Perhaps Undercover Boss will send its fans a sympathy card.

Cold Case is the only current CBS show that I’m confident will be canceled.

The next interesting data points will come when:

  • Accidentally On Purpose moves to Wednesday (March 31). That will give a relative read on both its and Gary Unmarried’s prospects. If it drops well below Gary’s average (2.2 rating for new episodes), it’s a goner. If it does lots better, goodbye Gary. Christine’s prospects are likely to be influenced as well.
  • Miami Medical starts at 10pm on Fridays (April 2). Its results *might* provide some additional clarity on the prospects for Numb3rs and Medium.

* I have frozen the Index for Three Rivers at the point it was removed from the CBS 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.

I’ve added a new category, Renewed For The 2010-11 Season, for shows who’s renewal has already been announced for the next season. It may take a while to get all the past announcements noted, let me know what I have missed, yet be patient.

This is a breakdown of CBS 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 CBS’s case I have removed the season effect of the week including the Super Bowl for the calculation). 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.

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: ©2010 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved. All ratings used are Live+Same Day viewing.

Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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