Our Renew / Cancel Index predicts potential renewal or cancellation for scripted broadcast primetime shows for the 2010-11 season (includes results through January 10, 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
Better Off Ted 0.42
Ugly Betty (Fri) (S), (F), (P) 0.44
Ugly Betty (Wed) (S), (P) 0.57
Hank 0.54*
Scrubs (P) 0.58
Eastwick 0.60
the forgotten 0.62
The Middle 0.73
Castle (P) :mrgreen: 0.76
FlashForward (P) 😳 0.98
Cougar Town (P) 1.01
Modern Family 1.12
Private Practice (P) 1.14
Brothers & Sisters (S), (P) 1.15
V 1.36
Grey’s Anatomy (P) 1.69
Desperate Housewives (P) 1.71

News that The Middle has been renewed (also Modern Family and Cougar Town, no surprise there) moves it off the “Some Danger” category and into the “Renewed For the 2010-11 Season” category.

Last week I wrote “Based on last year’s pattern, The Middle could turn out to be this year’s Better Off Ted. A comedy given a second chance, even with poor ratings.”

Recently, The Middle has done better than Ted ever did last season, so that may turn out to be an unwarranted slight to The Middle. We’ll see next season.

Castle’s recent ratings trend has been up (holding last night’s 2.6 rating would be good enough for renewal). While I don’t think it’s entirely safe yet, I like its chances for next year more and more each week.

If FlashForward keeps falling, it has no future. We’ll now have to wait until mid-March to see its next ratings. I’m not sure if the schedule change itself is something for tea leaf reading or not.

V’s future entirely rests on how its ratings do on its return in March. Its fall episode ratings are meaningless now. No guesses from me.

Ugly Betty’s Wednesday debut registered just a 1.6 rating. The only way that Ugly Betty escapes cancellation is if ABC is willing to endure its terrible ratings to stock up on more episodes for syndication. I think that’s a long shot. Note: I have added a separate Index for Betty’s Wednesday episodes.

Who is Steve McPherson kidding about Scrubs and Better Off Ted? There is a very tiny possibility that Scrubs comes back just to generate more episodes for syndication. There is no such possibility for Ted.

Hank and Eastwick are already canceled, and the forgotten’s cancellation is a certainty.

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 recent 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 ABC 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 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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