With the fall broadcast television schedule announcements coming next week, it’s time for Robert and I (and you too, in the comments) to make our final guesses as to the renewal chances for broadcast primetime shows.

Without further ado, here are our final predictions of the likelihood of renewal for all the CBS scripted shows that are not already officially renewed (in homage to TVBTN favorite PTI).

Program Bill Robert
Criminal Minds 100% 100%
The Mentalist 100% 100%
CSI 100% 100%
CSI: Miami 100% 100%
NCIS 100% 100%
CSI: NY 100% 99%
Rules Of Engagement 100% 75%
Ghost Whisperer 90% 65%
Medium 85% 70%
Gary Unmarried 51% 60%
New Adventures of Old Christine 50% 45%
Cold Case 10% 15%
Accidentally On Purpose 10% 5%
Numb3rs 5% 2%
Miami Medical 0% 0%

Robert’s comment: Though it’s not either or, I give a slight edge to Medium over Ghost Whisperer both based on recent ratings and less complexity (for CBS) with any ancillary revenue for Medium (GW’s is split with ABC). The Wednesday comedies + Rules are a crapshoot for me, with whether or not CBS bails on the Wednesday 8pm comedy block being the big unknown. It could pick up two new comedies and nix Wednesdays anyway. That scenario could be bad news for Rules. Blah, blah, blah, some obligatory reference to ABC picking up Christine if CBS dumps it!

Bill’s comment: Again, we are of similar minds, but I think the likelihood that CBS brings back both Medium and Ghost Whisperer to be higher. After renewing multiple low rated comedies (like Old Christine) for a couple years, I doubt that CBS cancels Rules of Engagement now.

Our Renew / Cancel Index predicts potential renewal or cancellation for scripted broadcast primetime shows for the 2010-11 season (includes results through May 9, 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
Miami Medical (F) 0.44
Numb3rs (F), (P) 0.56
Three Rivers (P) .55*
Accidentally On Purpose (Wed) (P) 0.58
Medium (F), (P) 0.58
Ghost Whisperer (F), (S) 0.61
New Adventures of Old Christine (S) 0.62
Gary Unmarried 0.68
Cold Case (P) 0.71
The Good Wife (P) 0.81
CSI:NY (P) 0.93
Rules Of Engagement 1.02
How I Met Your Mother (S) 1.04
NCIS: Los Angeles (P) 1.07
Criminal Minds (P) 1.07
The Mentalist 1.11
CSI (P) 1.11
CSI: Miami (P) 1.11
NCIS (P) 1.23
Two And A Half Men 1.51
Big Bang Theory 1.59

Relative new episode scripted show ratings since 12/28/09

Miami Medical (F) 0.42
Ghost Whisperer (F), (S) 0.58
Medium (F), (P) 0.59
New Adventures of Old Christine (S) 0.60
Numb3rs (F), (P) 0.64
Gary Unmarried 0.66
Cold Case (P) 0.77
Accidentally On Purpose (Wed) (P) 0.86
The Good Wife (P) 0.88
CSI:NY (P) 0.98
Rules of Engagement 0.98
CSI (P) 1.04
The Mentalist 1.08
NCIS: Los Angeles (P) 1.10
CSI: Miami (P) 1.12
How I Met Your Mother (S) 1.17
Criminal Minds (P) 1.18
NCIS (P) 1.28
Two And A Half Men 1.77
Big Bang Theory 1.80

While CBS’ renewal choices still look like a grab bag a few shows seem closer to the top than others. I like Gary Unmarried’s chances better than Old Christine’s, and Christine’s better than Accidentally On Purpose’s. Of course, any of them might survive only because CBS wants to keep beating its head against the wall of a ratings loser “second comedy block”, if CBS changes its mind, they’re all gone.

The picture is a bit clearer for CBS’ Fall ’09 Friday dramas. I think Numb3rs is at the bottom of the bag, and needs a miracle for renewal. And while I expect both Ghost Whisperer and Medium to return, I would not be shocked if one of those two was canceled.

Cold Case and Miami Medical aren’t even in the bag. They’ll be canceled.

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

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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