Our Renew / Cancel Index predicts potential renewal or cancellation for scripted broadcast primetime shows for the 2010-11 season (includes results through December 13, 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
Numb3rs (F), (P) 0.52
Three Rivers (P) 0.55*
Medium (F), (P) 0.58
Cold Case (P) 0.62
New Adventures of Old Christine (S) :mrgreen: 0.62
Ghost Whisperer (F), (S) 0.63
Gary Unmarried :mrgreen: 0.67
The Good Wife (P) :mrgreen: 0.84
Accidentally On Purpose (P) :mrgreen: 0.89
CSI:NY (P) 0.98
How I Met Your Mother (S) 1.04
The Mentalist 1.07
CSI (P) 1.09
NCIS: Los Angeles (P) 1.11
Criminal Minds (P) 1.12
CSI: Miami (P) 1.16
NCIS (P) 1.32
Two And A Half Men 1.39
Big Bang Theory 1.49

More than any other broadcast network, CBS has a formula, they stick with it, and as long as they do that few of their new shows are shocking ratings disappointments. But also because of that, shows that just do “OK” have to be canceled to make room for some new shows next season.

The Good Wife and Accidentally On Purpose both are doing a bit below average ratings for CBS. On NBC they’d be stars. On ABC or Fox they’d likely be keepers. On CBS, something’s gotta go, and both of them just might be out for next season.

The New Adventures of Old Christine and Gary Unmarried’s low ratings could be tolerated for yet another season if CBS sticks to its goal of a second “comedy block”, but don’t be surprised if Christine goes and Gary stays.

*Three Rivers is off CBS’ schedule and as close to canceled as you’re likely to get from CBS. Its Index is frozen at the point of the last week it aired, since it has no announced return date.

Accidentally On Purpose’s good timeslot following How I Met Your Mother makes its borderline Index look weaker than it would be were it elsewhere on the CBS schedule. Its prospects for next year are not bright.

In a big vote of no confidence, the episode order this season for Numb3rs was reduced to 16 episodes. It’s now in significant danger of not coming back.

The Good Wife ratings seem to be settling just on the edge of the danger zone for cancellation. On NBC, it would be a star, on CBS it’s borderline.

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.

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. 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 that’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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