Our Renew / Cancel Index predicts potential renewal or cancellation for scripted broadcast primetime shows for the 2010-11 season (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
The Beautiful Life: TBL (P) 0.49*
Melrose Place (P) 0.58
90210 (P) 0.77
Gossip Girl (P) 0.85
Smallville (F), (P) 1.05
One Tree Hill (P) 1.06
Life Unexpected (P) 1.11
Supernatural (S), (P) 1.11
Vampire Diaries (P) 1.48

I’ve been doing these Renew / Cancel posts in their current form for two seasons, and until now there hasn’t been a CW show with an uncertain future (that will be determined by ratings) worthy of “bubble” status until Life Unexpected.

It’s got all the right “bubble show” ingredients. Ratings that are just below middle of the road. The network brass making somewhat positive remarks about it. And an extra twist, it repeats well during the same week, to a largely different audience.

Fans, get ready for the nail biting!

Life Unexpected’s adults 18-49 ratings have drifted below the range where I’d be confident of its renewal, but I’m still leaning that way. Note that Life Unexpected’s ratings Index includes only new episodes, while the rest of the CW show Indexes contain many repeat airings, so it’s difficult to make an apples to apples comparisons without looking at individual episode numbers.

One Tree Hill is on more solid ratings ground. If it comes down to OTH vs. LUX (although I’m not saying that will be the case), I’d be pretty sure OTH gets the renewal.

Smallville’s return will be determined by the wishes of the producers and cast. It certainly has the ratings.

3/4 Update: Smallville Renewed By The CW For A Tenth Season

*I have frozen The Beautiful Life’s Index at its value the week of cancellation.

This is a breakdown of CW 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.

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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