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 CW scripted shows that are not already officially renewed (in homage to TVBTN favorite PTI).

Program Bill Robert
One Tree Hill 60% 75%
Life Unexpected 45% 60%
Melrose Place 0% 0%

Robert’s comment: I don’t buy into the “cage fight” mentality of it being only one of either One Tree Hill or Life Unexpected. Don’t be surprised if both wind up somewhere on the schedule next year.

Bill’s comment: I’m no “cage fight” advocate either. I think it’s less about one vs. the other, than new shows vs. old ones. Only if the CW increases its programming budget (to fill in the long repeat gaps) will both be back next season, and I see no indication that’s going to happen at this point.

Our Renew / Cancel Index predicts potential renewal or cancellation for scripted broadcast primetime shows for the 2010-11 season (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
The Beautiful Life: TBL (P) 0.49*
Melrose Place (P) 0.57
90210 (P) 0.76
Gossip Girl (P) 0.92
Life Unexpected (P) 0.92
Smallville (F), (P) 1.00
One Tree Hill (P) 1.04
Supernatural (S), (P) 1.11
Vampire Diaries (P) 1.46

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

Melrose Place (P) 0.50
90210 (P) 0.72
Life Unexpected (P) 0.91
Smallville (F), (P) 0.92
Gossip Girl (P) 0.95
One Tree Hill (P) 1.00
Supernatural (S), (P) 1.14
Vampire Diaries (P) 1.55

Last week, I wondered why One Tree Hill hadn’t already been renewed by the CW. And I’ve always thought that Life Unexpected’s ratings were just below where they needed to be for renewal. But old shows are unlikely to increase their ratings, while new shows might.

With only those two shows left to be renewed by the CW (among the sane), has the choice boiled down to one or the other?

Discuss amongst yourselves.

It seems likely now that a decision on both shows will not be known until the CW upfront presentation on  May 20,

Note that Life Unexpected’s ratings Index includes mostly 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. That’s why the show is colored orange in the list.

Melrose Place is certain to be canceled.

*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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