CBS’ renew/cancel standings for week 2 of the 2016-17 season spotlights a poor debut for a veteran series that could put it in peril.

Here are the standings, and here’s an explanation of the new methodology.

Show Status 18-49 rating Renew/Cancel Index
Elementary (O) 🐻 🐻 0.8 0.1
Blue Bloods (F) (O) 🐻 🐻 🐻 🐻 1.3 1.16
Hawaii Five-0 (F) (O) 🐻 🐻 🐻 🐻 1.35 1.23
NCIS: Los Angeles (O) 🐻 🐻 🐻 🐻 1.5 0.8
MacGyver (F) (O) 🐻 🐻 🐻 🐻 1.5 1.45
Bull (O) 🐻 🐻 🐻 🐻 2.05 1.35
Kevin Can Wait (O) 🐻 🐻 🐻 🐻 2.65 1.95
The Big Bang Theory 🐻 🐻 🐻 🐻 3.7 3.0
Madam Secretary (O) 🐻 🐻 🐻 🐻 🐻 1.1 0.4
NCIS: New Orleans (O) 🐻 🐻 🐻 🐻 🐻 1.45 0.75
NCIS (O) Renewed 2.15 1.45


CBS is making a lot of money on “Elementary” thanks to a multi-pronged syndication deal that includes WGN America*, Hulu and broadcast stations. Even so, it’s going to be pretty tough to justify keeping the show on the air with ratings like it put up with Sunday’s premiere.

(*TV by the Numbers’ parent company also owns WGN America.)

The show managed only a 0.8 rating in adults 18-49, barely above replacement level on a network that historically doesn’t tolerate anything even close to that. It’s three tenths of a point below the next lowest-performing show on CBS — the all-but-certainly renewed “Madam Secretary,” thanks to the Third Season Rule — and among the lowest-rated shows on any network in the first two weeks of the season.

“Elementary” barely kept at the 1.0 mark last season. If it can’t get much above replacement level this season, fat syndication deal or no, it could well be working its last case.


DSW Dead Show Walking: All but officially canceled yet still airing
🐻 sure bet to be canceled by May 2017
🐻 🐻 likely to be canceled by May 2017
🐻 🐻 🐻 tossup between renewal and cancellation by May 2017
🐻 🐻 🐻 🐻 likely to be renewed by May 2017
🐻 🐻 🐻 🐻 🐻 sure bet to be renewed by May 2017


The Renew/Cancel Index is the amount above (or below) a replacement-level rating — i.e., the expected adults 18-49 rating of an emergency fill-in show should a series be canceled. For the 2016-17 season, replacement level is a 0.7 same-day rating in adults 18-49 for the Big 4 networks and a 0.2 for The CW. (Read more here.) The index number is taken by subtracting 0.7 (or 0.2) from a show’s average same-day rating.

Friday scripted shows (denoted with an “F” above) on the Big 4 have average ratings about 30 percent lower than those of other nights, therefore their ratings are multiplied by 1.43 before subtracting the replacement-level number.

 Shows that have ended their seasons have their R/C Index number frozen at the point of their final episode.

(O) – Owned: All other things equal, shows owned by studios affiliated with their networks have a better shot at renewal than those from outside producers.

Posted by:The Cancel Bear

The Cancel Bear is a bear who tracks and devours low-rated TV shows.

  • The Morning Update for Tuesday, October 4, 2016. | The Morning Update

    […] TVBTN: Cancel Bear vs. CBS, week 2: ‘Elementary’ and the case of the disappearing audience CBS is making a lot of money on “Elementary” thanks to a multi-pronged syndication. Even so, […]


  • Cathy Liebgold

    If Elementary was put into a time slot that people would watch, and not compete with proven shows like NCIS or Ghost Hunters, it would probably rate better. I like the show, but it’s always at a time I can’t watch or opposite a show I don’t want to miss. These networks keep trying to get viewers away from a much-loved show, but that won’t happen. Has it ever? Put Elementary where we can see it comfortably. Like Monday night?


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