Why Do We do the index so early in the season?

I know it irks some people that we do these posts after only a bit of data, but please remember they are just point in time references.  Things can and do change,  but we make our calculations based on the data we have.  A main reason people read our site is that they’re interested in assessing a show’s prospects for survival.

Sometimes even a little bit of data is a lot of data

The index measures a shows performance relative to the performance of the network it airs on.  So the index score for Parks & Recreation isn’t calculated based on looking at other networks. The index score for Parks & Recreation compares its season-to-date adults 18-49 average to NBC’s season-to date adults 18-49 average in primetime.

So what about Dollhouse, Castle and Melrose Place, why pick on them?

We think that even after only a couple of weeks, there’s  enough data to know that if you’re a fan of Dollhouse, Castle or Melrose Place, you have good cause to be concerned about the long-term fate of your shows.   We don’t say that because we don’t like those shows, we say that because relative to the networks they air on, they are the worst, or among the worst performers in the ratings.

With those three shows, the prospects for renewal based on the ratings don’t look good at all currently.

Dollhouse and Castle currently seem at risk of being gone long before the season ends, while Melrose Place is currently on track to be this year’s Privileged where it gets additional episodes (for Privileged it was five additional episodes for a total of 18) but not a full season pickup.

How can Heroes look so healthy in your index!? WTF!?!?

NBC is in such shambles with much of  its non Sunday Night Football primetime fare, that even a Heroes that is but a shadow of its former self ratings wise winds up looking pretty good relative to the network’s overall performance.  It’s still very early in the season, and this week’s index is only measuring the first two weeks of the season (and not Monday 10/5, where Heroes dropped a little bit again, but…was still NBC’s best performer of the night!)

It could be that by the end of the season the index for NBC has more disclaimers than the other networks.  With my historical ratings cap on, it’s hard for me to imagine NBC is happy with how Heroes is performing.  On the other hand, there is no denying that even with historically low ratings where new series lows for adults 18-49 are reached by Heroes every week, it’s still one of NBC’s better performers.

Be sure to check out each networks index’: I’ll include the links for you again:

If you want to comment on particularly shows, I’d appreciate it if you went to the index post for that show and posted it there.  But if you have any other questions or comments about the index that aren’t show related, feel free to post them here.

Our Renew / Cancel Index predicts potential renewal or cancellation for scripted broadcast primetime shows and is published from late September to late May during the television season.

Above are links to the renewal and cancellation prospects for each network. New posts will be added each week during the normal broadcast season, usually on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, but sometimes later due to data delays and holidays.

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.

Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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