There won’t be any more regular Renew / Cancel Index posts for the rest of the 2010-11 season. (but you can see all the past posts here).

This week, now that the broadcast networks have announced their 2011-12 Fall schedules, I wanted to circle back and discuss some likely changes to the Renew/Cancel Index for next season.

Since our record in calling renewals and cancellations this season was even better than it had been in the past, spending lots more time trying to include lots more variables and work in the process just isn’t in the cards. Any changes would have to either make predictions better (or at least as good, while making things clearer, my life easier, etc.

Here are three possible changes:

1. Averaging  30 minute sitcom and one hour drama ratings separately for Index purposes

In past seasons drama and sitcom ratings were all lumped together in a single average (initially because I relied on Nielsen’s network average, later out of inertia). Separating them has two logical benefits (1) It makes the “averages” true averages since the show durations are identical between groups, (2) Because of scheduling inertia, 30 minute sitcoms compete each other and 60 minute dramas with each other, since networks only rarely change their sitcom to drama mix (although next season both ABC and NBC will do exactly that).

How’d that have changed things this season?

While it makes logical sense, I’m not sure it’s going to make predicting any better, in hindsight there are both positives and negatives, CBS dramas/sitcoms may have been easier to predict, but NBC dramas would not have been.

That may imply that while sitcoms and dramas mostly do not compete for schedule space, the networks consider their overall ratings more than their sitcom or drama specific ratings. Interesting to note that of the big 4, only Fox’s dramas outrated their comedies overall.


Program Status Renew/ Cancel Index
The Whole Truth cancelled
My Generation cancelled
Detroit 1-8-7 cancelled 0.51
No Ordinary Family cancelled 0.65
Off The Map cancelled 0.73
V cancelled 0.82
Brothers & Sisters cancelled 0.82
Body Of Proof renewed 1.02
Private Practice renewed 1.05
Castle renewed 1.18
Desperate Housewives renewed 1.34
Grey’s Anatomy renewed 1.70
Happy Endings renewed 0.74
Better With You cancelled 0.75
Mr. Sunshine cancelled 0.86
The Middle renewed 0.92
Cougar Town renewed 0.92
Modern Family renewed 1.69


Program Status Renew/ Cancel Index
Chaos (F) cancelled 0.39
Flashpoint (F) n/a 0.47
The Defenders (F) cancelled 0.50
Medium (F) cancelled 0.56
The Defenders (Wed only) cancelled 0.59
Blue Bloods (F) renewed 0.65
CSI:NY (F) renewed 0.68
The Good Wife renewed 0.83
CSI: Miami renewed 0.91
Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior cancelled 0.95
Hawaii Five-0 renewed 1.07
CSI renewed 1.10
The Mentalist renewed 1.12
NCIS: Los Angeles renewed 1.32
Criminal Minds renewed 1.32
NCIS renewed 1.57
Mad Love cancelled 0.75
Rules of Engagement renewed 0.88
$#*! My Dad Says cancelled 0.88
Mike & Molly renewed 1.01
How I Met Your Mother renewed 1.06
Big Bang Theory renewed 1.23
Two And A Half Men renewed 1.45

The CW, with all hour long shows, would be unchanged.


Program Status Renew/ Cancel Index
The Good Guys (F) cancelled
Lone Star cancelled
Fringe (F) renewed 0.54
Lie To Me cancelled 0.71
The Chicago Code cancelled 0.71
Human Target cancelled 0.81
Bones renewed 1.22
House renewed 1.28
Glee renewed 1.51
Running Wilde cancelled
Traffic Light cancelled 0.60
American Dad renewed 0.80
Raising Hope renewed 0.96
Bob’s Burgers renewed 0.98
The Cleveland Show renewed 1.01
Breaking In cancelled 1.09
The Simpsons renewed 1.22
Family Guy renewed 1.42


Program Status Renew/ Cancel Index
Outlaw (F) cancelled
Undercovers cancelled
Friday Night Lights final season 0.48
Chase cancelled 0.64
The Event cancelled 0.72
Law & Order: LA cancelled 0.76
The Cape cancelled 0.90
Chuck renewed 0.94
Harry’s Law renewed 1.04
Parenthood renewed 1.21
Law & Order: SVU renewed 1.47
The Paul Reiser Show cancelled 0.46
Perfect Couples cancelled 0.66
Outsourced cancelled 0.74
Community renewed 0.80
30 Rock renewed 1.01
Parks & Recreation renewed 1.13
The Office renewed 1.69

2. When a show ends its run on a network, I will permanently lock its Index at the number in its final week.

The averages are designed to make apples to apples comparisons between shows, but since the ratings during the broadcast season follow on overall predictable pattern, high initially, dropping slightly to a plateau through early March when daylight savings time and improving weather contribute to an inexorable decline towards May.

Therefore comparing the ratings for a show that ended its run in February with one that continued during the entire season isn’t quite apples to apples.

The Indexes for cancelled shows like $#*! My Dad Says, V and Life Unexpected would then not have crept upwards after they were off the schedule making their prospects appear better.

3. No show within 22 episodes of syndication is going to drop below “toss up”. (aka, the Chuck and Fringe “lessons learned” rule)

I used to designate shows nearing syndication with an (S) in the tables, but took it out to simplify things intending to remember to factor it in during the end of the season. Bad idea to rely on my memory. If I make it a rule, and keep it in the post each week, even I can’t forget.

Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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