5/7 Update: The ratings for 5/4 have arrived and Castle jumped to a 2.8 18-49 rating in the overnight numbers directly following Dancing with the Stars. If it can hold that level, it gets renewed. The folks who’ve been saying “That damn Bob Saget and Surviving Suburbia are killing Castle” just received some nice data to back them up.

Overnight ratings for this Monday are still delayed, so we don’t know how Castle did, but last Monday it managed only a 2.1 in the all important 18-49 demo. Even though its average says “renew” its latest numbers say “cancel”. I think the only chance it has for renewal is that ABC’s first and second year scripted shows have been an absolute disaster this season. They may have to bring it back out of desperation.

That same desperation likely makes the otherwise marginal renewal chances of Surviving Suburbia look like a lock to me. Ditto, Samantha Who?, which also has a great average, lifted by its post Dancing With the Stars outings, but did terribly on its own. Still, I think it comes back.

With ABC’s upfront meeting on May 19, Robert and I will throw out our guesses for renewal next Tuesday, but I’ll give  In the Motherhood, Better Off Ted, The Unusuals and Cupid no chance for renewal.

Could Scrubs actually be coming back for another season? After According to Jim anything is possible, but I doubt it. That would, however, be another sign of ABC’s desperation.

On April 23, ABC announced the official pick-ups of the following shows for the 2009-10 season: America’s Funniest Home Videos, The Bachelor, Brothers & Sisters, Dancing with the Stars, Desperate Housewives, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Grey’s Anatomy, Lost, Private Practice, Supernanny, Ugly Betty, Wife Swap. Not a surprise in the bunch.

This is a breakdown of ABC scripted shows and their renewal and cancelation prospects. Here are the others:

Our Renew / Cancel index predicts potential renewal for *next* season: Canceled/Not Returning, In Danger, or Renewal Likely for 2009-10, Renewal Announced.

PROGRAM Net STD 18-49 Rating (LIVE+SD) Network Avg. STD 18-49 rating Renew/ Cancel index Status
ACCORDING TO JIM-TU 9:30P ABC 1.7 2.65 0.64 final season
ELI STONE ABC 1.7 2.65 0.64 canceled
THE UNUSUALS ABC 1.7 2.65 0.64
BETTER OFF TED ABC 1.8 2.65 0.68
CUPID ABC 1.8 2.65 0.68
PUSHING DAISIES ABC 1.8 2.65 0.68 canceled
DIRTY SEXY MONEY ABC 1.9 2.65 0.72 canceled
SCRUBS-TU 9PM ABC 1.9 2.65 0.72 final season
BOSTON LEGAL ABC 2.2 2.65 0.83 final season
LIFE ON MARS ABC 2.2 2.65 0.83 canceled
UGLY BETTY ABC 2.3 2.65 0.87
CASTLE ABC 2.4 2.65 0.91
SAMANTHA WHO? ABC 2.4 2.65 0.91
BROTHERS & SISTERS ABC 3.4 2.65 1.28
LOST ABC 4.2 2.65 1.59
GREY’S ANATOMY ABC 4.7 2.65 1.77


To remove clutter from the table, I have included only the day/timeslot with the most airings for According to Jim and Scrubs.

According to Jim: After 8 seasons, and recent horrible ratings, but presumably great sydication profits, ABC’s According to Jim looks like its prime-time run is coming to an end this season as one of the stars says the stage has been bulldozed. That seems pretty final to me.

Scrubs: Eight seasons is the end for Scrubs as well. Update: Or perhaps not. I am doubting that retraction, I believe he spoke the truth initially and then got his hand slapped and tried to backtrack. I’m keeping it marked as final season.

The Renew/Cancel Index is a show’s Season To Date adults 18-49 viewership divided by its networks Season to Date average 18-49 viewership.

How did we come up with our Index? We found that last season, the future of a show was nearly directly related to its adults 18-49 average viewers divided by its networks 18-49 average viewers. Many other factors may matter, but they all seemed to boil down to that one number. Because American Idol so skewed Fox’s 18-49 average, and would make nearly all Fox shows fall into the “cancel” range, for Fox, I used the last STD 18-49 average *before* Idol. Last season, if a show had better than 92% of its network’s average 18-49 viewership (0.92 in our index) it was pretty safe, below that level it was in danger.

Remember that plenty can change before the end of the season, particularly for the shows with indexes between 0.80 and last season’s renewal line of 0.92. The list is presented in a (and has to be, since I cannot predict future ratings) “what would happen if the season ended today” mode. Could the renewal line be 0.86 this season? Possibly. It might also be 0.95. Might it be 0.70? No chance.

Nielsen TV Ratings Data: ©2009 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved. All viewership numbers are Live+SD.

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