The premiere of In the Motherhood generated ratings that only a mother could love. ABC has already cut the original episode order in half. Enjoy it while you can, it will not be back next season. Samantha Who? returned from hiatus behind Motherhood and did poorly. If ABC had a strong scripted lineup, it might get into trouble, emphasis on “If”.

Castle continues to drop from its premiere ratings, which were good enough for renewal. Its recent airings have fallen solidly into the danger zone and its Index continues to drop. It’s only a matter of time before it falls into the cancelation range.

Better off Ted continues its slide into ratings oblivion. It will not be back either.

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 (LIVE+SD) (000)  Network Avg. STD 18-49 Renew/ Cancel index Status
ACCORDING TO JIM-TU 9:30P ABC  2,183  3,580 0.61  final season
ELI STONE ABC  2,264  3,580 0.63  canceled
PUSHING DAISIES ABC  2,365  3,580 0.66  canceled
SCRUBS-WED 8PM ABC  2,374  3,580 0.66  final season
SCRUBS-TU 9PM ABC  2,447  3,580 0.68  final season
ACCORDING TO JIM-TU 9PM ABC  2,460  3,580 0.69  final season
SCRUBS-TU 9:30PM ABC  2,543  3,580 0.71  final season
DIRTY SEXY MONEY ABC  2,549  3,580 0.71  canceled
BETTER OFF TED ABC  2,571  3,580 0.72  
BOSTON LEGAL ABC  2,856  3,580 0.80  final season
IN THE MOTHERHOOD ABC  2,901  3,580 0.81  
LIFE ON MARS ABC  2,958  3,580 0.83  canceled
UGLY BETTY ABC  3,011  3,580 0.84  coming back
SAMANTHA WHO? ABC  3,508  3,580 0.98  
CASTLE ABC  3,722  3,580 1.04  
PRIVATE PRACTICE ABC  4,108  3,580 1.15  
BROTHERS & SISTERS ABC  4,687  3,580 1.31  
LOST ABC  5,834  3,580 1.63  coming back
GREY’S ANATOMY ABC  6,630  3,580 1.85  
DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES ABC  7,309  3,580 2.04  


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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Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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