Not that it surprised anyone at all, but Fox announced the full season renewal for Fringe this week.

With CBS, I’m sure Robert and I will be all over the map on our guesses of show renewal prospects, not so with Fox. There is absolutely no drama in their existing show renewal and cancellation announcements.

Certain to be canceled: Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles, Dollhouse & Sit Down, Shut Up.

Certain to be renewed: Bones, Family Guy, Lie To Me, House.

‘Til Death has done terribly, and has been off Fox’s schedule since October, Sony Pictures has reportedly made Fox such a sweet deal for future episodes that Fox has bought another entire season, proving that at a low enough price that even a ratings black hole is worth suffering through.

This is a breakdown of Fox 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
DOLLHOUSE FOX 1.5  2.67 0.56  
DO NOT DISTURB FOX 1.6  2.67 0.60  canceled
SIT DOWN SHUT UP FOX 1.7  2.67 0.64  
TIL DEATH FOX 1.8  2.67 0.67  
PRISON BREAK FOX 2.1  2.67 0.79  final season
AMERICAN DAD FOX 2.7  2.67 1.01  
KING OF THE HILL FOX 2.8  2.67 1.05  final season*
BONES FOX 2.9  2.67 1.08  
SIMPSONS FOX 3.1  2.67 1.16  
FAMILY GUY FOX 3.5  2.67 1.31  
LIE TO ME FOX 3.5  2.67 1.31  
FRINGE FOX 3.6  2.67 1.35  
24 FOX 3.7  2.67 1.38  
HOUSE FOX 4.7  2.67 1.76  

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.

Note that the Fox average used above is its final Season to Date average prior to American Idol (see below).


*King of the Hill: Fox declined to renew King of the Hill, but has enough new episodes so that they will be airing well into 2009, through early fall by some reports.

Prison Break is in its final season.

Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles: The numbers above are for only its Friday airings that began on February 13, 2009. FYI, It’s 13 episode 18-49 average on Monday this season was 2.726 million (which is an average 18-49 rating of 2.1).

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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