It’s not easy to avoid the chopping block when it comes to primetime television. Whether it’s a returning series or a new show, livelihood is purely a numbers game, and when the numbers go south, cancellation is not far behind.
TV by the Numbers runs a series of articles outlining which shows from the major networks are trending downwards using what it calls the “Renew/Cancel Index” — a ratio that takes into account a show’s 18-49 age group ratings relative to the performance of other shows. Per the site, the specifics behind the numbers are as follows:
“The Renew/Cancel Index is the ratio of a scripted show’s new episode adults 18-49 ratings relative to the new episode ratings of the other scripted shows on its own network. It’s calculated by dividing a show’s new episode Live+Same Day adults 18-49 average rating by the Live+Same Day new episode average of all the new scripted show episodes on the show’s own network. The network’s average ratings in the calculation are not time weighted (ex. hour long shows are not weighted twice what 30 minute shows are).”
In general, a score less than 1 puts a show at considerable risk of cancellation, while a score greater than 1 puts a show in safe territory. Shows approaching 2 on the scale are more or less untouchable — pretty much assured for an early renewal — while shows trending around 0.5 are generally in big, big trouble as networks decide what to cancel. Using TV by the Numbers’ Renew/Cancel Index, here are the shows from each of the five major broadcast networks — ABC, Fox, CBS, NBC, and The CW — that seem destined for the chopping block.