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Pushing Daisies, Eli Stone, Dirty Sexy Money, Lipstick Jungle, And Life On Mars Hang By A Thread

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To summarize, at this point Pushing Daisies (ABC), Eli Stone(ABC), Dirty Sexy Money (ABC), Life On Mars (ABC) and Lipstick Jungle (NBC) all are at risk of Cancellation by January. I’d say the prognosis looks grim for *each* of them, but because ABC may not want to axe so many shows, perhaps not for *all* of them. All other shows seem safe through May.


Pushing Daisies, Eli Stone, Dirty Sexy Money, Lipstick Jungle, And Life On Mars Hang By A Thread

Posted on 18 November 2008 by Bill Gorman

The Renew or Cancel Index is updated on a weekly basis, if you’re reading this after November 25, 2008 click here to see the latest list.

In a topsy turvy week for the Renew/Cancel Index, it seems like the future of more shows became uncertain than became certain. Multiple versions of ABCs winter schedule made available online to advertisers showed a variety of outcomes for Pushing Daisies, Eli Stone Dirty Sexy Money, and Life On Mars. As I write this the fate of those shows all still officially hangs in the balance.

It seemed pretty definitive that NBC’s Lipstick Jungle and My Own Worst Enemy were cancelled last week. Lipstick Jungle was a surprise to no one. My Own Worst Enemy getting cancelled at this point in the season was a surprise to me. However, now there is doubt about the fate of Lipstick Jungle. Is it entirely crazy fan fantasy egged on by a desperate Brooke Shields? We may know soon enough.

To summarize, at this point Pushing Daisies (ABC), Eli Stone(ABC), Dirty Sexy Money (ABC), Life On Mars (ABC) and Lipstick Jungle (NBC) all are at risk of Cancellation by January. I’d say the prognosis looks grim for *each* of them, but because ABC may not want to axe so many shows, perhaps not for *all* of them. All other shows seem safe through May.

The distortion for Fox show Indexes from the World Series which temporarily boosted Fox’s 18-49 average seems to be settling out, the Fox weekly 18-49 average this week was not too far below its season to date average, so there is unlikely to be too much more settling. It’s almost time to worry again about 2009-10 renewal for Fox shows with low Index numbers.

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.

And for folks thinking “No way would the networks cancel all of those shows”, there were 25 scripted shows cancelled in the 2007-8 season. That is, shows that ran during 2007-8 that did not come back for 2008-9. I’ll get other years shows cancelled numbers up here soon.

While the Renew / Cancel index is most geared toward predicting potential renewal for *next* season, my color coding of the shows are guesses on what might happen this season: Cancellation by January, Cancellation by May, or Renewal Likely for 2009-10.
PROGRAM Net STD 18-49 (LIVE+SD) (000) Network Avg. STD 18-49 Renew/ Cancel index Status
EASY MONEY (1) CW 303 1,370 0.22 cancelled
VALENTINE (1) CW 377 1,370 0.28 cancelled
CRUSOE (2) NBC 1,605 3,730 0.43 13 ep mini-series
DO NOT DISTURB FOX 2,097 3,790 0.55 cancelled
LIPSTICK JUNGLE (2) (6) NBC 2,190 3,730 0.59 cancelled?
THE EX-LIST (2) CBS 2,443 4,080 0.60 cancelled
TIL DEATH FOX 2,364 3,790 0.62 off schedule
EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS (2) CW 885 1,370 0.65
ELI STONE ABC 2,644 4,090 0.65
PUSHING DAISIES ABC 2,688 4,090 0.66
DIRTY SEXY MONEY ABC 2,731 4,090 0.67
BOSTON LEGAL ABC 2,787 4,090 0.68 final 13 ep season
LIFE - WED ONLY (4) NBC 2,556 3,730 0.69 now Wed
OLD CHRISTINE (3) CBS 2,812 4,080 0.69
THE GAME (2) CW 985 1,370 0.72
NUMB3RS (2) CBS 2,948 4,080 0.72
GARY UNMARRIED CBS 3,012 4,080 0.74
TERMINATOR: SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES FOX 2,824 3,790 0.75
KNIGHT RIDER NBC 2,791 3,730 0.75
LAW AND ORDER NBC 2,915 3,730 0.78
PRISON BREAK (5) FOX 3,095 3,790 0.82
THE UNIT CBS 3,350 4,080 0.82
GHOST WHISPERER (2) CBS 3,453 4,080 0.85
MY OWN WORST ENEMY NBC 3,162 3,730 0.85 cancelled
KATH & KIM NBC 3,273 3,730 0.88
UGLY BETTY ABC 3,600 4,090 0.88
WITHOUT A TRACE CBS 3,606 4,080 0.88
PRIVILEGED CW 1,212 1,370 0.88
CHUCK NBC 3,317 3,730 0.89
COLD CASE CBS 3,658 4,080 0.90
SAMANTHA WHO? ABC 3,669 4,090 0.90
LIFE ON MARS ABC 3,674 4,090 0.90 cancelled?
SHOWS BELOW THIS LINE LAST SEASON WERE TYPICALLY RENEWED
MY NAME IS EARL NBC 3,525 3,730 0.95
PRIVATE PRACTICE ABC 3,971 4,090 0.97
WORST WEEK CBS 4,053 4,080 0.99
ELEVENTH HOUR CBS 4,067 4,080 1.00
BONES FOX 4,275 3,790 1.13
THE BIG BANG THEORY CBS 4,679 4,080 1.15
AMERICAN DAD FOX 4,420 3,790 1.17
THE MENTALIST CBS 4,804 4,080 1.18
NCIS CBS 4,842 4,080 1.19
BROTHERS & SISTERS ABC 4,857 4,090 1.19
CSI: NY CBS 4,857 4,080 1.19
KING OF THE HILL FOX 4,601 3,790 1.21 not renewed
E.R. NBC 4,601 3,730 1.23 final season
HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER CBS 5,118 4,080 1.25
CSI: MIAMI CBS 5,227 4,080 1.28
CRIMINAL MINDS CBS 5,243 4,080 1.29
LAW AND ORDER:SVU NBC 4,818 3,730 1.29
FRINGE FOX 5,011 3,790 1.32
SUPERNATURAL CW 1,820 1,370 1.33
30 ROCK NBC 5,155 3,730 1.38
SIMPSONS FOX 5,691 3,790 1.50
GOSSIP GIRL CW 2,079 1,370 1.52
HEROES NBC 5,681 3,730 1.52
FAMILY GUY FOX 5,906 3,790 1.56
90210 CW 2,139 1,370 1.56
TWO AND A HALF MEN CBS 6,421 4,080 1.57
OFFICE NBC 5,988 3,730 1.61
SMALLVILLE CW 2,223 1,370 1.62
ONE TREE HILL CW 2,252 1,370 1.64
HOUSE FOX 6,709 3,790 1.77
CSI CBS 7,261 4,080 1.78
DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES ABC 7,969 4,090 1.95
GREY’S ANATOMY ABC 8,163 4,090 2.00

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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: Only shows that have premiered during the 2008-9 broadcast season are on this list.

(1) CW MRC Sunday - The CW has leased its entire Sunday night to Media Rights Capital (MRC). Easy Money and Valentine have been cancelled. It is reported that MRC has the right (obligation?) to program Sunday nights throughout 2008-9 on the CW. What will they do next? Stay tuned.
(2) Friday night - Friday is quickly becoming an 18-49 wasteland, so these shows may be allowed a lower threshold for success than shows on other nights. My grading technique on shows with histories on Friday (only Numb3rs and Ghost Whisperer) is that until they reach their Index values from last season they still are at risk of non-renewal. FYI, Numb3rs Index was 0.76 last year, so it’s close to safe by that measure.
(3) New Advs of Old Christine: Perhaps CBS is willing to accept low numbers in its new timeslot indefinitely to build a new “comedy block”. Perhaps CBS will return Christine to the warmth and safety of Monday night and cut Worst Week or Gary Unmarried loose. And perhaps not.
(4) Life moved to Wednesday beginning November 5. This is its Wednesday only STD 18-49 average as calculated by me. For past reference, the 4 Life episodes that aired on Fridays averaged 2.043 million adults 18-49.
(5) Prison Break. Evidence that this is the final season for the show is mounting.
(6) Lipstick Jungle. While Lipstick Jungle has moved from Wednesday to Friday, this is the season to date average for both nights. If, somehow, Lipstick Jungle survives past January, I will include only its Friday average going forward. Until then, it’s not worth the work.

How did we come up with our list? 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. We’re not sure what the magic number will be this season, but I’m very confident that our index will still indicate the shows most likely to be cancelled compared to those less likely to be cancelled.

Source: http://tvbythenumbers.com/

I'm going to take a moment to be a titch bias but...

Please watch Pushing Daisies. Tonight. 8pm EST on ABC. Tell your friends, your neighbors, your frienemies. Now how about some PD love in comments?
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