ABC TV Show Rankings for 2010-11 Season [as of 2/10/11]

No Ordinary FamilyWhich ABC TV series will be renewed or cancelled for the 2011-12 season? In large part this depends on a series’ ratings, particularly the 18-49 demographic. The lower a show’s ratings, the more likely it is to be cancelled.

Before we get to the season-to-date averages, here are the winners and losers of the last seven days — based on the coveted 18-49 demographic, as measured against the last original episode.

Week-to-Week Gains: Supernanny (+9.1%), Castle (+4.2%), V (5.9%), Detroit 1-8-7 (+8.3%), Modern Family (+10.9%), and Private Practice (+4.0%).

No Change: Primetime: What Would You Do?, The Bachelor, The Middle, Better with You, Mr. Sunshine (new), and Off the Map.

Week-to-Week Losses: No Ordinary Family (-16.7%), Wipeout (-12.0%), and Grey’s Anatomy (-9.3%).

You can see a complete list of the cancel/renew standings of this season’s shows by checking the ABC cancelled/renewed post.

Below is a list of the regular ABC TV shows and their 2010-11 season average ratings to date. It only incorporates the ratings for original episodes that have aired this season (no repeats). The data is sorted by the 18-49 demographic averages, the group that advertisers will pay the most to reach and, therefore, how the network measures success. The “compared to” column reflects whether the demo average has gone up, down, or stayed the same since last week.

Demo rank Scripted TV Shows Average
viewers (millions)
18-49 demo
Compared to
last week
1 Modern Family (renewed) 11.93 4.7 ---  
2 Grey's Anatomy (renewed) 11.75 4.3 down  
3 Desperate Housewives 12.11 3.8 ---  
4 Mr. Sunshine 10.52 3.7 new  
5 Private Practice (renewed) 8.06 2.9 ---  
5 Cougar Town (renewed) 6.91 2.9 ---  
7 The Middle (renewed) 8.86 2.7 ---  
8 Castle (renewed) 10.16 2.5 ---  
8 Brothers & Sisters 8.43 2.5 ---  
10 Better With You 7.10 2.3 ---  
11 No Ordinary Family 7.10 2.0 down  
12 Off the Map 5.88 2.0 ---  
13 V 5.75 1.9 ---  
14 Detroit 1-8-7 7.16 1.6 ---  
15 My Generation (cancelled) 4.49 1.4 ---  
16 The Whole Truth (cancelled) 4.39 1.2 ---  
Demo rank News or Reality TV Shows Average
viewers (millions)
18-49 demo
Compared to
last week
1 Dancing With The Stars 20.61 4.3 ---  
2 Dancing With The Stars results 17.85 3.7 ---  
3 The Bachelor 9.17 3.0 up  
4 Wipeout 8.85 2.9 down  
5 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 8.28 2.3 ---  
6 America's Funniest Home Videos 7.40 2.0 ---  
7 20/20 5.61 1.6 ---  
7 Primetime: What Would You Do 5.05 1.6 ---  
9 Supernanny 4.43 1.2 ---  
10 Skating with the Stars 4.99 1.1 ---  

The closer a show is to the bottom of the list, the closer it is to being cancelled (if it hasn’t been cancelled already like The Whole Truth and My Generation). If it’s closer to the top of the list, it’s more likely to be renewed. Shows that are in the middle (“on the bubble”) can be a little tougher to call. Their future typically comes down to other factors like overall costs, contracts, who produces the show, and what new shows are on the horizon.

The list has been separated into two sections. Of the two, scripted programming is the most expensive. News and reality TV shows are less expensive to produce but the networks can’t program just news/reality (though they might like to since they are less of a financial risk).

It should be noted that Friday and Saturday nights are the least watched evenings of television so ratings for shows on those nights are lower. The networks understand this and take it into account. However, regardless of when a show is aired, its production costs remain the same. Ultimately, it must still be profitable enough for the network to keep ordering more episodes.

Raw data: © The Nielsen Company via Media Week.

What do you think? Do any rankings surprise you? Which shows do you think won’t survive to see a new season?

Canceled and renewed TV show

4 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Jim says

    I agree with Matt from March 3 2011, those non-scripted/reality shows are mind numbing and far from entertainment. Shows like V and No Ordinary Family may not be within the bounds of anything that could happen, they are at least not mind numbing uninteresting waste of time.

  2. matt says

    I like V, No ordinary family, and some of the others…. What needs to be axed is all of these reality TV shows! Yes all of them, every single one of them would be just fine with me. I guess that is where we are as a country right now, that the majority of us like to watch crap like reality TV. Just saying!!!!!

  3. I'm mad 2 Eddie. says

    Such aggravation, Networks draw me in, as the spider did the fly. They tease me, with 10 episode. Wine and dine me without no happy ending..I feel like they played with my emotion. Hunted down, killed cupid and broke my heart. Networks decided to cancel 90 percent of the shows I was watching. So I’m switching to Netflix, all the movie you can watch for $9.99. I never in all my years of television seen such drastic chopping of shows. I found they are not discriminate on which type of show I’m watching, rather it to be Sitcoms, Drama or Fiction, its being put on the chopping block. The Networks may think we will keep keep taking their abuse of the, chopping block don’t have any other choice. Well, I’m here too tell you we do!

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