ABC TV Show Rankings for 2010-11 Season [as of 2/24/11]

Castle ratingsWhich 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 from February 18th until February 24th — based on the coveted 18-49 demographic, as measured against the last original episode.

Week-to-Week Gains: Primetime: What Would You Do? 1.6/5 (+23.1%), Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 2.4/7 (+50.0%), Desperate Housewives 3.1/8 (+14.8%), The Bachelor 3.4/9 (+17.2%), Castle 2.6/7 (+18.2%), The Middle 2.4/7 (+4.3%), Off the Map 1.7/5 (+13.3%), Wipeout 2.2/6 (+15.8%)

No Change: America’s Funniest Home Videos 1.9/6, V 1.9/5, Better with You 1.8/5, Private Practice 2.3/7

Week-to-Week Losses: Supernanny 1.0/4 (-16.7%), 20/20 1.2/4 (-25.0%), Brothers & Sisters 1.9/5 (-5.0%), No Ordinary Family 1.4/4 (-6.7%), Primetime: What Would You Do? 1.4/4 (-12.3% vs last Friday’s), Modern Family 4.1/11 (-4.7%), Mr. Sunshine 2.2/6 (-15.4%), Grey’s Anatomy 3.4/9 (-8.1%)

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) 11.72 4.7 ---  
2 Grey's Anatomy (renewed) 11.48 4.2 down  
3 Desperate Housewives 11.82 3.7 down  
4 Cougar Town (renewed) 6.91 2.9 ---  
5 Mr. Sunshine 7.86 2.8 down  
5 Private Practice (renewed) 7.85 2.8 down  
7 The Middle (renewed) 8.73 2.6 ---  
8 Castle (renewed) 10.00 2.5 ---  
8 Brothers & Sisters 8.31 2.4 down  
10 Better With You 6.91 2.2 ---  
11 No Ordinary Family 6.82 2.0 ---  
12 V 5.62 1.9 ---  
12 Off the Map 5.51 1.9 ---  
14 Detroit 1-8-7 7.03 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 9.35 3.0 up  
4 Wipeout 8.28 2.7 ---  
5 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 8.25 2.3 ---  
6 America's Funniest Home Videos 7.47 2.0 ---  
7 Primetime: What Would You Do 4.96 1.6 ---  
8 20/20 5.57 1.5 down  
9 Supernanny 4.36 1.1 down  
9 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

2 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Tom Newsome says

    It is amazing what type of programming is on television. From Dancing with the people, Lets face it, only half of the dancers have the chance of wearing dresses that looked like zombies made the costumes to the other half of the contestants who wear inflated plastic six packs which look hilarious. . So the so called want to be movie stars spend thousands learning to dance before they get on to that 1st. episode and tell the cameras. “cannot begin to thank you. I have never had the chance to dance before today!”. Then there are the owners who at the end of the year give out resin trophies to anyone but the ones who may deserve them. It is almost like clockwork. why good actors from down under because actors like Ben

  2. Sad Mama says

    Where do the ratings come from? Can the normal citizen rate then, or is it just an average of some data collected somewhere? It seems like there should be a place to vote for our favorite shows. A couple shows I’ve been watching are going to be cancelled. I hate to think there are a bunch of other people out there, like me, who will be disappointed and could have done something about it but didn’t know!

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