ABC TV Show Rankings for 2010-11 Season [as of 2/3/11]

Private PracticeWhich ABC TV shows will be cancelled or renewed for the 2011-12 season? Before we get to the season ratings averages to date, here are the highlights of the latest movers and shakers on the ABC schedule.

Last Friday, Primetime was down by an incredible 24% in the 18-49 demographic, even though it was opposite repeats on two of the four other networks. On Sunday night, America’s Funniest Home Videos had a 50% bump in the demo, to a 2.1 rating and 8.33 million viewers. A two-hour edition of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition saw a 42% increase with a 2.7 demo rating and 9.07 million.

On Monday night, The Bachelor had a 10% increase in the demo with a 3.2 rating and 9.66 million viewers, surpassing its season premiere. On Tuesday, V was down 15% in the demo to a 1.7 rating and 5.29 million. That’s a new series low and certainly not good news. Detroit 1-8-7 was up by 20% to a 1.2 rating and 5.49 million viewers. Unfortunately, that’s still terrible and brought the show’s average down.

Then on Wednesday, the usual sitcoms were in repeats, except for Cougar Town. That show was up by an incredible 35% in the demo, to a 2.7 rating and 6.51 million viewers. Off the Map didn’t have the same luck and continues to lose viewers week after week. It fell to a new low with a 1.9 in the demo and 5.37 million. No big changes on Thursday but Private Practice was down just enough to slip in the averages.

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) 11.82 4.7 ---  
2 Grey's Anatomy (renewed) 11.86 4.4 ---  
3 Desperate Housewives 12.11 3.8 ---  
4 Private Practice (renewed) 8.13 2.9 down  
4 Cougar Town (renewed) 6.91 2.9 ---  
6 The Middle (renewed) 8.86 2.7 ---  
7 Castle (renewed) 10.23 2.5 ---  
7 Brothers & Sisters 8.43 2.5 ---  
9 Better With You 7.13 2.3 ---  
10 No Ordinary Family 7.24 2.1 ---  
11 Off the Map 5.95 2.0 down  
12 V 5.84 1.9 down  
13 Detroit 1-8-7 7.28 1.6 down  
14 My Generation (cancelled) 4.49 1.4 ---  
15 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 Wipeout 9.23 3.0 down  
4 The Bachelor 9.05 2.9 up  
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 5.08 1.6 ---  
9 Supernanny 4.47 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

1 Comment · Read it below or add one

  1. Elise says

    Detroit 187 is the show I look forward to every week. Smart writing, good storylines, current issues, and a new location – one in which the country is becoming more interested.
    Detroit is getting hot. I hope ABC will give this show time to develop the audience it deserves. I believe it could have the long run enjoyed by Hill Street Blues and NYPD Blue. Only others I make a point of seeing are Modern Family and Castle. The others at the top of the list have lost my interest.

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