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

Charlie Sheen on 20/20 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 25th until March 3rd — based on the coveted 18-49 demographic, as measured against the last original episode.

Week-to-Week Gains: 20/20 1.5/5 (+25.0%), The Bachelor 3.5/9 (+2.9%), Castle 2.8/8 (+7.7%), 20/20 3.2/9 (+113.3% compared to 2/25 ep), and Mr. Sunshine 2.4/7 (+9.1%).

No Change: Supernanny 1.0/3, Modern Family 4.1/11, and Off the Map 1.7/5.

Week-to-Week Losses: Primetime: What Would You Do? 1.3/4 (-7.1% compared to Tues ep), No Ordinary Family 1.2/4 (-14.3%), V 1.8/5 (-5.3%), The Middle 2.3/7 (-4.2%), and Better with You 1.7/5 (-5.6%).

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) 11.62 4.6 down  
2 Grey's Anatomy (renewed) 11.48 4.2 ---  
3 Desperate Housewives 11.82 3.7 ---  
4 Cougar Town (renewed) 6.91 2.9 ---  
5 Private Practice (renewed) 7.85 2.8 ---  
6 Mr. Sunshine 7.61 2.7 down  
7 The Middle (renewed) 8.68 2.6 ---  
8 Castle (renewed) 10.00 2.5 ---  
9 Brothers & Sisters 8.31 2.4 ---  
10 Better With You 6.83 2.2 ---  
11 No Ordinary Family 6.67 1.9 down  
11 V 5.54 1.9 ---  
11 Off the Map 5.44 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 9.57 3.1 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 20/20 5.75 1.6 up  
8 Primetime: What Would You Do 4.96 1.5 down  
9 Skating with the Stars 4.99 1.1 ---  
9 Supernanny 4.33 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. Cathy says

    I really loved Off The Map and wish it had not been cancelling it. Also Brothers & Sisters was my favourite show on TV. I wonder why these show get cancelled when some of those reality shows seem to stay which have outdone their time on TV.

  2. Jackie says

    I wonder if everyone in America has seen Off The Map….if so, sub par shows such as Ordinary Family and V would not be beating them in the standing! They need to be renewed. Surely ABC can see the potential of another LOST in this show!

  3. says

    DO NOT LET NANNY OFF THE AIR. As an educator I only see the deteriation of the family network. Parents and the village it takes to raise a child ( which has always been true) is changing constantly and with these changes people require FREE guideance and the feeling “that they are not alone”. The Nanny is a real person who can assist in helping others. Most of the high rated shows may show a laugh or two but what I see most is ignorance because one cannot be entertained by people fighting on an island, multiple woman oogling over some man, etc. This holds true with the show 20/20 too. Its informative and those that enjoy being taught new lessons really enjoy the show.

  4. says

    Keep Detroit 1-8-7! It is fabulous. You need to give it time to grow. Instead you keep pre-empting it with stupid junk.

    You don’t know a gem when you see it.

    Marsha B. Scherr

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