ABC TV Show Ratings for 2010-11 Season [as of 3/17/11]

Bachelor finale 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 March 11th until March 17th — based on the coveted 18-49 demographic, as measured against the last original episode.

Week-to-Week Gains: Primetime: What Would You Do? 1.4/4 (+27.3%), 20/20 1.6/5 (+23.1%), The Bachelor 4.5/13 (+45.2%), The Bachelor: After the Final Rose 4.7/13 (+4.4% from 8-10pm finale), V 1.9/5 (+11.8%), and Detroit 1-8-7 1.2/4 (+9.1%).

No Change: Supernanny 0.9/3 and Mr. Sunshine 1.8/5.

Week-to-Week Losses: America’s Funniest Home Videos 1.7/6 (-5.6%), Secret Millionaire 2.8/8 (-17.6%), Off the Map 1.3/4 (-7.1%), Wipeout 2.1/7 (-4.5%), and Private Practice 1.9/6 (-17.4%).

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 ---  
2 Grey's Anatomy (renewed) 11.48 4.2 ---  
3 Desperate Housewives 11.79 3.7 ---  
4 Cougar Town (renewed) 6.91 2.9 ---  
5 Private Practice (renewed) 7.72 2.8 ---  
6 The Middle (renewed) 8.68 2.6 ---  
7 Castle (renewed) 10.00 2.5 ---  
8 Brothers & Sisters 8.25 2.4 ---  
8 Mr. Sunshine 6.62 2.4 down  
10 Better With You 6.83 2.2 ---  
11 No Ordinary Family 6.67 1.9 ---  
11 V 5.49 1.9 ---  
13 Off the Map 5.20 1.8 ---  
14 Detroit 1-8-7 6.83 1.5 down  
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 (renewed) 10.33 3.3 up  
4 Secret Millionaire 12.05 3.1 down  
5 Wipeout 8.15 2.6 down  
6 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 8.25 2.3 ---  
7 America's Funniest Home Videos 7.49 2.0 ---  
8 20/20 5.71 1.6 ---  
9 Primetime: What Would You Do 4.82 1.5 ---  
10 Skating with the Stars 4.99 1.1 ---  
10 Supernanny (ended) 4.25 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. Sandra says

    Detroit 1-8-7 is one of the better shows that not enough people are watching. I think the actors are excellent and the stories very good. I’d hate to see it cancelled. I just hope it sticks around for another season. I couldn’t care less about The Real Housewives of Wherever or The Bachelor or The Bachelorette. Shows like Detroit 1-8-7 are much better and require real acting.

  2. Linda Ratzloff says

    Detroit 187 deserves to be renewed. It’s a realistic cop drama with good storylines, great characters and wonderful talented actors. The other ABC shows I like are Castle (love the banter between the two main characters, kind of reminds me of Mulder & Scully on the X-Files), Desperate Housewives and the only reality show I watch is Dancing with the Stars. V is different but don’t know if that will translate into a renewal. I hope so. I’m sick of reality shows and all these Dr. shows are pretty much the same. They seem to be more about their personal lives (whose messing around with whom) than good storylines about the patients and diseases. I’d also like to see atleast a couple of shows with good clean family entertainment. For now, I’ll go to the Hallmark Channel to see those.

  3. ron cabriele says

    Detroit 1-8-7 is actually a good show. The Tuesday slot was terrible vs Southland (TNT and USA) MASH had bad ratings until they found their spot and their audience. Only reason Modern Family and Middle do anything is that Wednesday TV stinks. Give it a chance and run the season again

  4. Adam Decker says

    They renewed most of the shows that I watch and care about. As long as they keep What Would You Do?, I’m happy. I like Off the Map, but would understand if it was cancelled.

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