CBS TV Show Rankings for 2010-11 Season [as of 1/27/11]

Blue BloodsWhich CBS TV shows will be cancelled or renewed for the 2011-12 season? The networks make their decisions largely based on the ratings, particularly the 18-49 demographics. Much of the CBS schedule has been in repeats recently but let’s take a look at how the few originals performed.

On Wednesday, Paula Abdul’s Live to Dance continued to fall and attracted just a 1.0 rating in the demo and 4.512 million viewers. Its funny to think that, a few years ago, Abdul was getting so many more viewers over on FOX’s American Idol.

Criminal Minds was up by 10% and Blue Bloods was up by 5%. That’s the second episode for Blue Bloods since moving to Wednesdays. It’s seen an improvement over its Friday numbers but so far isn’t doing much better than former timeslot occupant The Defenders.

On Thursday, without a Big Bang Theory original as a lead-in, $#*! My Dad Says was down by 3.4% in the demo. The rest of the night was in repeats.

You can see a complete list of the current status of this season’s shows by checking the CBS cancelled/renewed post.

Below is a list of the regular CBS 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 viewership
(in millions)
Average 18-49
demo rating
Compared to
last week
1 Two and a Half Men (renewed) 14.14 4.5 ---  
2 The Big Bang Theory (renewed) 13.18 4.3 ---  
3 NCIS 19.84 4.0 ---  
4 Mike & Molly 11.63 3.7 ---  
5 How I Met Your Mother 9.01 3.6 ---  
6 Criminal Minds 13.79 3.5 down  
6 NCIS: Los Angeles 16.38 3.5 ---  
8 CSI 13.93 3.1 ---  
8 Hawaii Five-0 11.29 3.1 ---  
8 $#*! My Dad Says 10.48 3.1 ---  
8 Rules of Engagement 8.55 3.1 ---  
12 The Mentalist 14.58 3.0 ---  
13 CSI: Miami 10.67 2.5 ---  
14 The Good Wife 11.98 2.3 down  
15 The Defenders 9.75 2.2 ---  
16 Blue Bloods 11.38 1.8 ---  
17 CSI: NY 10.02 1.8 ---  
18 Medium (cancelled) 6.56 1.3 ---  
Demo rank News or Reality TV Shows Average viewership
(in millions)
Average 18-49
demo rating
Compared to
last week
1 Survivor: Nicaragua 12.17 3.7 ---  
2 Undercover Boss 11.84 3.3 ---  
2 The Amazing Race 10.93 3.3 ---  
4 60 Minutes 14.49 2.8 ---  
5 Live to Dance 6.83 1.5 down  
6 48 Hours Mystery 6.04 1.3 ---  

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 Medium). 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 to produce. News and reality TV shows are less expensive to make 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. * Nielsen doesn’t release the final Friday and Saturday night ratings until a few days later. Numbers with an “*” may change slightly once the final numbers are released.

What do you think? 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. Robin says

    I think that the daytime show,The Talk, as run its course and should be be cancelled in the foreseeable future. The loss of the highly rated As The World Turns; now One Life to Live and All Of My Children as struck a chord for millions of viewers and, especially the actors, the crew and others effected by this. It’s evident that this show as not been doing well in the ratings– maybe mediocre- mainly because millions of viewers were opposed to it from the getgo. It’s true, it may be cheaper to produce, but why couldn’t these wonderful soap operas be picked up by a cable channel where it could be viewed on a weekly basis. I don’t think that CBS will ever pick up ATWT again even if the Talk does get cancelled. But there has to be an outlet for ATWT and others who were effected by this. What do you think?

  2. sixtyfiverosesauthor says

    Everyone knows that CBS doesn’t use the 18-49 demo as a yardstick. And insiders know the network is CRAZY about Blue Bloods, which is performing better overall than Hawaii Five-0. And it’s averaging more than 2 million more viewers than The Defenders. That’s quite a bit better than “not much.” You must be desperate for something to dish about.

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