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

NCISWhich 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. Before we get to the season averages, here are the recent highlights…

On Saturday night, the network ran “crimetime” reruns and an original edition of 48 Hours. The latter was up by nearly 42% in the 18-49 demographic, when compared to a week earlier.

Sunday, without a football lead-in, 60 Minutes was down by 65% in the demo, to a 1.4 rating with 10.19 million. Undercover Boss felt the lead-in loss too, being down by 44% (a 1.9 and 8.12 million). The Lost Valentine, a Hallmark movie with Betty While and Jennifer Love Hewitt, scored a healthier 2.3 demo rating and 14.64 million.

On Tuesday, NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles gained 12% and 15% respectively in the demo. That was a season best for NCIS and the show was renewed for a ninth season soonafter.

Wednesday, Live to Dance continued to lose steam and was down 10% to a horrendous 0.9 rating in the demo with 4.75 million viewers. Blue Bloods was down by 24%, to a 1.6 rating and 11.31 million. That’s what it was doing on Friday nights at 10pm so if it is renewed for next season, that’s likely where it will stay.

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) 13.23 4.3 ---  
3 NCIS (renewed) 20.07 4.1 ---  
4 Mike & Molly 11.63 3.7 ---  
5 How I Met Your Mother 9.01 3.6 ---  
6 NCIS: Los Angeles 16.38 3.5 ---  
6 Criminal Minds 13.79 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 14.63 3.0 ---  
13 CSI: Miami 10.67 2.5 ---  
14 The Good Wife 12.00 2.3 ---  
15 The Defenders 9.75 2.2 ---  
16 Blue Bloods 11.38 1.8 ---  
16 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 The Amazing Race 10.93 3.3 ---  
3 Undercover Boss 11.59 3.2 down  
4 60 Minutes 14.22 2.7 down  
5 Live to Dance 6.49 1.4 down  
6 48 Hours Mystery 6.14 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? Any rankings that surprise you? Which shows do you think won’t survive to see a new season?

Canceled and renewed TV show

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