CBS TV Show Rankings for 2010-11 season [week of 12/19/10 update]

SurvivorWhich CBS TV shows will be cancelled or renewed for the 2011-12 season? Almost all of the CBS TV shows were in repeats this week so there was very little movement in the rankings.

There were three hours of Survivor on Sunday night but they didn’t end up affecting the season’s demo average. The only other original series episode that aired this week, an installment of 60 Minutes, brought the average up just a bit. The viewership of the venerable news magazine has been all over the map this season, in large part because of football coverage that precedes it.

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 13.91 4.5 ---  
2 The Big Bang Theory 13.07 4.3 ---  
3 NCIS 19.51 4.0 ---  
4 Mike & Molly 11.47 3.7 ---  
5 Criminal Minds 14.04 3.6 ---  
6 NCIS: Los Angeles 16.14 3.5 ---  
6 How I Met Your Mother 8.79 3.5 ---  
8 CSI 13.86 3.1 ---  
8 Hawaii Five-0 11.35 3.1 ---  
8 $#*! My Dad Says 10.48 3.1 ---  
8 Rules of Engagement 8.34 3.1 ---  
12 The Mentalist 14.53 3.0 ---  
13 CSI: Miami 10.45 2.6 ---  
14 The Good Wife 12.01 2.4 ---  
15 The Defenders 10.02 2.2 ---  
16 Blue Bloods 11.22 1.8 ---  
17 CSI: NY 10.11 1.8 ---  
18 Medium (cancelled) 6.52 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 11.66 3.3 ---  
2 The Amazing Race 10.93 3.3 ---  
4 60 Minutes 14.39 2.8  
5 48 Hours Mystery 6.12 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

Leave a Comment

Your comment may need approval from a moderator before it appears. We review comments to weed out spam, duplicate postings and personal attacks. We welcome constructive discussion.