CBS TV Show Ratings for 2010-11 Season [as of 3/31/11]

Big Bang Theory ratingsWhich CBS TV shows will be cancelled or renewed for the 2011-12 season? In large part this depends on a series’ ratings, particularly the 18-49 demographic. The lower the ratings, the more likely it is that a show will be cancelled.

Before we get to the season-to-date averages, here are the winners and losers from March 25th through March 31st — based on the coveted 18-49 demographic, as measured against the last original episode.

Week-to-Week Gains: 48 Hours Mystery 1.4/4 (+27.3%), 60 Minutes 3.1/10 (+55.0%), The Amazing Race 3.2/9 (+14.3%), Undercover Boss 3.2/9 (+14.3%), CSI: Miami 2.7/8 (+3.8%), NCIS 3.9/11 (+2.6%), NCIS: Los Angeles 3.5/9 (+9.4%), and Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior 2.3/6 (+4.5%).

No Change: Survivor: Redemption Island 3.1/9

Week-to-Week Losses: Mad Love 2.1/6 (-12.5%), The Good Wife 1.9/5 (-9.5%), Criminal Minds 3.5/9 (-2.8%), The Big Bang Theory 3.7/12 (-2.6%), Rules of Engagement 2.4/7 (-14.3%), CSI 2.9/8 (-3.3%), and The Mentalist 2.8/7 (-3.4%).

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) 14.22 4.5 ---  
2 The Big Bang Theory (renewed) 12.98 4.2 ---  
3 NCIS (renewed) 19.97 4.0 down  
4 Mike & Molly 11.61 3.6 ---  
4 How I Met Your Mother (renewed) 9.07 3.6 ---  
6 NCIS: Los Angeles 16.54 3.5 ---  
6 Criminal Minds 13.69 3.5 ---  
8 The Mentalist 14.63 3.0 ---  
8 CSI 13.64 3.0 down  
8 Hawaii Five-0 11.13 3.0 ---  
8 $#*! My Dad Says 10.42 3.0 ---  
8 Rules of Engagement 8.66 3.0 ---  
13 CSI: Miami 10.63 2.5 ---  
13 Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior 10.14 2.5 ---  
13 Mad Love 7.20 2.5 down  
16 The Good Wife 11.80 2.2 down  
17 The Defenders 9.32 1.9 ---  
18 Blue Bloods 11.42 1.8 ---  
18 CSI: NY 10.08 1.8 ---  
20 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 (fall) 10.93 3.3 ---  
3 Survivor: Redemption Island 11.01 3.2 ---  
4 Undercover Boss 11.54 3.1 ---  
5 The Amazing Race (spring) 9.52 2.7 up  
6 60 Minutes 13.43 2.5 ---  
7 Live to Dance 6.23 1.4 ---  
8 48 Hours Mystery 5.84 1.2 ---  

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.

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

3 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Mary Beth Maumus says

    Question: When viewers tape a TV program to watch at a later date (which many of us do), is this included in the ratings calculations? Also, many programs are viewed in other countries (UK, Sweden, Ireland, Germany, Canada particularly). Do they include any of these viewings in the ratings for a show? Thanks!

    • says

      @Mary Beth Maumus: If the person has a Nielsen ratings box in their home, then they are counted. Otherwise, no. CBS doesn’t care about viewing in other countries because it has nothing to do with them. Their interest is mostly centered around how many people see the commericals. That’s where they make the money to pay for the shows to be made.

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