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

Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior 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 11th through March 17th — based on the coveted 18-49 demographic, as measured against the last original episode.

Week-to-Week Gains: CSI: NY 1.9/6 (+5.6%), Blue Bloods 1.8/6 (+5.9%), Undercover Boss 3.0/8 (+11.1%), CSI: Miami 2.7/7 (+17.4%), and Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior 2.5/7 (+13.6%).

No Change: 60 Minutes 1.7/6, The Amazing Race 2.7/8, Survivor: Redemption Island 3.2/10 and Criminal Minds 3.6/10.

Week-to-Week Losses: The Defenders 1.3/49 (likely series finale, -13.3%) and Mad Love 2.1/6 (-12.5%).

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) 13.04 4.2 ---  
3 NCIS (renewed) 20.07 4.1 ---  
4 Mike & Molly 11.71 3.6 ---  
4 How I Met Your Mother (renewed) 9.13 3.6 ---  
6 NCIS: Los Angeles 16.61 3.5 ---  
6 Criminal Minds 13.72 3.5 ---  
8 CSI 13.69 3.1 ---  
9 The Mentalist 14.65 3.0 ---  
9 Hawaii Five-0 11.19 3.0 ---  
9 $#*! My Dad Says 10.42 3.0 ---  
9 Rules of Engagement 8.68 3.0 ---  
13 Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior 10.54 2.6 ---  
13 Mad Love 7.67 2.6 down  
15 CSI: Miami 10.57 2.5 up  
16 The Good Wife 11.91 2.3 ---  
17 The Defenders 9.32 1.9 ---  
18 Blue Bloods 11.42 1.8 ---  
18 CSI: NY 10.05 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 11.02 3.2 ---  
4 Undercover Boss 11.51 3.1 ---  
5 60 Minutes 13.43 2.5 ---  
6 The Amazing Race (spring) 9.01 2.5 up  
7 Live to Dance 6.23 1.4 ---  
8 48 Hours Mystery 5.93 1.2 down  

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

6 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. eelke haupt says

    CSI and Criminal Minds are the only decent shows on there. If I want reality I look at my messy house and fighting kids, if I want to watch a bunch of people getting rich because they can spin on their head, I go to Ny Squareand can get my drama and soap opera their too. I watch TV to get my mind of my day by getting involved into a good suspense/crime drama (makes my live seem like a breeze in comparison). Really hate having to watch people emberass themselves by thinking they can sing , dance , do doggy tricks or whatever. A) I always cut through the commercials and B) if this channel wants to solely broadcast Reality and stupid 30 min comedy shows, lets not forget game shows, I have an unlimited supply 0f places to find entertaining and sometimes even shows that make you think.

  2. Craig says

    CBS has incredible numbers in their top 20 shows even if their demo numbers seem to often indicate that a good portion of the audience is older. You can talk about advertisers favoring the 18-49 demo, but you know people watching CBS are spending a lot more than people watching Jersey Shore over on MTV.

  3. Adam Decker says

    What’s the difference between the demographic and the total viewers? Why does the first one seem to outweigh the other one?

    • says

      @Adam Decker: The demo is only part of the total viewership. The 18-49 demo is what advertisers will pay the most to reach. A show that gets a low demo number and many millions of viewers won’t bring as much ad money as a show with a high demo number and less millions of viewers.

  4. MJ says

    It’s sad to see so many of our favorite shows on your lists to possibly close. We have so enjoyed “Bloodbloods, The Closer, The Good Wife, The Defenders” and wish you’d give these shows another chance.

    Thank for the opportunity to respond.

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