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

NikitaWhich CW TV shows will be cancelled or renewed for the 2011-12 season? As the smallest network, The CW has the fewest number of hours of primetime to fill and the fewest number of shows. The network also focuses on attracting the young female demographic which is a little different than the other networks.

Life Unexpected was on the bubble last season and the ratings dropped this season, leading the show to be cancelled. Despite having the network’s highest rated program (Vampire Diaries) as a lead-in, Nikita ranks lower than Life Unexpected. The network seems happy with Supernatural’s performance on Friday nights but it remains to be seen if it’s enough to get it renewed.

Below is a list of the regular CW 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 18-34 female demographic averages, the group that the CW focuses on attracting and selling to advertisers.

  TV Shows Average
viewers (millions)
18-49 demo
women 18-34 demo
1 The Vampire Diaries 3.40 1.6 2.5  
2 Gossip Girl 1.86 1.0 2.3  
3 America's Next Top Model 2.87 1.3 2.2  
4 90210 1.93 1.0 1.8  
4 One Tree Hill 1.91 1.0 1.8  
6 Hellcats 2.20 0.9 1.6  
7 Life Unexpected (cancelled) 1.52 0.7 1.3  
8 Nikita 2.63 1.0 1.2  
9 Supernatural 2.37 1.0 1.1  
10 Smallville (ending) 2.71 1.1 1.0  

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 Life Unexpected). 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.

It should be noted that Friday nights are one of the least watched evenings of television so ratings for shows on that night are lower. The network understands this and takes 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.

Nielsen doesn’t release the final Friday and Saturday night ratings until a few days later. The ratings with an “*” may change slightly once the final numbers are released.

Raw data: © The Nielsen Company via Media Week.

What do you think? Which shows do you think won’t survive to see a new season?


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