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?

Canceled and renewed TV show

23 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. lorna says

    oth is most likely ending. i hope hellcats or nikita, ive been extra bitter since melrose was axed, even though the ratings were bad. LUX was great and i know some guys that loved the show. Dawn is just a ratings ***** who goes by quantity over quality. So glad she is leaving the network, although she should have done so ages ago. 90210 looks like utter crap so get rid of that.

  2. Kevin says

    I think the ratings are really one sided viewpoints here. What about the male demo that watches some of these show ? . I know there target is women, and teen girls..but i’m neither and my favorite show on tv is Supernatual. I watch it every chance it’s on. This show is the best show on tv. They have the most fans when they do conventions and stuff…it’s to bad it’s on Fridays.. it would be bringing in more people if it was on Thursdays at 9pm. like it should be.

  3. RedBlueBlur says

    I only watch Smallville, Supernatural, and Vampire Diaries…

    Smallville is on its final season, so no matter what anyone says, it won’t be around next season (which is fine), Supernatural will probably squeeze out maybe 1 more season, and the Vampire Diaries will obviously go on and on and on

  4. Smiles says

    I LOVE Gossip Girl and One Tree Hill so I would be REALLY disappointed in the CW if they cancelled them. I really like Hellcats, 90210 and Vampire Diaries and think they should give them this spring season to see how well they do for fall. I liked Nikita in the beginning but now I’m not so into it. You know what to expect-Nikita tries to stop Division. America’s Next Top Model is cool but I tape it so I can skip all the stupid young girl drama and just watch the good parts. I am REALLY glad they cancelled Life Unexpected because Kate got on my nerves. She cried so much and the opening song annoyed me too. I am not into Smallville or Supernatural so it doesn’t matter if they keep those shows or not.

    On the flip side, if the CW did cancel my shows-OTH and GG, I wouldn’t be addicted to TV anymore! =)

  5. AustiNights says

    I think Life Unexpected was one of the best produced, written and acted shows in the CW lineup. Unfortunately, it was the kind of show that the old WB would have made into a signature show and give it a run akin to Everwood, Dawson’s Creek and 7th Heaven. But, with the likes of Dawn Ostroff at the helm (former head of UPN) its no wonder that the types of shows are continuously flawed in their target demo. The network wants to brand itself as the network to attract a female demographic, but it gets rid of those type shows and sticks with what I call ‘crap TV.’ I wish someone at CBS/Warner Bros. would give her some walking papers and bring in some fresh blood to liven things up. The suits put their finger on Life Unexpected’s creative broach and basically killed the show trying to ‘sex’ it up. I’m not worried, though, Liz Tigelaar is creative, young and brilliant and will soon come up with the type of show that will last a while. I just hope its on another network. I predict CW will be non-existent by 2013 season.

  6. Kayla says

    Supernatural and Vampire Diaries are the only shows I watch on CW. So if Supernatural goes….I’m going, no matter if I watch VD or not. I can watch it when it comes out on DVD.

  7. MD says

    The only show I watch on CW is Nikita. Bringing it back and giving it a different twist is good. I missed the old Nikita with Peta Wilson. The writing was great. That show worked for me because they stayed focus on the relationship between Michael and Nikita. There was great chemistry there. That was what kept me an avid fan of the show. I think the writers here need to do more on the relationships. It worked on the old Nikita.

  8. Craig says

    I don’t think the CW is doing a very good job of targeting that audience of young women. Many of the shows sound like they would be interesting to young women, but the episodes don’t follow through. I think many of the plots tend to be a better fit for audiences that don’t include young women. Maybe the CW should demand more young female writers on the shows so that the scripts stay interesting to the target audience.

  9. KT says

    The ONLY cw show i watch is Supernatural. if that goes away then i am finished with the cw. I’ll watch whatever Jensen and Jared’s next projects are!! I’ll follow them wherever they go, movies and television.

  10. Sid says

    Here’s my two cents. The CW really needs to revamp itself next season and it did a descent job in picking up a “different” show for once(NIKITA).

    It’s sad that NIKITA has almost 2.7 million viewers and it’s not holding on to TVD’s women audience. It’s pretty obvious the show skews an older audience such as its Friday neighbors(SV&SN). With SMALLVILLE ending, Life Unexpected is now cancelled, I think the CW should really end ONE TREE HILL. Don’t get me wrong, OTH is my second favorite show on the CW(NIKITA being the 1st) but the show is losing it’s momentum. It’s not as good as it used to be.

    If they cancel those 3 shows(OTH, LUX, SV), they’ll have 3 slots available for some new type of shows. I think the CW could use NIKITA as a lead-in for their cop drama pilot Hawkshaw or Beautiful Strangers. Or they could move NIKITA to Friday since it’s audience seems similar to that of SMALLVILLE and Supernatural. NIKITA AND Supernatural could do great together on Fridays.

    They obviously cant use 90210. GG,Hellcats, or even OTH anymore as a lead-in since none of those shows can break the 2 million mark. They only shows on the network that can launch new shows are TVD, ANTM, NIKITA AND Supernatural.

    But honestly, I just don’t see the CW cancelling more than 3 shows this season. They can’t afford to. They especially can’t afford to let go of all WB veterans at the same time. Meaning that Supernatural HAS to continue atleast for 1 more season. SV and OTH definitely do need to go though.

    I say cancel SMALLVILLE, ONE TREE HILL AND ofcource LUX and pick up 3 fresh new shows. The CW has ordered about 9 pilots for next season and most of them sound pretty good to revamp this network which is something it definitely needs.
    No more rich teen dramas and enough with the spin-offs/remakes.

    • MK says

      I’ve never even heard of it and I watch Supernatural, Vamp Diaries and Smallville, so it’s not like I don’t see ads!

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