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Ratings Outlook for the Fall 2010 TV Season

The 2010 TV season is in full swing, and being several weeks in seems like a good time to look at some of our favorite shows to give an outlook of their future. We will go network by network and come up with the odds of shows returning. We are mostly sticking to shows that we actually care about, because let’s be honest, does anyone reading this actually mind if Grey’s Anatomy comes back for another season? Very few shows have been given a direct answer as to their future, but we can infer the probability from ratings along with rumors. Let’s get started…

ABC: With Lost gone ABC is frantically trying to find their new 18 to 36 year old hit. They haven’t quite gotten there yet, but they do have some very popular shows that are putting them in a good position.


Modern Family

No official word yet on Modern Family, but it is pretty easy to call this one. The show’s ratings are even a bit better from last year, hovering at about 12 million viewers. ABC has also sold the syndication rights of the show to USA and FOX for a 2013 premiere date. Most shows need about 100 episodes to get syndication deals... Modern Family has 28; Modern Family is safe.

Verdict: Safe

No Ordinary Family

The live action Incredibles, as it has been called, had decent premiere ratings, but since then it has been declining. This is normal with new shows, since interest is usually highest at their premiere. It has done decent critically and there are a few big names attached. If their ratings can level out and they find their audience then they should be okay. 

Verdict: Moderately Safe

My Generation

One of the first casualties of this season, My Generation, had an interesting premise that was never fully developed. After only two episodes ABC cancelled the series leaving two episodes unaired.

Verdict: Dead


 NBC: The peacock network has been in trouble the past couple of years and they are still trying to get back on track. Many of their shows receive critical acclaim, but they don’t always light up the ratings.

The Event

I have enjoyed The Event so far, but after good premiere ratings they have been sharply declining with the most recent episode only getting 6.6 million viewers. Interestingly enough, because NBC is still on shaky ground they have already ordered a full 22 episode second season.

Verdict: Coming Back


The first casualty of the new season was Outlaw. It was cancelled immediately after is second episode. The show garnered some critical acclaim but no one watched it. It had an interesting premise, but now we will never know how it goes.

Verdict: Dead


For the past couple of seasons Chuck has been the luckiest show on TV. Don’t get me wrong the show is great, but the ratings have never been high. Once again due to the quagmire that NBC is in another show has received extended life. NBC seems to be ditching this ship, but no official word has been given on the show. The ratings continue to dip, all the way down to a 2.2, but they have the male 18-35 demo almost exclusively, so it could really go either way.

Verdict: Too close to call

The Office

While this may be Michael Scott's last season at Dunder Mifflin/Sabre it will not be the last season of The Office. Steve Carrel has said that his contract is up after this season and NBC is looking for someone to take his place. There have been many names circulated, but someone else will have to be the new regional manager.

Verdict: Coming Back

30 Rock

 The critical darling has never had the highest ratings, but its strong critical response and strength in the 18-25 demographic makes it relatively safe. I have heard rumors that it has already been renewed but could not find official word.

Verdict: Looks safe


NBC has really brought the comedy on Thursday night. While I have personally not started watching the show yet, I have heard great things. Much like 30 Rock the show is critically strong and its ratings are stable.

Verdict: Looks safe


The show starts their Thursday night lineup and after watching the show for a few weeks I don’t really want it to come back. I really do not like this show, but the ratings are comparable to the other comedies.

Verdict: Looks safe

NBC HAS ANOUNCED THAT THEY WILL PICK UP ALL FOUR OF THEIR COMEDIES SO The office, 30 Rock, Community, and (sadly) Outsourced are all safe


CBS: CBS has solidified itself as the older demographic station. That is not to say that their shows are bad, just that they are not really going after our demographic. I came up with only one show that really fits our fans viewing patterns.

How I Met Your Mother

The Bob Saget narrated sitcom has been a staple of CBS for half a decade now... officially making it the longest story any parent has ever told. The ratings have actually increased this season but as a long time fan I am a bit confused as to why.

Verdict: Looks safe


FOX: Fox has always been strong and they have probably the most diverse list of shows. Complete with four animated comedies on Sunday along with fan favorites such as HOUSE.


A consistent hit for FOX over the past seven years HOUSE has hit a bit of a lull this season. Ratings have been steadily dropping this season hitting a low of a 9.65. Now that is not number to be angry about, but it's a bit low for House.

Verdict: Safe but maybe only one more time


When Glee is not creating controversy with sexy photo shoots the show is doing amazing ratings and has a giant fan base. Probably the most progressive show on Network TV and it's on FOX of all places.

Verdict: Safe


The show started with huge numbers, but they have plummeted over the past three years. Thankfully the numbers have stabilized but they are not too high. The third season was ordered on good faith but our luck might be running out.

  Verdict: Too Close to call

Simpsons, Family Guy, Cleveland Show, American Dad

They are all most likely coming back. The Cleveland Show and The Simpsons are currently the only ones that were confirmed before this season started.

Verdict: Coming Back

FX and Comedy Central
: FX has really made a name for itself over the past couple of years and have a number of hits on their hands. Comedy central still has South Park.

South Park

South Park is in the midst of wrapping up its 14th season. Trey and Matt are contracted to at least one more season.

Verdict: Coming Back


Terriers is an amazing show. It is consistently good. Too bad the ratings are so low. They are in the sub 1.0 area but the show is strong with critics. Combine the critical success with the casts investment and we could see another season, as it stands now though it is not looking good.

Verdict: Most likely won’t be back (sad face)

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

While the quality may have dipped a bit it's still a great show. One of the funniest shows on television. Everything screams safe but we have no official word.

Verdict: Safe

AMC: AMC is making a run at being the HBO/Showtime of cable and they are succeeding. They have become the go to station for entertaining and smart television shows. 

Breaking Bad

One of my favorite shows on TV, Breaking Bad, is a masterpiece. Thankfully with strong praise and ratings the show has been renewed for a fourth season.

Verdict: Coming Back

Mad Men

The staple of AMC’s rise is one of the best shows on television.

Verdict: Coming Back


The weakest link in the AMC family in terms of critical reception has none the less impressed the network enough for them to bring it back.

Verdict: Coming Back

The Walking Dead

The most anticipated new show of the seasons debut was just a few days ago. The strongest ratings AMC has ever had along with almost universal praise leads one to believe that its coming back.

Verdict: Looks Safe


CW: The young adult demo flocks to the CW. While their ratings are never crazy high they are almost entirely the 18-25 demographic.


Smallville is almost down with its 10th and final season. I started watching the show when it first started but fell out of love around season 7. Ratings and reviews this season have been strong, so the show may go out on a high note.

Verdict: Ran its course


The CW’s paranormal investigating show is in its sixth season but shows no sign of slowing. The ratings are stable and has received favorable reviews.

Verdict: Looks safe

The Vampire Diaries

The cable answer to True Blood has hit its stride. Critics are favorable and the show has exceptionally high ratings for the CW. The vampire craze will not die.

Verdict: Looks safe

HBO and Showtime: The premium channels are still producing some of the best shows on TV, even though some channels like AMC are catching up, these channels still have a lot to offer. 


The Nancy Botwin journey is not over as the show has already been renewed for its 7th season starting next year.

Verdict: Coming Back


My vote for best show came off its best season last year and is doing strong. The cast is locked down for at least one more season.

Verdict: Coming Back

Boardwalk Empire

I personally have not had a chance to start watching but I am very excited to. The ratings are stable and the show has garnered critical praise. HBO officially announced a second season.

Verdict: Coming Back

Eastbound and Down


Verdict: Coming Back


HBO’s long running hit has been renewed for a small last season to air next summer, but there is also a movie planned.

Verdict: Coming back…. for the last time.


Well that is a lot of shows. I know I missed some, but others have not started yet like Californiacation, so we can get to those show later. Feel free to point out any I missed and share news and info by leaving a comment.  


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