[09/28/09 - 12:34 AM]
The 10 Things You Need to Know About the New Season: #1 - 68% of New Shows Fail
By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)

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Welcome once again to "The 10 Things You Need to Know About the New Season," our annual feature about, well... the 10 things you need to know about the new season. The goal of this venture is to address not only common questions people have about television but to also demystify (or potentially reaffirm) stigmas out there about certain networks, time periods, genres and so forth. So with that in mind let us put on our journalistic caps and give you the cold hard truth about what's potentially ahead for some of your favorite new and returning shows...

1. Only 32% of new network shows make it to a second season.

The CW's "The Beautiful Life" will eventually have a lot of company: in the past 10 seasons, only 32% of new shows on average made it to a second season. Last season it was even worse: just 11 of the 44 new shows (or 25%) made the cut for a sophomore run. The best survival rate? 35% during the 2000-2001 and 2001-2002 seasons. In other words, for better or worse, between 29-34 of this season's 45 (and counting) newcomers will be axed by May 2010. Don't believe us? Check out the hard data:

1999-20003/12 (25%)6/12 (50%)2/12 (17%)5/15 (33%)1/7 (14%)5/10 (50%)22/68 (32%)
2000-20015/12 (42%)4/10 (40%)4/12 (33%)5/17 (29%)2/8 (25%)3/7 (43%)23/66 (35%)
2001-20024/16 (25%)4/11 (36%)5/17 (29%)7/15 (47%)2/5 (40%)4/11 (36%)26/75 (35%)
2002-20037/21 (33%)5/12 (42%)4/17 (24%)8/17 (47%)2/6 (33%)5/13 (38%)31/86 (36%)
2003-20042/17 (12%)4/8 (50%)7/22 (32%)3/11 (27%)2/9 (22%)4/11 (36%)22/78 (28%)
2004-20059/21 (43%)3/11 (27%)6/17 (35%)6/20 (30%)2/8 (25%)2/7 (29%)28/84 (33%)
2005-20062/17 (12%)6/12 (50%)4/11 (36%)3/16 (19%)1/5 (20%)1/8 (13%)17/69 (25%)
2006-20077/27 (26%)4/10 (40%)3/14 (21%)6/17 (35%)2/4 (50%)22/72 (31%)
2007-20089/21 (43%)3/11 (27%)3/11 (27%)4/15 (27%)2/8 (25%)21/66 (32%)
2008-20096/17 (35%)2/8 (25%)5/10 (50%)3/17 (18%)1/8 (13%)17/60 (28%)
total54/181 (30%)41/105 (39%)43/143 (30%)50/160 (31%)12/48 (25%)24/67 (36%)5/20 (25%)229/724 (32%)

* the above table has been revised to reflect the fates of 2009's summer series

From this we can also glean a few other pieces of info - CBS (39%) and The WB (36%) had the best survival rates while FOX (30%), UPN (25%) and The CW (25%) had the worst. But considering that both UPN and the WB don't exist anymore, that doesn't necessarily translate into longevity as a whole.

So brace yourself, chances are the majority of the new shows you've added to your viewing schedule won't be back this time next year.

TOMORROW: Which day of the week is the toughest to launch a new show?

  [september 2009]  

(series past and present)
(series in development)
(tv movies and mini-series)

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