How Many TV Series Typically Return for the Next Season?

With the number of original shows on primetime TV roughly doubling since 2007 to more than 400 series in 2014, failure rates have also spiked, approaching 50 percent for all sources. Near the turn of the 20th century, nine out of 10 shows survived beyond their first year of broadcast.

Broadcast TV failure rates for new series are even higher, approaching 65 percent, and there is considerable variation among the performances of NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox and CW networks. In 2011, NBC renewed 50 percent of its shows. For the same season, CBS renewed 44 percent and ABC renewed 39 percent of its new shows. Fox renewed 46 percent and CW renewed only 37 percent of its shows.