EW.com just compiled a list of the highest rated shows to not survive the 2011-2012 season, and I figured you guys might be interested in a summary of their findings.
1. Rob - CBS (12 Million Total Viewers, 3.7 18-49 Demos) - This freshman family sitcom starred Rob Schneider, and put up good numbers by any respectable metric. At the same time, its lead in was the ultra-popular Big Bang Theory, and the ratings dropped off considerably when going from BBT to Rob. CBS has now decided to put Two And A Half Men in the post Bang slot this fall.
2. Terra Nova - FOX (10.1 Million Total Viewers, 3.6 18-49 Demos) - As has been mentioned on this very site more than once, the underlying reason this sci-fi drama was canceled had little to do with ratings and everything to do with a high production budget. FOX also thought that the new Kiefer Sutherland vehicle Touch would out-draw Nova, which has since proven to be a mistake.
3. Alcatraz - FOX (9.6 Million Total Viewers, 3.4 18-49 Demos) - While the ratings for this high-concept J.J. Abrams produced drama remained respectable to the end, the network saw nothing but bad omens in the fact that the numbers dipped every single week. A show should not be losing audience with each successive episode, and is a pretty sure indication that the ratings would have really crashed this year.
4. House - FOX (8.7 Million Total Viewers, 3.3 18-49 Demos) - It's true that the end of House was said to be a mutual decision between producers and the network, but these numbers reflect the fact that the show remained one of FOX's most consistent performers right up through the series finale.
5. Desperate Housewives - ABC (10.4 Million Total Viewers, 3.5 18-49 Demos) - You can pretty much copy my House thoughts to this section. Desperate Housewives may have ended on its own terms, but it still had a lot of life left with viewers.
6. How To Be A Gentleman - CBS (8.7 Million Total Viewers, 2.8 18-49 Demos) - Like Rob, this comedy is another example of the fact that when you air on the highest rated broadcast network, you don't have the luxury of just performing decently. You need to knock it out of the park to remain amongst the lions, and this Kevin Dillon fronted comedy just didn't measure up to its colleagues.
7. GCB - ABC (7.4 Million Total Viewers, 2.6 18-49 Demos) - This was another case of a show with respectable ratings, but also a noticeable downward trend from week to week that raised red flags for the network. ABC is said to think that new series like Nashville and Mistresses can fill the same niche, but draw better ratings.
8. CSI: Miami - CBS (10.8 Million Total Viewers, 2.5 18-49 Demos) - In one of the more surprising moves of the year, this crime procedural was axed after a decade long run. Again, it seems to have little to do with ratings, and everything to do with budget. The longer a show remains on the air, the more the producers, and stars tend to make. CBS seemed to want to end one branch of the CSI family tree, and the original series outdraws Miami, while the New York version is younger and costs less. This left David Caruso's series to take the fall.
9. Unforgettable - CBS (12 Million Total Viewers, 2.5 18-49 Demos) - Like a lot of CBS dramas, this crime procedural starring Poppy Montgomery as a woman who can remember every moment of her life, found itself drawing big total viewership, but distressingly low demo numbers. I still fail to understand the logic that says only the 18-49 group matters, but I'm not a network executive.
Writer's note: Sigh, another anonymous commenter with a complaint. I got both this list and the ratings numbers from Entertainment Weekly. They compiled the list, I just offered a summary of their analysis. They included House and DHW, so I did as well. And as far as I can tell those ratings averages are correct. Unless you can prove my source wrong, I stand by my reporting. Thank you and good day.
Note 2: To the second person, its obvious you're just trolling me now. These are not the ratings numbers for the pilot episodes of each show. I've checked. Yawn.