September 16, 2011 4:27pm PT by Tim Goodman
The Fall TV Death Pool: What Are the Odds?
When it comes to canceling a television series, it's often "when" and not "if."
The truth is, there's no real science to it. Some shows that almost certainly will be canceled -- hello, Fox's I Hate My Teenage Daughter -- won't be first to go because they premiere later than others, and you can't really include cable in this guessing game because those channels are more likely to let a series run a full season before deciding.
And a show doesn't have to be bad, from the critics' perspective, to get the heave-ho (remember Lone Star last season?). What makes predicting the death of a TV series even harder are factors that circumvent logic or Nielsen disaster alone.
Such as: The CW rarely cancels shows in a timely manner, so it's not going to pull the plug the day after Hart of Dixie premieres. Nor will ABC likely be quick to ax Pan Am because the only number that really matters is $10 million, the reported cost of the pilot. (Paul Lee might want to be patient on that.)
Given those caveats, here are my cancellation odds for all freshman network series through October.