There are a lot of shows that have already been renewed. They range from The Good Wife and Community to Fringe and The Middle. Then there are shows that will certainly be renewed even if no announcement has been made yet -- shows like House, NCIS and Grey's Anatomy.
Then there are shows that seem certain to be canceled. Show's like ABC's The Deep End and The Forgotten and NBC's Trauma and Mercy. While all four of those shows are likely to be canceled, The Deep End is obviously in the worst shape of the four.
But sometimes there are shows where the ratings by themselves don't seem to merit renewal, but they get renewed anyway. Last year Dollhouse and Scrubs were predicted to likely be canceled. Yet both were renewed! They were not (to us) on the bubble at the time we made those predictions, but in retrospect they were obviously on the bubble.
Which begs the question of how to define the bubble. Going with the route of "any show that hasn't been officially renewed or canceled" yet seems kinda dumb. I mean then we would have to list NCIS and House, which are obviously coming back.
Currently, Mercy does not at all seem on the bubble based on any data we have access too -- it seems surely to be canceled. But so did Dollhouse last year.
For me a true bubble show is a show that really could go either way based on the information we have available. This year, those shows to me are:
NBC: Parenthood, Chuck. I'd also include Heroes, but not because of its ratings. And though Law & Order seems likely to be renewed, a case can be made for it to be on the bubble.
FOX: Human Target, Lie to Me, 24. Technically, 'Till Death is permanently on the bubble until it is canceled
CBS: Medium, Old Christine, Gary Unmarried, Accidentally On Purpose, Numb3rs (tea leaves say canceled, numbers say bubble) and Miami Medical which hasn't aired yet
ABC: Castle, V. You could argue Scrubs deserves a permanent perch on the bubble until officially canceled. Some would argue FlashForward, but I don't see that as legitimately going either way based on the ratings trend.
CW: Life Unexpected
I think with the exception of the CW where any reasonable person would agree, Melrose Place is not on the bubble, there are situations on the other networks where reasonable people can disagree.
How do you define the bubble, and what shows would you place on it?