Full Season Pick-Ups Don't Change Bubble Outlook for 2011-12; Chuck, Fringe, Community & More Still on the Bubble

Categories: 1-Featured,Broadcast TV

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October 24th, 2010

CBS picked up all its news series for full seasons, and NBC gave The Event, Law & Order: Los Angeles and Outsourced the full season treatment, and also gave Chase and Chuck full season orders and has ordered additional scripts of Undercovers.  The NBC pickups speak more to the shambles its primetime lineup is in, and what we perceive NBC to perceive as a really weak mid-season crop.  The pickups of Chase and the scripts for Undercovers are reminiscent of the low-rated Trauma and Mercy getting picked up last year.  Last year NBC at least had the excuse of having to scramble in the wake of The Jay Leno Show being canceled and having five additional hours it needed to schedule.

When it comes to bubble status, like the Renew/Cancel Index we're focusing on the likelihood that a show will be renewed for next season.  Certain shows are toss-ups where the renewal decisions could go either way and not be surprising.   Chase and Undercovers, despite the full season pick-up and additional script order are not really bubble shows at this point.  The ratings at this point sayit is likely Chase will not be renewed for a second season and that it is certain that Undercovers won't be renewed for a second season.

Here's the recap of shows whose cancellation status seems likely or certain, including this season's shows that have already been canceled:

Show Network Status
The Whole Truth ABC Certain to be Canceled
My Generation ABC Already Canceled
Detroit 1-8-7 ABC Likely to be Canceled
Medium CBS Likely to be Canceled
Life Unexpected CW Certain to be Canceled
Outlaw NBC Already Canceled
Undercovers NBC Likely to be Canceled
Chase NBC Likely to be Canceled
The Good Guys FOX Certain to be Canceled
Lone Star FOX Already Canceled
Running Wilde FOX Certain to be Canceled

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Last week's full season pick-ups didn't change the list of bubble contenders at all.  In fact, the only change I made was to remove Law & Order: LA from the bubble list, and that was because after a steep one week drop, it bounced back last week.

Having The Good Wife on the list below seems to generate the most controversy & discussion, but as Bill notes, something's gotta give as CBS always seems to clear 4 to 4.5 hours from its schedule to make way for new shows.  Though it's getting  much easier for me to think that CBS is relaxing its standards for 10pm in the DVR era,  it is still hard to imagine that CBS won't try to launch new shows next year.  Will it be the same 4 to 4.5 hours if the current ratings hold up?  Time will tell.  But the season is still young and some of the shows in the list below will slide down to "likely to be canceled" or worse, and a few might even nudge up to likely to be renewed.

The consensus with The Good Wife seems to be that it will get bumped to Fridays next season if the current ratings hold. But at this point I'm not as sure they wouldn't just keep it where it is.   It seems to be the case that you can count on at least 0.5 adults 18-49 drop by moving a show to Friday nights and if CBS moves The Good Wife to Friday nights, to come out ahead on a net basis it would need to replace it with something that would do at least .5 better on Tuesday nights at 10pm - a really difficult thing to achieve with only The Mentalist on Thursdays at 10pm coming close (and last week it only did .3 better with adults 18-49 than The Good Wife).

If the current Friday numbers hold (and it's certainly possible they won't) I could see CBS sticking with its 9pm-11pm lineup, leaving only Fridays at 8pm.

NBC's full season pickup of Outsourced caused some heart palpitations for fans of Community and Parks & Recreation even in terms of what happens this season.  Bill weighs in, as do plenty of others in the comments.  For those wondering why Parks & Recreation is not on the list below, since it hasn't aired yet this season it hasn't generated any ratings data...

Early Bubble Show Contenders:

Show Net
Better With You ABC
No Ordinary Family ABC
CSI: NY CBS
Blue Bloods CBS
The Good Wife CBS
The Defenders CBS
Fringe FOX
Lie To Me FOX
Community NBC
Chuck NBC
The Event NBC
Parenthood NBC
 
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