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 based on the ratings, the renewal decisions could go either way and not be surprising.
Ah, NBC, wreaking havoc on the relative simplicity that should be "Bubble Watch." Normally identifying bubble shows is pretty easy. If you weed out the shows that are certain or likely to be renewed and you weed out the shows that are certain or likely to be canceled and what's left over is the shows on the bubble.
Here's the recap of shows whose cancellation status seems likely or certain, including this season's shows that have already been canceled:
|The Whole Truth||ABC||Already Canceled|
|My Generation||ABC||Already Canceled|
|Detroit 1-8-7||ABC||Likely to be Canceled|
|Medium||CBS||No back order|
|The Defenders||CBS||Likely to be Canceled|
|Life Unexpected||CW||No back order|
|Undercovers||NBC||No back order|
|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|
Unfortunately (for simplicity purposes and for NBC) NBC's ratings suck so badly that it's not nearly as simple as it should be. Last week other than the comedies, none of NBC's scripted shows scored over a 2.1 rating with adults 18-49.
In a week where Chuck was bumped, the best rating for an NBC drama was by Parenthood, with a 2.1, topping even Law & Order: SVU's 2.0. Show fates aren't determined by one week of ratings, but so far as far as the scripted dramas go the only slam dunks are Undercovers and Chase which will almost certainly not be back next year. Let's look at the rest of the dramas:
Chuck: after hitting a 2.0 adults 18-49 rating, Chuck was bumped for the week. If it drops down when it returns tomorrow, expect cries of "whether current or former, the presidents of the United States of America are always killing Chuck's momentum!"
Parenthood: Parenthood returned to a 2.1 rating with adults 18-49 after having a week off due to election coverage. But the preemption didn't hurt Parenthood's momentum as it had a 2.0 adults 18-49 rating for its previous telecast on October 26.
The Event: fates turn quickly and after a week off (it was bumped by an SNL special on 11/1) it returned to a 1.7 adults 18-49 rating. That was down from the 2.0 on October 25. The Event is still ahead of Chuck and Parenthood in the index, but it's reasonable to start wondering if future telecasts will out-rate those shows. I won't be surprised if The Event bounces back a little bit, but I won't be very too surprised if it is in the same ballpark as Chuck and Parenthood, or even trails those shows from here on out. There's talk of a January marketing push to get some more eyeballs, but...
Law & Order: Los Angeles: I was a bit out in front of the Renew/Cancel Index in declaring LOLA a bubble show. But after back to back sub 2.0 adults 18-49 ratings (a 1.9 followed by a 1.7), don't be too surprised Bill gets around to giving it toss up stats this week. It's still early, but I'm already at a place where I will be at least a little surprised if it bounces back to the point where it's regularly beating Chuck and Parenthood.
Law & Order: SVU: even for me it's still too early to declare Law & Order: SVU a bubble show based on its last couple of outings (a 2.0 adults 18-49 rating last week and a 2.2 rating the week before). Yep, I'm aware that it was out-rated last week by Parenthood which has been declared a bubble show.
A note on Fox's Fringe: I've still got it on the bubble after last Thursday's 1.7 adults 18-49 rating, but another 1.7 rating or two and at least for me, the bubble will have burst.
Bubble Show Contenders:
|Better With You||ABC|
|No Ordinary Family||ABC|
|The Good Wife||CBS|
|Lie to Me||FOX|
|Law & Order: LA||NBC|