Bubble Watch 2011-12: Fringe, Human Target, Lie to Me and The Good Guys: Too Soon!?

Categories: 1-Featured,Bubble Watch

Written By

December 12th, 2010

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.

With repeats, holiday specials and December reality schedule spackle like The Sing Off (which is performing very well for NBC) and Skating With The Stars (which isn't performing well for ABC), there were no changes in designations this week.

So far there are 17 shows that are either already canceled, certain to be canceled or likely to be canceled.  Here's the recap:

Show Network Status
The Whole Truth ABC Already Canceled
My Generation ABC Already Canceled
Detroit 1-8-7 ABC Likely to be Canceled
No Ordinary Family ABC Likely to be Canceled
Medium CBS Already Canceled
The Defenders CBS Likely to be Canceled
Life Unexpected CW Certain to be Canceled
The Event NBC Likely to be Canceled
Outlaw NBC Already Canceled
Undercovers NBC Already Canceled
Chase NBC Certain to be Canceled
Fringe FOX Likely to be Canceled
The Good Guys FOX Certain to be Canceled
Human Target FOX Likely to be Canceled
Lie To Me FOX Likely to be Canceled
Lone Star FOX Already Canceled
Running Wilde FOX Certain to be Canceled

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We're not even halfway through the season yet, but early on there is more discussion about the list above than the actual bubble shows.

I have seen my fair share of  complaints of "too soon" when it comes to designating Human Target and Fringe likely to be canceled.    In the case of Human Target, it's definitely not too soon.  It pulled a 1.6 adults 18-49 rating against repeats on ABC and a new episode of the ratings weakling that is Undercovers.  In the event of a miraculous ratings turnaround, designations will change.

As ever, this is no commentary on the show's quality, just the ratings. Sadly, for fans of Human Target, the ratings stink.

It's not too soon in the case of Fringe either, though if there is ratings surprise when it begins airing on Fridays, I'll revisit.

I do understand the complaints of "couldn't you wait to see how it does on Friday first," but...

Fox chief Kevin Reilly threw Fringe fans a life raft of hope when the move to Fridays was first announced by saying that if the show pulls the same 1.9 rating on Fridays that it had been pulling on Thursdays it would be a huge win for Fox.  Unfortunately, four of the last five Thursday airings have been below a 1.9, and the expectation is lower, not higher or stable ratings on Fridays.

Some think that Lie To Me will still return as a summer show.  I can't rule out that possibility, but with Fox capping this season's order for Lie to Me at 13 episodes, even the chances for a summer return seem very slim.

There are a few diehard fans who think The Good Guys will be coming back as a summer series.  Don't hold your breath.  Its woeful ratings more than outweigh any benefit of being relatively low cost.

Bubble Shows:

Show Net
Better With You ABC
Blue Bloods CBS
CSI: Miami CBS
CSI: NY CBS
$#*! My Dad Says CBS
The Good Wife CBS
Community NBC
Chuck NBC
Law & Order: LA NBC
Parenthood NBC

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