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 (2011-12). Certain shows are toss-ups where based on the ratings, the renewal decisions could go either way and not be surprising.
A few new shows premiered this week. The Chicago Code premiered on Monday, and I’ve listed it “on the bubble” this week, but I’m not very optimistic that it won’t slide to into “likely to be canceled” territory very quickly. Its 2.4 adults 18-49 rating after a fair bit of promotion in the most-watched television show in the U.S. of all time, and after a supercharged House was disappointing. Consider that it hardly did better than Lie to Me (which is likely to be canceled) did the previous week when it had a 2.2 adults 18-49 rating without any Super Bowl promotion and without a highly-rated episode of House as its lead in.
Traffic Light premiered to a 1.9 rating on Tuesday night and I’ve designated it as likely to be canceled. For those of you who want to shake your fist in the air and say “you can’t designate it as likely to be canceled after only one data point!” you’re wrong. I can!
Mr. Sunshine premiered to a 3.7 adults 18-49 rating on Wednesday and for now I’ve designated it as likely to be renewed. Sure, it had a series high level Modern Family (5.1 adults 18-49 rating) as its lead-in and sure, it is most likely to go down in the coming weeks. How far it drops will tell the tale, but for now there is quite a bit of room between it and the bubble.
Things I Thought About Changing But Didn’t
Fourth Friday Fringe Fizzles?
I gave quite a bit of thought to moving Fringe into likely to be canceled territory. And it was a toss-up decision to keep it on the bubble for another week. Its 1.4 rating on Friday was down from last week’s 1.6 adults 18-49 rating after a 1.9 rating for each of the first two episodes. Even if you take Kevin Reilly at his word, the 1.4 rating is lower than the lowest (so far) of Reilly’s utterances. Reilly initially suggested Fringe needed to keep 100% of its Thursday ratings, then lowered it to 90% and then lowered that to 80%. I agree with Bill that regardless of what Reilly said at 70% of Fox’s scripted average it would be likely to be renewed. The 1.4 on Friday is well below 70% of Fox's scripted average and its four week Friday average is below 70% too.
Harry’s Law & Outsourced
Up against full competition on Monday, Harry’s Law slid to a 1.7 adult 18-49 rating. I’ve left it in the “likely to be renewed” category for now. I’m definitely not a retentionista, but Harry’s Law has a miserable lead-in (The Cape) and built on it. Even if it stays down at the 1.7 level, I think it’s still likely to be renewed, but let’s see what happens.
Outsourced slipped to a 1.7 rating on Thursday. Bill has discussed the difficulties of prognosticating about Outsourced. I’m leaving it on the bubble for now and perhaps for quite a while. For all the critical love of Parks & Recreation (and NBC’s devotion to Amy Poehler), at 9:30p in the fall Outsourced outperformed Parks & Recreation’s recent performance.
The Good Wife
Every week we hear grief about The Good Wife and to be fair, every week I think about ratcheting it up to “likely to be renewed” But…
It’s CBS lowest-rated non-Friday show excluding shows that have moved to Friday (The Defenders) or will be moving back to Fridays (Blue Bloods). CBS is likely to cancel two out of the four of The Good Wife, CSI: NY, CSI: Miami and Blue Bloods. Obviously the older shows are more expensive (though syndication and international could offset some of the extra expense of the CSIs) but, if I had to guess, The Good Wife would perform worse on Friday than any of the other three would.
No matter how it’s spun in the press, unless the ratings change somewhat dramatically by the end of the year for all four shows, these won't be easy decisions for CBS, and they are not easy to predict. Will CBS say “We must keep The Good Wife for another season, its critical acclaim offsets the downside of moving it to Friday where its ratings will be hit hard!
The critical acclaim (to be more specific, the cachet of being nominated for and winning awards) certainly can’t hurt The Good Wife, but its ratings don’t help. And if either or both of Chaos and Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior perform well, the decisions about the fall schedule get even tougher.
Note: only scripted shows that have aired at least one episode are in the table below.
|My Generation||ABC||Already Canceled|
|The Whole Truth||ABC||Already Canceled|
|Life Unexpected||CW||Already Canceled|
|Lone Star||Fox||Already Canceled|
|Running Wilde||Fox||Already Canceled|
|The Good Guys||Fox||Already Canceled|
|Detroit 1-8-7||ABC||Certain To Be Canceled|
|No Ordinary Family||ABC||Certain To Be Canceled|
|The Defenders||CBS||Certain To Be Canceled|
|The Cape||NBC||Certain To Be Canceled|
|Perfect Couples||NBC||Certain To Be Canceled|
|Off The Map||ABC||Likely To Be Canceled|
|V||ABC||Likely To Be Canceled|
|$#*! My Dad Says||CBS||Likely To Be Canceled|
|Human Target||Fox||Likely To Be Canceled|
|Lie To Me||Fox||Likely To Be Canceled|
|Traffic Light||Fox||Likely To Be Canceled|
|The Event||NBC||Likely To Be Canceled|
|Better With You||ABC||On The Bubble|
|Brothers & Sisters||ABC||On The Bubble|
|Blue Bloods||CBS||On The Bubble|
|CSI: Miami||CBS||On The Bubble|
|CSI: NY||CBS||On The Bubble|
|The Good Wife||CBS||On The Bubble|
|American Dad*||Fox||On The Bubble|
|Bob's Burgers||Fox||On The Bubble|
|Fringe||Fox||On The Bubble|
|The Chicago Code||Fox||On The Bubble|
|Chuck||NBC||On The Bubble|
|Community||NBC||On The Bubble|
|Law & Order: Los Angeles||NBC||On The Bubble|
|Outsourced||NBC||On The Bubble|
|Mr. Sunshine||ABC||Likely To Be Renewed|
|Hawaii Five-0||CBS||Likely To Be Renewed|
|Rules of Engagement||CBS||Likely To Be Renewed|
|90210'||CW||Likely To Be Renewed|
|Gossip Girl||CW||Likely To Be Renewed|
|Hellcats||CW||Likely To Be Renewed|
|Nikita||CW||Likely To Be Renewed|
|One Tree Hill||CW||Likely To Be Renewed|
|Harry's Law||NBC||Likely To Be Renewed|
|Parenthood||NBC||Likely To Be Renewed|
|Parks & Recreation||NBC||Likely To Be Renewed|
|Desperate Housewives||ABC||Certain To Be Renewed|
|Criminal Minds||CBS||Certain To Be Renewed|
|CSI||CBS||Certain To Be Renewed|
|How I Met Your Mother||CBS||Certain To Be Renewed|
|Mike & Molly||CBS||Certain To Be Renewed|
|NCIS: Los Angeles||CBS||Certain To Be Renewed|
|The Mentalist||CBS||Certain To Be Renewed|
|Supernatural||CW||Certain To Be Renewed|
|Vampire Diaries||CW||Certain To Be Renewed|
|Bones||Fox||Certain To Be Renewed|
|Family Guy||Fox||Certain To Be Renewed|
|House||Fox||Certain To Be Renewed|
|Law & Order: SVU||NBC||Certain To Be Renewed|
|The Office||NBC||Certain To Be Renewed|
|Cougar Town||ABC||Already Renewed|
|Grey's Anatomy||ABC||Already Renewed|
|Modern Family||ABC||Already Renewed|
|Private Practice||ABC||Already Renewed|
|The Middle||ABC||Already Renewed|
|The Big Bang Theory||CBS||Already Renewed|
|Two and a Half Men||CBS||Already Renewed|
|Raising Hope||Fox||Already Renewed|
|The Cleveland Show||Fox||Already Renewed|
|The Simpsons||Fox||Already Renewed|
|30 Rock||NBC||Already Renewed|
*Though I've seen no official confirmation as far as renewal for next season for 'American Dad' it will have enough episodes left to air some next season whether it's renewed or not. At this point nothing would surprise me much, including flipping 'Bobs Burgers' to the Sunday 7:30p timeslot and moving 'American Dad' back in the primary lineup.