Bubble Watch: With 'Fringe' Renewed, What Does That Mean for 'V,' 'Chuck,' 'Lie to Me' and Others?

Categories: 1-Featured,Bubble Watch

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March 27th, 2011

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.

In the wake of Fringe’s 22 episode fourth season renewal, there are unsurprisingly some questions about what that means for other shows, even other shows that are not on Fox!

What Does Fringe’s Renewal Mean for V?

My guess is it means nothing.

I laughed out loud at some of the comments that suggested perhaps Fox only renewed Fringe to goad ABC into renewing V (presumably so that an ABC that is already far behind Fox would do exactly the sort of thing sure to keep it far behind Fox).

Some have suggested that all science fiction shows should be “on the bubble” regardless of their ratings.  I’m not ready to go there, but  V isn’t way outside of the bubble. I think it’s a little more likely to be canceled than renewed, but it isn't in certain cancellation range. I don’t think Fringe’s renewal indicates anything about V’s renewal prospects though.

Yep, it’s also a Warner Bros produced show, but I'm not buying into the "it shows Warner Bros wants to deeply discount its science fiction shows" chatter. The landscapes for V and Fringe are different, both at the networks they air on and for the show themselves..

We don’t see enough DVD sales data to be definitive, but Fringe seems to have relatively good DVD sales compared to V, both by revenue and by unit sales. Of course when it comes to revenue, V couldn’t charge as much simply because it had far fewer episodes in its season.

After two seasons, V only has 22 episodes, nowhere near what it needs for a juicy syndication deal, were such a thing to exist for a science fiction show.  Regardless, 88 episodes seems to be the new standard (down from 100)  for shows that can be “stripped” Mon-Fri in syndication, and traditionally shows that can be stripped get more lucrative deals than shows that can’t.  V is nowhere near that level and wouldn’t be even with two full season pickups.

What  Does Fringe’s Renewal Mean for Chuck?

Again, my guess is nothing. Yep, Chuck too is a Warner Bros production, but its past history is what has it on the bubble, not Fringe’s renewal.  Warner Bros is obviously willing to negotiate on Chuck's price, but it may have gone as low as it can go. Chuck’s grasp on the bubble is tenuous and I thought about downgrading it this week to slightly more likely to be canceled than renewed. But Chuck’s past history  and that it’s  relatively cheap, say compared to The Event. Even at series lows, Chuck still out-rated the most recent The Event by 25%. NBC might keep it around as schedule filler .

Chuck will have nearly 80 episodes (78) at the end of the season. I’m not sure another 13-22 episodes really change Chuck’s syndication value much, but it’s possible that Warner Bros is willing to discount it even further to make a better case for syndication. If so, that will have everything to do with Chuck and nothing to do with Fringe.

What does Fringe’s Renewal Mean for Lie To Me, The Chicago Code and other Fox shows?

Bill is on the record that Fox might pick up one of its marginally rated shows, but not two. Fringe has been renewed now so… I agree with Bill’s assessment but that was predicated on a few assumptions (which Bill was making as well) like that Fox was counting on Terra Nova to be ready and that The X-Factor would take up three hours a week of the schedule in the fall. Those assumptions could still be correct, but the timing of the Fringe renewal plus it being a full 22 episode order have me wondering.

It's possible Fox still will want some just-in-case scripted schedule spackle, even after Fringe’s renewal, so I’m leaving Lie To Me on the bubble for now. It’s an in-house production. But for all The Talk of its syndication prospects, even a full-season order of 22 episodes would only get it to 70 episodes. Still not enough episodes for a more lucrative deal that involves “stripping.” But it was good for Fox to have around this year when Lone Star failed.  Some will say they can just use Fringe for that, but based on how Fox has positioned Fringe, I think Fox really wants to keep it on Fridays.  For now, I'm less optimistic for The Chicago Code and much less optimistic for Human Target.

Bob’s Burgers Now on the Bubble

Bob’s Burgers numbers improved last week even though it aired after a repeat of The Simpsons last week. Some have suggested that it would do at least as well as The Cleveland Show if it aired after Family Guy. Perhaps. “Cleveland” has already been renewed along with all the other Sunday animations, so Bob’s Burgers it would only be renewed if it, or one of the other renewed shows is slotted in the 7:30pm slot.  But if its ratings are stable (or grow), I could see Fox taking another shot at it.

Perfect Couples Effectively Canceled

Perfect Couples will have some unaired episodes when The Paul Reiser show takes over its time slot on April 14. That spells canceled, just like The Cape, whose finale was available only online, is canceled. But to appease the whiners, both are listed as “Effectively Already Canceled” rather than “Already Canceled."

Note: only scripted shows that have aired at least one episode are in the table below.

Show Network Status
My Generation ABC Already Canceled
The Whole Truth ABC Already Canceled
Medium CBS Already Canceled
Life Unexpected CW Already Canceled
Lone Star Fox Already Canceled
Running Wilde Fox Already Canceled
The Good Guys Fox Already Canceled
Chase NBC Already Canceled
Outlaw NBC Already Canceled
Perfect Couples NBC Effectively Already Canceled
The Cape NBC Effectively Already Canceled
Undercovers NBC Already Canceled
Detroit 1-8-7 ABC Certain To Be Canceled
No Ordinary Family ABC Certain To Be Canceled
Off The Map ABC Certain To Be Canceled
The Defenders CBS Certain To Be Canceled
Traffic Light Fox Certain To Be Canceled
The Event NBC Certain To Be Canceled
Better With You ABC Likely To Be Canceled
Brothers & Sisters ABC Likely To Be Canceled
V ABC Likely To Be Canceled
$#*! My Dad Says CBS Likely To Be Canceled
Mad Love CBS Likely To Be Canceled
Human Target Fox Likely To Be Canceled
The Chicago Code Fox Likely To Be Canceled
Outsourced NBC Likely To Be Canceled
Mr. Sunshine ABC On The Bubble
Blue Bloods CBS On The Bubble
Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior CBS On The Bubble
CSI: Miami CBS On The Bubble
CSI: NY CBS On The Bubble
The Good Wife CBS On The Bubble
Hellcats CW On The Bubble
Bob's Burgers Fox On The Bubble
Lie To Me Fox On The Bubble
Chuck NBC On The Bubble
Law & Order: Los Angeles NBC On The Bubble
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
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
Desperate Housewives ABC Certain To Be Renewed
Criminal Minds CBS Certain To Be Renewed
CSI 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
House Fox Certain To Be Renewed
Law & Order: SVU NBC Certain To Be Renewed
Castle ABC Already 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
How I Met Your Mother CBS Already Renewed
NCIS CBS Already Renewed
The Big Bang Theory CBS Already Renewed
American Dad Fox Already Renewed
Family Guy Fox Already Renewed
Fringe Fox Already Renewed
Glee Fox Already Renewed
Raising Hope Fox Already Renewed
The Cleveland Show Fox Already Renewed
The Simpsons Fox Already Renewed
30 Rock NBC Already Renewed
Community NBC Already Renewed
Parks & Recreation NBC Already Renewed
The Office NBC Already Renewed
Two and a Half Men CBS Already Renewed, But...
Smallville CW Final Season

 

 
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