Bubble Watch: 'Unforgettable,' 'Person of Interest' are Bubble Shows + Why 'Community' > 'Harry's Law'

Categories: Bubble Watch

Written By

October 30th, 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 (2012-13).  Certain shows are toss-ups where based on the ratings, the renewal decisions could go either way and not be surprising.

This Isn't The Renew/Cancel Index

Though the basic methodology is the same, unlike the Renew/Cancel Index which predicts what would happen if the season ended now, Bubble Watch seeks to prognosticate on what will happen by May.  The two are still usually closely aligned, and almost certainly very closely aligned towards the end of the season.

For anyone wondering why the "Bubble Watch" list all shows, including those not on the bubble (which is most of them), the feedback from last season was overwhelmingly in favor of including all shows.

What!!?? Why are 'Once Upon a  Time' and 'Grimm' on the bubble?

The first Bubble Watch has 12 shows on the bubble, but note that two of them, Once Upon a Time and Grimm are there only because there is only a single week of data (the premieres) for each show. There’s no doubt both shows are off to great starts – Once Upon A Time in general, and Grimm given the Friday telecast (which went head-to-head against the World Series, but against repeats on CBS). I’m sure both shows will move off the bubble in quick fashion, but having lived through good to great starts for shows like Flash Forward, The Event, V and No Ordinary Family, with only one data point, they’re on the bubble.

I was tempted to put every show on the CW other than The Vampire Diaries on the bubble, I didn’t, but may get there before the season is over!

“That’s Crazy!”: In What Universe is ‘Community’ in Better Shape than ‘Harry’s Law?’

For any newcomers, let me nip this sort of comment in the bud early: How can it be so that Harry’s Law and all its total viewers is certain to be canceled while Community with less than half of Harry’s Law’s total viewers is on the bubble? What universe are you living in!?

What universe? How about the universe we live in where total viewers don’t matter because advertisers don’t care to pay for viewers age 50+ during broadcast primetime? If Harry’s Law was on at 10p ET I could at least argue in its favor that it’s giving the local affiliates some cover into their local newscasts, but Harry’s Law airs at 9p eastern.

Moreover, Community has something going for it that Harry’s Law does not. After the current season, Community will be only one season away from the 88 episodes which seems to be the modern day standard necessary for a show to be viable for stripped syndication (Monday-Friday airings).  NBC doesn’t own Community, Sony does, but there is a long history of studios cutting the network good deals when shows are only one more season away from the number of episodes necessary for syndication.

By the way, though I'm not getting any sense that NBC is giving up on Prime Suspect yet, should NBC do some switcheroo, say where Harry's Law moved to 10pm Thursday, at that point Harry's Law would at least have the "its feeding its total viewers into the local affiliates' newscasts" going for it. I consider such a move unlikely, but...

“That’s Crazy!” Part 2: ‘The Good Wife’ is in better shape than ‘Unforgettable’ and ‘Person Of Interest’!?! HUH!?

While the Renew/Cancel Index has all three shows in the same (but uncertain shape), peering into the crystal ball, I see The Good Wife as likely to be renewed in May despite the relative ratings.  Yep, The Good Wife is CBS’s lowest-rated non-Friday scripted show. But that can’t be a surprise to CBS. CBS is enamored with the notion of shepherding shows it owns through at least four seasons for syndication purposes.

I can't really believe The Good Wife, currently in its third season, will be lucrative in syndication and it still doesn't have an existing off network syndication deal. But whatever its worth in syndication, it will be worth more with four seasons than with three.  CBS siblings NCIS: Los Angeles and The Mentalist had inked off network syndication deals inked earlier in their broadcast lives (though neither deal kicked in until this season, the fourth for 'The Mentalist' and the third for 'NCIS: LA'). Then again, CBS doesn't own The Mentalist, so in the wacky world of renewal prognosticating,  I actually like The Good Wife's prospects a little bit better, despite the better ratings for The Mentalist.

Unforgettable and Person Of Interest are in their first seasons and each make shaky candidates for shepherding to syndication. Neither show is a dud in the ratings, but neither show is a hit for CBS and both are on the bubble. I definitely don't see both shows making it to a second season unless the ratings increase. Of the two I like the chances for Unforgettable a bit better, despite it having lower ratings than Person Of Interest. It's another case of ownership: CBS co-produces Unforgettable with Sony, so presumably it at least has some ownership stake. On the other hand, Person Of Interest is a Warner Bros production with no CBS ownership.

Wow, I can't believe you didn't put 'Chuck' and 'Fringe' in the headline!

It's a long season, with many opportunities...

Note: only scripted shows that have aired at least one episode are in the table below.
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Show Network Status
Charlie's Angels ABC Canceled
How To Be A Gentleman CBS Canceled
Free Agents NBC Canceled
The Playboy Club NBC Canceled
Harry's Law NBC Certain Cancellation
Prime Suspect NBC Certain Cancellation
Body Of Proof ABC Likely Cancellation
Pan Am ABC Likely Cancellation
A Gifted Man CBS Likely Cancellation
Fringe Fox Likely Cancellation
Man Up ABC On The Bubble
Once Upon A Time ABC On The Bubble
Private Practice ABC On The Bubble
CSI: Miami CBS On The Bubble
CSI: NY CBS On The Bubble
Person Of Interest CBS On The Bubble
Unforgettable CBS On The Bubble
Gossip Girl CW On The Bubble
Hart Of Dixie CW On The Bubble
Nikita CW On The Bubble
Community NBC On The Bubble
Grimm NBC On The Bubble
Happy Endings ABC Likely Renewal
Last Man Standing ABC Likely Renewal
Revenge ABC Likely Renewal
Suburgatory ABC Likely Renewal
Blue Bloods CBS Likely Renewal
CSI CBS Likely Renewal
Hawaii Five-0 CBS Likely Renewal
Rules of Engagement CBS Likely Renewal
The Good Wife CBS Likely Renewal
The Mentalist CBS Likely Renewal
90210' CW Likely Renewal
Ringer CW Likely Renewal
Supernatural CW Likely Renewal
The Secret Circle CW Likely Renewal
House Fox Likely Renewal
Raising Hope Fox Likely Renewal
Terra Nova Fox Likely Renewal
Parenthood NBC Likely Renewal
Up All Night NBC Likely Renewal
Whitney NBC Likely Renewal
 Hey, Oh No They Didn't & Other Thieves Please Don't Steal This Table
Castle ABC Certain Renewal
Grey's Anatomy ABC Certain Renewal
Modern Family ABC Certain Renewal
The Middle ABC Certain Renewal
2 Broke Girls CBS Certain Renewal
Criminal Minds CBS Certain Renewal
Mike & Molly CBS Certain Renewal
NCIS CBS Certain Renewal
NCIS: Los Angeles CBS Certain Renewal
Two and a Half Men CBS Certain Renewal
Vampire Diaries CW Certain Renewal
Glee Fox Certain Renewal
New Girl Fox Certain Renewal
Law & Order: SVU NBC Certain Renewal
Parks & Recreation NBC Certain Renewal
The Office NBC Certain Renewal
How I Met Your Mother CBS Renewed
The Big Bang Theory CBS Renewed
American Dad Fox Renewed
Family Guy Fox Renewed
The Cleveland Show Fox Renewed
The Simpsons Fox Renewed
Desperate Housewives ABC Final Season
Chuck NBC Final Season
 
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