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.
Here, “canceled” is used interchangeably with “won’t be renewed with next season” and is not meant to imply a show will be yanked off the schedule in the current season though obviously the two outcomes are not mutually exclusive. The semantics police and lawyers should feel free to break out the handcuffs and plead their cases in the comments. Besides, no matter what anyone at ABC says, reasonable people know with certainty that Pan Am isn't coming back next season.
This Isn't The Renew/Cancel Index
Though the basic methodology is the same (intra-network relative ranking of shows by adults 18-49 rating), unlike the Renew/Cancel Index which predicts what would happen if the season ended now, Bubble Watch prognosticates about what will happen by May. The two are still usually closely aligned, and almost certainly very closely aligned towards the end of the season.
Every CW Show but The Vampire Diaries Now “on the bubble!”
In the first Bubble Watch of this season I wrote:
I was tempted to put every show on the CW other than The Vampire Diarieson the bubble, I didn’t, but may get there before the season is over!
I’m there now. The question is will an index that is based on relative ranking work when you have one show that has “OK” ratings (Vampire Diaries) and a bunch of shows with really crappy ratings in the absolute. Yes, it’s true Hart of Dixie’s ratings don’t suck as badly as Gossip Girl’s and Nikita’s, but the ratings still suck. “Sucking less” than other shows often is a good way to get your renewal ticket punched, but with the CW it’s not clear that will be the case.
No, I don’t think every show besides The Vampire Diaries will be canceled. Excluding One Tree Hill (its fate is known) and The Vampire Diaries (certain renewal), the index is currently predicting no cancellations, two toss ups (Gossip Girl & Nikita), and five likely renewals.
Particularly with Dawn Ostroff being completely out of the picture this renewal season and The CW reportedly eyeballing a record number of pilots, it seems more likely than not that there will be more purging of current shows than a relative ranking process alone can forecast.
I don’t think there’s any flaw in the methodology of the index in general, more that the CW is in such a woeful state that it’s more likely than not the methodology won’t work as well for predicting CW ‘s renewals (and yes, I know, NBC seems to be headed in the same direction). Our methodology basically says "if you're average, you're fine." But what happens when the average stinks to high heaven? I definitely don’t think it’s “likely” that five shows besides The Vampire Diaries will be renewed.
My guess is that excluding The Vampire Diaries 2-4 shows will be renewed, so I’ll aim for the middle of that range and guess three. But with the ratings so tiny and so many factors outside of ratings coming into play, figuring out which three is tough. I’d guess 90210 and Supernatural will migrate back to “likely renewal” in the table below before the season is over, but beyond that the crystal ball is too hazy.
You can play along at home…
- I moved Private Practice back to “on the bubble”. I’m going to wait and see how it does in its Tuesday night run, but if I had to guess it’s more likely to be canceled than renewed and ABC will give Shonda Rhimes a new show or two to play with.
- I moved Bones back to “Likely to be Renewed” since at least currently I can’t see Fox cancelling both The Finder AND Bones and barring an impressive ratings turnaround, The Finder is on its way to finding itself canceled.
- Based on a very small sample shows like Rob and Alcatraz are likely to be renewed. They’re on the bubble only because the sample is so small.
Note: only scripted shows that have aired at least one episode this season are in the table below.
|How To Be a Gentleman||CBS||Canceled|
|The Playboy Club||NBC||Canceled|
|A Gifted Man||CBS||Certain Cancellation|
|Harry's Law||NBC||Certain Cancellation|
|The Firm||NBC||Certain Cancellation|
|Body of Proof||ABC||Likely Cancellation|
|CSI: NY||CBS||Likely Cancellation|
|I Hate My Teenage Daughter||Fox||Likely Cancellation|
|The Finder||Fox||Likely Cancellation|
|Private Practice||ABC||On The Bubble|
|Rob||CBS||On The Bubble|
|Rules of Engagement||CBS||On The Bubble|
|90210'||CW||On The Bubble|
|Gossip Girl||CW||On The Bubble|
|Hart of Dixie||CW||On The Bubble|
|Nikita||CW||On The Bubble|
|Ringer||CW||On The Bubble|
|Supernatural||CW||On The Bubble|
|The Secret Circle||CW||On The Bubble|
|Alcatraz||Fox||On The Bubble|
|House||Fox||On The Bubble|
|Napoleon Dynamite||Fox||On The Bubble|
|Raising Hope||Fox||On The Bubble|
|Terra Nova||Fox||On The Bubble|
|30 Rock||NBC||On The Bubble|
|Are You There, Chelsea?||NBC||On The Bubble|
|Community||NBC||On The Bubble|
|Up All Night||NBC||On The Bubble|
|Whitney||NBC||On The Bubble|
|Happy Endings||ABC||Likely Renewal|
|Last Man Standing||ABC||Likely Renewal|
|Blue Bloods||CBS||Likely Renewal|
|CSI: Miami||CBS||Likely Renewal|
|Person of Interest||CBS||Likely Renewal|
|The Good Wife||CBS||Likely Renewal|
|The Mentalist||CBS||Likely Renewal|
|Grey's Anatomy||ABC||Certain Renewal|
|Modern Family||ABC||Certain Renewal|
|Once Upon a Time||ABC||Certain Renewal|
|The Middle||ABC||Certain Renewal|
|2 Broke Girls||CBS||Certain Renewal|
|Criminal Minds||CBS||Certain Renewal|
|Hawaii Five-0||CBS||Certain Renewal|
|Mike & Molly||CBS||Certain Renewal|
|NCIS: Los Angeles||CBS||Certain Renewal|
|Two and a Half Men||CBS||Certain Renewal|
|Vampire Diaries||CW||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|
|The Cleveland Show||Fox||Renewed|
|Desperate Housewives||ABC||Final Season|
|One Tree Hill||CW||Final Season|