Bubble Watch ABC: Despite the Ratings, 'Castle' Still Likely to Be Renewed; 'The River' Is Up a Creek; 'Cougar Town' on the Bubble

Categories: Bubble Watch,Cancel/Renew ABC Shows

Written By

February 21st, 2012

The Renew/Cancel report is on vacation this week, so I'm doing special "by network" versions of Bubble Watch (regular versions of Bubble Watch contain all scripted shows that have aired for all networks and are posted on Sundays). Fear not, the regular Tuesday Renew/Cancel Index will be back next week!

While like the Renew/Cancel Index, Bubble Watch is mostly derived based on relative adults 18-49 ratings, the big difference is that the R/C Index doesn't "guess" about what is to come and ranks shows based on what would happen if the season ended now. Not guessing about the future is a good policy.  Despite that, Bubble Watch makes guesses anyway.

Here, “canceled” is used interchangeably with “won’t be renewed for 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 lawsuits 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.

ABC's The River had a so-so premiere and an even worse week two. Would it do better than Body of Proof if it aired at 10pm? Who knows. It doesn't matter, things already look a bit worse for Body of Proof than The River, and things don't look good for either.

As a general rule beginning this season shows that are within one season of the 88 episodes currently considered as the minimum threshold for stripped syndication won't fall below being on the bubble (or  toss-up in the Renew/Cancel Index). With Cougar Town's episode order being cut-short this season it will need more than an additional season to get to 88 episodes. If it was only an additional season away it would take much worse than a 1.8 adults 18-49 rating for me to knock it down to likely to be canceled.  For now, even though it is more than one additional season away from syndication, I've got in on the bubble anyway.

Castle's ratings have been downtrodden particularly without the Dancing with the Stars lead-in. But it will end the season with 81 episodes and for now I'd still be surprised if it didn't get an order for at least 13 episodes next season.

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

Show Network Status
Charlie's Angels ABC Canceled
Man Up ABC Canceled
Pan Am ABC Canceled
Work It ABC Canceled
Body of Proof ABC Certain Cancellation
The River ABC Likely Cancellation
Cougar Town ABC On The Bubble
Private Practice ABC On The Bubble
Castle ABC Likely Renewal
Happy Endings ABC Likely Renewal
Last Man Standing ABC Likely Renewal
Revenge ABC Likely Renewal
Suburgatory ABC 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
Desperate Housewives ABC Final Season
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