Bubble Watch: 'Supernatural' Likely Renewed; 'Fringe' Still Likely Canceled + 'Best Friends Forever' & 'Scandal'

Categories: Bubble Watch

Written By

April 8th, 2012

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 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 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 ),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

Supernatural: Now Likely to Be Renewed

CW’s primetime has been so woeful about the only thing I’ve felt comfortable with most of this season is that The Vampire Diaries would be renewed. Ultimately I also notched 90210 up to likely renewal because it is the highest-rated CBS-produced show on the CW that didn’t air after The Vampire Diaries. That matters because of the CW’s ownership structure and how its owners make money (conventional wisdom is CW loses money as a network, but that it’s owners CBS & Warner Bros. make it back on the shows their studios produce).

I’ve said all along that if based on ratings alone, Supernatural was a shoo-in for renewal and that I only had it on the bubble because CW is such a mess I wasn’t sure it would operate under the status quo.  CW is still woeful and I still won’t be surprised if it cancels more shows than normal.  While the recent news of a showrunner change for Supernatural’s next season isn’t the same as a renewal (it still hasn’t been renewed yet) it seems unlikely they’d bother with that sort of announcement if everyone involved didn’t assume a renewal was likely, so it’s been pushed up to likely to be renewed. Again, based on relative ratings alone, it’s certain to be renewed.

Fringe: Still Likely to be Canceled (But “Likely” Isn’t “Certain”)

Some people believe that since there is a lot of noise about a final 13 episode season that the announcement of such a renewal is all but a formality.  Other people believe that since Fringe hasn’t been renewed already, it’s cancellation is all but a formality.  Whatever happens, one of those two camps will feel vindicated, but both of those positions are nonsensical.

At this point, it all boils down to $$$. I have no doubt that there is a price Warner Bros could offer a final season of 13 episodes to Fox that makes sense for Fox. Where the doubt creeps in is whether the price that makes  sense for Fox makes sense for Warner Bros.  While the notion of “more is better for syndication” is popular among many, I’m not sure that’s the case for Fringe which will already have enough episodes for stripped syndication at the end of *this* season.

Best Friends Forever Almost Certain to Be Canceled But…

Best Friends Forever debuted weakly, and I have it  as “likely to be canceled.”  Though I don’t usually split as many hairs between “likely” and “certain” as some of you do, with almost all broadcast originals being at lows on Thursday, I didn’t want to ding Best Friends all the way down to certain cancellation before giving it at least another week.

For Similar Reasons Scandal is “On The Bubble”

Scandal had a mediocre debut, and normally hitting the “bubble range” in the premiere is a bad omen. But with the broadcast nets pretty much taking across-the-board-hits,  I’m leaving it on the bubble for at least another week.

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
How To Be a Gentleman CBS Canceled
Allen Gregory Fox Canceled
I Hate My Teenage Daughter Fox Canceled
Terra Nova Fox Canceled
The Firm NBC Canceled
Free Agents NBC Canceled
Prime Suspect NBC Canceled
The Playboy Club NBC Canceled
Body of Proof ABC Certain Cancellation
The River ABC Certain Cancellation
A Gifted Man CBS Certain Cancellation
Ringer CW Certain Cancellation
Alcatraz Fox Certain Cancellation
Awake NBC Certain Cancellation
Bent NBC Certain Cancellation
Harry's Law NBC Certain Cancellation
Missing ABC Likely Cancellation
Unforgettable CBS Likely Cancellation
Hart of Dixie CW Likely Cancellation
Breaking In Fox Likely Cancellation
Fringe Fox Likely Cancellation
The Finder Fox Likely Cancellation
Are You There, Chelsea? NBC Likely Cancellation
Best Friends Forever NBC Likely Cancellation
Cougar Town ABC On The Bubble
GCB ABC On The Bubble
Private Practice ABC On The Bubble
Scandal ABC On The Bubble
CSI: Miami CBS On The Bubble
CSI: NY CBS On The Bubble
Rob CBS On The Bubble
Rules of Engagement CBS On The Bubble
Gossip Girl CW On The Bubble
Nikita CW On The Bubble
The Secret Circle CW On The Bubble
Bob's Burgers Fox On The Bubble
Napoleon Dynamite Fox On The Bubble
Up All Night NBC 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
Two and a Half Men CBS Likely Renewal
90210 CW Likely Renewal
Supernatural CW Likely Renewal
Raising Hope Fox Likely Renewal
Touch Fox Likely Renewal
30 Rock NBC Likely Renewal
Community NBC Likely Renewal
Parenthood NBC Likely Renewal
Parks & Recreation NBC Likely Renewal
Whitney NBC 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
Vampire Diaries CW Certain Renewal
Glee Fox Certain Renewal
New Girl Fox Certain Renewal
Law & Order: SVU NBC Certain Renewal
The Office NBC Certain Renewal
2 Broke Girls CBS Renewed
The Big Bang Theory CBS Renewed
Blue Bloods CBS Renewed
Criminal Minds CBS Renewed
CSI CBS Renewed
The Good Wife CBS Renewed
Hawaii Five-0 CBS Renewed
How I Met Your Mother CBS Renewed
The Mentalist CBS Renewed
Mike & Molly CBS Renewed
NCIS CBS Renewed
NCIS: Los Angeles CBS Renewed
Person of Interest CBS Renewed
American Dad Fox Renewed
Bones Fox Renewed
Family Guy Fox Renewed
The Cleveland Show Fox Renewed
The Simpsons Fox Renewed
Grimm NBC Renewed
Smash NBC Renewed
Desperate Housewives ABC Final Season
One Tree Hill CW Final Season
House Fox Final Season
Chuck NBC Final Season
  • KS

    I can’t see any comments here. Am I blocked or something?

  • One @ KS

    They’ve been having site problems all morning/afternoon. I think the fix involved deleting every comment ever made on the site.

  • Petar


    All comments are gone! And today the site is really bad! Main page is still monday ratings! No idea what’s going on! Not look good! It’s the best site and forum for TV!

  • One

    Recall Unforgettable being mentioned in a post a few weeks ago as “Certain to be Canceled”. Table still says “Likely to be Canceled”. Error?

  • Jonatan

    Any chance some cable series will be included in this list (e.g. Psych)?

  • One @ Jonatan

    They don’t operate on the same percentages of scripted network averages as broadcast does, therefore they are far harder to predict. Only really obvious cases (like the Rubicon/Terriers/Lights Out triple-whammy) can really be predicted w/ reasonable likelihood.

  • David

    I think 30 Rock will have one last go (aka a 13 episode season) He said “just in time”, so the show was probably told to wrap it up. I don’t think they would just cancel it without at least having it come to a close, but who knows.

    I also have a feeling things aren’t looking good for Community either given what Chevy has said recently regarding the show.

  • Mike

    Too many TV shows are canceled way too soon these days and given no chance to succeed if it dont have great ratings right away.

    Awake is really good show and I liked Bent too but both likely to be canceled. zzzzzz

    My Mom is gonna be upset. Awake A Gifted Man and now Fringe all gonna be canceled. That on top of Terra Nova and The Event from last year.
    Any show she likes on regular TV always gets the boot fast other than Grimm which has been a surprise hit.

    Thank God cable tv give their shows a chance. She has the Walking Dead and True Blood.

  • Rebecca

    But Chevy could leave the show (or be fired) and Community could go on without him.
    I’m fine with 30R having just one more season, even if shortened. Baldwin is always raging about something – can’t rely on him much for show info. NBC would more than likely give 30R a chance to have a good finale, if and when their time comes to leave the air.

  • DomWinchester

    Nikita to be renewed !

  • Rezdin

    agh nikita is an awesome show .. best action show i’ve watched since 24 they manage to keep the action going all season with good story telling i hate that it may be canceled this year. i realy hope they give them one season to end it all next year the show deserves a good ending, it doing almost as good as SuperNatural i dont know why they wanna cancel it. =,(

  • Barbara Yates

    Yep, I think it’s time to dump Fox folks. They are the worst of all, they give no one a chance. It’s too bad too because like myself, many viewers are twice burned with Fox, so I won’t even watch Touch and I love the idea and Kiefer, but Fox has shown us that they don’t care about the viewer at all. So, folks, if you are as fed up as I am with network politics, there’s always cable and with shows like Justified, The Walking Dead, etc., who needs the networks anymore, esp Fox. I don’t even have Fox programmed on my remote anymore, I deleted it. I will finish Fringe (even though they (Fox) will rip us off and leave us hanging), but then Fox is history to me. I’ve given them so many chances, but they seem to cater to nimwits, so they can have Fox…sayonara, you were once a great network, but not anymore! RIP: Alcatraz and Fringe and I’ll bet the bank, Touch is going next, so why invest, it’s a given on Fox!

  • harahtiara

    I hate my teenage daughter:””:
    I thought that show was good

  • Spencer

    aka lil sis
    That was a good show

  • Melanie

    Not that it matters, but as far as the CW rankings go, now that SPN is in Likely Renewal, I agree with the Bubble Watch. I don’t think Nikita is a lock for cancelation despite its crappy ratings and I don’t think TSC is a lock for renewal despite its relatively OK ratings. TSC has to be very frustrating and disappointing for the network. I’m sure they were hoping for a show that would launch well behind TVD and do well enough to be moved in its 2nd year to perhaps anchor another night. Its obviously not strong enough to provide a lead-in for a new show. And if they move it to Friday – it will sink like a stone and it has no wiggle room in season-to-season losses. So what to do with it? They’re almost better off leaving Nikita on Fridays – I say almost because holy cow, Nikita’s ratings suck.
    The new shows – even TSC are not doing well – even for the CW – under a 1.0 is not good. For the shows of syndication age (90210, SPN) with relatively OK ratings, I can easily see it making sense to produce more episodes. GG is a puzzler. Its ratings are bad, but its been the network’s ‘flagship’ and maybe if the $100,000+ index is still good, a final season will make sense.

  • Spencer

    1 cancelled
    1 certain cancelled
    1 likely Cancelled
    4 Bubble
    1 likely renewal
    0 certain Renewal
    20 Renewals
    (I think CBS has made all it’s renewaks

  • beckstar78

    lol still says likely cancellation for Fringe. have a little faith zap2it

  • Brendan

    Every year since it’s second season Fringe has made the “likely canceled” list. I’ve long since decided that nobody knows what the hell they’re talking about here and I don’t believe a word of this garbage until I’ve seen the show officially yanked off the schedule. All we have here are a bunch of armchair fantasy TV execs who think just because they’ve had cruddy taste in TV and their favorite piece o’ S shows have been canceled that networks won’t renew anything that other people like. I’ve read these reports for the past 3 years and they’ve been intentionally vague or downright wrong constantly. Just face it, no-one has a clue and most of this info is false unless it’s already been announced.

  • julie

    Id personally rather see Hart of Dixie over 90210 and Gossip Girl. Never watched 90210 and GG has lost its luster.

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