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

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
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