Bubble Watch: The B in 'Apartment 23' Looks Good; 'Touch' Still Likely to Be Renewed; 'GCB' and 'Scandal' Remain on the Bubble

Categories: Bubble Watch

Written By

April 15th, 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

Retentionistas be Damned, Early Signs Good for 'Apartment 23'

The premiere of Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 fared well enough to debut as "likely to be renewed." I'd have probably left it "on the bubble" for another couple of weeks, but it airs after a new Modern Family again next week and then after a Modern Family repeat on April 25. 'Apartment 23' would have to perform noticeably worse on April 25 than Happy Endings did out of Modern Family repeats to catch my eye, and I'll be surprised if that happens. Surprises happen though, so we'll just have to see.

Private Practice, Scandal and GCB on the bubble

For now I've still got Private Practice, Scandal and GCB all on the bubble. Of the three I give Private Practice an edge but that has more to do with its age than its ratings (it has two 2.1 ratings post Daylight Saving Time; hardly any better than GCB and Scandal did last week).

Missing Downgraded

At this point Missing's average is worse than The River's. Neither will be back on ABC next season.

Touch Still Likely to Be Renewed

Though I have little doubt Fox hoped for more out of Touch, if it levels off at around a 2.3 adults 18-49 rating (where it's been likely to be renewed), it's still likely to be renewed. Barely. Let the cries of "No fair! Fox should've aired Alcatraz after American Idol" begin.

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
Breaking In 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
Missing 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
Best Friends Forever NBC Certain Cancellation
Harry's Law NBC Certain Cancellation
Unforgettable CBS Likely Cancellation
Hart of Dixie CW Likely Cancellation
Fringe Fox Likely Cancellation
The Finder Fox Likely Cancellation
Are You There, Chelsea? 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
Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 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
Touch Fox Likely Renewal
30 Rock NBC Likely Renewal
Community NBC Likely Renewal
Law & Order: SVU 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
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
The Cleveland Show Fox Renewed
Family Guy Fox Renewed
Glee Fox Renewed
New Girl Fox Renewed
Raising Hope 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
  • Tony

    Last Man Standing WILL be renewed and anyone denying it is just kidding themselves. I wouldn’t say that TGIF has no chance of coming back. I actually see it having a high chance of being resurrected. Shark Tank and WWYD don’t have longevity. They would not do 1.6’s being run from September-May, by March they would be boring and lose viewers. They only work because they are on for a short few months not the entire season. So I don’t think they will be cancelled, but just being held back for failed time slots. Maybe run them in December, they would probably do pretty decent.

    But if I was running ABC, I would cancel the Dancing with the Stars results show. That is the only way to FIX Tuesdays. That is the only thing that stands in between ABC and a winning Tuesday. If they find a 4 comedy+drama hit like ABC has found on Wednesdays then they will become a real contender on Tuesdays. As long as the results show airs on Tuesdays between the 8-10 hour then Tuesdays will always be ABC’s disaster night. Moving it to 10pm would be another option, but I see that unlikely and specifically unlikely because I think ABC should try to find a breakout drama for this slot to help strengthen tuesdays even more and it is the weakest slot in broadcast right now with CBS and NBC having the hardest time finding shows that can even hit a 2.0, so if ABC finds a good soapy drama like Revenge or even Private Practice if it delivers this spring on Tuesdays, ABC will have a great Tuesday schedule, I just hope Paul Lee realizes this.

  • Johnny

    tvline is the site that first broke that Warner Bros. and FOX were “in negotiations” for a potential fifth season, though. They seem to be the most “in the know” when it comes to such negotiations and such. They very well could be hearing good news that just hasn’t gone public yet (and probably won’t until the upfronts).

  • Doug

    @Tony – Still disagree with TGIF. You’re looking at spending perhaps $4 million a week, on 4 sitcoms (and maybe even more $$$), to get similar ratings to two shows that perhaps cost $500,000 each? Will never happen. As CBS has demonstrated recently, there is very little upside to running scripted content on Friday.

  • rob60990

    I don’t think TGIF is out of the question for ABC but I only see an hour at best likely at 8 with Shark Tank and What Would You Do sharing the 9pm hour.

  • Tony

    @rob60990 I agree I could really see Paul Lee test the waters at 8-9 to see how it would rate and then adjust accordingly the following season to a full 8-10 block if it scores good. and there’s clearly an audience on Fridays, I think sitcoms would be it just like how it was in the 90s. the perfect Friday sitcom combo would clearly be Tim Allen and Reba.

    But I think Reba’s sitcom leads Tuesday at 8 into Last Man Standing at 8:30. That’s what I would do.

  • AppleStinx

    It looks like a “competitor” is running free advertisement on TVbtN disguised as commentary.

  • Brandy

    Sid, youre kidding right?freshman shows ALWAYs have a lead in, the most promising/hyped/promted new shows are put after the highest rated shows.Freshman shows neeed a lead in to get momemuntum for the first season(example Secret Circle got VD & SC wouldnt be doing as well rating wise if it didnt have VDs lead in).

  • Chris

    @Doug Oh I’m sorry I didn’t know CBS ran their best scripted shows on Fridays. Oh wait they don’t. People act like great scripted shows won’t pull ratings on Friday which couldn’t be farther from the truth. If Modern Family was moved to Friday it would pull high ratings. If Big Bang Theory or How I Met Your Mother was moved to Fridays, they would get good ratings.Why? Because I’m a firm believer that if it’s good, they will come. If it’s bad then they won’t. I like a lot of other people see no reason to watch tv on Fridays because to me, they’re all bad shows mostly of the drama and reality tv type which are boring to me. I like comedy on my Fridays. Any great sitcom can draw on Fridays without a doubt but I’ve yet to see a comedy worth watching on Fridays since, well TGIF of course.

  • Sid

    “Sid,youre kidding right?freshman shows ALWAYs have a lead in, the most promising/hyped/promted new shows are put after the highest rated shows.Freshman shows neeed a lead in to get momemuntum for the first season(example Secret Circle got VD & SC wouldnt be doing as well rating wise if it didnt have VDs lead in)”

    TVD premiered on Thursdays @ 8p(2009), 9O21O premiered on Tuesday @ 8p(2008), H8R premiered on Wednesday @ 8p (2011) and many other shows on other networks including Last Man Standing(Tues @8p-ABC), Once upon a Time (Sun @8p-ABC)to name a few. Do you see where I’m going with this or are you still confused?

    TSC could of self-started if CW had wanted to but they put TSC after TVD because they were looking for a “sister show/companion” for TVD.

  • Sid


    Also, I forgot to add that sometimes shows that do get a solid lead-in(THE SECRET CIRCLE) still fail regardless. If no one is interested, you can’t do much about that.

  • Natalia

    I’m so sick and tired of Hart fans complaining about their lead-in. Last Fall, Hart did a .8 and .9, better than GG. Meaning it didn’t matter what lead- in it had. Those people representing that .8 and .9 didn’t want to come back and it had nothing to do with Gossip Girl. Plus, last week with half hours, Gossip did .5 for whole hour, while Hart dropped to .4. Is that Gossip Girls fault? absolutely not.

  • Natalia

    Sid, I truly believe CW only used that women’s demo for GG. GG and 90210 had practically the same demo both in overall and in women yet GG got 20k higher in ad rate????? So basically that demo was brought in to save GG, will they use it for HART- i DOUBT IT.

  • sarah

    Brandy, who is this person in marketing? I know an intern at CW, maybe he will know this person. But from what I hear no decision will be made until all pilots are viewed. And they wont cancel Secret Circle when its average demo is better than most of the network apart from Vampire Diaries, CW needs to make money and average demo is important.

  • Sid

    “Sid, I truly believe CW only used that women’s demo for GG. GG and 90210 had practically the same demo both in overall and in women yet GG got 20k higher in ad rate????? So basically that demo was brought in to save GG, will they use it for HART- i DOUBT IT.”

    For GOSSIP GIRL, it was getting HUGE WOMEN DEMOS(I’m talking an average of 2.8-3.7 for W18-34). I don’t think 9O21O was that high but it was’t far behind either.

    However, 9O21O and GOSSIP GIRL weren’t saved because of this. Both shows were always performing “okay” in the A18-49 demo and “much-better” compared to other shows on the network(like 90210 this season which was below the pack during the fall).

    The only thing that will save GOSSIP GIRL this season is because it’s CW’s signature show and its revenue for Warner Brothers. I can’t think of anything else. Mark Wood was talking about some Income Index thing a few days ago but I don’t really know what that means?

  • sarah

    Sid, I just meant that I don’t believe that W18-34 will save Hart like it has GG, nor will it bring it a better ad rate

  • sarah

    ^thats what Natalia meant I think* fixed

  • Natalia

    Sarah, yeah that’s what I meant. And I didn’t even know Gossip did that well in w18-34, but yeah from what I remember last year 90210 wasnt far behind. Any new news on cancellations/ renewals, Sarah?

  • sarah

    ^they wont decide until pilots are viewed, that’s all I know. The guy’s an intern so he only hears the gossip around work so he doesn’t have more details except that

  • Sid

    “Sid, I just meant that I don’t believe that W18-34 will save Hart like it has GG, nor will it bring it a better ad rate”i

    It won’t work because Hart of Dixie’s main demo(A18-49) isn’t all that great.

  • Doug

    @Chris – if they have a good scripted sitcom, they’ll air it on Tuesdays or Wednesdays where it can maximize its audience. CBS has just picked off their 8pm scripted hour (and I doubt it will be back in the fall), ABC has been unscripted all season, I wouldn’t be surprised if NBC moves Grimm to another night, and Fox, well, there are clearly other motivations with Fringe.

    ABC already tried to revive TGIF, in case you guys don’t remember, and it lasted for about 3 seasons. When it pulled the plug, the comedies were averaging a 2.0 demo rating, and this was back in 2006. TGIF won’t happen, unless it’s burn-offs – too expensive for too little return. You guys can try to convince yourselves all you want.

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