Bubble Watch Special: "Leave Bill Alone & Watch Robert Eat His 'Fringe' Crow" Edition

Categories: Broadcast TV,Bubble Watch

Written By

April 26th, 2012

I could say “See, Fringe did get canceled (after 13 more episodes)!”  While that’s technically true, it’s outside of the spirit of Bubble Watch (and Renew/Cancel Index) predictions which forecast whether shows will be renewed for the following season.

I could also say had I seen @MaskedScheduler’s tweet earlier this month predicting better than a 50-50 chance, I would’ve at least upgraded Fringe to the Bubble.  That too is true, and since Bill is always needling me that you need to call bank shots in advance, I did at least get it on the record a couple of days in advance of the renewal announcement!

But the fact is I was wrong.  All season long.  I don’t view it as the biggest mistake I’ve ever made – Dollhouse’s season two renewal still stands as the worst mistake because I predicted certain cancellation for Dollhouse, and with Fringe only likely cancellation.

Where I had Fringe as a likely cancellation practically the whole season, Bill had Fringe on the bubble (or as a toss-up in Renew/Cancel Index parlance)  all season long and so no matter the outcome, he could rightfully claim “No big surprise” since when you say “it could go either way” whichever way it goes can’t be surprising.

Anyway, please refrain from bashing Bill for my prediction!  Bash me for the prediction all you want though. I was wrong and I will eat my crow with only a little salt and maybe a dash of mustard to mask the gamey taste. It’s kind of funny to see people equate a prediction with a rooting interest, though that shouldn't surprise me at this point. Millions more people saw Barry Melrose predict the Washington Capitals would lose game 7 to the Boston Bruins last night than saw me predict Fringe would be canceled, and I’m sure he had way, way more harsh tweets from Capitals fans than “Haha, suck it @TVbytheNumbers!”

He wasn’t rooting against the Capitals though, he was just making a prediction.  Similarly, I wasn’t rooting for Fringe to be canceled, just making the incorrect prediction that it would be. But I was wrong and if you can’t wait until next week when I’ll retake the @TVbytheNumbers reins, you can go ahead and send your “ahahhaha suck it” to @Seidman (or post below in the comments.)

Trust me, I wasn’t rooting for Fringe to be canceled. And not just because I’ve watched every episode, but because as a web publisher, it’s better for us if it’s renewed.  Though it would’ve been a little better still for us if it had been renewed without announcing it as a final season i.e., there wasn’t nearly the interest in Chuck ratings in its final season as in previous seasons.

If  you want to harass Bill for constantly antagonizing crazy fans, that’s fair game. But spare him the grief over incorrectly predicting Fringe would be canceled at the end of this season.  That’s all on me.

The regular weekly Bubble Watch will be posted sometime Sunday morning (Pacific Time.)

  • garax

    Practically the last 3 renewals have been miraculous – I have forgotten a time when the show didn’t seem in terrible danger of cancellation – that it has avoided it is as weird as anything featured in the show itself – but boy am I happy – I just love the show so much and I’m stoked for the cast and crew that they get to finish off their baby in style. Of course – this means that Fringe will live on when talking about ratings and renewals – as a glorious exception to the usual rules…

  • Anna

    Once again the scum rises to the top of the cesspool.

  • Fabio

    i am sure you are not a hater of the show, anyway..”ahahhaha suck it!”

  • supertoyslast

    This just goes to show that, although statistics are the main factor in getting shows renewed, they are not the *sole* factor. Otherwise you could just replace network execs with a computer program (I’m sure some would say there wouldn’t be much difference).

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    Thanks all (or most!): the intent of this post wasn’t really to apologize of flagellate myself as much as a case of wanting to get something posted since I’m off this week and Bill was taking flak for my prediction.

  • The Watcher

    We don’t blame you, Robert.
    Bill really hedged his bets on this one, didn’t he???
    Turned out to be a smart move.

  • JenniferG

    How could I possibly be mad (and yes, I check TVbythenumbers every week for Fringe news), I’m too happy to be mad. “Likely” always meant to me that there was a chance for renewal. It will be great to see how they end the show, the ideas and creativity are mind numbing.

    Just one thing to remember:
    Anna Torv is tangentially related to Rupert Murdoch

  • Cameron W.

    So does this mean we’re starting TV by the Numbers Writer Excuse Bingo?

  • The End

    @Robert Seidman

    To be fair, not like you and Bill did anything wrong, the show was getting horrible numbers and neither of you could of predicted a strong desire for the show to get an ending from Warner Bros.

    Fringe is one of those unique cases that comes along probably once every year that defys all odds.

    From a ratings standpoint and by pretty much every other standpoint besides that only Fox and Warner Bros would know, you are Bill were pretty much spot on with your predictions with what info was available.

  • The End

    *you and Bill

    Anyway happy to see people get their final season, did always think this show had a bigger fanbase than what the Nielsen ratings shows, and have said this is like the only show in years where I think this.

  • Tessa

    The reason I predicted Fringe will go the way of Chuck (i.e. out on a whimper) is because fans wouldn’t worry about the ratings anymore. They won’t campaign, won’t twitter bomb, won’t go out of their way to make people watch Fringe. There were posts saying “finally we can kick back and enjoy the show,” on the IMDB Fringe board. And I’ve already heard, at least from one Fringe/Supernatural fan who actually has a Nielsen box, that they are switching to watching Supernatural live now that Fringe doesn’t need the ratings. When the ratings no longer matter the show will lose crossover fans and fans who for any reason had a hard time watching live but did so for the ratings. All of that translates to one thing: ratings slump for next season.

  • Jason

    You’ll be eating a whole flock when NBC renews Harry’s Law, you negative nelly. Get a clue.

  • The End


    I will get the popcorn ready for when the cancellation announcement comes for Harry’s Law and people in denial eat their words, after being so negative about one wrong prediction by TVbythenumbers.

    But as I don’t sit at the computer all day, likely a few hundred comments will be made by people by the time I come along :)

  • Petar

    The site is great even when is harsh with my favorite shows! More heat=more emotions!

    ps Once Again fox shows to other networks how to treat and respect their veteran shows! especially, especially CBS must learn that lesson!Now i hope the accadamy gives John nobel EMMY award for best male…. he so much deserve it!

  • Pepper

    I thought likely cancellation was a very good guess – no complaints from this Fringe fan!

  • Freyja

    Robert you have nothing to apologize for at all; if people take what you predict personally that’s on them not you.

    Basically follow: Rule #6: Never apologize — Its a sign of weakness.=)

  • Theoacme

    This is not “TV by the Ouija Board”, or “TV by the Dartboard”, or “TV by the Family Research Council Meets The Addams Family Meets Kerry Weaver and Neela Rasgotra” – it’s “TV By The Numbers”…

    …they can’t control other non-demo factors that the suits at FOX used to renew Fringe, and don’t have the data collection needed to guess…

    …but they will do a telethon next month, during upfronts, to accept donations to buy TMZ, so they can get all that other data ;)

  • BigPecs8

    An opinion is never wrong. Just different.

    As an avid fan of excellent television, I have my faith restored in we puny humans when excellence is recognized. And Fringe is a few notches above excellent.

    Maybe “Nichols” and “Frank’s Place” might just be revived.

  • Richard Steven Hack

    Robert: You and I had EVERY LOGICAL REASON to believe Fringe was doomed. Bill only wanted to CYA by leaving it “on the bubble”.

    It’s the Fringe fans who were wrong all season, and Fox is wrong for proving them right!

    This is a Dollhouse moment irregardless of whether you were “certain” or “likely”. Fox renewed a show it had no logical reason to do so.

    The real aggravation is that we now have to listen to Fringe fans predicting a season SIX all next season! The torture never ends! :-)

    The show was and is doomed due to the extremely poor quality of this season. Next season is likely to be even worse. Mind you, the acting and such has always been excellent. The same was true of TSCC. It was the producers and writers poor concept and direction of the show that doomed it.

    I’ve already admitted here that I was wrong in my predictions. However, both of us were LOGICALLY RIGHT and neither of us needs to back down on making any further such predictions or calling fans delusional when they don’t agree with them for no solid reasons.

    Worrying about a “black swan” improbability is not the way to go through life.

  • LJ

    The Renewal Squirrel works in mysterious ways.

    Aww… Robert taking the hit. He’s so honorable :)

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