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.)

  • toadytoady

    Hey Bill and Bob, your website gets a mention in one of the most read broadsheet newspapers in UK this week. To get a mention in this paper is to have tea with the queen!!!Well done!

    Check it out. Alan Sepinwall gets a mention too.
    Its an article reviewing Awake, which starts this week in UK.


  • toadytoady

    oops,sorry…wrong reference.
    This is the one you want…

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    @toadytoady, thanks for the link!

    “Ratings website TV By The Numbers has Awake down as “certain to be cancelled by May 2012″ on its unerringly accurate Renew/Cancel index. “

    I like the sound of “unerringly accurate”. ;)

  • toadytoady

    Ha! Thought youd like it!

    Actually the other reference I made is worth a look too…if you like spy cases more bizarre than fiction!No one could have made this story up…it just gets more and more weird…

    Its good to know this site has a reputation in far away places,eh…..

  • thesnowleopard

    Robert, it’s nice that you’re apologising…I guess…but how were you actually wrong? You said “likely to be cancelled”. Both you and Bill said all season long that if the show were renewed, it would not be for the ratings because the ratings were so horrible. But as you couldn’t predict those factors, you didn’t base any decisions on them.

    It’s also interesting that the fans of Fringe, like the fans of Chuck, are cheering what is essentially the announced cancellation of their show. When similar news came out for Eureka and In Plain Sight, the fans of those shows were upset. Perhaps the difference is that Eureka and In Plain Sight had ratings that were relatively good, but not quite good enough to offset the costs beyond a certain number of episodes. Whereas, Chuck and Fringe both had ratings that were clearly subpar and not good enough for renewal on their own, and everybody knew it. So, the fans knew that they were lucky to get a slightly extended cancellation instead of the one that everyone expected. Into even the most rabid fandom, a little rain of reality must sometimes fall.

  • saul

    I’ve never understood why readers of this site insist that the writers have personal grudges against their favorite show. All this site does is try to predict renewals and cancellations based on their ratings and past seasons renewals.

    The fact that Fringe got renewed doesn’t invalidate the site’s methodology (because there will always be circumstances beyond a strict look at ratings and the site’s owners don’t have access to the people who make the decisions at the networks). It’s just the exception that proves the rule.

  • Theoacme

    @Josh: The spotted dick at Hell’s Kitchen is excellent; too bad you always eat at Barth’s Diner…

    …if you batted as well as Bill and Robert prognosticate here, you would be making $50 million per season – but you’d still eat at Barth’s.

  • The End


    People don’t like hearing the truth in regards to something they love. Especially when they’re going through the fan excuse bingo stuff.

    I myself was shocked by the reactions people had when Stargate Universe was cancelled. Readers here could fill several fan excuse bingo boards daily with the excuses and nonsense being posted. A first for the network when Engler posted a full explanation as to why it was cancelled, produced a ratings graph and everything else and people still blamed the network.

    Point being, people just need someone to blame.

  • The End


    Well said and I agree.

  • Tommy Mickens

    @ Bill Gorman

    I like the sound of “unerringly accurate”.

    Heh, I’m sure you do, even though the statement itself is erringly inaccurate. ;)

  • groove365

    Maybe, just maybe Fox actually cares about their passionate viewers a little now.
    That and they must have gotten the final season for damn near free (the Til Death deal).

  • Doug

    @Justin – the only problem with that is that there’s no proof that setting an end date for Lost actually helped the ratings. If you look at the ratings for season 3 (particularly the second half, when it took it’s biggest dive), you’ll see that the 18-49 demo was down a whole lot less than overall viewer numbers, suggesting that audiences under 18 and over 50 abandoned the show in greater numbers, which I would attribute it to being moved to 10pm (from 8pm, then 9pm). That’s just my POV, anyway.

  • Doug

    From that Lost article, and this really hits it on the head:

    “Take all the mysteries and the weird, freaky sci-fi stuff away [from Lost] and you still have a bunch of interesting characters, played by a strong ensemble, with tremendous direction, production values, music etc,” he argues. “All the Lost copycats tried to duplicate was the mythology, and while that was certainly part of the appeal, if that’s all there was, nobody would’ve watched. And those shows had incredibly lame, one-dimensional characters running around in a plot no one understood.”

    That was the key to Lost for me, and why it will always hold a special place in my heart. It was really a once-in-a-lifetime show, and can’t really be duplicated in any form. It was also the last true blockbuster network drama (along with Desperate Housewives and Grey’s Anatomy), but I’d still give the edge to Lost simply because it’s still part of the pop cultural lexicon, even two years later, whereas DH and GA really aren’t.

    I’ve often thought if someday, another network will “reimagine” Lost a la Battlestar Galactica (and fix some of that mythology mess). But really, it can’t be done because Lost was about much more than mythology and there was two much that was nearly perfect about the show.

  • Rocket man

    You’re not doing a very good job of eating crow. “Cancelled after 13 more episodes”?!? Quit being a jerk about it and show some ass!

  • Justin121


    I have no time to create an account over there, but I wish someone would tell them that The Good Wife is the new Lost.

    Unlike all the other Lost-wanna be’s that took the weird and forgot about the drama, The Good Wife takes the drama and leaves out the weird.

    Actually, even The Good Wife has its own “mythology” that, along with the character drama, is almost is well-crafted as Lost’s.

    As for the ratings, I think they would’ve sunk even more post-season 3 had they not commited to an end date.

  • David Martin

    What troubles me is how the Kardashians can get a three year extention and Fringe has to fight for a 13-episode extension. Scenarios like this make mebelied the end of the world conspiracy theorists. Our world does seems a bit skewed, if you ask me.

    I’ve already had to survive losing my NBA Seattle Sonics basketball team, as well as their world championship and trophies, which all go to Oklahoma.The least the Universe could do is give Anna Torv and the gang, a multi-year extension for my favorite tv show, to continue on.

    Just a wish from a US Marine/ US Army disabled VET.

  • PaulBigelow

    We need a caw caw-sal analysis of this epic failure… ;-)

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