Bubble Watch: The CW Will Cancel More Than 2 Shows, Will 'Nikita' Be One of Them?

Categories: Bubble Watch

Written By

April 29th, 2012


This week’s changes are mostly the nitpicky, hair splitting variety between “likely” and “certain” that some readers are far more entertained by than I am.  But there will still be plenty of room to split hairs if you're so inclined.

With the Fringe renewal out of the way, I’ve upgraded both Alcatraz & The Finder to merely “likely” cancellation rather than certain cancellation. Despite this week’s lows for Touch against the NFL Draft (hey, Fan Excuse Bingo is open to all!) I think it’s still likely that it is picked up at least for a 13 episode second season.

Private Practice was upgraded to likely renewal.  In recent ratings there isn’t much separating GCB and Scandal from Revenge, but the former two shows are still on the bubble and the latter is still likely to be renewed. As expected, without a new episode of Modern Family as its lead-in, Don’t Trust the B---- in Apt. 23 fell over 20%, but it’s still likely to be renewed.

With the CW pack of shows tightening, I’ve upgraded Ringer from certain cancellation to likely cancellation and Hart of Dixie from likely cancellation to “on the bubble.” If I were a Nikita fan I would certainly be worried, but as long as it’s a genre show airing on a Friday, even if it has only 2/3rds the ratings of Supernatural it will likely stay on the bubble the remainder of the season, but that’s not cause for celebration.

Based on ratings alone, The L.A. Complex debuted to “certain cancellation” but there’s plenty of room for hairsplitting & disclaiming and semantics. I’ve got it a “likely cancellation” with an asterisk and not because it’s only aired one episode. Before that episode even aired in the U.S. it was renewed for a 13 episode second season in Canada. It seems unlikely those episodes will air on the CW next season, at least during the normal September-May TV season, but we have no “sure to be canceled in the USA, but already renewed in Canada” designation.

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.


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
Best Friends Forever NBC 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
NYC 22 CBS Certain Cancellation
Awake NBC Certain Cancellation
Bent NBC Certain Cancellation
Harry's Law NBC Certain Cancellation
Unforgettable CBS Likely Cancellation
The L.A. Complex* CW Likely Cancellation
Ringer CW Likely Cancellation
Alcatraz 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
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
Hart of Dixie 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
Private Practice 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
Fringe 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
  • boonies

    Thanks for the info, Dahne. After I posted, I had a “Doh” moment and went to my cable provider’s website and checked the channel listings. Apparently KWGN out of Chicago carries it on my cable. Who knew? I’ve just never heard much buzz about it and, looking at its ratings, quite a few others must be in the same boat. I read that CBS is one of the owners. Although there may not be room for many, it might be interesting if they brought a couple of the more popular shows over to CBS where they’d get more exposure?

  • Dan

    @Doug, now you’re giving personal attacks too? Watch out-you may possibly get a call out comment from @TheEnd haha.

  • Ultima

    DWTS Results weakening to a 2.3 has to be a big concern for ABC, and with those numbers, it’s not inconceivable that it would be scraping a 2.0 this time next season. So it’s time for ABC to go with a different strategy on the night. Again, the problem is where to air DWTS Results, which is tricky, unless to go with a 30 minute edition at 8pm.

    The DWTS results show is still one of the highest rated hours on ABC, with a 2.9 season average (2.6 in the spring). They don’t need to fix what isn’t broken.

    If you’re going to try and reach conclusions by looking at a show’s low, you have to judge it relative to the lows of other shows as well. Most everything else on ABC is scraping 2.0s now – where do you think they’ll be next season?

  • Doug

    @Ultima – Sure, but it’s also about trends. This week, DWTS Performance was down from a 4.7 to a 2.8 (compared to the same week last season), and the Results show dropped from a 3.6 to a 2.3. That’s alarming. There’s no guarantee that the show will drop more, but also no guarantee that it has stabilized. Ratings are marginally good now, but could very well be marginally bad by this time next year. Why do you think Desperate Housewives was cancelled? Trends. And DWTS is clearly on the back end of its run, and I’m sure ABC is preparing for that eventuality so it is not caught with its pants down.

    ABC has had a decent amount of luck with new series this year, even if spring ratings have been weak. ABC is not an anomaly here, but better to be in their position than NBC (who really only has The Voice), or Fox, which is being solely propped up by American Idol at this point. ABC has a lot of pilots, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a high number of those go to series. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to see DWTS pulled back to one edition next season to try to save the franchise.

  • Brian

    I wonder how Nikita is doing international, digital sales and what kinda deal they have in place with Netflix. Netflix has Season 1 and that is how I got into Nikita over the Christmas break when nothing good was on and I was bored. I instantly caught up with Season via iTunes Season Pass.

    So, did Netflix already pay for Season 1 & 2 when its renewal was announced. Did Netflix leave the option to purchase the rights to future season. Anyone know where I can find such info and how much the CW stands to make from the deal?

    I can’t think of any other show to put before Supernatural on Fridays but the Vampire Diaries or Secret Circle. I am not sure if CW would want to put it’s #1 show with its #2 show on the same night but genre wise these shows fit.

    I can’t picture them putting a freshman show on Friday night, that is a death slot, always has been and it was stupid for CW not to put Supernatural before Nikita as a lead in let alone put Nikita on Friday night in its second season.

    Supernatural has had Smallville for so many years and besides that both those shows had years to grow it’s audience. CW would be better off moving Supernatural to earlier in the week with a new show like Cult or Arrow and moving GG and 90210 to Fridays since they are on their way out ratings wise and fit together genre wise.

  • Jane

    Putting a teen show on a Friday night is a surefire way to get 0 ratings.

  • Oliver
  • John

    Something interesting to note about HOD is that it is set to premier in England this week, would they go ahead with that if it was scheduled to be canceled? Things that make you go hmmmmm

  • Fritz

    Any truth to the rumor that Netflix is looking to pick up The River?

  • Richard Steven Hack

    Robert: I really don’t see how Ringer gets upgraded because the rest of the CW shows are getting lower. I mean, really, what is the logic there?

    If the CW will cancel more than two shows, then almost by definition that means Ringer, Nikita and either Hart of Dixie or Gossip Girl – and the latter is supposed to be safe for “Ostroff nostalgia” reasons or whatever.

    How Ringer gets upgraded to likely in that scenario makes no sense to me.

    How about a more detailed explanation of the reasoning?

  • Richard Steven Hack

    Oh, and love the Felicia Day pic!! :-)

  • JJJ

    Don’t get where a few keep saying SPN will just have one last year. It’s still one of the strongest CW shows–there is no way the CW is going to announce the upcoming year as its last. And the CW tends to give an announced final season–so season 9(at least) is a very probable event.

  • MB

    Never understood the appeal of “Private Practice.” From the start it’s had a very protected slot behind “Grey’s.” I think any number of shows—including “Body of Proof”—would do well there.

  • cleon_girl

    SOOO sad to see Awake like that. Seen a lot of new shows since last september and that’s my fave by far. Thought it had a lot of potencial, and I still enjoy it.

    About the CW shows… I don’t know what to think anymore. GG will get a 13 ep season cause it was once very good to a network that’s now sinking when it should be sooo cancelled. Sad but true. VD an SN will obviously be renewed.
    I enjoyed Ringer, but I honestly won’t miss it, and should be cancelled. HoD…I have no idea. I like it, and would like it to be renewd but I’ll totally understand (why) if they dont. Nikita should be cancelled with no discussion imho, sorry. it’s been given it’s chances and done terribly; should leave room for new fresh ideas.
    And about TSC, I think it should get a next season simply because I see POTENCIAL, which is something I dont see in any of those 3 I mentioned before. Nikita is done, Ringer could be easily as well, and HoD…well, I just dont see it like that, it goes into a different category for me. Besides, TSC has been dropping lately but hasnt done that bad overall.
    Those are my 2cnts.

  • JJJ

    I’m with those thinking Mark Pedowitz is going to really go for it this year–the CW is sinking…they need to take more chances this year and the pilots look better than usual.

    I say they will cancel HOD, Nikita and Ringer along with OTH. Then give GG a 13 episode final season. That leaves 4 spots in the Fall and one mid season.

    So they will pick up Arrow, Carrie Diaries, Beauty and the Beast, The Selection AND Cult for mid-season.

    And if they really like their pilots they’d also drop TSC and pick upFirst Cut.

    I think this is their go for broke season–trying to save the network. Otherwise it’s a slow certain death.

  • Jae


    While I agree that Nikita’s competition is in fact Gossip Girl at this point in time, it is for a different reason. Historically, freshmen shows on the CW have had their own category for renewal and at least one survives. Nikita did get the pass last year, but is now in the category with all the other regular (veteran) shows. This is not a friday thing, it is a historical thing. All bets may in fact be off due the nature of the extremely low ratings this year (not just on CW part as most networks are down).

    CW shows usually only make it onto the DVR+7 list for the top 25% increase from live+SD to live+7. Additionally, only the top 25 shows are rated. In this CW ratings limbo game, Nikita has been winning few times for percent increases but still only manages a .7. if you start lower and go up your percent increase is higher, so say HOD as a .6 demo l+SD to .9 l+7 is a much smaller % increase than Nikita with a .4 l+SD rating to .7 l+7.

    You cannot really compare show status based on the DVR+7 ratings as the networks do not take this into account for renewal. If they did, however, they might get some insight into folks that care about friday night programming, but do not watch it on friday night. In Nikita’s case, the show is only reaching the l+SD number for SPN which airs on Friday as well. That is apples to apples as both are veteran shows and both on Friday so no Friday factor. Many folks save shows for later on the in week viewing, but from a network perspective this is not optimal for commercial viewing as they may or may not be viewed when the advertiser wants them to be, hence networks don’t care for the Live+7day numbers.

    Hopefully my grammar is up to par for the blogging audience :)

  • cleon_girl

    “May be if they air normal shows not only for teen girls with stuped script and bad writers will help them! If they are more serious and smart…”
    I got the feeling that they (sort of) tried that with Ringer. Epically failed.

  • johnB

    I think Awake is a really good show that deserves another season. The writing is amazing.

  • Petar

    Will Fears About The Health Of The Economy Dampen Upfront Ad Sales?

    They could, Barclays Equity Research analyst Anthony DiClemente says in a report this morning. He still predicts that sales in television’s pre-season marketplace will rise — by 4.3% to $9.49B for the Big Four broadcast networks, and by 6.3% to $9.88B for cable channels. DiClemente says he’s encouraged to see consumers’ growing willingness to buy cars; auto makers account for about 20% of all TV ads. But this year’s increase in upfront sales will lag last year when the top broadcasters were up 7.9%, and spending on cable rose 16.1%. Some advertisers will hold back “to maintain some flexibility in case of macro choppiness” later this year — meaning, they’ll wait to see if they can get a bargain in the scatter market if the economy turns south. Meanwhile, Fox and NBC may sell less of their ad inventory in this year’s upfronts, hoping that their ratings will improve and give them more leverage in negotiations with advertisers. While everyone looks at total dollars networks collect in upfront deals, the more important barometer for their health is the CPM price they can charge for each 1,000 viewers they reach. DiClemente predicts that ABC will end up +8%, CBS will be +10%, Fox will be +9%, and NBC will be +7%.

    So viewres count not only demo?

  • Oliver

    Apartment 23 is quite funny, and the first few episodes of new sitcoms are always hit-and-miss.

    It’s a complete tonal mismatch for the post-Modern Family slot, though.

© 2015 Tribune Digital Ventures