Bubble Watch: Down to the Wire for 'Nikita,' 'Gossip Girl,' 'Hart of Dixie' and 'Secret Circle' + 'Cougar Town' Downgraded

Categories: 2-Featured,Bubble Watch

Written By

May 6th, 2012

There were only 3 CW shows that were likely or certain to be renewed last week and this week all three were renewed. That isn't great news for any of the CW shows on the bubble, but it isn't really any worse news eitherand  Gossip Girl, Hart of Dixie, The Secret Circle and Nikita remain bubble shows. I'm sure  all four shows won't be cancelled, but I'd be pretty surprised if all four shows were  renewed.

I don't know what Nikita's international sales, online viewing really are, but despite its horrible ratings, it's on Friday and still on the bubble. Fans should hope the hard-to-substantiate reports of Nikita's international prowess are true because a renewal for one more season all but guarantees that it will be renewed for another season after that to get it to syndication.

I give Hart of Dixie an edge over The Secret Circle because CW already knows how Hart of Dixie does with a weak lead-in and surely envisions The Secret Circle will do worse when it no longer has The Vampire Diaries as a lead-in.

Cougar Town

Saturday came reports that ABC is in early talks with TBS about taking Cougar Town off of ABC's hands. That's potentially good news for fans, but bad news when it comes to the show's prospects on ABC. I'm not quite as pessimistic as Bill that the TBS talks mean de facto cancellation on ABC. But it clearly indicates that while ABC Studios wants to get the show to enough episodes for syndication, the ABC broadcast network would be plenty happy for someone  else to take on that task.

It'd be hard to fault ABC for feeling that way since the ratings have been terrible and it has several middling-rated (but better rated than Cougar Town) comedies to choose from for schedule padding.

I've downgraded Cougar Town to likely cancellation on ABC.


I'm not quite as optimistic as Bill about Scandal of course I had the benefit of seeing Thursday's ratings which Bill didn't have when he posted Tuesday's Renew/Cancel report. But I'm not as pessimistic as many commenters either, and Scandal remains on the bubble.

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
Unforgettable CBS Certain Cancellation
The L.A. Complex CW Will live on in Canada
Ringer CW Certain Cancellation
Awake NBC Certain Cancellation
Bent NBC Certain Cancellation
Harry's Law NBC Certain Cancellation
Cougar Town ABC Likely Cancellation
Alcatraz Fox Likely Cancellation
The Finder Fox Likely Cancellation
Are You There, Chelsea? NBC Likely Cancellation
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
Touch 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
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
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
90210 CW Renewed
Supernatural CW Renewed
The Vampire Diaries CW 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
  • Greg

    The Vampire Diaries, Supernatural and 90210 were already renewed.

  • hope

    and 90210, sp still in both category.

  • The Mike Factor

    I agree with your change to Cougartown. Always love the Bubble Watch. However, you have 90210 and Supernatural in :ikely Renewal and Vampire Diaries in Certain Renewal as well as in Renewed.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    yep, all three renewed CW shows were showing up as both renewed and their former designation. fixed.

  • Victus

    I think Robert is under-estimating Supernatural and 90210 still being Likely Renewals, but I’ll put money down that he is dead on about Vampire Diaries being a Certain Renewal.

  • The Mike Factor

    @Robert Seidman

    I love what you put for LA Complex’s status.

  • hope


    But CW already renewed LA Complex for another 13episodes, where they would put them?

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    @Hope: no, CW didn’t.

  • Me

    By when will we know if the shows will be renewed or not?

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman
  • KS


    Why is Two and Half men downgraded? I have recently seen in a news that the trio are about sign the deal for one more season.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    @KS: it wasn’t downgraded recently it just wasn’t upgraded either.I didn’t bother to change the table but at this point there is virtually no distinction between the shows likely to be renewed and the shows certain to be renewed. Either way, “Men” will be back.

  • JRG

    Cougar Town originals on Friday night on ABC. Next Week on TBS. TBS gets a long term, lower rate for syndication for a few years.

  • Irene

    don’t care where Cougar Town it’s on, the important thing is that it will stay on air for a reeeally long time!!
    Given how badly ABC has treated Cougar Town this year, I’d be glad if TBS picked it up.

  • s0303

    i wouldn’t have last man standing on likely renewal, it’s ratings lately have been only a little better than cougar town’s…

    @robert…two and a half didn’t get downgraded…it’s been on likely renewal for awhile now…

  • Sabrina

    it is highly likely Warner bros will save Nikita. it is just a matter of CW having a spot for it on the schedule. IMO.

  • Aerilyn

    The Secret Circle has gotta be saved!!

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    @Hope: your link keeps going to the spam filter, but since it’s partially wrong, that’s probably a good thing. Bell Media in Canada DID order 13 more episodes, but CW hasn’t signed up for those episodes, at least not yet.

    Here is the official Bell Media release:


  • Richard Steven Hack

    I put TSC on better odds than Hart of Dixie. Nikita is doomed and will be replaced by TSC. HoD will be canceled. I think the CW needs to view HoD as not having much likelihood of growing or stabilizing. They KNOW what Friday is like, and they KNOW TSC will do .4-.6 on Friday just like Nikita. But they also know it might stabilize on Friday or even grow. So just to take care of Friday, they’ll cancel Nikita and move TSC there.

    But it is possible they’ll cancel TSC and move HoD to Friday.

    Now if by some miracle they decide to keep Nikita – and for TWO more seasons as Robert suggests – then all bets are off for TSC and HoD. They might stay, they might be canceled, either or both.

    Ringer is doomed (thank God, utter garbage). Gossip Girl SHOULD be doomed but the rumors say “Ostroff nostalgia” reigns.

    I think Alcatraz – also utter garbage – is doomed as well.

    Everything else I care about is safe, specifically Castle and Revenge, or already renewed.

    I REALLY wish Nikita would be renewed, but I just can’t see it, even with the Friday factor. It’s the best action show on TV, probably even including Burn Notice (although one could debate that.) It’s just on the wrong network. It should have been on a cable network like Burn Notice is. We’d probably would get four seasons if that were true.

  • Cyn

    If I had to choose between TSC and Nikita, I would choose Nikita. That show has some of the best writing. I gave up on HoD after about nine episodes because Bilson cannot act to save her life.

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