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
  • SarahL


    I’m sure all four shows won’t be cancelled, but I’d be pretty surprised if all four shows were renewed.

    Given their financial constraints, I think that TheCW will try to stagger out the cancellations. Renew one or two of their worse preforming shows for a last season with the intend of replacing them mid-season with new series.

  • Justin121

    Gossip Girl > Hart of Dixie > Nikita > The Secret Circle > Ringer

    Final SSN > Likely Renewal > BBL > BBL > Likely Cancellation


    I would like @SJ’s input on this

    Slots that need to be filled:

    Tuesday 8:30 (sitcom)
    Thursday 8:00 (Missing)
    Sunday 9:00 (Housewives)

    ABC usually premiers 3 dramas so one more needs to be cancelled.

    GCB or Scandal? I see no way around it.

    Also, an extra hour of comedy has to take place but that would probably be on Friday. Currently there is no slot for Cougar Town, Happy Endings, Apt. 23.

    Body of Prood currently has no slot. Either cancelled or Friday.


    PS nets don’t bother giving full final seasons except for tentpoles.

    PP is more of a One Tree Hill than a Desperate Housewives.

    Tey also don’t give 13-episode renewal excpet for shows nearing their end.

    Shows in season 1 or 2 DO NOT get 13-eps renewal.

  • Jenny

    I hope Hart Of Dixie get renewed.

    Hart Of Dixie is my favorite television show, Great show, great writing, great acting, lots of eye candy (both men and women). Hart Of Dixie is a television show we can all relate to

    What can we do to make sure this show gets renewed, besides watching the show?

    The CW has tough decisions to make because so many of its shows are close in the 18 to 49 ratings

    Do overall viewers make a difference when the CW shows are so close in ratings? I so Hart Of Dixie should be renewed.

    Does online viewing make a difference? As Hart Of Dixie has a huge on line viewing audience, Hart Of Dixie should be renewed.

    Does star power count? Hart of Dixie has Rachel Bilson as a big star, so Hart Of Dixie should be renewed.

    Do recent trends vs. overall season ratings make a difference? If so Hart Of Dixie should be renewed.

    Does the fact Hart Of Dixie goes against The Voice (the highest rated show on television), and Hart Of Dixie has a weak lead-in, make a difference to the CW decision makers?

    Does the expense to make these shows make a difference? I wonder what the differences in the expense of the CW shows are?

    Does the possibility of syndication make a difference? I wonder what the possibilities of syndication for the CW shows are?

    Will CW put Hart Of Dixie in a better time slot?

    If the show gets canceled could another network pick it up? I would love to see Hart Of Dixie on CBS and watch the ratings soar.

    Come on Nielsen families 18 to 49 year olds, you have to watch my favorite show Hart Of Dixie .

  • Sara

    Gossip Girl is certainly renewed for a final season.. the writers tweeted this pic a couple of days ago:


  • Dan

    Secret Circle probably has the best chance out of all 4 bubble shows and if renewed will likely air Fridays at 9 after Supernatural. I think Nikita is dead only because it has 2 seasons and needs 2 more and The CW may not be willing to go that far for a low rated series. HOD is likely to return though I wouldn’t be surprised if CW just axed it and Gossip Girl will return for a final 13 ep season. Ringer is dead and LA Complex will air its second season elsewhere.

  • Ram510


    Where are all your prediction based off of? Why would you think that Nikita would get a .2 or even a 0.0? It’s been really consistent all year and clearly has a strong following. if anything I would think ANTM or GG would hit a .2 first especially if it were in friday and GG has been dangerously close to below 1 million viewers.

    A .4 isn’t good but a lot of CW shows have hit a .5 that only a tenths difference the whole CW is woeful bottom line so I dont see how any of it’s bubble shows can be singled out at this point

  • OMG

    ABC is really freaking me out. I mean some shows are more likely to be renewed than others, but there is no certainty. I think the ABC network executives have been really wrecking up their brains in terms of not only renewals, but also time slots.

  • zerg


    If the show gets canceled could another network pick it up? I would love to see Hart Of Dixie on CBS and watch the ratings soar.

    Oh god…

  • Sid

    Call me biased all you want but I still think Hart of Dixie should be cancelled. It appears that Gossip Girl was secretly renewed over the weekend and with Deadline and THR reporting The Carrie Diaries and Cult as certain pickups, that’s 3 shows for Josh and Stephanie( I really despise these two). I’ll say it again, a network that only provides 10 hours of programming doesn’t to go give four away to them. Hart of Dixie needs to be cancelled. If it was getting ratings like TVD or SPN, then it could get 13 more episodes but it isn’t.

  • Michael

    “Hart of Dixie needs to be cancelled. If it was getting ratings like TVD or SPN, then it could get 13 more episodes but it isn’t.”

    Are you dumb?
    NO ONE show on CW have rating like TVD and SPN!!

    HoD rating are better then: TSC, Nikita, GG, ANTM, 90210.
    Deal whit it, it will get renewed, sid.

  • Bee

    fingers crossed that both GCB and scandal get renewed. they may be on the lower-rated side, but they’re well-received and stable and not on declining sprees like the other failed dramas were. they’ve got potential.

    and i’d be jumping for joy is TBS saved cougar town! will we find out about that also by may 15?

  • SmG

    would you mind joining the Q & A party? Can you give us any deets about your meeting with the network & yes we know u had 1 :D

    CS: It went very well – I can tell u they all want u to watch online even more ! http://cw.com

    what about Netflix and GetGlue ratings?

    CS: All excellent but they want it to translate into those online views!

    These are from @sesfonstein twitter. If this is really the showrunner of Nikita, Craig Silverstein says his meeting with CW about his pitch “went very well”.

  • Bunny

    I wonder if ABC is taking long with renewal announcement because of the contract negotiations with the cast of Modern Family and Grey’s Anatomy..

  • Danimals

    HoD and Nikita do have a better chance than TSC because besides Ringer, TSC has the biggest drop in ratings since its debut. HoD did well in the Fall and have been up and down since. While Nikita has been steady. So I say, Certain that two of the shows on the bubble will be renewed with gossip girl being one of them, the real question is going to be Heart of Dixie or Nikita?

  • Sid

    “Are you dumb?
    NO ONE show on CW have rating like TVD and SPN!!

    HoD rating are better then: TSC, Nikita, GG, ANTM, 90210.
    Deal whit it, it will get renewed, sid”

    Listen Michael, I’m going to ask you nicely to please refrain from replying to my post. I’m sick and tired of you calling me names and trust me if I end up saying something back, not only will I make you cry like the little sensitive person you are, but I will get banned. So please, stay the hell away from me because you don’t know how to be civil.

  • Jessie

    I really think Nikita is done. It’s been given so many chances and yet it’s still performing with subpar ratings, I don’t see it making it this time.

  • Oliver

    It depends how you define “cancelled”. I think this news makes it more likely that Cougar Town will have more seasons, but it’s another question as to where they will be aired.

    I’m surprised you still have Last Man Standing as “Likely to be renewed” given its recent ratings. Its ratings are poor (last two originals got 1.6 and 1.5), ABC has a hell of a lot of better-rated comedies, it’s out of place tonally, and it’s years away from syndication. I wouldn’t be too surprised if ABC axes LMS and Fox picks it up.

  • Fabio

    Just met Shepard, Pellegrino, Padalecki, Misha and all cast of Supernatural and it was so fun cause i asked them how they got the news the show had been renewed and they all cracked me up and it was no surprise for them at all. They are amazing people

  • LOL

    As far as CBS (yes CW isn’t the only network), if there is another comedy hour, both CSI’s are history, if not ROE and Rob could be history, and yes IMOO.

    IMOO, ABC could be the surprise network this year and blow viewers minds. For this network, is low 2s and high ls good enough, again this is the same outfit that has The Avengers, and the Disney’s World in a recovering economy. Again how much of this is a mind set for ABC, we are renewing shows in the NBC demos this spring. Again IMOO, ABC could go nuts this year, and think their pilots are better, and could spring hits like OAAT this year.

  • SJ

    Final predictions, as I’m pretty sure we’ll know most of the renewals and cancellations by this time next week:

    Body of Proof – only renewed if ABC wants to try Friday scripted programming again (13 episodes)
    GCB – renewed for 13
    Scandal – cancelled
    Private Practice – renewed for final season, to start in the fall; episode order TBD
    Cougar Town – cancelled, at least on ABC
    All other comedies renewed for full seasons

    Harry’s Law – cancelled
    Up All Night – renewed for 13
    Whitney – renewed for a full season
    30 Rock, Community, The Office, Parks – renewed for final seasons

    CSI: NY – cancelled
    CSI: Miami – renewed for 18, final season (although doubtful that CBS will announce it as such)
    Rules – renewed for 13
    Rob – renewed for 13 only if new comedy pilots suck

    Touch – cancelled
    Napoleon Dynamite – cancelled
    Bob’s Burgers – on the 2012-2013 schedule one way or another

    Gossip Girl – renewed for final season (13-18 episodes)
    Hart of Dixie – renewed
    Nikita – cancelled
    The Secret Circle – cancelled

    Everything else marked as “likely/certain cancellation” cancelled, as “likely/certain renewal” renewed.

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