Bubble Watch: I'm Still Not Sure About "Revolution's" Prospects But I Didn't Run Over Your Dog!

Categories: Bubble Watch

Written By

October 14th, 2012

I'm still not sure how I'll handle "Bubble Watch" this season. Options range from a list similar to last week (which was for the most part "fill in the status") to something more akin to how Bubble Watch has been handled in the past (I'm trying that this week) to simply doing a weekly recap of all the separate Renew/Cancel posts in one place.

The comments and feedback last week were helpful, but I'm still undecided. The comments this week might sway me in one direction versus the others.

A couple of things to remember:

The Renew/Cancel Index predicts what will happen based on known information if the season ended today.

Bubble Watch doesn't operate like that -- it tries to guess what will happen by the May upfront meetings where the schedules for the following season are announced, but only for shows which have aired so far. I won't guess based on *no* ratings data (though I did add Next Caller to the list with canceled status because I don't have to guess at its status!).

How these differences play out:

As a result of the difference approach, there are some differences in the designations. These difference mostly evaporate by February. If you ask Bill what Revolutions' prospects are he will say "If the season ended today, it's a lock for renewal!" I agree with that. If you ask Bill "but what do you think will happen by May?" he will prudently respond something along the lines of "I don't make guesses like that."

I am much more willing to make guesses like that, but also traditionally have started "Bubble Watch" a bit later in the year than the Renew/Cancel Index. Why? Because guessing what would happen if the season ended *today* is something you can do immediately. Guessing about May in September and October, when May is still very far away, is, in many cases, quite nonsensical!

You Say You Want a "Revolution" Renewal Status?

Well, you know... To compensate for the aforementioned nonsense I utilize the right to say "I'm not sure" when I don't know and I'm not sure.  Is Revolution a lock to be renewed if the season ended today? Absolutely! Is the season ending today? No.

Would Revolution's ratings have to fall dramatically to be in any danger: yep, yep they would!

Are such dramatic falls possible? Yes, yes they are. OK, but are such drops likely? Let's put it this way: given fairly recent history with genre shows like Flash Forward, The Event (and to some degree V), I definitely want to see more data. Am I as certain as the Renew/Cancel Index that if the season ended today that Revolution is a lock? You bet I am. But with the season ending in May rather than today, I'm just not sure about Revolution yet.

I'm not singling out Revolution. As you'll see with it being October and May still being far away, there's plenty I'm not sure about.

One labeling change: in a few cases I've added the qualifier "based on ratings." While that's normally assumed for everything, I'm calling it out separately for older shows who are getting up there in age that still have "the ratings" but are more likely to be impacted by other factors (costs, people working on the show's desire to continue, etc) due to age. So where it says ""How I Met Your Mother" is certain to be renewed based on ratings" it just means I'm certain that if ratings are the only factor, it will be renewed, but that I think there is much more "external to ratings" risk relative to say, "2 Broke Girls" and "Mike & Molly."


Show Network Renewal Status
666 Park Avenue ABC very likely cancellation
Last Resort ABC likely cancellation
Private Practice ABC likely cancellation
Scandal ABC not sure
Neighbors, The ABC not sure
Castle ABC not sure
Nashville ABC not sure
Middle, The ABC likely renewal
Revenge ABC likely renewal
Grey's Anatomy ABC certain renewal based on ratings
Once Upon a Time ABC certain renewal
Modern Family ABC certain renewal
Made in Jersey CBS Cancelled
Partners CBS certain cancellation
CSI: NY CBS not sure
Good Wife, The CBS not sure
Mentalist, The CBS not sure
Vegas CBS not sure
Elementary CBS not sure
CSI CBS likely renewal based on ratings
Criminal Minds CBS certain renewal based on ratings
How I Met Your Mother CBS certain renewal based on ratings
Two and a Half Men CBS certain renewal based on ratings
NCIS CBS certain renewal based on ratings
Hawaii Five-0 CBS certain renewal
Blue Bloods CBS certain renewal
Person of Interest CBS certain renewal
Mike & Molly CBS certain renewal
NCIS: LA CBS certain renewal
2 Broke Girls CBS certain renewal
Big Bang Theory, The CBS Renewed
Gossip Girl CW Final Season
Hart of Dixie CW not sure
90210 CW not sure
Beauty and the Beast CW not sure
Arrow CW not sure
Supernatural CW likely renewal based on ratings
The Vampire Diaries CW certain renewal
Fringe FOX Final Season
Mob Doctor, The FOX certain cancellation
Ben & Kate FOX not sure
Mindy Project, The FOX not sure
Bob's Burgers FOX not sure
Bones FOX likely renewal based on ratings
Raising Hope FOX likely renewal
Cleveland Show, The FOX likely renewal
Glee FOX certain renewal
New Girl FOX certain renewal
American Dad FOX Renewed
Family Guy FOX Renewed
Simpsons, The FOX Renewed
30 Rock NBC Final Season
The Office NBC Final Season
Next Caller NBC Cancelled
Animal Practice NBC likely cancellation
Up All Night NBC likely cancellation
Guys with Kids NBC likely cancellation
New Normal, The NBC not sure
Chicago Fire NBC not sure
Revolution NBC not sure
Go On NBC likely renewal
Law & Order: SVU NBC certain renewal based on ratings
Parks & Recreation NBC certain renewal
Parenthood NBC certain renewal
Grimm NBC certain renewal



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  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    Come on man, you know I’m too lazy to drive all the way over there just to run over your fictional dog!

  • JTV

    Here’s what I think the renewal chances are for NBC Comedies:

    1. Go On
    2. Parks & Rec
    3. The New Normal

    4. Community
    5. Whitney

    6. Guys With Kids
    7. 1600 Penn
    8. Up All Night

    9. Save Me
    10. Animal Practice

  • Flame

    Well, if you take suggestions, I am also in the Sort by Status only boat. However, if you don’t like guessing, why not start this column after the November Sweeps or so?

  • Oliver

    I agree on principle about Revolution, since these serialised high-concept dramas have been known to collapse.

    Of course, Revolution seems to be staying afloat, and its ratings continue to be mind-bogglingly high. At what point do you decide it’s for real?

  • Richard Steven Hack

    OK, OK, you caught me! *I* ran over your damn dog! And he deserved it! He was old and blind and ran out into the road right in front of me! You should have put him down years ago!

    Happy now?

    As for Revolution, I think it will do moderately well IF they delve deep into the conspiracy about the electricity. But if they spend all their time on the conflict between Matheson and Munroe, it will go downhill.

    The downhill will be slow depending on the execution quality but faster later in the season. Which could lead to an early renewal and then network regret when the show collapses later.

    Last Resort on the other hand is doomed for being terminally implausible – despite some decent acting (surprisingly even from Scott Speedman, who is usually awful.)

    I just watched the Nikita Comic-Con panel and I think it will stay level with last season on ratings. The producer explicitly said that the first few episodes will be stand-alone so new viewers don’t have to come in right away with some overall story arc. Presumably episode one will catch up the characters (Amanda won’t be in until episode four, although they intend to build up to her entrance.) Devon Sawa is going to be a regular now. Based on the discussion, it sounds like it will be a good season.

    I’ve seen the Arrow season preview video (in a thread elsewhere here) and it looks top notch. Previews can be deceptive, however. But the list of villains is impressive – all the best. I think this show may have serious legs (for the CW anyway.)

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    At what point do you decide it’s for real?

    @Oliver: Fair question, at least early on probably until there’s not a “less than” sign every week a la:

    3.0 < 3.2 < 3.4 < 4.1

  • Tyson

    The Bubble Watch is needed, if only to have a popular post on Sundays.

    Parks and Recreation will be renewed. The Office and 30 Rock are leaving. Go On is the only certain renewal in my mind. With all the bubble sitcoms around it, Parks and Recreation will be an important veteran for one more year.

    Parenthood will get another season too. The show will have 68 episodes. It will reach syndication. The only problem is Parenthood didn’t get 20 episodes last season and isn’t scheduled to get 20 this year. NBC would make this decision easier by ordering a few more episodes for winter.

  • luisl

    @Richard Steven Hack

    When the show ends the rescue Danny storyline, around midseason, that’s when it could do moderately well. I hope people stay that long.

  • KS

    I am repeating the same story again:


    Episode 5 – 2.8 – 3.0
    Episode 10- 2.5
    Episode 20- 2.0

    Renewal :D

    Season 2 Average would be around 1.5

    Renewal :)

    Season 3 Average would be disastrous.

    Renewal for syndication

    Season 4 and final – Enjoy the show.

    As of now I do agree the quality of show is very bad. But I have hopes that the show is going to improve. And *spoiler* it is revealed that, the mystery behind black out would be revealed at the end of this season. *Spoiler ends*. I am sure we are going to see a lot of action. The season as a whole is going to look good, if not individual episodes.

  • aleksander eide

    this is what i hope for i hope for
    666 parke ave – renewed
    modern family – renewed
    neighbors – renewed
    ncis – renewed
    partners – renewed
    person of interest – renewed
    criminal minds – renewed
    the new normal – renewed
    grimm – renewed
    revolution – renewed

  • KS


    I am expecting Danny’s/Charlie’s death by the end of the season.

  • Chris Hanna

    I’m pretty sure Grey’s is certain renewal because the cast signed on for another season. Not just because the ratings are phenomenal.

  • Mike

    @Hugo Manso
    Oops! I completely missed that part.

  • Jordan

    You just can’t have shows that carry one big plot like Revolution, it’s going to get old quick, much like that of Alcatraz. But Alcatraz at least had little “sub-plots” in each episode. Revolution is just like one mega movie. I love the show and to me it is not old and I look forward to every Monday night, but just in general I don’t look for it to stay much longer than just this season. But no reason 2 predict we will all just wait and see ;-)

  • Serra

    What are you smoking today?
    Revolution is a lock for renewal!
    When was the last time NBC saw numbers like this for a scripted drama?

  • Honey Badger

    @ DW “the CW is aimed at 18-34 year olds and the CW has said many times that their viewers watch online which doesn’t bode well for a network that makes money on advertising.”

    CW has said it makes a lot of money on online advertising. What difference does it make if you are watching a TV show on a Television, or watching it online with commercials?

  • joss


    I think that Revolution is a lock for renewal for now but theoretically based on other sy fi shows experience Revolution might tank til may 2013

  • Honey Badger

    Another bold prediction, because Hart Of Dixie does so well with the younger demographic and online, and CBS desperately wants more shows with a younger audience and online presence, Hart Of Dixie will switch from CW to CBS

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    @Honey Badger: if by bold you mean “nonsensical-crazy-I-don’t-have-any-idea-what-I’m-talking-about-but-comment-multiple-dozens-of-times-a-week-acting-like-I-do-anyway”…then yes.

  • Doug

    It’s semantics, but unless things go very poorly for The Middle and Revenge over the rest of the season, they should be certain instead of likely.

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