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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  • JTV


  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    @Doug: nitpicking over somewhat arbitrary likely/certain designations is fair game!

  • MissP

    ^^ LOL!!! It is a joke isn’t it?!

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    @George: choosing to watch almost everything is still a choice!

  • Austin

    I’m glad that you list Parenthood as certain renewal. I can tell that a lot of people also find it as a great show. I’m also hoping Raising Hope, Ben and Kate, and Parks and Recreation are for sure to be renewed. Out of the many shows I watch, those are four I worry about.

    I also know that some of the shows that just premiered are usually on Bubble Watch at first but I definitely think it is safe to put Elementary and Arrow on likely renewal because of the ratings especially Arrow’s amazing premiere (for the CW). I actually watched a CW show and it was exceptional to their lineup. I also watched Beauty and the Beast because nothing was on and I loved it but it’s at a terrible timeslot so we’ll see. :)

  • George

    I have found it to be a daunting task to keep up with all of these shows. But I’m having fun trying. LOL

  • Honey Badger

    Bill Gorman “Wait a second, *if* I had a dog, and *if* someone had run over him, how would I *know* it wasn’t you?”
    I found actual video evidence, and surprisingly it was the dog that ate the car.
    So I guess Robert Seidman is telling the truth when he said “ I Didn’t Run Over Your Dog!”

    Dog eats car on youtube

  • Fake Me Out

    @Robert Seidman

    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.

    The problem is things don’t really operate that way … the RCI waits for a few episodes until it makes it’s initial prediction. If the season “ended today” there wouldn’t be those 2nd, 3rd or 4th episodes. I think the RCI needs to be more on the edge, seat-of-your-pants analysis that as the season progresses and numbers come into better focus gets closer to the Bubble Watch. I think it’d be great to see a show progress (regress?) from certain renewal after it’s 1st airing to certain cancellation after it’s 13th. Looking at the RCI in October and again in April should be like night and day simply because that’s how things evolve during the season.

    As for the BW, I think you should start it at the same time as RCI just with the majority of shows in the “not sure” group … there are however shows we know have a multi-year renewal or have already been announced as ending not to mention all those shows ‘entering their 3rd year so unless something very unusual happens they’ll get renewed’. If I had to chose no sort vs sort by network, I’d chose by network since which network a show is on is a big factor in it’s renewal … based on ratings does any show on the CW even see a 14th episode on CBS let alone a full season then a renewal? Of course not, so lets not mix apples and oranges … but I can live with it the other way too. BW is also a good way to kill some time on Sundays when there’s nothing else on tap … or to keep the crazies busy and out of mischief.

    So, overall, RCI get more edgy, BW come back pretty much the way you were and right from the start of the season.



  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    @Fake: no, the RCI does not typically wait 3-4 episodes before making predictions.

  • George

    I do have to say after my first year of being able to watch everything I really don’t want any of the shows to go. I like them all, Maybe not all equally of course. I really think they could just slash reality programming altogether and put scripted programming in its place and I would be happier.

  • robin

    @Honey Badger

    LOL U be trolling

  • Ultima

    @Robert Seidman

    I think the current use of the “based on ratings” qualifier is basically just saying that a show is old and expensive, which everyone should already know.

    It would be more useful to limit it to situations in which there’s a much higher than normal chance (relative to other older shows) that a show could be canceled despite the ratings (e.g. How I Met Your Mother, Two and a Half Men).

    Obviously, that would make it a highly subjective qualifier.

    Also, you may want to add a “due to syndication” qualifier to third season shows that have higher renewal chances than their ratings would suggest (because you know someone will ask every single week why a show like Hawaii Five-0 is a certain renewal).

  • Ray

    So at “likely renewal,” Go On is the only new show that has a better rating than “not sure.”

  • Nick

    “not sure”
    Then why is it still called the Bubble Watch???

  • The End

    Those CBS not sures are pretty much spot on. The ratings aren’t incredible but aren’t bad enough to honestly say they’l be cancelled yet as not enough episodes have aired to realistically say either way.

    Though that said, if Vegas doesn’t improve its situation it could easily slip into the danger zone. The numbers keep dropping, and while they’re not great, they’re not bad either. This is easily a bubble show.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    @Ultima: my desire was to make “based on ratings” only moderately rather than highly subjective. I’m not saying that it’s not reasonable, for example, to make certain assumptions about Two and a Half Men vs.,say, NCIS. But I’m *not* making those assumptions for designation purposes; opting instead to label both with the “older show” risk.

    Also, you may want to add a “due to syndication” qualifier to third season shows.


  • Ultima

    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?

    The Event?


    Just saw Frankenweenie & Victor can take of that run-over dog!

  • Ville

    I like the separation of shows by the network. I also like the color scheme. I think the new “certain renewal based on ratings” designation is a good addition but it should be used more sparingly, not attached to every show that has more than 6-7 seasons. It would require doing a bit more research but I think it would be worth it.

    For example, if it’s true that both main stars of Supernatural have signed on for one more season then there’s no need to add this based-on-ratings qualification. Also, if someone from CBS procedurals like CSI, NCIS or Criminal Minds wished to leave the show, they probably could be replaced. Well, maybe replacing Gibbs on NCIS would be difficult but CBS would try to anyway because of how much money the show brings in. Just look at TAAHM.

    Procedurals like Bones and Castle are a different story, their leads can’t be replaced.

  • Petar Ivanov

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

    Kripke will kill a lot of major characters, i agree, just not sure wich.

    But NOT Miles, Charlie, Nate and Captain Neville!!! And young ones grow with every episode. JD Pardo in the end of the season 1 will be next big tv star.

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