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

    It would require doing a bit more research but I think it would be worth it.

    The problem is, it requires info that simply won’t be accessible in many (likely *most*) cases no matter how much research is done.


    @ Robert S

    I think it’s very noble of you to say “not sure,” beats “clueless” any day of the week!

  • Fake Me Out

    @Robert Seidman

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

    If/when I notice this year what it was last year I’ll point it out … a quick look failed to turn up what I was thinking about but basically it was the RCI wasn’t doing a ‘what if the season ends now’ but taking into account too much from what may happen in the future. Like I said, the RCI initially should be all over the map and as the season progresses tighten up and get closer to the BW


  • Ville


    Well, if you simply attach this qualifier to every older show then I think it’s pretty much pointless and should not be done. It just clutters up the table.

  • Honey Badger

    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.”
    Thanks that is kind of what I was going for
    By The Way, isn’t that exactly the same thing famous producers, Emmy winners, Oscar winners, and a Lot of high level television people have said about you, Bill Gorman, tvbythenumbers, and the Cancellation Bear. ?
    And weren’t you proved to be correct?

    I admit next to the tvbythenumbers.com experts, I don’t know much. This site is remarkable for the accuracy of their predictions. But I have a much better track record than most of the “Media Experts” writers at other places and on TV.
    Plus it is more fun predicting shows like Flash Forward, The Event, Smash, Nashville, etc… are going to face deep declines and be cancelled, than just playing it safe and following the predictions of every show on the Bubble Watch and The Renewal / Cancellation Index and the Cancellation Bear, (although I use them for my base of predictions). I Know almost all the predictions on Bubble Watch and The Renewal / Cancellation Index will turn out to be true (they always have), I agree with all these predictions. So for Fun I try some bold and daring predictions, and more often than not I am right.

  • Petar Ivanov


    Are this some kind of stupid joke…..RVN #s are far better than any other DRAMA at 10 pm and in the end of the season will be better with at least a point than every other NEW show. Even at 10 pm. And than you will look just silly. Revolution is better than Revenge last season wich was best 10 pm show of the season. Better than Smash last season, better than everything that NBC air in last 5 years at 10. And in a year where all 10 pm shows are down so much even on CBS. In fact with DVR #s RVN BEAT NCIS wich is #1 DRAMA from last season.

  • KS

    Strictly speaking BTS, Supernatural has already been renewed for 3 more seasons. The only doubt is, if the 10th season is 23 episode or a short one.

  • Petar Ivanov

    TAHM will have at least one more season. This season is more funny than TBBT. And next episode looks crazy funny. In fact right now TAHM is the most funny sitcoms from all. Good old days.

  • Ville

    Do we know if Revolution will keep the same spot after The Voice in the spring? If it will then I feel pretty confident predicting that it won’t fall below 1.6-1.7 by May and will be renewed. If it goes to a different timeslot then anything is possible.

  • Petar Ivanov

    And why everybody think that new shows are cheaper than old one? What if in new show you have expensive actors like sitcoms for example. Or even dramas like TN? In TAHM only 3 actors are expensive and ratings great.

  • KS


    I seriously don’t understand why people keep comparing Revolution to The Event.(I have read about this show on Wikipedia) Also, according to reviews, Revolution is better than The Event.

    And according to the many comments the previous season on this website, I can easily tell that, NBC was in a good position back then compared to the current seasons. Right now, there are hardly any shows that hits 2.0+ numbers and one of them is ending this season. The circumstances under which The Event was cancelled are different, IMO.(Do correct me if I am wrong)

    As I have always said, ratings are not gonna be great for Revolution, but the pathetic state of the network would save the show, provided that the quality of the show improves, at least by *this* much.

  • Luis

    I miss V so much.

  • Fake Me Out


    No matter how much the boys fine tune their prediction models, surprises will happen since they do not have behind the scenes/insider information. Body of Proof got a surprise renewal last year and nobody except an ABC exec can say for sure why. Things are looking good for Revolution right now, but what will the prospects be if the writers make a misstep and explain the power loss was due to Leprechauns invading from Middle Earth?

    As long as everyone remembers this is all for fun, gits & shiggles and not life or death then we all can enjoy our time surfing the articles.



  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    And why everybody think that new shows are cheaper than old one?

    One big reason is that traditionally in the first few years of a series, networks license shows from the studios at a discount to what it costs to make them but the studios try to charge full price for older, successful shows.

  • Honey Badger

    @ Fake Me Out Well Said “As long as everyone remembers this is all for fun, gits & shiggles and not life or death then we all can enjoy our time surfing the articles.”

    That is exactly why I come to tvbythenumbers.com

  • Petar Ivanov


    ME: Revolution is best new show of the season who cares with what other shows they compare it. I start thinking that Revolution will be last show ever that hit 4s in 10 pm. And why not last that hit 3s in 10 pm at least drama. This season was so close for record only show that hit 3s in 10 pm. Doubt that any other show will hit 3s in next season.

    @KS who said:
    I am repeating the same story again:


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


    Season 2 Average would be around 1.5


    Season 3 Average would be disastrous.

    Renewal for syndication

    Season 4 and final – Enjoy the show.

    ME: I will be happy for that development. Nut i think RVN will have season 5 if not full at least short one. In next 2-3 years 10 pm shows will be around 1.5 most of them if not even all.

  • Petar Ivanov

    @Robert Seidman

    Thanks. I did not know that. Thanks for that info onceagain.

  • Ville

    One big reason is that traditionally in the first few years of a series, networks license shows from the studios at a discount to what it costs to make them but the studios try to charge full price for older, successful shows.

    Interesting. I’m not sure I understand the reasoning behind this, I mean from the studios’ point of view. If a show gets a full season and isn’t renewed for a second season (like The Secret Circle, for example, or The Event) and the studio sold the show at a discount, how do they make a profit from it? From international sales and DVDs? I can’t imagine those numbers would be very high for such shows.

  • Ultima

    I seriously don’t understand why people keep comparing Revolution to The Event.

    The question was when was the last time NBC saw numbers like Revolution’s for a scripted drama. The answer is The Event.

    Am I missing a more recent show?

    Are this some kind of stupid joke

    Nope, just a factual response to a question.

    No need to be so defensive! ;)

  • Ultima

    If a show gets a full season and isn’t renewed for a second season and the studio sold the show at a discount, how do they make a profit from it?

    They don’t. Studios produce shows at a loss for broadcast primetime with the hope that they strike it big with an off network syndication deal.

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