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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  • Honey Badger

    @ Ultima “ “@Honey Badger “At the end of the year NBC will still have the lowest overall show ratings behind CBS, ABC, Fox and will be barely ahead of CW”
    You said “Your efforts to trash NBC are undermined whenever you post garbage like this.”

    Just Stating Facts
    The reason I am predicting Revolution will continue to drop in the ratings is that every other show that started out great for NBC bombed in the ratings. The Event, Smash etc..
    a lot of NBC shows are being beat by CW shows, very alarming.
    Animal Practice, 30 Rock, Up All Night, Guys With Kids, etc. all beat in ratings by CW

    There is a reason they call NBC NBC = Nothing But Cancellations, they seem to screw everything up for some reason.

    NBC is still in the worst position in that their ratings are much lower than the other networks, and they are very dependent on The Voice and Football on NBC
    Show ratings for 18-49

    Look at the top 10 shows for each network
    NBC ratings are much lower than the other networks, and they are very dependent on The Voice and Football on NBC
    also this is the final season for The Office and 30 Rock on NBC

    Show ratings for 18-49
    Look at the top 10 shows for each network
    CBS The Big Bang Theory 4.9
    CBS NCIS 3.7
    CBS Two and a Half Men 3.6
    CBS 60 Minutes 3.6
    CBS 2 Broke Girls 3.5
    CBS How I Met Your Mother 3.2
    CBS Person Of Interest 3.0
    CBS MIKE & Molly 2.9
    top 10 avg 3.5

    ABC Modern Family 5.5
    ABC Grey’S ANATOMY 3.8
    ABC Once Upon A Time 3.4
    ABC Revenge 2.6
    ABC Castle 2.2
    ABC The Middle 2.2
    ABC The Neighbors 2.0
    ABC Scandal 2.0
    ABC Last Resort 1.9
    ABC 666 Park Avenue 1.7
    top 10 avg 2.7

    FOX Family Guy 3.4
    Simpsons FOX 3.1
    New Girl FOX 2.8
    FOX American Dad 2.6
    Fox Glee 2.6
    FOX Bob’s Burgers 2.3
    Fox The Cleveland Show 2.2
    Fox Bones 2.0
    Fox The Mindy Project 1.9
    top 10 avg 2.6

    NBC The VOICE NBC 4.6
    NBC Revolution 3.0
    NBC Go On 2.2
    NBC The Office 2.2
    NBC Law & Order: SVU 2.1
    NBC Parks and Recreation 1.9
    NBC The New Normal 1.7
    NBC Parenthood 1.6
    NBC Grimm 1.6
    NBC Guys With Kids 1.6
    top 10 avg 2.3

    ? http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2012/10/09/tv-ratings-broadcast-top-25-sunday-night-football-tops-week-2-viewing-among-adults-18-49-but-ncis-wins-with-total-viewers/152130/
    In fact look at the top 25 shows, take away The Voice and Football on NBC they don’t have anything except REVOLUTION
    Primetime Broadcast Adults 18-49 Viewers for the week ending October 7, 2012:
    Rank Shows R=Repeat S=Special P=Premiere Net 18-49 rating 18-49 Viewers (000)
    1 NBC Sunday Night Football NBC 7.2 9117
    3 Big Bang Theory, THE CBS 4.9 6189
    4 VOICE NBC 4.6 5776
    6 Grey’S ANATOMY ABC 3.8 4837
    7 NCIS CBS 3.7 4686
    8 Two and a Half Men CBS 3.6 4515
    9 60 Minutes CBS 3.6 4507
    10 X-FACTOR-WED FOX 3.5 4480
    11 2 Broke Girls CBS 3.5 4372
    12 Family Guy FOX 3.4 4352
    13 Once Upon A Time ABC 3.4 4314
    14 How I Met Your Mother CBS 3.3 4117
    15 REVOLUTION NBC 3.2 4006
    16 X-FACTOR-THU FOX 3.2 3992
    17 Simpsons FOX 3.1 3945
    18 NCIS: LOS ANGELES CBS 3.1 3871
    19 Person Of Interest CBS 3.0 3832
    20 VOICE-TUE NBC 3.0 3771
    22 FOOTBALL NT AMERICA PT 2 NBC 2.9 3706
    23 MIKE & Molly CBS 2.9 3631
    24 DECISION’12 PRES ANALYS(S) S NBC 2.8 3565
    25 New Girl FOX 2.8 3501

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “I really like the “based on ratings” addition”

    I’m doing something vaguely similar for the R/C Index. I’ve quietly changed the bolierplate text at the top this season to read “predicts the network’s decision on renewal or cancellation” to differentiate it from a star’s decision or the producer’s decision.

    Since nobody reads the boilerplate, I will also add some text to the middle of the post at times.

    I do attempt to predict the “too expensive but has the ratings” cases (but am usually wrong), luckily those situations are pretty rare.

  • Honey Badger

    The numbers above are a week old, but it does paint a picture

  • Honey Badger

    I have to admit I do like a some of the NBC shows, but they do not seem to schedule them in good spots. And I am not happy they refuse to air Community, and continue to air Animal Practice and that monkey that annoys me

  • Ultima

    @Honey Badger


    will be barely ahead of CW

    That’s the part I was referring to; it’s complete and utter nonsense.

  • Honey Badger

    @ Ultima
    You are right. I am sorry. I should have worded that some of NBC shows are being beat head to head by CW shows, and that is very alarming,
    a lot of NBC shows are being beat by CW shows, very alarming. Animal Practice, 30 Rock, Up All Night, Guys With Kids, etc. all beat in ratings by CW

  • Ultima

    @Honey Badger
    a lot of NBC shows are being beat by CW shows, very alarming.

    The CW is beating two hours of NBC – with premieres. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Guys with Kids top Arrow next week.

    Last season, The CW was beating an hour of ABC (Thursday 8pm), so this is nothing new. ABC isn’t in dire straits. No one is saying ABC’s shows are doing barely better than the CW.

    Live+SD average for scripted shows last season (so ignoring The Voice and the NFL)…

    NBC – 1.7
    CW – 0.7

    It’s not close.

  • Honey Badger

    @ Ultima

    Thanks for the info.

  • Honey Badger

    Also NBC made “Chuck” go away.
    I miss Chuck
    Come back Shane, oops I mean come back Chuck

  • Justin121 *nerd alert*

    Likely renewal, Likely cancellation, On the bubble

    should do…

  • Jonathan

    I absolutely like Community’s chances at this point.

    13 episodes get them to 84, and with NBC losing two sitcoms and canceling three of the ones currently airing, says to me another 13 episode season is entirely reasonable.

    Especially if it comes back and does what it was doing, considering only one of the two mid season comedies they have left has ANY promise (1600 Penn sounds interesting, while Save Me sounds like a disaster, but we all know how much America LOVES Anne Heche).

    The only way I see Community being doomed is if NBC just decides to blow up the schedule completely and cancel almost everything.

  • Mork & Mindy Killed Last Resort

    I remember when this thing had Whitney getting cancelled most of the year, that’s when I stopped paying any attention to it.

  • Janus

    Supernatural was not renewed for 3 seasons. The 2 J’s have signed for 2 more seasons and the new show runner has at least a 3 year plan BUT nothing is guaranteed after this year.

    That said season 9 is almost sure.

  • Serra


    “The Event” was already down to a 2.2 in the 18-49 category by episode 4 Revolution did a 3.0 for Monday’s ep.4

  • Oliver

    I think you’re being irrationally optimistic about Community’s renewal chances. It was NBC’s lowest rated renewal last season (although it had syndication on its side) and the network has publicly announced it wants to change direction (which is a giant red flag).

    It’s not impossible, just unlikely. If it gains a couple of tenths in a better timeslot and their new shows crash and burn then they won’t have much choice.

  • Jonathan

    I just don’t picture NBC abandoning comedy entirely, it’s been their bread and butter for so long and it just looks like other shows have failed so completely that Community becomes a more attractive option by the week.

    Granted, NBC may have an amazing developmental year and they won’t have a use for Community, but what are the odds of NBC having such a dramatic turnaround?

    I predict that it’s entirely possible by the end of the season Community ends up treading water just enough to stay ahead of most of the other sitcoms.

    Go On and New Normal are the two biggest comedies they’ll have next year, then you have Parks and Community, then you have Whitney, maybe 1600 Penn, Animal Practice and Up All Night are basically dead, Guys With Kids will probably get the rest of the season just to see if AP’s poor numbers are what’s dragging it down, Save Me does not look promising at all and the Office spinoff is a huge question mark.

    If nothing else, I see them keeping Community and Parks for one more year at least as insurance against any big moves they make blowing up in their face.

  • Justin121 *nerd alert*

    I personally don’t like the “based on ratings” addition.

    This is a ratings website. Everything is based on ratings. That much is a given.

    You are the most credible site in the Renewal/Cancellation business.

    Should keep the table as simple as possible.

    You do a fine job noting the exceptions in the text (besides the renewed/cancelled/final season notes).

  • Oliver

    NBC could easily reduce their comedies back to two/three hours. Go On, TNN, the Michael J Fox sitcom and Parks would be plenty.

    I wouldn’t even be surprised if NBC do what ABC did on Wed 2009-10 and relaunch a comedy night from scratch using the new Michael J Fox show as an anchor.

  • CrystalBall

    I think Revolution is likely to be renewed at this point, it will sure drop in ratings, but to me there is 3 reasons to why it won’t drop under the cancellation line :
    – it has a stong lead in
    – its live+7 numbers shows are pretty good (which means people are giving it a chance)
    – the writting is not impressive but it’s not bad either (and a show like walking dead who has stupid plots and character manage to have excellent ratings)

  • Dan S

    Despite any shortcomings people have with Revolution 1 thing is certain, it’s not boring. The show is fast paced & yes I actually do care about the characters. If the show was getting mid to low 2’s by now I’d say it’s going the way of the Event. It has yet go below 3.0 so it’s holding up well. I’m quite certain it’ll see a 2nd season & will be the tent pole on another night eventually to help NBC rebuild their primetime lineup.

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