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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  • tahina

    Castle not sure and Bones likely renewal based on ratings? Castle has better ratings by large margin than Bones, and always has.So what gives this disparity. How about ELementary and Vegas, not included here. ????

  • Bob

    I am sad that Guys with Kids and Partners may be cancelled yet that horrid The New Normal has not sure which is at least one up on likely cancellation. Guys with Kids should get another timeslot before getting the can. And Partners would do really well another day (I have thought about this and the only logical place is after Big Bang Theory for 3 weeks and air 21/2 Men back at 0900 and put 2 broke girls at 0830. If CBS wants to have shows ready to go after the “oldies” finally ware out, it would be good to have a few that had potential in another timeslot.

  • Alex

    Suggestion – although the point of R/C is whether or not a show survives into the 2013-2014 season, it might not hurt to add a third column to the chart to indicate shows that have been given full-season pick-ups, such as Revolution, if for no other reason than to reassure fans that just because the index places it in the “not sure” column that doesn’t mean the fact that it’s a success at the moment is being ignored.

  • Cody

    “The New Normal” and “Go On” just got a full season pick-ups. Im thinking they will be renewed for a second season.

  • bluejays

    Sad to see Last Resort as likely cancelled and Private Practice.I think Castle will get another outing next season. Maybe in a different slot. It seems to have had the usual syndication ratings bump (it’s ratings are down on last year but slightly up compared to a lot of ABC’s ten pm fair) and it’s equalling it’s lead in – no mean feat. Revenge is my fave ABC show these days (sorry Private Practice)so good to see likely renewal.

    Saw another renewal thread on another forum and they had Elementary as likely to be cancelled which I think is too early to make that call, it’s done pretty well so far. Ratings wise I think CSI is a dead cert for renewal but it’s an old show and CBS might want to end it for other reasons. I think they should end partners now and just put Big Bang re-runs in its slot. They’d get better ratings.

    Revolution would have to have a really dramatic fall between now and spring to not get another season and it’s held up really well, why I don’t know as it’s way worse than Terra Nova and other genre shows that got canned. But it’s got that Hunger Games rip off vibe that the kids love :)

    Out of interest why is Person of Interest certain renewal and not based on ratings? Is it due to syndication politics?

  • Shawna

    @tahina “Castle has better ratings by large margin than Bones”…?
    Bones’ rating so far: 2.3,2.3,2.1,2.0
    Castle’s ratings so far: 2.1,1.9,2.2
    And even though Castle has about 3m more viewers than Bones, Bones still manages to match/get better demo ratings than Castle…unfortunately, Castle skews old and so that all important demo rating isn’t really good enough for them atm especially when they have 10m+ viewers

  • Elena

    ‘Not sure’ for Castle :( :(

    As a castle fan, I have to say I’ve been really disappointed by the ratings so far this season. A 1.9 for episode 2 this early on in the season? Not a good sign. I fear for the ratings once DTWS is done with this fall cycle, because usually Castle’s ratings fall alot.

    And the fact that Castle will reach 100 episodes this season with syndication deal already tied up, unless the ratings pick up, ABC will have no reason to renew the show for a 6th season.

  • Ryan

    I feel that Revolution’s ratings are on a similar path of “Studio 60″. Good premiere, but slowly dropping week over week. To me it also seems that production costs are a bit high for this show also, which was another big turnoff for Studio 60s eventual burnoff.

  • Jiji Moran

    “Chicago Fire” and “Last Resort” are well done and well acted, but who tunes in to watch such emotionally-draining shows?

    “Animal Practice”, to me, has potential and with a few twixes (mainly changing the receptionist) it can be turned into a good show, the possibilities for stories is infinite. Just too bad people are not giving it a chance.

    About “Revolution”… so far they are dragging us (the audience) in this journey reminescent of “The Legend of The Seeker.” But, as episodes and times go by, the journey becomes tiresome and boring, and if something interesting doesn’t happen soon, they will loose a few viewers, including me.

    It’s the norm now, for some grand-scale shows to start with a great premise, have a few amazing episodes and then flop down like a wet noodle stuck on the ceiling. Like a man drooling over a big-haired small-waisted buxom woman – after she says “yes”, they don’t know what to do.

    All IMO.

  • Lynn Schlatter

    Apropos of nothing, but does anyone else think the Revolution still attached to this post looks like Miles is trying to turn Jeremy into a cello?

  • Percysowner

    @Janus I wasn’t disputing the likely to be renewed. I know it’s not a sure thing. My quibble was that they said the the renewal was based on ratings. The description of “based on ratings” said the show would be likely renewed based on the ratings but it could be canceled because of factors like cast wanting to re-sign or increasing production costs. With the J’s already under contract, the show runner having just come on board with a 3 year plan, I just thought that the factors that could supersede the ratings have already been taken care of.

  • dcindep

    LAST RESORT is better than Revolution. Give it a chance, ABC. If not, at least give us a wrap up episode. There oughta be a law………

  • Percysowner

    Out of interest why is Person of Interest certain renewal and not based on ratings? Is it due to syndication politics?

    POI is only in its second season, so everyone should be under contract and the costs are already set. Robert said the based on ratings designation is mostly reserved for older shows.

  • Kelly

    Last Resort is the official underdog I am rooting for this season. Such a great show in such a crappy timeslot.

  • brutony

    Who says they want a Revolution well, you know, we just want to change the channel!

  • Bad Wolf

    It’s trange how some people cite “good writing” as a reason for viewers potentially sticking with Revolution in the near future. If good writing was enough to guarantee an important viewership, The Good Wife would easily beat pretty much everything on network TV !
    In a more general way, quality very rarely matters for network executives when it’s time to renew or cancel a show. That being said, there might be exceptions : I’m not sure CBS would have kept The Good Wife on the air for so long without its (well-deserved) awards, and the same goes for ABC keeping Alias alive for 5 seasons with lacklustre ratings from season 3 onwards.
    Anyway, I’d say Revolution is likely to follow the pattern of fallen FlashForward and The Event. Not certain, but likely.

  • Janus

    @Percysowner–I get you but I was responding to another posted who claimed Supernatural was already renewed for 3 full years. Which, of course, is not true.

  • SarahL

    Ah, The Neighbors, my guilty pleasure. That show just makes me laugh my head off. It will be lucky to last the season.

    I also enjoy The Mindy Project, but I would be surprised if it gets renewed.

    I like Scandal, but its ratings are low for a network show and I cannot see ABC waiting to see if they can build an audience, if they even can.

  • Veritas

    I watched Revolution for the first time last week-horrible show. Fifteen years after the apocalypse and everyone has styled hair, perfect white teeth and clean clothes. A bit more realism would be welcome. The lead actress is awful-just the sound of her voice reciting lines makes me laugh/cringe. Much like Terra Nova, this was a good concept which was poorly executed. The sooner this dog is cancelled, the better.

  • SuzyQ

    LAST RESORT needs to be in a new time slot! Why don’t they try this before cancelling it? Family hour against BIG BANG THEORY is ridiculous for a military drama IMO. If 666 PARK AVENUE is a definite goner, why not try moving LAST RESORT there? Seems like a very big investment to make (Hawaii crew & cast) for such a short trial period.

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