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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  • Ezduzit

    Partners will get picked up for a full season order…You heard it here first.

  • Chris

    “2 Broke Girls – CBS – certain renewal”

    How awesome! Thanks for the great news. XD

  • word


  • Zach Helms

    NBC needs to make a decent comedy block. While I am iffy about The New Normal, I definitely think Parks and Rec and Go On should be renewed. Place them with 2 new comedies, and have a newish comedy block.

    If Park’s and Rec stays above a 1.6/1.7, I think it will at least be ruined for a final season.

  • celine

    Wait, the good wife not sure? COme on the show is receiving too many good reviews to be canceled…As for castle I’m not sure…regarding neighbours I’m amazed it hasn’t been canceled yet. Worst show ever.

  • mayorofsmpleton


    Sadly good reviews don’t keep good shows on the air. The Good Wife has been bleeding viewership for 3+ years now.

    Season 1 was well rated buy by the end of the season it was doing mid 2’s. Season 2 it was doing low to mid 2’s. Season 3 was more of the same. It finished the season about where it’s at right now, high 1’s.

    It’s going to have just under 90 episodes by the end of the year so there’s a question as to if CBS will see incentive to renew it. I think it’ll be renewed and placed on Fridays if it holds at above a 1.6/1.7 on Sundays. A series with 100+ episodes is a healthier sell for syndication and being that it doesn’t have a deal yet I’m thinking that’s going to be CBS’s big selling tool.

    It also helps to be able to say “It’s still airing!” when trying to sell a series.

    Either way ratings are definitely NOT good.

  • Richard Steven Hack

    The problem with both Last Resort and Revolution is that they are terminally implausible premises. You have to be VERY good at execution to make shows like that survive more than one season. Almost every recent show with a lousy premise died the first season (The Event, Flash Forward, etc.)

    In this case, neither are that good at execution. SOME of the acting on Last Resort is pretty good, but the weekly plots are just not plausible. Also the likelihood that the situation they’re in would drag on day after day is not plausible. They’d either be home or dead within a week. The back story of nuclear attacks on Pakistan is simply ridiculous. The whole “island thugs” bit is a complete distraction from the main premise. Daisy Betts still can’t act since “Persons Unknown”. It’s a mess.

    The acting on Revolution sucks with the sole exceptions of Burke, Esposito, and the English chick (who’s now dead, so much for that) and potentially Elizabeth Mitchell (when she gets enough air time.) The show really has nothing to show except some decent fight scenes – which are still implausible for bringing swords to a gun fight.

    As far as I can tell, the SOLE feature keeping Revolution up in the ratings as far as it is is the Hunger Games “dystopian United States future” look and feel. Once that wears off, the show will either have to have a serious conspiracy theory going beyond the Matheson/Munroe stand-off (remember – THEY don’t know why the lights went out!) or the ratings will collapse like a stone like Ringer did. And that could happen any week.

    Disclaimer: I didn’t particular care for Hunger Games. Such fantasy dystopian futures are simply too implausible and a-historical to hold my interest. Road Warrior made more sense. A “cyberpunk” sci-fi future makes more sense.

    Between the two shows, I’d prefer Last Resort since at least it’s set in a realistic setting (however implausible the events) and has a conspiracy-based premise. Revolution may appeal to the “survivalist” crowd and Hunger Games fans – but that’s not enough to hold ratings long term without holding the general audience – and I don’t think they can do that.

  • Richard Steven Hack

    Oh, and I may be wrong – but I suspect the Revolution writers don’t actually HAVE an explanation for why electricity went out. I suspect they’re going to try to gloss over that and stretch it out for a couple seasons (which they won’t get.) They’ll play around with that gadget that allows electricity and let some people have electricity, but they’ll ignore the whole basis of the phenomena (because it makes no sense.)

    And then at the end it will be “God did it” or some similar nonsense.

  • Jiji Moran

    Just watched “Revolution”, and our “heroes” are still stuck trying to rescue the brother. More details about the characters are surfacing, but they are being fed a drop at a time. The violence is getting to be too much for my taste, so I am fast-forwarding the fight scenes, then hitting play when the fights are over to see who won.

    I’m not sure if I should continue watching. I wanted a good show with an out of the ordinary premise, one that requires imagination and deep thinking to keep my interest. But, the way it’s going… I don’t think “Revolution” is it.

  • Chuck Finley (AJ)

    It just wreaks of desperation for page views when this site latches on to every new scifi type show and tries to make it the “new Fringe” or the “new Chuck” for this site. Sad.

  • Justin121

    I’m interested in the NBC comedy scene.

    They have 10 fall comedies. Four are ending or getting cancelled.

    That leaves six.

    Go On, New Normal, Whitney, Guys with Kids, Community, Parks.

    Those six are almost certain renewals for next year.

    Other variables include:

    Two mid-season comedies 1600 Penn and Save Me.

    The possibilty of one of the six getting cancelled.

    The possibilty of Up All Night or Animal Practice getting renewed.

  • Marlene

    How can SVU be “fairly certain because of ratings” while Castle has better ratings and is scheduled as “not sure”? That makes no sense.

  • Holly


    Castle and SVU are on different networks with different expectations. SVU is in the top 5 scripted shows for NBC while Castle is in the bottom 5 for ABC.

  • Marlene


    Thank you. I still think that’s unfair but I get the within network-competition.
    On the other hand I don’t think Castle has a lot of competition either on ABC.

  • yeah

    The Event ratings numbers were good when it started. ALLOT of shows go to hell by Feb.

  • Fake Me Out

    @Richard Steven Hack

    …I suspect the Revolution writers don’t actually HAVE an explanation for why electricity went out…

    So far I’m enjoying Revolution despite a few OMG issues. I’ll buy into the electricity went out … it’s SciFi so I’ll give them a little lee way on why there was a global breakdown as opposed to a more localized (ie the Americas, or Europe, etc) outage … but my problem is why is it still out 15 yrs later? What ever the explanation it has to be something that is ongoing … a single event ‘could’ knock it out but within hours/days some people/governments would be bringing things back online … surely the US has plans on how to survive a massive EMP that knocks the grid offline TEMPORARILY … something is still at play that continues to suppress electrical/electronic devices on a global scale yet allows them to work when in the vicinity of an activated necklace … this will be a tricky path the writers have set for themselves and if it’s too much an OMG moment, that will be when the viewers begin to fade away.



  • Honey Badger

    Tvbythenumbers.com is a really FUN site!

    @ Robert Seidman you said “@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.”
    Thank you for the Compliment
    Well look how one of my bold and daring predictions is turning out. Yes I am “Crazy” like a fox. While I cannot compete with the The Cancellation Bear or tvbythenumbers.com predictions, I do have a lot of FUN on my Bold and Daring predictions.

    Honey Badger
    Posted October 11, 2012 at 10:31 AM
    @ CrimTV @r0ckmypants Here is an earlier posting with my reasons for the Bold and Daring Prediction – a huge drop in Nashville ratings on ABC, check back in a few weeks and I will be proved to be correct. (how is that for a bold and daring prediction?)
    @ adanskiiiii “I expected Nashville to premiere to a 3.5 considering it had Modern Family as a lead in.”
    I agree, I am shocked Nashville only pulled a 2.8 adults 18-49 rating. Especially after ABC used an hour of Modern Family as a lead in, (one of the highest rated shows on television), and heavy promotion.
    ” btw Nashville half hours were 3.0 and 2.5.” What a huge drop. Shows that a lot of people that tuned in due to the Modern Family as the lead in, and did not like Nashville. ABC is in trouble with this show already. Next week Nashville the lead in will be Suburgatory, not good.
    @ jt “I don’t have high expectations for Nashville. The premise is it should have been a mini-series. Too ‘country and women oriented’ drama. Doesn’t have a broader appeal.”
    I agree, Nashville seems to be targeted to a very specific demographic. It is a same old formula soap opera (we have seen this type of storyline numerous times), made to attract the older women demographic. Also it is further limited by its attempt to make it appeal to older country music fans. In fact the storylines are straight out of old country music songs: my spouse is cheating, betrayal, my boss is mean, etc… songs: Stand By Your Man, Take This Job And Shove It, etc

    I am predicting Nashville ratings will drop big time and keep dropping all season, not good for ABC.

  • Martine

    Thank you, DW.
    Um..What dog?

  • Martine

    What dog?

  • Martine

    There is no possible way that electricity could be made to go away. Negatively and positively charged electrons that create electricity are the basic stuff of what makes matter and life and things of that nature. Electricity is what makes us live. On the other hand, I have a pair of black pants that would be very nice if static was no longer an issue.

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