Renew/Cancel Recap: The Syndication Gods Must Be Crazy...About Nikita!?!?

Categories: Bubble Watch

Written By

October 28th, 2012

This week there were no renewals or cancellations announced for any of the broadcast network's scripted shows (but Showtime announced a third season renewal of Homeland if you just can't stand not having any renewal news). While not renewals, CBS gave full season “back nine” orders for Elementary and Vegas.

In last week's Renew/Cancel Index for ABC on Tuesday, Nashville fell to a toss-up, but the good news for Nashville fans is rating stabilized for its third episode.

Woefully Rated 'Nikita' Is Likely To Be Renewed; Wait, WHAT??!! (Redux)

Bill appropriately titled last Tuesday's Renew/Cancel post for CW with the bold text above. The conventional wisdom is that once Nikita was picked up for a third season it would be shepherded along to at least a fourth to get to 88 episodes for syndication purposes. Granted, conventional wisdom doesn't usually involve shows as low-rated as Nikita, but it's not like Nikita's ratings were any good last year either and while CW execs probably hoped for the best with the changes to the Friday night lineup, it surely knew that there was a good possibility the ratings would get worse than last year.

But then the preliminary ratings for Friday came out -- a 0.2 adults 18-49 rating (yes, that could be adjusted up to a 0.3 in the finals -- woot!) prompting questions like:

"is woefuller a word?"

It also begs the question of "just how crazy are the syndication gods that they would demand -- d-e-m-a-n-d -- more episodes of Nikita?" There is plenty of anecdotal evidence that when it comes to ratings the syndication gods make some demands that to mere mortals like me seem pretty crazy. But Nikita ratings style  C-R-A-Z-Y?!

That's a reasonable question and one that I'm pretty curious to learn the answer to myself. While I'm not as comfortable as Bill,  because of syndication I wouldn't have Nikita as likely or certain to be canceled  either. I definitely wouldn't bet any money Nikita will be canceled, but I'm not sure I'd bet $5 it will be renewed either! I'd have it on the bubble.

I hope Nikita fans won't hate me, but I'm kind of rooting for a 0.1 A18-49 rating just to see @TheCancelBear squirm...or perhaps go crazy and ride a tricycle!

Show Network Renewal Status
Private Practice ABC Cancelled/Final Season
666 Park Avenue ABC
Last Resort ABC
Scandal ABC
Castle ABC
Don't Trust the B---- in Apt 23 ABC
Happy Endings ABC
Neighbors, The ABC
Nashville ABC
Middle, The ABC
Suburgatory ABC
Revenge ABC
Grey's Anatomy ABC
Once Upon a Time ABC
Modern Family ABC
Made in Jersey CBS Cancelled
Partners CBS
Good Wife, The CBS
Mentalist, The CBS
Vegas CBS
Elementary CBS
Criminal Minds CBS
How I Met Your Mother CBS
Two and a Half Men CBS
Hawaii Five-0 CBS
Blue Bloods CBS
Person of Interest CBS
Mike & Molly CBS
2 Broke Girls CBS
Big Bang Theory, The CBS Renewed
Gossip Girl CW Final Season
Hart of Dixie CW
90210 CW
Emily Owens, M.D. CW
Nikita CW
Beauty and the Beast CW
Arrow CW
Supernatural CW
The Vampire Diaries CW
Fringe FOX Final Season
Mob Doctor, The FOX
Ben & Kate FOX
Mindy Project, The FOX
Bones FOX
Raising Hope FOX
Cleveland Show, The FOX
Glee FOX
New Girl FOX
Bob's Burgers FOX Renewed
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 Cancelled
Up All Night NBC
Guys with Kids NBC
New Normal, The NBC
Chicago Fire NBC
Law & Order: SVU NBC
Parks & Recreation NBC
Revolution NBC
Parenthood NBC
Grimm NBC
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  • KS

    Is there anyone here who’s worried about ‘sandy’? Every poster here seems to look exceptionally calm!

  • Nikki

    at anthony.. It should make a difference,. Thats what ive been saying all along.

  • Justin

    I dont know why more people dont watch Nikita? Probably because its more of a ‘guy show’ on a ‘girl channel’. But it is awesome!

  • CBSviewer

    @ Robert
    There is no Bubble Watch anymore ?

  • CBSviewer

    What will happen if Elementary is the only new show to be renewed by CBS ? Just one of The Good Wife, CSI: NY and The Mentalist will be canceled ?

  • Aeiouy

    It does seem to me a show does need some sort of appeal to humans to make syndication viable. Who are these outlets buying shows nobody watches?

    I know Wgn usa airs Til Death episodes. If a show was ever burned off for syndication that is it. In its last season it aired six new episodes on thanksgiving and Christmas combined.

    Syndication buyers have to want more than just that a network show had 88 episodes don’t they?

  • Richard Steven Hack

    As for Nikita’s syndication potential, I’d say it’s pretty clear that anything with Maggie Q in it will do dynamite in Asian markets. My guess is the studio would profit from that market alone. It probably would also do well in the European and South American markets. I have no idea about actual dollars, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the studio thought they could make their money back on it. If that’s true, then clearly Nikita will get a fourth season.

    As we’ve said here before, we simply don’t know the calculations. There were at least three shows last season that should not have been renewed based on ratings: Nikita, Body of Proof, and Fringe. That didn’t stop the networks from renewing them. Of the three, Nikita had the lowest ratings. But it’s also on the lowest-rated network, ALL of whose shows have ratings that would get them not only canceled but PULLED on any other network.

    As for Nikki’s dislike of the show, that’s her opinion and she’s entitled to it – however stupid it might actually be. The show in fact is well written, very well acted, well directed, and has an intense pace that works well for the genre, recalling 24 (which was a very similar show in terms of premise, actually.)

    The four experienced actors of the previous season (Q, West, Clarke and Berkeley) have been excellent. Anyone who thinks Q can’t act needs to watch the torture scene from last season. Clarke has been perfect as Amanda, as has West as Michael. Berkeley has been one of the best villains ever on TV. Fonseca is a bit weak but is adequate for her role as the least polished of the main characters. Devon Sawa has been good in a funky sort of way. Aaron Stanford has been superb as Birkhoff. Dillon Casey (Sean) and Noah Bean (Ryan) are the two weak link actors and the most boring characters, there only for their functionality as the “guy for Alex” and the “inside man”.

    As for the show being “cold”, as someone said, one could say that about every spy show – these aren’t romantic comedies. If one isn’t into action and violence and devious plots, you’re obviously watching the wrong show. But even there, there have been many, many highly emotional scenes between the characters that were played well. Judging a show by watching one episode in each of two seasons isn’t the smartest play.

  • Colin

    Ratings don’t matter if a network is buying shows for syndation

  • ForceChoke

    Aeiouy: Syndication happens worldwide and online in addition to broadcast and cable stateside. It may be a flop on live broadcast on a timeslot that traditionally under performs to begin with, but that doesnt mean it wont be successful in other mediums. Also, as I stated in the past, Netflix increases the amount paid per episode if they make more episodes, so that may be another reason to keep underperforming shows around longer.

  • Matt H.

    Where do foreign rights/sales enter into these equations? Hard to believe that the elusive promise of syndication alone are responsible for keeping Nikita on the air.

  • Nick


    The CW needs to take back Wednesday 10PM from the local affiliates in exchange for Friday 9PM.

    What a stupid idea. Why would the affilitates give up the spot behind the highest-rated 9pm show for a Friday slot? What would they even air there?

  • Nick

    @Matt H

    Where do foreign rights/sales enter into these equations?

    They barely matter at all.

    Hard to believe that the elusive promise of syndication alone are responsible for keeping Nikita on the air.

    Well, it’s not spectacular ratings!

  • Robert Seidman

    @Nick: you have no idea how much they matter. Neither do I.

  • Ultima

    What will happen if Elementary is the only new show to be renewed by CBS ? Just one of The Good Wife, CSI: NY and The Mentalist will be canceled ?

    Yes, unless CBS expands their reality hours (i.e. scheduling reality for Friday 8pm in the fall).

  • Nick

    Good point.

  • CBSviewer

    I now seriously think CSI: NY and The Mentalist will be Renewed. The Good Wife will be replaced by Hawaii Five-0 on Sunday at 9/8c. Plus after the disaster of Made in Jersey on Friday CBS would keep the same night with a new drama at 8/7c (until February).

  • itsmeagain

    lol @ Professor. you’re so right!

    Fans of Nikita always blame everything for the low ratings and claim that their show is amazing bla bla blaa. meh.

  • Buddy

    I’m wondering if Warner Bros. won’t look for an off-network opportunity to run a subsequent season of Nikita. I know CW only makes money on syndication but a .2 is damaging even to them. Didn’t CW just sign a major pact with Netflix? Maybe Nikita will become a “Netflix original” series, especially if Warner Bros. will foot most of the bill for syndication purposes.

  • Court

    I went Csi:ny back CBS do new have so many fan that watch it.

  • TJeff

    Here is my question, I don’t fully understand how syndication works. But even Nikita gets enough episode, will any cable willing to buy it? There are only 0.8m people watched last episode, that number is not even good on many cables, will they really want to buy a show has much lower ratings than their own shows?

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