Renew-Cancel Recap/Bubble Watch: Why Are There So Few Cancellations This Year & Is 'Beauty & the Beast' This Year's 'Secret Circle?'

Categories: Bubble Watch

Written By

November 11th, 2012

Here we are, more than a third of the way into November and only two shows have been cancelled so far. I've gotten a few questions about why that is.

Meet This Year: Pretty Much The Same As Last Year and the Year Before!

It's true that the past two seasons by this time of year twice as many shows had been canceled. But that's one of those stats that sounds good in a press release (50% Fewer Cancellations!) but doesn't mean much of anything because the absolute numbers are so small. The past two seasons four shows had already been canceled by now. That only two are cancelled so far this season isn't really a deviation from the norm.  I've seen some suggest that it has been aided by NBC airing The Voice instead of scripted shows, but, nope, that's not it. Last year at this time were four hours of The Sing Off and The Biggest Loser on NBC Mondays and Tuesdays.

Me, I'd just blame it on normal variances, but if you absolutely have to have a culprit you can try "the debates and election" which caused slightly fewer airings of normal programming this season and/or weak bench strength at the networks.

Is Beauty and the Beast This Year's The Secret Circle?

While it's too soon for me to declare that's the case, on the heels of Beauty and the Beast getting a full-season pickup it's pretty clear it's not too soon for fans of The Secret Circle to be disgruntled!

I'm generally not a retentionista when it comes to predicting renewals. But in the case of the CW I made an exception to that rule last year because CW had one decent ratings performer (The Vampire Diaries) and a bunch of (for the CW) middling-to-bad ratings performers. The Secret Circle was a middling performer for the CW, despite having the best lead-in it could possibly have and because of the overall bleakness of the CW ratings landscape, I figured that was a case where retention would (and it seems, did) actually matter.

In one sense things are not so bleak for the CW this season.  They now have two decent performers (Arrow and The Vampire Diaries) and by moving Supernatural to Wednesdays to pair with Arrow, one pretty good performer.

If things continue on the same path, I'd guess that indeed, Beauty and the Beast is this year's The Secret Circle. Surely CW would like to find something to pair with The Vampire Diaries that performs about as well as Supernatural did out of Arrow last week where Supernatural held 77% of Arrow's 1.3 adults 18-49 rating.

Beauty and the Beast held less than 50% of The Vampire Diaries 1.5 adults 18-49 rating on Thursday.

But Beauty and the Beast has the gift of time. It seems unlikely it will improve, but it at least has that opportunity. It could also improve its lot simply by standing still while the rest of the CW crumbles around it.

My guess is that Beauty and the Beast is well on its way to becoming this season's The Secret Circle, but it will likely stay on the bubble a while.

When it comes to bubble status, like the Renew/Cancel Index we're focusing on the likelihood that a show will be renewed **for next season** (2013-14).  Certain shows are toss-ups where based on the ratings, the renewal decisions could go either way and not be surprising.

Here, “canceled” is used interchangeably with “won’t be renewed for next season” and is not meant to imply a show will be yanked off the schedule in the current season though obviously the two outcomes are not mutually exclusive. The semantics police and lawyers should feel free to break out the handcuffs and plead their cases in the comments. 

This Isn't The Renew/Cancel Index

Though the basic methodology is the same (intra-network relative ranking of shows by adults 18-49 ),unlike the Renew/Cancel Index which predicts what would happen if the season ended now, Bubble Watch prognosticates about what will happen by May. The two are still usually closely aligned, and almost certainly very closely aligned towards the end of the season.

Note: only scripted shows that have aired at least one episode this season are in the table below.

Show Network Status
Made in Jersey CBS Canceled
Animal Practice NBC Canceled
666 Park Avenue ABC Certain Cancellation
Last Resort ABC Certain Cancellation
Partners CBS Certain Cancellation
Emily Owens, M.D. CW Certain Cancellation
The Mob Doctor Fox Certain Cancellation
Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 ABC Likely Cancellation
Vegas CBS Likely Cancellation
Ben and Kate Fox Likely Cancellation
Guys with Kids NBC Likely Cancellation
Up All Night NBC Likely Cancellation
Happy Endings ABC On The Bubble
Last Man Standing ABC Too Soon
Malibu Country ABC Too Soon
Nashville ABC On The Bubble
Scandal ABC On The Bubble
CSI: NY CBS On The Bubble
The Good Wife CBS On The Bubble
The Mentalist CBS On The Bubble
90210 CW On The Bubble
Beauty and the Beast CW On The Bubble
Hart of Dixie CW On The Bubble
Nikita CW On The Bubble
The Mindy Project Fox On The Bubble
Chicago Fire NBC On The Bubble
Castle ABC Likely Renewal
Neighbors, The ABC Likely Renewal
Suburgatory ABC Likely Renewal
The Middle ABC Likely Renewal
CSI CBS Likely Renewal
Elementary CBS Likely Renewal
Hawaii Five-0 CBS Likely Renewal
How I Met Your Mother CBS Likely Renewal
Two and a Half Men CBS Likely Renewal
Bones Fox Likely Renewal
The Cleveland Show Fox Likely Renewal
Law & Order: SVU NBC Likely Renewal
Parks & Recreation NBC Likely Renewal
The New Normal NBC Likely Renewal
Grey's Anatomy ABC Certain Renewal
Modern Family ABC Certain Renewal
Once Upon a Time ABC Certain Renewal
Revenge ABC Certain Renewal
2 Broke Girls CBS Certain Renewal
Blue Bloods CBS Certain Renewal
Criminal Minds CBS Certain Renewal
Mike & Molly CBS Certain Renewal
NCIS CBS Certain Renewal
NCIS: Los Angeles CBS Certain Renewal
Person of Interest CBS Certain Renewal
Arrow CW Certain Renewal
Supernatural CW Certain Renewal
The Vampire Diaries CW Certain Renewal
Glee Fox Certain Renewal
New Girl Fox Certain Renewal
Raising Hope Fox Certain Renewal
Go On NBC Certain Renewal
Grimm NBC Certain Renewal
Parenthood NBC Certain Renewal
Revolution NBC Certain Renewal
The Big Bang Theory CBS Renewed
American Dad Fox Renewed
Bob's Burgers Fox Renewed
Family Guy Fox Renewed
The Simpsons Fox Renewed
Private Practice ABC Canceled/Final Season
Gossip Girl CW Final Season
Fringe Fox Final Season
30 Rock NBC Final Season
The Office NBC Final Season
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
  • Bill Gorman


    Burn him! ;)

  • John A

    Sing off on NBC is canceled right?

  • yOlO


  • Robert Seidman

    @Bill: ha, coincidentally it is the same time you were burned (perhaps “burned” is too strong, if so, go with “singed”) by not being a retentionista! Look at you now, a show indexing over 100% and you have it as a toss-up! ;-)

  • CBSviewer

    CSI: NY is, for me, likely Renewal (even with Blue Bloods +’if it made more gains than CSI: Miami last year, it makes more gains than The Mentalist, The Good Wife and Vegas) and the original CSI certain Renewal (best than all the new Shows + The Mentalist, Hawaii Five-0 and The good Wife)

  • Dan S

    I still can’t believe The Neighbors is a likely renewal. Something’s not right with the universe when 1 of the most panned shows of the new season is getting mediocre ratings & could actually see a 2nd season. Sounds like I’m talking about Whitney that never should’ve been renewed.

  • John A

    Is the neighbours really that bad? This show has hate on it before 1 ep aired.

  • joel

    I could see a scenario where a cable network picks up Nikita for a full season as part of a syndication deal.

  • Austin

    @John A yes, it was cancelled last year.

  • Oliver

    NBC moving The Voice to Fall provides significantly better lead-ins than The Sing-Off. As a result, NBC is having a better Fall, hence fewer cancellations. In addition, Fox have held back on the axe despite a poor season.

    The CW is apparently keen on procedurals that repeat better than their typical serialised shows, likely with an eye towards syndication, hence why they launched both Emily Owens MD and BatB in Fall. Emily Owens is a no-hoper, but if this is the case then they may think twice about axing BatB even with middling ratings (especially with ANTM potentially opening an extra Fall slot). I also think The CW’s ratings are so low that non-ratings forces will have a much bigger impact on their cancellation decisions than networks with actual viewers.

  • buddhaboi

    yes!Supernatural! my little show that can!

  • CrimTV

    Didn’t The Vampire Diaries adjust up to a 1.5 on Thursday meaning B&TB held even less than 50%?!

  • joel

    @John A
    My theory is some people are so emotionally against The Neighbors because it threatens their world view that the earth is flat, the center of the universe, and the only planet with life forms. That and the thought of inter-racial alien sex.

  • John A

    @Austin Thanks i thought it might have been pushed to mid season.

  • Blake

    The networks do seem to be a little more reluctant to pull the trigger these days.

    For example, two years ago, FOX pulled ‘Lone Star’ after just 2 low-rated September airings and immediately (from early October) replaced it with ‘Lie to Me’, another scripted drama.

    This year, they’re still airing ‘The Mob Doctor’ (in the same timeslot), although its ratings are horrible.

  • John A

    Your being leniant with Dont Trust the B Its certain Cancelation. HE probably safe for syndication.

  • j

    Maybe their development sucks and they have nothing to put in the place of their many failing shows.
    Or everything is falling so hard this season that their standards are falling hard too?

  • Moe

    @JohnA I like the Neighbors. It’s a harmless, nice little show. I don’t understand the hate on it, really. So I’m glad to see it as likely renewal.

    Just loving that Supernatural is doing so well so far!! Knocking on wood it keeps up!!

  • Court

    Csiny will be back next year show is vary one my fave it.

  • Thomas Marlowe

    @Robert: can you please explain why Parenthood is certain to be renewed this year while last year it was “only” a likely renewal? Is Parenthood close enough to syndication even with shorter seasons? I’d be SO happy if it was renewed.

© 2015 Tribune Digital Ventures