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
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  • Ultima

    @Thomas Marlowe
    can you please explain why Parenthood is certain to be renewed this year while last year it was “only” a likely renewal?

    Parenthood can have enough episodes for syndication after next season.

  • Robert Seidman

    @Mi: corrected reference to this past Thursday’s numbers, thanks.

  • Mi

    “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.”

    That’s not the case.

    The case is that for midseason, Fox has only the Following and Kevin Bacon agreed for a season of only 13 episodes. Fox were able to premiere Lie To Me earlier because they could give it the back 9 had they wanted to, but in this case, of Mob Doctor vs. repeats.. Fox decided to go with Mob Doctor.

    The same can be said about the CW. Had the CW had more midseason show, then they wouldn’t have given the back 9 to B&tB, but since EO bombed and they don’t have enough dramas in stock, they preferred to give the back order than air more repeats.

    The problem of both these networks imo is that they just didn’t greenlight enough new dramas.

  • Mi

    @Robert Seidman thanks

  • Tessa


    Yes I was talking about Bitten. :) I wasn’t bad mouthing it, just stating the facts. The fandom didn’t like it judging by the comments posted on the SPN forums and facebook page. The audience didn’t like it much either judging by the ratings. You are free to like it as much as you want but it’s the majority that has the last word.

  • hammard

    I assumed the Secret Circle cancellation was to do with trajectory rather than retention.
    HoD started with a 0.8 but was still pulling a 0.6 by the end of the season (and is still doing so now).
    TSC started with a 1.3 but finished with a 0.6.
    I would assume the CW would believe that the Secret Circle would continue to drop, just as Nikita did, whilst Hart of Dixie would stay a steady performer for the next 3 seasons.
    When they decided to keep Nikita (started with a 1.4, ended with a 0.7) they were probably expecting better than the 0.3 its been pulling now. They’ll keep it for syndication purposes but I’m sure they were hoping for Supernaturalesque ratings on the Friday.

  • Kyle

    In ratings matter, Beauty and the Beast is the CW’s new Secret Circle. And The Neighbors is ABC’s new Better with You, with stable ratings of low 2.0’s but it will be on the bubble next year.

  • Brandy

    Mi,Beauty may not have good retention out of VD and fallen faster than SC ,but it still would’ve gotten the back nine as 0.7 is good on CW and for right now ,it’s steady there & Beauty is the fourth highest show on CW and doing better than most of the lineup and cause Cult will be only 13 episodes a season,CWs been adamant & clear on that, I’ve also heard Cult has problems and negative early reviews.

  • Ddddddd

    BATB is only getting 0.7 because it airs right after TVD. Elsewhere during the week, it would perform worse. I tried to give it a chance but the dialogues were pretty bad at times. I still like it more than TSC or Ringer though. I think most people just watch the show for Kristin to be honest…

  • Michael

    What is the average percentage of renewal for shows in the “likely renewal” category?

  • Kavyn

    Batb is definintely another TSC. Both shows are terribly written and both shows can only maintain half of the TVD audience. BTB’s increase is co-related to TVD’s increase.

  • Italian viewer

    Thanks @Tessa for the answer!
    So I just have to hope they don’t cancel the show after its first season… :)
    Until then…I’ll go back checking the renewal/cancel index!

  • erin

    Gossip girls is the best show ever, there should be another renewal for Gossip Girls so there could be a Gossip Girls season 7

  • SarahL

    Yep, Scandal belongs on the bubble, but I still don’t see The Neighbors (which I love) as likely renewal.

    I love that Grimm is likely renewal. Despite the criticism from some quarters, it is a show that really has come into its own and NBC has been steadfast in its support and promotion of the show.

  • Danak

    In spite of the critics’ hate, The Neighbors is a funny show. I’ll admit the pilot left a lot to be desired, but it’s gotten better since then.

  • Sammy

    @Kavyn did u see more then one episode of B&TB ? this show is really getting better & better i think, u should give this show a little chance.

  • ragincajun

    The one benefit that Beauty and the Best has over Secret Circle is it in more procedural in nature. Instead of losing all of its momentum during an extended string of repeats like SC did last season, BatB may be able to attract a few new viewers during weeks when the other nets are in repeat mode .

  • SarahL

    Oops, I meant Grimm is certain renewal.

  • Austin Lauran

    Back in the early 2000?s, how low did a show’s ratings have to be to get cancelled?

  • Nathan

    Quote: “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.”

    @Joel: Can’t figure out if you’re serious or joshing…but. I’d argue that the BSG ’04 is one of the best television series in recent production history. BSG, of course, has plenty of interspecies sex between humans (sort of) and a species created by humans; and which even manages to wrap the story in a polythestic/mystical Creation myth. That said, I loathe The Neighbors to the point that I would rather watch that crime against the American public that is Whitney than this misbegotten farce of a comedy.

    But sure…must be my worldview. Carry on.

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