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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  • Richard Steven Hack

    I don’t think BATB can be directly compared to TSC for the reason someone else expressed: the shows are quite different. And frankly, I’m not sure why the CW thinks sticking just any show behind TVD is going to make up for a show’s actual quality.

    That said, I do think BATB is likely to not be renewed as it just didn’t take off. It seems likely to hold around .6-.7 for a while, the go down to .4-.5 in the spring like many CW shows.

    As to its specific quality, it’s not as bad as some people thought it might be, but it’s not in any sense compelling either. Making it a procedural crime drama rather than a serial conspiracy drama was a big mistake IMO. They should have at least balanced those elements more than they have.

    Last Resort made the same mistake, focusing on the wrong element of the premise. They should have spent more time on the conspiracy rather than showcasing the relationships of the sub crew and the implausible notion of the sub holding off the entire US military. This show is unquestionably doomed.

    Nikita will be renewed because the CW says it will. So its ratings are irrelevant. It probably could do a .1 and be renewed. Obviously the CW has run the numbers – and possibly has already been assured a syndication deal in Asia is in the works – and concluded that it will be profitable overseas after it ends its run here.

    And as for the upcoming “Cult”, I reiterate my prediction that it will “die very badly”. The premise is confused, the cast is so-so, and it’s only 13 episodes. I suspect it will do worse than TSC did – maybe as bad as Ringer.

  • Squirp

    People are watching The Neighbors?

    Jesus. Go f#(% yourself, America.

  • Jon

    The neighbors is laugh out loud funny. For some reason people are either afraid to admit they like it, or are afraid to tune in and watch because they might actually like it

  • Jon

    @Mary Ann, I’m pretty sure you will find POI on the one tv shows website to watch later. I usually watch POI live as well, so I’ve never watched it delayed, but I’d be surprised if POI is not there.

  • phy

    NONONONO! Don’t trust the B in apartment 23 is awesome! I laugh with every single thing, is a smart comedy, and goofy at the same time. I don’t want them to cancel that show!!! NOOOO! T__T First Community, now this. no. *denial*

  • Justin121

    All I know is that

    – Beauty & Beast is this year’s Secret Circle.

    – No show will air less than 13 episodes.

    – The Good Wife is getting renewed.

  • Alex

    I for one am not complaining that the networks don’t have itchy cancellation trigger fingers this year. I love Last Resort and if they let it at least get to 13 episodes then there’s a great chance the show will be allowed to resolve its storyline if its cancelled. Fortunately the two other shows I enjoy watching – Once Upon a Time and Revolution – are in no danger now (seeing people predicting gloom whenever these shows dip a little has become comical). And for my parent’s sake since it’s the only show they watch now, NCIS’s ensured survival means all remains right in their world. This is actually one of the better seasons I’ve experienced in recent years. Even if Last Resort gets cancelled I’m used to a near-100% failure rate on the shows I actually enjoy some years (so much so I more or less ignored 2010-11 completely because I didn’t want to invest time in any new shows on the assumption they’d just be cancelled, and I took a risk on OUAT last year).

  • Dan

    No show can hold on to TVD’s lead in like no show can hold on to Modern Family or Big Bangs lead in. My guess is BATB will move to fridays at 9 midseason to air post Nikita or 9 pm Tuesdays should Emily Owens get cancelled

  • Bob

    I know it will take a mighty big miracle, but I sincerely hope Guys with Kids gets renewed. Ok let’s start with a back 9 at least. The show is soooooo good.

  • Janet

    Please tell me what needs to happen for Glee to get cancel. Hit 2.0 in the demo?

  • Holly


    Please tell me what needs to happen for Glee to get cancel. Hit 2.0 in the demo?

    It would probably have to do worse than that unless it is unusually expensive. FOX hasn’t had much luck in their scripted development of late, so a 2.0 is still good for them.

  • Jan

    Get Scandal off the bubble – please!!! I’m getting so addicted to this show. Never thought I’d be able to stand Tony Goldwyn after “Ghost” but now I do. Don’t let it go down!

  • Janet

    I have read Glee is an expensive show so. Anyway thanks for your reply.

  • TvAllDay

    666, Partners, Emily Owens~ NOOOOOO

    Scandal, Nikita, Hart of Dixie, 90210~ Uh Oh

    The Middle, Hawaii Five-0, Elementary~ Looking Good

    Modern Family, Revenge, Arrow, Supernatural, Glee, Parenthood (Vampire Diaries- I’m only here for like 5 characters)~ SWEEETTTTTTT

    Gossip Girl~ R.I.P. 2007-2012

  • a p garcia

    Network executives want to be PC and look good among their piers. That is the reason why Partners and TNN have not been canceled.

  • Lanie Grace


    Agree with you 100% on Last Resort. They took a torpedo mid-stern when they decided to go all “Soap Opera”…

    Great premise, bad execution.

  • JT

    I think the problem of “The Beauty and the Beast” is that several viewers though it will be a revival of the old TV serie. They sell this as that. And at lest, I watched the first chapter with that in my mind and I was so dissapointed. The Beast is far the beast of the original show. He is a great actor and hansome. But I was wating a more beastly look and a more kind personality. Now I watched the serie again and I think is a good show, but a new name would be better.

  • JT

    Really you are prediction are good. Three of your certainly cancelles were cancelles these day, as you predict several weeks ago.

  • Mark3

    Dixie will get renewed! !

  • Lisa

    The Neighbors is oddly entertaining and I love Jamie Gertz. It’s a fun show to watch.

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