Bubble Watch: ‘666 Park Avenue,’ ‘Last Resort’ and ‘Partners’ Cancellations Spur Nielsen Rage and Fan Campaigns

Categories: Bubble Watch

Written By

November 18th, 2012


CBS’s Partners was cancelled and removed from the schedule on Friday. Slightly softer exits for ABC’s 666 Park Avenue and Last Resort. Neither show got a back nine pickup, but both will get to air all of their episodes according to ABC. All three are marked “canceled” in the table below. None of them will be back next year.

Nobody who reads our site regularly should be surprised at any of those cancellations. They’d all been certain cancellations both here and in the Renew/Cancel Index for a while. In the case of the two ABC shows, they were. by wide margins the lowest-rated dramas that hadn’t already been cancelled (joining Private Practice). Similarly Partners was CBS’s lowest-rated comedy by a wide margin. Predicting those cancellations was akin to predicting that “water is wet” and “fire is hot.”

Another easy prediction: the Nielsen rage and fan campaigns that ensured in comments, e-mails, Twitter, Facebook, etc. While I’m not a believer in the fan campaigns, I’ll give them a very slight edge over Nielsen rage in terms of being worthwhile because they at least can give a person the illusion of doing something productive.  Still, I was amused by the EW story that quoted a “suit” as saying it amounts to “pissing in the wind.” But I'll take that over the "antiquated system" complaints, particularly the protests that Nielsen doesn't measure DVR viewing (it does!). But advertisers only pay for commercial viewing 3 days after shows air, and advertisers don't pay when the commercials get skipped/fast-forwarded during DVR playback.

No state-of-the-art measurement system is going to convince advertisers to pay for things they're not interested in paying for. But fans and TV networks can dream!

Don't Trust the B----, Happy Endings & The Neighbors

You can debate whether I did it on purpose or merely forgot to downgrade Don't Trust the B----to certain cancellation and Happy Endings to likely cancellation thiis week.  The B---- pulled some horrible, terrible, awful numbers on Tuesday, and Happy Endings wasn't much better.  Though Happy Endings is in its third season, because it's first season was only 13 episodes, it's going to need more than one more season to get to the 88 episodes necessary for Mon-Fri syndication.  But with Sony involved in its production, its relative ratings will have to get worse to get moved off the bubble.

As for The Neighbors, yep, I did merely forget to downgrade it to the bubble. I updated the text in the table, but the sorting and color is off. Next week...

Update: Bonus Forgetfulness

Yep, I forgot to add Whitney to the table even though it premiered on Wednesday. Because there's only one data point I'd have had it "on the bubble/too soon" this week anyway. It'll probably be there next week too since it's airing on Thanksgiving Eve...

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
666 Park Avenue ABC Canceled
Last Resort ABC Canceled
Made in Jersey CBS Canceled
Partners CBS Canceled
Animal Practice NBC Canceled
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 On The Bubble
Malibu Country ABC On The Bubble
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
Hart of Dixie CW On The Bubble
Nikita CW On The Bubble
Beauty and the Beast CW On The Bubble
The Mindy Project Fox On The Bubble
Chicago Fire NBC On The Bubble
Castle ABC Likely Renewal
Neighbors, The ABC On The Bubble, Sorry About the Sort/Color
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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  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “I dont quite understand how anyone would feel “outrage” about the cancellation of three shows that no one had ever seen just seven weeks ago. Does seven weeks really create such emotional devotion to a television program? Maybe I would understand, “That’s a bummer. I liked that show.” But a fan campaign?? I dont get it.”

    Neither to I, but after 5 years of working on this site it no longer surprises me. Plus the level of entitlement that many commenters express was truly astonishing when I first experienced it. Now, par for the course.

    It’s a TV show which in almost all cases they watched for free (and for most of our international commenters, free of commercials as well).

  • Nick

    @Rob R

    You must have never seen Last Resort. It’s that good.

  • Toni

    Don’t Trust The B—- in Apartment 23 is certail cancellation! C’mon …

  • Freddy Arrow


    “Blah, blah, blah… Typical. You have nothing of substance to contribute. You write and comment on other people’s posts just to give yourself something to do”

    Are you talking about your own comments? Your description describes them a lot better than they do Mickey’s comments, in which he had a good point.

  • Tom

    Bill: Anyone who spends time posting comments to a site about television ratings is bound to be more committed than the average viewer. Why else would some of the these guys be proposing program schedules for CW to run next season? What’s going on is no different than fans camping out to buy tickets for their favorite movie franchise. I don’t see anything particularly unusual about that sort of commitment.

    As for being entitled, I doubt if network television being free has much to do with it. Although I pay for cable and premium channels, there’s no guarantee that my favorite programs on those networks won’t be cancelled as well. The difference seems to be that the audiences are typically smaller. So, while cancelling a cable show may affect a few hundred thousand viewers, even the worst cancelled network show may nevertheless have a million or more regular viewers. As the CW demonstrates weekly, there’s no accounting for taste. So, I wouldn’t be especially critical of those fans who imprint on network shows that were seemingly doomed after their first episode.

  • slddl

    @Toni: I believe B— still “On the bubble” due to ABC’s tendency to sometimes renew their lower rated comedies. But yes, most likely it’ll be canned, which makes me a sad panda.

    Happy Endings will probably move back to Wednesdays – ABC seems to love this show considering the low-rated first season.

  • vcoolwater

    Oh well, 666 Park Ave was geting good. However I knew the show was going to get cancelled, so I am not upset.

    Hart of Dixie should be a tossup. It has better chance of getting renewed than BATB as of right now. However the ratings are not that great. Plus we have to see ratings don’t drop in the Spring.

    Plus I doubt Hart will do well in the international market compare to Beauty and Beast.

  • slddl

    Sorry, I meant why B— is still on the “likely”-list.

  • Brandy

    Arrow right now is certain renwal so are SPN,VD.I think CW will put 4_5 new shows on next season, so in addition to GG,EO, so only to two of the following can be renewed:B&B,Nikita,HoD,Cult,Carrie Diaries.I wouldnt be suprised if only Nikita & Hart were renewed.But,someone posted on this site last week that Pedowitz has been insctructed to clean house,which means a bloobath come May.Beauty will have to stay steady at 0.6_0.7 to even have a shot,especially since Arrow seems to be a hit,theyll be less tlolerant of underperforming shows.I think 90210 will get a short final season,but it wouldnt suprise me if they ended it this season.I love Beauty and hope it gets renewed but, I dont think itll stay at 0.6_0.7 the rest of the season and its already doing much worse than SC,Nikita,SPN in that slot and has poor retention out of VD so itll probably be cancelled.Nikita,someone posted here a week or two ago that WB made a deal for third season shows to get syndicated and Mark was told to clean house and Craig said he had a three year plan,and shiws with less than 88_100 episodes have been syndicated and the ratings are awful,is CW really willing to choke two and a quarter seasons of horrible ratings in the HOPE someone wants to buy it in syndication?What if noone buys it and CW keeps reneweing it with terrible ratings?

  • HalCapone

    Whether one loved or hated Last Resort and 666, at least they were attempts to deliver something other than a cop procedural or singing competition; just for that fact alone I feel sad about the state of network programming with the cancellation of both these shows. I also happened to think that Last Resort was the best new drama series to debut this season and 666 grew on me with each successive episode but America has spoken. The cancellation of Partners actually caused the collective intelligence of Americans to increase, though, so thank you CBS for caring.

    Scheduling anything against the tired (albeit inoffensive) Big Bang Theory and (mostly offensive) 2-1/2 Men comedy combo appears to be an exercise in futility for any network, not just ABC. High concept dramas like Last Resort or Missing certainly didn’t work, nor did cheesy T&A like Charlie’s Angels. ABC needs a comedy block in the 8-9pm Thursday hour or burn of the final year(s) of DWTS here. I wonder if The Middle with its loyal family friendly fanbase would succeed here, paired with either a new comedy or something like Suburgatory or Happy Endings? Nothing scheduled before Greys seems to have any impact on its solid ratings so ABC should continue to take risks.

  • Brandy

    I mean GG was a hit in its first two or three seasons,does well internationally.online,on itunes,in dvd sales,has its own fashion line,had lots of buzz and til the last quarter of seasin five had better ratings than Nikita in seasons two and three,yet GG struggeled to get syndicated.

  • SarahL

    The cancellation threads really do bring out fan wackiness. 2+2=4. Blow that up. Write treatise of nothingness over that. Go for it. The thread is all yours.

  • vcoolwater

    Didn’t Wipeout do okay at 8pm Thursday time slot. I think ABC should put a reality show in that slot.

    Maybe more episodes of Wipeout or move Shark Tank. They are low cost, so lower ratings wouldn’t be a big deal.

  • Dan S

    Thur at 8 on ABC is a puzzle. I think they should just schedule cheap programming like Wipeout there. I also believe on Wed they should go with a 3 hr comedy block & get both HE & Apt 23 over there & move Nashville to Sun at 10. Zero Hour or Red Widow could air Tues at 9pm. The only show I disagree with its designation this week is The Middle. It should be certain renewal since it has steady numbers & is close to syndication.

  • iowegian

    I keep reading a commenter say ABC should double down on their failures and add more comedies at 10pm.

    I can’t remember any comedies at that hour recently. What was the last successful sitcom at 10pm.

  • Brandy

    If I was Mark, id cut my losses with Nikita ,get it syndicated with 60+ episodes,give 90210 a short final season,cancel Emily Owens,Beauty &Beast,Cult ,Carrie Diaries,announce season nine as SPN(shows shouldnt last that long)&put 4_5 new shows on next season ,renewArrow,VD,HoD.
    Im glad Once,VD,2 Broke Girls are certain renwals and I really hope HoD gets renewed,Beauty too but im not holding my breath.Im sure 90210 will get a proper finale wheather this season or next.

  • HalCapone

    @Dan S & @vcoolwater
    Wipeout or some other cheesy reality show (I don’t put Shark Tank in the cheesy category) are always an option for ABC at 8pm on Thursday but it seems more like capitulation to me than a winning counter programming strategy. Thursday is too important (I believe only 2nd in viewing demographics after Sunday) to not make at least a strong competitive effort. While I don’t think Big Bang is an awful show, its stratospheric ratings are a puzzler to me just based on the length of time on the air. Shows like Last Resort would appeal to an older audience (than TBBT) or at least an audience that likes to be challenged a little more intellectually than a light comedy can offer, so it is not surprising Last Resort didn’t pull any viewers away from that CBS powerhouse. I wondered (like many on this site) whether Last Resort would have been better served at a later time (and possibly another evening) but we will never know now. Success and failure in television ratings has nothing to do with quality or originality (although I am more inclined to say that the presence of either “almost” always dooms a new show nowadays, especially with so many cable alternatives and viewing options).

  • swrazor

    it has always been ridiculous that ratings are measured this way. (hmmm let’s measure a shows success by the number of houses that must have a little box that most people don’t even know about.) Talk about a small sample.

    I shutter to think how many shows have been put down, that were actually popular by ALL of it’s watchers. It’s like the electoral college for cryin out loud.

    Why do they do it this way? (That is not rhetorical, I’m actually asking.)

  • Mi

    I think ABC should either move Castle to Thursdays at 8PM or air a cheap reality there. They can’t place a new show in that slot because it would just kill it, and had Last Resort been in another slot I think it would’ve had better chances.

  • Charlie

    This is ridiculous. All four freshman fall shows on ABC are great. Why aren’t they doing good? Last Resort and 666 Park just piss me off. It just makes me so mad. Why would Nashville and the Neighbors go to bubble watch? That’s just lame.

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