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.

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Show Network Status
666 Park Avenue ABC Canceled
Last Resort ABC Canceled
Made In Jersey CBS Canceled
Partners CBS Canceled
Animal Practice NBC Canceled
tvbythenumbers.com
Emily Owens, M.D. CW Certain Cancellation
The Mob Doctor Fox Certain Cancellation
tvbythenumbers.com
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
tvbythenumbers.com
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
tvbythenumbers.com
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
tvbythenumbers.com
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
tvbythenumbers.com
The Big Bang Theory CBS Renewed
American Dad Fox Renewed
Bob's Burgers Fox Renewed
Family Guy Fox Renewed
The Simpsons Fox Renewed
tvbythenumbers.com
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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  • Alex

    @Ultima – However JakeSnake makes a valid point in that few of the changes seem to have made any difference in the age-old failing of Nielsen that quite often the wrong shows get cancelled. Also, in a 500+ channel plus internet plus DVD/Blu-ray universe, the question has to be asked as to whether advertisers and networks are applying yesterday’s standards to today’s ratings. For example, back in the day it wasn’t uncommon for a show to regularly get 30 to 40 million viewers. These days that happens primarily with special events programming – you don’t see NCIS hitting those numbers. So if Last Resort was scoring 1.8, has anyone bothered to work out what that might have equated to back in the days of a 3-channel universe when all it was was NBC, CBS and ABC? You might find that 1.8 equating to a 6 or 7.

    Put another way, do the networks and advertisers understand that they need to be setting the bar lower now? On some cable networks, a 1.8 is a huge rating.

  • Ultima

    @Alex
    So if Last Resort was scoring 1.8, has anyone bothered to work out what that might have equated to back in the days of a 3-channel universe when all it was was NBC, CBS and ABC? You might find that 1.8 equating to a 6 or 7.

    And that would have been awful and gotten it canceled because everything else would have had higher relative ratings as well.

    What is your point?

  • Anthony Parello (AP076)

    @Alex
    “However JakeSnake makes a valid point in that few of the changes seem to have made any difference in the age-old failing of Nielsen that quite often the wrong shows get cancelled.”

    What evidence do you possess to back up this assertion that the “wrong” shows get cancelled?

    “the question has to be asked as to whether advertisers and networks are applying yesterday’s standards to today’s ratings”

    If they were applying “yesterday’s” (assuming yesterdays is something like 5, 7, or 10 years ago) standards to today’s ratings then 90% of the shows airing would be cancelled. Each season it seems the networks adjust the level of ratings success expected of shows and use that bar to make renewal and cancellation decisions.

  • Ultima

    @Alex
    Put another way, do the networks and advertisers understand that they need to be setting the bar lower now? On some cable networks, a 1.8 is a huge rating.

    Oh, I think I see your problem.

    There is no bar.

    It’s all about comparing shows to each other, not some arbitrary standard.

  • artsycreation

    I always love how some of these execs are soooo out of touch. How the heck is The Neighbors, Ben and Kate, The Mindy Project not canceled yet….they are horrible, absolutely horrible.
    Kep in mind folks that shows that have been on a while but, still do ok in the ratings often get canceled due to cost or the actors decide to leave the show.

  • Doug

    Suburgatory’s performance post MF is surprising me, because it’s doing worse than it did last fall post The Middle. I was sure that the show would catch fire after MF, but that clearly has not happened. Seems to point out that MF is a destination show, and a good number of its viewers likely are not going to stick around for anything. Were I ABC, I would move Suburgatory back to 8:30, and get rid of Neighbors, but alas, it’s already renewed.

  • Richard Steven Hack

    Once again for the hard of hearing…

    If Nikita sucks in the ratings (and it does), BUT it ALSO is doing just middling in international sales, then someone please come up with a reason OTHER than syndication for it to be renewed LAST season when it was next to LAST in ratings on the CW.

    Face it – Warner Brothers ran the numbers on syndication and sold the show to the CW for next to nothing. That’s the only likely answer.

    And like every other show produced by a studio, only the WB has a clue as to why. And even if the WB is utterly WRONG about that, it doesn’t change anything.

    As I’ve said before here, the odds are that any show with Maggie Q in it will do well in syndication in Asia, and probably elsewhere.

    Keep in mind also that I’ve seen zero evidence that shows that are doing middling in current international airing don’t do well in syndication where the economics are obviously significantly different.

    But the fact remains the show WAS renewed. And the rule here is that a show in its third season is almost automatically going to be renewed for a fourth due to syndication. And that probably was the deal made between the CW and WB, which means it’s unlikely the CW can back out now unless there is some clause allowing them to do so. If they’re getting the show for next to nothing, even low ad sales for that hour might well not matter unless that’s in the contract.

    So people need to accept that, drop the bitching, and move on. All the evidence is that Nikita is a done deal for a fourth season. If there’s going to be a house cleaning, the odds are it will be HOD and 90210 that get the axe.

    Last year I assumed Nikita would be canceled and thought Bondoel was nuts. It wasn’t. I accept that – which is easy because it’s one of my favorite shows. :-) Bondoel is still nuts, by the way. :-)

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “You always have to throw in those little comments mocking the upset fans for the sake of page hits don’t you?”

    I can’t speak for Robert, but my mocking is motivated simply for the sake of amusement.

  • Tom

    @JakeSnake “I think we both know Nielsen is an “antiquated system.””

    I don’t know it. Please, fill me in on what’s antiquated about statistical sampling.

    Your problem is that you still haven’t figured out that advertisers are the actual customers, and what they will pay for is what actually matters.

    You may not like the business model, but the measuring system isn’t the issue.

  • Ultima

    @artsycreation
    I always love how some of these execs are soooo out of touch. How the heck is The Neighbors, Ben and Kate, The Mindy Project not canceled yet….they are horrible, absolutely horrible.

    Because those out of touch executives realize that they have to fill 22 hours of primetime every week?

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    There was no mocking in this post unless you consider matter-of-factly noting fan angst and campaigns and a quote from EW “mocking”. I don’t – and if i’d gone the mocking route I would’ve aspired to be more stinging.

    At this point I mostly find the mocking boring and small. However, while I don’t always agree with others mocking commenters in the comments I mostly understand it. There are definitely cases where it’s warranted whether I agree with the approach or not.

  • Merry M

    Wow. This was NOT a good pilot season by any stretch of the imagination. Only 4 with likely/certain renewal. That’s rough. Why can’t we just kick some of those old geezers out? (Bones, Grey’s, HIMYM, Men, BBT, Law and Order, NCIS, etc.) There should be a time limit for how many seasons a show is allowed to be on the air.

  • Ultima

    @Merry M
    Why can’t we just kick some of those old geezers out?

    Because cancelling an older, successful show that is making you money just to renew an underperforming new show makes no sense?

  • ken cimon

    If your network cancels the mentalist with out showing us what happens with red john, I will never buy a product that you advertise. NEVER It should not be cancelled anyway.

  • Just Desserts

    I agree with the table except with the following:

    Vegas CBS Certain Cancellation

    Guys With Kids NBC Certain Cancellation

    Last Man Standing ABC Likely Renewal

    Nashville ABC Likely Renewal
    Scandal ABC Likely Renewal

    90210 CW Likely Renewal (final season next year)

    Nikita CW Likely Renewal (final season next year)

    Castle ABC Certain Renewal (final season next year)*
    Neighbors, The ABC Likely Renewal
    Suburgatory ABC Certain Renewal
    The Middle ABC Certain Renewal
    CSI CBS Certain Renewal (final season next year)*
    Elementary CBS Certain Renewal (due to Superbowl)
    Hawaii Five-0 CBS Certain Renewal (final season next year)*
    How I Met Your Mother CBS Certain Renewal (final season next year)*
    Two and a Half Men CBS Certain Renewal (final season next year)*
    Bones Fox Certain Renewal (final season next year)*
    The Cleveland Show Fox Certain Renewal

    The New Normal NBC On The Bubble

    *Asterisks mean they;re getting final seasons next year or the year after.

    Vegas and Guys With Kids are definitely done and 90210 and Nikita are definitely getting their final seasons next year.

    (And possibly so are Castle, CSI, Hawaii Five-0, How I Met Your Mother, Two and a Half Men and Bones)

    There is no way CBS and ABC are going to scrap half of their schedules this year and with new shows coming, all shows currently on schedule are probably safe as long as the ratings reach within 20% below the average.

    Also, ABC is definitely going to renew a new show and The most likely candidates are The Neighbors and Nashville. They are likely renewed.

    I don;t get the love for The New Normal. It;s only getting ratings equal to Chicago Fire and it;s currently competing with Whitney, which I don;t believe is going to get cancelled before Normal. Once Guys With Kids and Up All Night gets canceled and the other new comedies premiere, it;s done.

  • Amy

    @enes IF the CW were interested in 666 PA they would have to totally retool the show. Their cast is too old.

  • cris

    wasn’t “Next Caller” also canceled?

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    Cris: of course it was. But it never aired so it wasn’t canceled based on ratings and I don’t foresee tracking shows canceled before they ever aired.

  • Doug

    @Just – I would not forget that ABC also has a slate of mid-season shows. I don’t buy The Neighbors getting a second season, unless ratings start ticking up. It’s this year’s Better With You, which survived an entire season hovering around a 2.0 in the same timeslot, but was cancelled in May.

  • Kavyn

    I’m not saying this is likely by any stretch of the imagination, simply just bringing it up for the sake of discussion:

    Wouldn’t it be smart for the CW to buy 666PA from ABC if it were cheap enough? I mean, think about it (assuming it was all cheap enough for the CW to be able to buy and support it):

    A) Fits in with the new image the CW is trying to push (supernatural, sci-fi, action, drama).
    B) It already has a decent enough fanbase that garners it a minimum of a 1.2 rating (although considering the issue lies with the CW, it’s very likely 666PA would go even lower)
    C) Could pair very nicely with SPN, allowing Arrow to help lead in a new show.
    D) 666PA fans would be grateful to the CW for reviving another show.

    I mean, sure, it looks like the CW is picking up scraps (since they would be), but ultimately it could also help the CW considering how low their ratings are. They can just spin it to say 666PA is a nice fit to the CW and they thought it was good enough to bring to their own network.

    I doubt ABC would be willing to sell though due to the whole ABC Family thing, but I mean if CW is trying to get AWAY from the teen imagine maybe ABC would comply ;)

    Obviously I HIGHLY doubt this would even be brought up for discussion by the CW/ABC, let alone actually happen, but I was just curious what you guys thought?

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