Bubble Watch: 'Whitney' Doesn't Look Good; 'Don't Trust The B----' Looks Worse

Categories: Bubble Watch

Written By

November 25th, 2012

Not many changes from last week. I did finally downgrade Don't Trust the B---- to certain cancellation.My gut says that the show isn't as certain of a cancellation as my eyes would have me believe looking at the ratings. My secret's out: I trust my eyes more than my gut.

Whitney's ratings are horrible, but with only one data point last week I didn't want to jump to judgement last week and with this week's even more horribly rated episode (haven't seen the finals yet though) airing on Thanksgiving Eve, it should probably be tossed out in terms of scoring Whitney's prospects. So I've left it on the bubble for another week. hat said: the ratings, they aren't any good and wacky Olympic style scoring won't be a factor soon and if you want to go ahead and translate the status to "likely cancellation" immediately, nobody is going to call you a dope.

Why are some shows with bad to kinda eh ratings listed as likely or certain renewals despite the bad and kind of eh ratings? It's the syndication gods. The theory goes that shows that will end the 2012-13 TV season only one more season away from having ~88 episodes considered to be the minimum threshold for stripped (Mon-Fri) syndication will be shepherded along to syndication pretty much no matter how bad the ratings are.

So why is Nikita on the bubble then? It will end this season only one season shy of the episodes necessary for stripped syndication. It's not that I'm trying to rattle Nikita's fans' cages -- it's just the ratings are so bad I find that I'm not a devout believer in the syndication gods! But I believe enough that Nikita won't go any lower than "on the bubble" even if it starts pulling 0.0 adults 18-49 ratings.

Speaking of "on the bubble" the cable renew/cancel status list is on the bubble of renewal and cancellation by me. A "Save That List" petition on Facebook probably won't make a difference. But it couldn't hurt!

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
Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 ABC Certain Cancellation
Emily Owens, M.D. CW Certain Cancellation
The Mob Doctor Fox Certain 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
Neighbors, The 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
Whitney NBC On The Bubble
Castle 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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  • Austin Lauran

    Is there proof that any dramas and sitcoms airing on CBS, ABC, or NBC have been renewed because of their Emmy and Golden Globe nominations/wins? People say that some shows get renewed because of their critical acclaim, but the truth is that the execs at any of the Big 3 Networks can survive without a critically acclaimed show (The CBS didn’t have a critically acclaimed drama from 2003-2009 and ABC’s only scripted show that wins Emmys and Golden Globes is Modern Family).

  • Dan S

    IMHO The Middle is good as renewed so I’d have it at certain renewal. I would also knock New Normal down to on the bubble. That show continues to bleed viewers leading out from Go On which are weak to begin with. I unfortunately have to agree certain cancellation for Apt 23. I knew after moving to Tues it would take a big hit without Modern Family behind it.

  • Mr Mumble

    @The End, I respect Robert’s opinion (unlike the joker Bill!) but nobody’s going to be correct on everything this early in the season. Robert had “Fringe” and “Body of Proof” as likely to be cancelled a year ago while “The Secret Circle” was likely to be renewed.

  • Beeker

    I read the list almost puked from the crap on TV now. Only the cartoons are any good…the rest is garbage.

  • The End

    @Mr Mumble

    Personally I’ve been here long enough to see that both Robert and Bill are almost equally as correct with their predictions.

    You list that Robert had Fringe down as likely cancelation, yet he, like everybody else had no way of knowing that Fringe would be renewed in the way that it was, we can all say with absolute certainty that ratings didn’t factor into Fringes renewal(Basically forget about Fringe, no one besides Fox would of known about this).

    And I remember The Secret Circle slipping down the renewal/cancelation index with it being a bubble show, and I believe it did have a cancelation prediction made for it, could be wrong there.

  • The End


    We’re both in agreement there, I can also see The Good Wife getting something too, a final season or simply a reduced season order would be my best guess too.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    @MrMumble/TheEnd: learned my lesson as far as syndication, sadly a year too late otherwise I’d have Nikita as a likely cancellation *this* year. While we (Bill too) were wrong about Body of Proof, by late in the season The Secret Circle was a bubble show.

    Technically I think The Secret Circle and Hart of Dixie both ended last season the bubble, but in the year end oddsmakers post I had Hart of Dixie at 55% chance of renewal and The Secret Circle at 45%.

    I don’t have much quibble with MrMumble’s designations with the exception of The Good Wife (which ain’t going lower because of syndication lessons learned). I don’t get too caught up in the hair splitting between designations (my own, or others’). Ben & Kate isn’t listed as certain only because I didn’t want it two steps away from Mindy which I’m not (quite) ready to downgrade to “likely.”

  • SarahL

    Poor The Mindy Project. I like it, but it is hard to see it getting renewed. However, I continue to have hope that The Neighbors will be renewed. I have lost interest in Scandal so I don’t care about its renewal chances any more. It is great that Grimm has found its feet with assistance from NBC’s excellent promotion and is not in cancellation jeopardy.

  • Carmen

    I think Apt 23 is pretty good. Krystin Ritter does a great job of getting you to tolerate, if not actually root for. . . on some level. .. a person that it might be easy to hate.

    But that might be just the problem!.

    When you analyze it, who is the audience for a show like this?
    Could a character like Chloe exist anywhere outside of the fringes or in New York society with its (literally) built upscale area?

    Lets go back to the old saying about how some people are either ‘good looking to hot’ or they have “good personalities”.

    I can imagine that a whole lot of those who are . .. how can I say this as diplomatically as possible. . .heavier (perhaps pun intended) in the ‘personality’ department are simply not going to like or appreciate watching this show about how a women who is living the good life based upon a combination of:

    1) Being beautiful
    2) overt sexuality
    3) outright unapologetic nature
    4) and worst of all. . . succeeding
    Basically being a Bitch and succeeding based upon her looks.

    If you take Apt 23 for what it is intended – a combination of crass camp and black humor you may (or will) like the show).

    But, I think that there is a large part of the total audience who will not like a show like this and it is being reflected in the ratings.

  • a p garcia

    I won’t miss both

  • omabin

    Disagreements of the week:
    – The Middle: Certain Renewal
    – Suburgatory: Certain Renewal
    – Hawaii Five-0: Certain Renewal
    – Whitney: Likely Cancelation
    – Law and Order SVU: Bubble
    Everything else I agree and these certain/likely are just spitting airs, so the only real disagreement we have is SVU, which I realy feel that belongs on the bubble. Also, although I would still have it as Elementary for the time being, Elementary is still very bubble to me, since I don’t think it has stabilized yet. But for now, likely renewal still suits it (a similar case could be made for revolution status).

    As for the bubbles of the week and my predictions:
    Happy Endings: renewal, but it is very tricky even with syndication
    Last Man Standing: renewal
    Malibu Country: renewal
    Nashville: canceled, baring a midseason move
    Neighbors, The: canceled
    Scandal: renewal
    CSI: NY: renewal
    The Good Wife: renewal
    The Mentalist: renewal
    90210: renewal
    Hart Of Dixie: renewal
    Nikita: renewal
    Beauty And The Beast: canceled
    The Mindy Project: canceled
    Chicago Fire: canceled
    SVU: renewal

    One thing I would like to point out is that this is the year in which we seem bound to find out how big the syndicaton factor is. For instance, and not using the classical Nikita example, with Happy Endings, even if I give it a boost of 50% to its index number, it’s still behind the bubble show that is LMS (as a friday show, i give it a 30% boost). Is 50% enough or do the syndication gods have even more power?

  • Tom

    The only problem with Apt. 23 is that it’s too unconventional for network television. The whole idea of celebrating anyone as mean spirited as Chloe is probably too foreign for a lot of viewers to embrace. Personally, I love Krystin Riotter’s take on her character, especially when she’s exploiting clueless June. James VanderBeek’s self-caricature is equally amusing. This show might have had a decent chance on cable. Hopefully, it still might.

  • Richard Steven Hack

    Jane Elliot: Good point: Syndication is almost always a good idea because if nothing else it reduces one’s loss on a particular show – provided it can be syndicated at all. The only question remains at which crossover point does this occur vs the cost of producing the extra seasons?

    Producing extra seasons for syndication costs money. So it’s not logical to produce extra seasons for shows that are disasters in their first season. No one is going to syndicate Charlie’s Angels so no one is going to try get to syndication for that show…

    But if a show does at least adequately for TWO seasons, it’s probably worth producing two more seasons to get syndication provided costs can be kept low in those two seasons. That’s probably the case a lot of the time as the sets and other fixed expenses have already been expended (other than maintenance.) The crew doesn’t cost any more. Only the increased salaries of the cast are variable.

    Nikita is a special case even considering the usual syndication rules because I think WB believes its syndication potential is higher in certain international markets than the average show. I think WB believes that ratings in the US market in this case don’t translate well to the international market. So low ratings in the US market aren’t relevant.

    I’ve no idea what experience they base that on or whether they’re right, but apparently they think they’re right which is all that matters.

  • Timlala

    Not Happy Endings! I love that show. The B In Apt 3 is good. I’m surprised it’s doing so poorly. Not suprised about Whitney. The only surprise there is that it was put back on at all.

  • Honey Badger

    @ Robert Seidman, I agree with most of your picks, except for the minor variations.

    Happy Endings ABC Certain Cancellation, Last Man Standing ABC Certain Cancellation, Nashville ABC Certain Cancellation, Scandal ABC Likely Cancellation, Whitney NBC Certain Cancellation

    The Good Wife CBS Certain Renewal. CBS likes the awards, the prestige, all the stars that make guest appearances on this show helps CBS overall.

    Hart Of Dixie CW Certain Renewal. In its time slot going against the top rated shows on TV, CW could never find a show to do better in that time slot.

    Beauty And The Beast CW Likely Cancellation, The Mindy Project Fox Likely Cancellation, Chicago Fire NBC Likely Cancellation

  • DenverDean

    @Honey Badger

    Disagree with The Good Wife CBS Certain Renewal. CBS likes the awards, the prestige, all the stars that make guest appearances on this show helps CBS overall.

    All the stars are NOT helping CBS. The demo drops significantly from TAR AND TM usually goes up. Maybe it keeps older viewers tuned in, but it’s definitely not a help. Bottom Line: TGW should be doing better. That’s not to say with a little retooling – they can get better demos.

  • Douglas from Brazil

    Here some predictions abou cancellation:

    -Happy Endings,Nashville,The Neighbors,Body of Proof:Cancelled by May;
    -Don’t trust the B:Cancelled by December;
    -Scandal,Castle,Suburgatory,Revenge,Once Upon A Time,Modern Family,The Middle,Shark Tank,Grey’s Anatomy:All them renewed by May;
    -Last Man,Malibu Country:A toss up to be renewed or canceled.

    -The Mindy Project,Ben and Kate,Raising Hope,The Mob Doctor,Touch:All them canceled by May;
    -Bones,Glee,New Girl,The Cleveland Show:All them renewed by May;(Of course,all of them are the best rated shows not named American Idol or The X Factor,sadly but true)

    -Two and Half Men,Mike and Molly,2 Broke Girls,How I Met Your Mother,Criminal Minds,CSI,Person of Interest,Blue Bloods,NCIS,NCIS:LA,Hawaii:5-0;All them renewed;(Whenever this season until May)
    -The Good Wife,The Mentalist,CSI:NY:One of them will be canceled(My bet is CSI:NY)
    -Vegas:Canceled before May;
    -Elementary:A toss up to be renewed or canceled(It depends how far will be doing after its SuperBowl specil airing.My bet:It will be canceled by May)

    The CW:
    -Arrow,Supernatural,The Vampire Diares:All them renewed by May;
    -Hart of Dixie,The Beauty and the Beast,90210:One of them will be canceled by May.My bet:The Beauty and the Beast)
    -Nikita:A certain cancellation but…syndication gods…could save it?
    -Emily Owens,MD:Canceled before or not by May;

    -Parks and Recreation,Grimm,Parenthood,Go On,The New Normal:All them renewed by May;
    -Whitney,Guys with Kids,Chicago Fire,Up all Night,Community:Canceled before or not by May.(It will be a effort to save Community but I’m not confident);
    -Law and Order:SVU;A toss up to be renewed or canceled;
    -Revolution:the same as above but…Will the viewers be tunnig after a long hiatus even with The Voice as lead-in?

    So,many cancellations predicts,while cable shows are being renewed all the time.Interestings times,right?
    Why viewers gone after the 2007-08 strike and didn’t get back?

  • Nick

    Bubble predictions-
    Happy Endings: renewed somewhere, somehow.
    Last Man Standing: renewed
    Malibu Country: renewed
    Nashville: renewed
    Neighbors, The: canceled
    Scandal: renewed
    CSI: NY: cancelled
    The Good Wife: renewed
    The Mentalist: renewed
    90210: renewed
    Hart Of Dixie: renewed
    Nikita: renewed
    Beauty And The Beast: canceled
    The Mindy Project: canceled
    Chicago Fire: canceled
    Whitney: renewed

  • Lance

    I never thought I’d see the day when a show on CBS that’s getting a 1.1-1.2 most weeks would be a “certain renewal”, syndication or not. Such is the current state of the once-major networks. Woeful.

  • Luke

    Sad to see both HE and Apt 23 not doing so well. They’re both wonderful shows but they both have very specific sense of humor which I think only appeal to a narrow demo. So I’m just grateful to have enjoyed them this far.

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