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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  • omabin


    I was reading your comments and I would like to know your thoughts on what went wrong with the Body of Proof renewal. My theory (and this would apply as well to the secret circle situation) is that the final three or so episodes have a wayyyyy bigger weight on the renewal decision than we usually think. For this reason, a weighted average would be much more prone to give you the correct average than the simple average would. I am keeping a file with both averages this season and I am very curious to see where it will lead. This is my ony explanation, so I am trying it out, but I would like to hear your input on the whole body of proof situation. I mean, what is the lesson to learn there, in your opinion, as far as predictions are concerned?

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “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”,”


    Only one CBS show got a 1.1 this season, Made in Jersey. And it was pulled after 2 eps.

    CSINY has two 1.2’s, and BB has one 1.2 so far. Only to the crazy would that be “most weeks”.

    Could you, in your exaggeration/confusion, have been referring to one of them?

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “My theory (and this would apply as well to the secret circle situation) is that the final three or so episodes have a wayyyyy bigger weight on the renewal decision than we usually think.”

    Could have. The renewal was otherwise inexplicable with publicly available information.

    “For this reason, a weighted average would be much more prone to give you the correct average than the simple average would. “

    Unlikely that would help much in practice, simply because that pattern of brief, handful of episode jump in ratings before the show is done for the season is so rare that it may almost never be applicable.

  • RW3

    @ MJDB

    I agree on Whitney and GWK both shows will probably need some time to settle in. Both shows have yet to really develop their full potential audience so their could be a huge growth spurt coming their way.

  • Douglas from Brazil


    Despite the low ratings of ABC tuesday comedies,is ABC going to release its mid-season schedule soon?

  • Honey Badger

    looking at the ratings

    NBC should bring back ” Chuck ”

    ” Nikita ” CW should be renewed

    ” Fringe ” on Fox should be renewed and they should bring back ” Firefly “

  • Court

    CBS get to renewed csi and csi: ny they are my fave it . And love watch too blue bloods to they all get come back .

  • Taylor

    I’ve been wrong before about Whitney and I will not be wrong again. NBC likes this show too much to give up on it plus its headed towards syndication in fall 2015 that’s literally only a couple of seasons away.

  • SJ

    I don’t think the the final three higher rated episodes of Body of Proof earned it the renewal. I think it was a combination of tax breaks the show got upon moving to LA and the fact that ABC probably knew most of their new dramas would be stinkers and, not to mention, that Private Practice would completely fall apart without Grey’s Anatomy as a lead-in.

    The critical praise for the final three episodes did, however, prompt the showrunners to alter the show and make more event-based episodes like those final three, which is just fine by me. :D I just hope the show doesn’t inherit the B—- as its lead-in or it’s toast.

    If I were ABC, I would – in a last-ditch effort – move the Happy Endings/B—- duo to Thursdays at 8, where its horrible ratings won’t do as much of a damage and hey, if it happens to work, well that’s just an added bonus. I’d also burn off the final three episodes of Private Practice on Saturdays at 10. ABC shouldn’t wait until February to try and revive Tuesdays when DWTS returns in late March, ready to wreck everything.

    So here’s what I would do if I were ABC:

    8pm Wife Swap / DWTS Results
    9pm Body of Proof* / Zero Hour
    10pm Primetime: Nightline

    *special post-Revenge premiere on Sunday at 10, since 666PA has one less episode than RVG and OUAT to air before the Oscars.

    8:30 Suburgatory
    9:30 How to Live with Your Parents…

    Thursdays (after LR wraps):
    8pm Happy Endings
    8:30 Don’t Trust the B—-

    Fridays (after Shark Tank wraps):
    9pm The Neighbors (order cut by two to match its lead-outs episode count)
    9:30 Family Tools

    Saturdays (after football):
    10pm Private Practice – the final three episodes

    Sundays (after the Oscars):
    10pm Red Widow

    Mondays (Summer):
    8pm-10pm The Bachelorette
    10pm Mistresses

  • Nick

    I usually post fantasy schedules on the R/C index thread, but I just had a new idea and revamped my whole sched. Here it is. Feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    ABC 2013-2014 schedule:

    8: Last Man Standing
    8:30: Malibu Country
    9: Now What? (new)
    9:30: Crazy Gene (new)*
    10: Body of Proof

    Make Monday multicam comedies. Body of Proof is getting renewed for syndication purposes, which is very valuable for a procedural.

    8: Grey’s Anatomy
    9: Revenge
    10: Rise & Fall (new)

    Tuesdays will be a blend of soap and high-sakes drama.

    8: The Middle
    8:30: Suburgatory
    9: Modern Family
    9:30: Knock Knock (new)*
    10: Birthright (new)

    Keep the Wednesday comedies where they’re strongest. No multicams, no “adult” comedies, no alien comedies.
    *Note: The way of filming for “Crazy Gene” and “Knock Knock” have not been released yet. If Knock Knock is a multicam and Crazy Gene is a singlecam, they will be switched.

    8: Dancing With the Stars/ The Bachelor
    10: Nashville

    8: Dancing With the Stars: The Results/ Winter Wipeout
    9: Shark Tank
    10: 20/20

    DWTS is old-skewing and should fit in on Friday. Also, it should see an uptick once the All-Stars catastrophe is over.

    Sat- (midseason)
    8: Shark Tank (R)
    9: Castle (R)
    10: Primetime: What Would You Do?

    WWYD is cheap enough to survive Saturdays, but not similar enough to 48 Hours to get pressure from it.

    7: AFHV
    8: Once Upon a Time
    9: SHEILD (new)
    10: Castle

    A fantasy/ geek night.

    Any thoughts?

  • Brian

    If Nikita really starts drawing 0.0 ratings, I’d argue it should be moved to likely cancellation. CW, as poor as that network is, would be hard pressed to keep Nikita around under those circumstances.

  • Brian

    Wait, they renewed Body of Proof? Does anybody have a link?

  • Pat

    The Middle is a certain renewable, not ” likely”. Heading to season 5. A syndicators dream and it also has had steady growing numbers.

  • Lamdog

    Why Whitney is still on the air is beside me? The Harry’s Law of comedies needs to be put out of its misery. How NBC continues to pick consistently bad comedies is a television wonder?

  • Nick
  • renny

    Why is suburgatory only likely renewel!!!

  • Patrick G.

    @ Melissa…because “Two and a Half Men” is very long in the tooth, very expensive to make now as a result, and if Ashton Kutcher leaves, they will probably just call it quits. Too difficult explaining a THIRD man!

  • Patrick G.

    @ Robert…isn’t it risky to put NBC’s “Revolution” as “certain renewal?” Its ratings are sinking weekly, and it’s about to take the same death-knell 4-month hiatus that killed “Flash Forward,” “V” and “The Event.” While its relative ratings are still high within NBC’s average, that’s because it was so high in the beginning. It’s sinking fast now and should be at cancellation numbers when it whimpers back on the schedule in March. At the very least, it should be at “likely renewal” now :(

  • johndbshanny

    New interview by execs at NBC where they basically admit even they think “Whitney” isn’t funny. What honesty, here’s the link http://hollywoodandswine.com/nbc-orders-five-additional-scripts-of-whitney-prays-at-least-one-is-funny/

  • James

    The Schedule seems ridiculous!!!


    8PM-DWTS results

    8PM-The Middle
    9PM-Modern Family
    9:30PM-Crazy Gene
    10PM-Mila 2.0

    9PM-Greys Anatomy

    8PM-Last Man Standing
    8:30PM-Malibu Country
    9PM-Happy Endings
    9:30PM-The Neighbors
    10PM-Shark Tank

    10PM-Sea of Fire

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