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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  • fredb

    now that Whitney may be gone bring back Animal Practice i want more of dr.rizzo

  • James

    Forgot Tuesday at 9PM
    Lets put a reality or new drama there.

  • Anthony Parello (AP076)

    Posted November 25, 2012 at 12:55 PM
    “@Anthony The Secret Circle didn’t drop to a 0.6 until its 18th episode. How is that in any way similar to B&B?”

    B&B Demo Viewers 1.2—>0.7—>0.6—>0.6—>0.7—>0.6

    TSC Demo Viewers 1.3—>0.9—>1.0—>0.8—>0.8—>0.8

    I never said the exact numbers for the two shows were the same but that the downward trajectories (with one minor uptick week for each) were similar.

    But if you want to get into comparing numbers add in a 10% reduction in ratings for a network from year to year and the absolute numbers start to even look close. (1.2 .8 .9 .7 .7 .7)

  • Mark

    I’m curious how is TNN likely renewal at 1.5?

  • Just Desserts

    I’m late.

    I agree with most of the list but I still think that:

    Vegas, Ben And Kate, Guys With Kids are certain to be canceled.

    Beauty And The Beast, Chicago Fire are likely to be canceled.

    The New Normal, Revolution are on the bubble.

    Nashville, The Neighbors, Scandal are likely to be renewed.

    Suburgatory, The Middle, Elementary, Hawaii Five-0, How I Met Your Mother, Two and a Half Men, Bones, The Cleveland Show are certain to be renewed.

  • Just Desserts

    I’m late.

    I still think thatL

    Vegas, Ben And Kate, Guys With Kids are certain to be canceled.

    Beauty And The Beast, Chicago Fire are likely to be canceled.

    The New Normal, Revolution are on the bubble.

    Nashville, The Neighbors, Scandal are likely to be renewed.

    Suburgatory, The Middle, Elementary, Hawaii Five-0, How I Met Your Mother, Two and a Half Men, Bones, The Cleveland Show are certain to be renewed.

  • Just Desserts

    Double post. sorry :(

  • Just Desserts

    @I know, I keep insisting that it gets canceled at the end of the season but no one listens. If you look at how packed NBC’s schedule is this season, you’ll think twice. The New Normal are unlikely to keep their, they would’ve fallen by February.

  • Just Desserts

    @Mark , sorry again :(

  • Justin121

    Most of ABC are likely renewals, not bubble. So are NBC’s 2 bubble shows.

  • Pepper

    H50 is certain to be renewed (although it will probably change timeslots, maybe to Sunday?)

    For the CW, Emily Owens is a goner, plus GG is ending. There’s no logical reason to renew 90210 – it has reached syndication numbers, doesn’t have a strong fan following, and its final season couldn’t be used to launch a new show because its numbers have really fallen this season. So that’s three open spots on the CW schedule. I also don’t think that Nikita’s numbers warrant a renewal, even for syndication purposes, but it’s distinctly possible. Knowing more about the CW’s new pilots and how many dramas they can launch next fall will help us know more about Nikita, HoD, and BatB’s chances of renewal.

  • Jay

    It’s not just about syndication. Networks are more merciful with some lower-rated shoes due to the fact that they cannot cancel their entire lineups. There’s no guarantee with the midsession replacements, and if they bump things up, the schedules will fall into disarray. I think people panic a lot when Nielsen puts their boxes in a few homes and comes up with the calculation that no one is watching a certain show. many Shlock fests flop at the box office, but do well on iTunes and DVD. These same movies would not do as well if they weren’t in theaters first.

  • may

    I must ask-what is your problem with Nikita ?

  • Simon

    ‘Despite ABC pulling the plug on the freshman dramas last week, the brains behind both shows tell TVLine that they were given enough time to turn their respective swan songs into series finales. “We have time to tweak,” confirms Last Resort creator Shawn Ryan, adding that Episode 13 will indeed function as a full-fledged series finale.’


  • omabin


    Thanks for the answer.

    Also, in regards to Apartment 23, I do agree with you in that there might be more than meets the eye there. I do have it as a certain cancelation as well, but I do think there is a chance this might be this year’s BoP (as in renewal that surprises everyone). But most likely it is done, unfortunately, since I actually like the show very much.

  • Mr Mumble

    @The End, I thought “Fringe” would be canceled last season too! By pointing out the projections aren’t perfect I’m just saying commentators (including me) do have leeway to be more accurate in their projections than the writers here.

    I’ll give one more detailed example of where I think Robert (& Bill) are being too lenient: “Happy Endings”.

    1. Happy Endings has lower ratings than three shows already cancelled by ABC this season.

    2. Happy Endings’ 18-49 ratings over its first four episodes of the season are 18% lower than Cougar Town’s last mid-season (1.4 average vs 1.65).

    3. Happy Endings has still only aired 38 episodes (compared to Cougar Town’s 61) so syndication is a non-factor for continuation of airing on ABC.

    4. Happy Endings is performing worse than two ABC comedies airing on a Friday.

    I understand people have been burnt by the “syndication gods” – with the likes of Fringe. Yet, ABC isn’t Fox (who still haven’t canned “Mob Doctor”) and a perusal of what happened to recent ABC shows such as “Cougar Town” and “Last Resort” shows “Happy Endings” is in more trouble than “on the bubble”.


    LOL Nikita on the bubble! I must say “I so agree!”

    Agree also w/ Apt 23 & Whitney.

  • omabin

    @Mr Mumble,

    I agree, in a way. I do love Happy Endings and want it badly renewed, but the thing is, I think we might be over-estimating the syndication factor (or not… I think we will find out this season exactly how big this factor is). 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? If you give it 75%, then it is likely enough. So this will be the deciding thing and nobody unrelated to the business actually knows how big this percentage is at the moment…

  • simon

    So much hate for Nikita on this site!! Honestly, get a life- Nikita is one of the best shows on TV- Who gives a crap about the ratings anymore, its not like if the ratings are bad, then the show must be terrible- If you ever have bothered watching Nikita, then you will know the rubbish ratings don’t reflect the shows quality!!!! Just watch Nikita please!!!!!

  • Rex

    As for Happy Endings chances of renewel, I think it’s gonna come down to if they get to air their full season or not. If they get to air all their episodes that would put them at 57 episodes. If they get to air all of season three I would say that would increase their chances of coming back alot, even if they end up on cable or in some terrible timeslot, I think Sony/ABC is gonna fight to get enough syndication episodes somehow. If they increased this seasons count to 25 episodes and gave them a final 25 episode season 4 wouldn’t that make them around 81-82 episodes? Sometimes about 80 episodes seems to be enough for syndication I’ve noticed in recent years.

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