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
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
  • Bad Wolf

    @ simon

    Nobody hates Nikita here (well, almost). It’s just that everybody (well, almost) likes bitching about its ratings.

    Regarding CBS, I think the most logical thing to do next season is canceling CSI:NY, sending The Good Wife to Fridays (either for a full final season or a shortened one) and pairing Hawaii 5-0 with The Mentalist on Sundays. CSI/NY is obviously the most expensive of the three CBS bubble shows, and this way, if The Mentalist continues to lose steam, fans will have to think twice before blaming it on its lead-in.

  • CarShark

    If I’m ABC, I’m thinking about putting dramas on Monday at 9 and Tuesday at 9 and 10, instead of more DWTS. Yeah, you’re throwing the Monday show against The Voice, but there’s not much drama competition at that time, and the same goes for Tuesday.

    HE and Apt. 23 are weird little shows that stick out in network primetime. These, to me, are the kind of shows that belong on FX or TBS or even ABC Family. Some place where people expect more offbeat shows.

  • Craig

    I’m a big fan of Revenge, but with the recent drop in ratings: likely renewal…

  • fresser28

    Ben and Kate is much better than The Mindy Project, which sucks so hard. B&K’s liability is Nate Faxon, though – I’m sorry, but I just hate his teeth. I mean, they are intrusive. Dude, see an orthodontist.

    As for The Mindy Project, it’s just embarrassingly unfunny and annoying.

  • Mia

    I’ve read CBS has bought a lot of scripts. They need to do something ASAP about their shows. Their hit shows are getting old, NCIS , CM and CSI are not what they used to be. And they have a lot of underperforming shows during the week, Hawaii. 50 numbers on Monday are terrible, Elementary is not what they were hoping for and well, not much expected for weekends. They need to clean house, cancel or send to Sundays those shows and get better shows there or they would drop to last place soon.

  • Joe Petitjean

    Last Resort will be around to the end of the year it does well in after the DVR are added 666 PA does not.

  • The End

    @Joe Petitjean

    Both shows will finish their run on ABC, regardless of your Fan Excuse Bingo comment.

  • The End


    Agreed that ratings don’t always represent quality, but they keep a show alive. I myself loved Eureka, a show that ended with 1.565 million 0.6 18-49, and think the show was easily one of the best on TV period, but the ratings never reflected how great it was and how it was such a fun show, a great production.

    Kinda like the situation 666 Park Avenue faced, great production, great cast, great writing, just not popular sadly.

    Nikita not doing well doesn’t mean the show sucks, anyone with an IQ would agree. Don’t worry there :)

  • Data

    @Mr Mumble: Sadly, I have to agree. The question is: Will ABC keep Happy Endings around for the entire season? Or will they cut the order of 22 episodes back to, say, 15? If the former is the correct answer then I think they will make a stromg effort of giving it the Cougar Town treatment and try to sell it to another network.

  • omabin


    I think that had Happy Endings started in the winter a la cougar town it would be toast. As it is, i don’t believe they will cut the episode order this year.

  • Just Desserts

    ABC should start shopping The B!tch to cable. We don’t need another wasted potential like Pan Am…

  • Anon

    Based solely on Angus Jones’ recent comments about TaaHM, I’d definitely move it to “On The Bubble.”

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “ABC should start shopping The B!tch to cable. We don’t need another wasted potential like Pan Am…”

    Cable saves one low rated sitcom and people start thinking it will save them all. ;)

  • Incognito

    For the first time in a long time, there isn’t a single show on the bubble that I care about.

  • Iengo

    In previous years they’d probably cut down Happy Endings and The B’s episode order short with those ratings, but since they really don’t have anything better comedies in the pipeline (seriously, whats with all the terrible new comedies they picked up this year??) I don’t see them having anything to replace them with, so they’ll likely at least get to air all the episodes that were ordered. I don’t really see how ABC expected either of these shows to do well. Having to follow a show nobody cares about anymore (DWTS) and then having to go up against all the competing comedies, it’s like they wanted these shows to fail.

  • Dev

    The simple fact is if Whitney is not canceled, it’s on NBC. Animal Practice was, statistically, a better lead in for GWK. Both were building and that was evident in the ratings. Whitney is flatlining GWK.

  • Anthony Parello (AP076)


    “Cable saves one low rated sitcom and people start thinking it will save them all.”

    Cable saves one low rated multiple season sitcom because of syndication economics and people start thinking it will save them all.

    I just had to improve on the original a bit :-)

    People are more likely to see a unicorn than they are to see a low rated cancelled first season show transferred to another network or for that matter transfers in general without syndication economics at work (Medium, Scrubs, Futurama, Law and Order:CI) or the strange exception for a filmed and cancelled second season like Southland.

    But that never stops the delusional from being……….well delusional.

  • Slipdisco

    SVU should bring back Christopher Meloni. The show is not the same without him.

  • The End


    Absolutely not, with or without him Two and a Half Men will go on. I can assure you.

  • Richard Steven Hack

    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.”

    Once again…

    First of all, the CW would obviously have been hard pressed to renew it LAST season because Nikita was THE lowest rated show on the network until Ringer bypassed it in the spring and became the worst.

    Second, it’s highly unlikely that Nikita will reach a 0.0, in any event. Most likely its lowest rating will be a .2 and it might even pick up to regular .3-.4 range once the show gets past the more procedural first few episodes.

    Third, the bottom line is that if syndication rules then the show will get another season. There obviously IS a point at which the cost of producing new seasons may exceed the projected revenue of syndication. But that has nothing to do with the CW – it has to do with WB. As long as the WB offers Nikita to the CW at a rate where even flat or zero ratings produce enough ad revenue to offset the cost of the show to the CW, the CW will air it – unless they are CERTAIN to be able to replace it with a show that would earn bigger ad revenue.

    And that last point is next to impossible because, well, it’s the CW. Almost everything they put on crashes down to the .4-.5 range. Arrow is the first thing they’ve had in years that is doing a decent job of staying north of 1.0.

    I don’t disagree that a 0.0 rating MIGHT lower Nikita’s chances for a fourth season, but I don’t see it likely to happen at all.

© 2015 Tribune Digital Ventures