Bubble Watch: It's (a Wonderful?) "Waiting for Mid-Season" Season -- Bring on 'The Following!"

Categories: Bubble Watch

Written By

December 2nd, 2012

With The Mob Doctor and Emily Owens, M.D. now both officially canceled, we probably won't hear any cancellation news about the fall shows for months. Sure, series are airing some originals over the next couple of months, but the next big focused blast of interest in the ratings will come with the arrival of the mid-season shows. Purists might insist that "Waiting for mid-season' season doesn't officially begin for another few weeks, but that's like saying Christmas trees shouldn't be put up until Christmas Eve when the Christmas tree lots spring up a few days after Halloween...

How Come the Renew/Cancel Index Says Chicago Fire and Nashville Are Likely to Be Renewed But This Says They're "On The Bubble"

There are questions like that every week and  it is mostly explained every week in the "This Isn't The Renew/Cancel Index" portion of the red disclaimer below. The Renew/Cancel Index predicts what would happen if the season were to end today. If the season were to end today Chicago Fire and Nashville are likely renewals! But the season isn't ending today and unlike the Renew/Cancel Index, I'm not making predictions based on what would happen if the season ended today.  Either I'll ultimately change and align with Bill's predictions or he'll change and align with mine. Or in this case even both! If I had to guess, I'd guess I wind up lining up with the R/C Index for Chicago Fire and Bill winds up lining up with the Bubble Watch for Nashville. We'll see!

"How Come The Middle Isn't a Certain Renewal!? It Should Be a Certain Renewal!!!"

Those sorts of questions crop up every week too, but they're  reasonable questions. I sometimes draw arbitrary lines between "certain" and "likely" and I don't see that changing.  I'm not worried (at all) about The Middle being renewed. It's virtually a shoo-in for renewal but it's not a shoo-in for renewal nearly to the degree Modern Family is, so arbitrarily I give The Middle some separation from Modern Family. Similarly the ratings for Two and a Half Men say certain renewal, but I have it as only a likely renewal. That has nothing to do with Angus T. Jones losing his mind, it is just a "very old show = very expensive to produce" thing.  Is that hair splitting on my part? Absolutely. It's also hair splitting to pick those designations apart. Ever it was, every it shall always be!

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
Emily Owens, M.D. CW Canceled
The Mob Doctor Fox Canceled
Animal Practice NBC Canceled
Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 ABC Certain Cancellation
Ben and Kate Fox Certain Cancellation
Vegas CBS 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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  • aleksander eide


    hey i agree with you about
    the neighbors – renewed

    but i disagree with you about
    elementary – cancelled
    csi ny – renewed

  • Brian I

    Revenge – certain renewal !! That’s all I care about ..

  • Nick

    My predictions for bubble shows:

    Happy Endings ABC : Renewed somewhere, somehow
    Last Man Standing ABC : Renewed for full season
    Malibu Country ABC : Renewed for full season
    Nashville ABC : Renewed for full season
    Neighbors, The ABC : Cancelled
    Scandal ABC : Renewed for short season
    CSI: NY CBS : Cancelled
    The Good Wife CBS : Renewed for short final season
    The Mentalist CBS : Renewed
    90210 CW : Renewed for short final season
    Hart Of Dixie CW : Renewed for full season
    Nikita CW : Renewed for full final season
    Beauty And The Beast CW : Cancelled
    The Mindy Project Fox : Cancelled
    Chicago Fire NBC : Cancelled
    Whitney NBC : Cancelled

  • Going All In

    I’m going against the grain. Vegas will not be cancelled.

  • Nick

    “Waiting for midseason season” has already started. Kinda like how the first Christmas catalog came on Labor Day…
    I’m looking forward to these in midseason:
    Zero Hour
    Red Widow
    How to Live with Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life)
    Golden Boy
    The Goodwin Games

    However, the only networks that look like they’re going to get a boost from their midseason shows are ABC, CW & Fox. CBS & NBC have terrible track record with midseason shows. The only show on those networks that premiered in midseason in the last few years is Parenthood. All of their new shows will flop, except maybe Golden Boy if its scheduled right (hint hint Tue@10 hint hint)
    The Goodwin Games & HTLWYP look like the perfect shows to rejuvenate ABC Weds. and Fox Tues.
    The Following will certainly premiere well. However, it may become a second Alcatraz and turn from a hit to a flop.
    Cult and The Carrie Diaries will do well if The CW treats them well. They did a good job with scheduling TCD, but they have to make a decision on Cult.
    The Family Tools isn’t going to work.
    Red Widow seems like a good show, but something TV viewers in general wouldn’t like, like Missing last year. However, it is close to the ABC brand, an advantage Zero Hour doesn’t have.

    @Honey Badger



    Really like your post here Robert, and if I had to guess, my best guess would be I would probably guess the same as you & Bill re: CF & Nashville.

    I sure hope that Kevin can bring the bacon home for FOX, ’cause my best guess would be I wouldn’t want to be in his shoes right about now.

  • Steve

    I think Last Man Standing is a great show and I like The Middle. I would be shock if they get cancelled.

  • JulieDawn

    @Tessa, re Spartacus 666 and his (her?) blablabla:

    Thank you, I needed that this afternoon. :)

  • DeanW

    @ Aleksander eide

    OK Elementary will get a second season and CSI: NY a tenth. The question is which one will be canceled: The Mentalist or The Good Wife ? My bet is on TGW.

  • Fake Me Out

    Last year I picked 4 shows that were listed as Likely/Certain Cancellation and batted .500 … I was slightly surprised I wasn’t at .750 … just a few years ago I would have likely been at .000 if I had even been silly enough to make such picks. To me anyways this shows where network TV is headed … hold your nose and get to the magic 88 and hope to make it up on the backend.

    This season I’m going to do something I feel is a bit bolder and harder to do … I invite others to join me … I’m going to pick 4 shows that are Likely/Certain Renewal and say they will not be returning. I won’t make my final picks until the spring when the boys make theirs … but my early favorites are (in no order):

    1. Castle
    2. Once Upon a Time
    3. Supernatural
    4. Revolution
    5. Bones
    6. 2.5 Men
    7. The New Normal

    Obvioulsy there’s a lot of ratings left so these picks can change and I have to trim out 3 anyways to make it just the 4 picks.


    But… but maybe he’s only a little crazy like painters or composers or… or some of those men in Washington.” — Julian Shellhammer (Philip Tonge)

  • Fake Me Out

    Clairifcation edit:

    “Last year I picked 4 shows that I said would be returning that were listed as Likely/Certain Cancellation and batted .500 …”

  • aleksander eide


    same here and i also think that the neighbors will get an second season:)))

    but an question does the creation of your username come from dean winchester(supernatural) since it is deanw?

  • BagToPunchReallyHard

    Enough with bones and supernatural get a life actors and revenge talk about sinking to the bottom of the barrel of course superior shows like last resort is too intelligent for the masses and the brain dead singing reality shows like crap factor and American idiot best show on tv coming in January that of course us spartacus

    Translation for those that do not speak 11 year-old fanboi.

    Enough with Bones and Supernatural! Get a life actors! And Revenge, talk about sinking to the bottom of the barrel. Of course superior shows like Last Resort are too intelligent for the masses and the brain dead singing reality shows like The X Factor and American Idol. Best show on TV is coming in January. That, of course, is Spartacus.

    There, still doesn’t make that much sense, but it’s the best I could do without a wand.

  • a p garcia

    The only show I will miss if it isn’t picked up by another network is Last Resort.

  • DeanW

    @ Aleksander eide

    Yes my user comes fron Dean Winchester. Im a huge fan of Supernatural and Dean is my favorite of the two !

  • DeanW

    *username, sorry

  • karin

    The Following?? Bacon? FF

  • aleksander eide


    what do you mean by your last comment

    *username, sorry

  • DeanW

    Can’t wait for The Followibg and Hannibal !

  • karin

    Bring on “the Following”? why? on FX maybe ..and Bacon’s charisma and power’s ? wait and see

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