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
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
  • SarahL

    I will give The Following a chance for James Purefoy who is a very good actor.

    I think that it is a stretch that Nashville will be renewed. Scandal has best chance of renewal of all the dramas on the bubble.

    I see those ABC Friday comedies getting renewed. Unfortunately, I think that my favorite comedy of the season, The Neighbors is toast.

  • aleksander eide


    i watch supernatural to but do you agree with sam that since dean have become friends with a vampire that he cant bith about sam quiting hunting bussines as sam said after dean almost shot him in episode 8×06 at the end

    and yeah i know he didnt mean to aim at sam but was controlled by the monster in the episode

  • aleksander eide


    i watch supernatural to but do you agree with sam that since dean have become friends with a vampire that he cant bitch about sam quiting hunting bussines as sam said after dean almost shot him in episode 8×06 at the end

    and yeah i know he didnt mean to aim at sam but was controlled by the monster in the episode

  • Dan

    There is no.way ABC wont renew The Middle when by the end of the season it will be 4 eps away from 100. The Middle is like CBSs HIMYM, of wednesday nights, always a reliable lead off. Its certain renewal

  • Richard Steven Hack

    I don’t think Hart of Dixie will be renewed for the following reasons:

    1) Its syndication potential is not as high as Nikita’s.
    2) It’s only in season two and would require two more seasons to be syndication material, but the ratings don’t justify it.
    3) The CW needs to clean out some shows – at least two, possibly three. GG is gone, 90210 may follow but may get a short final season. Nikita is not going to be canceled, so that leaves HoD and/or possibly Beauty and the Beast.

    I’d leave the show “on the bubble” as I don’t think it’s LIKELY to be canceled. But I think it might well be.

  • Austin Lauran

    I’m just paraphrasing:

    Does anybody know why people usually say that a freshman sitcom on CBS, ABC, or NBC hurts the ratings of a veteran sitcom that airs before or after it?

  • Brandy

    RSH, you say HoD s ratings don’t justify renwal, well neither did Nikita’s,ending season two with 7 0.4 and will get lower ratings than that for two more seasons to get syndication as its ratings so far this season prove..HoD has very stable ratings wise last season and this one so far.HoD is cheap to produce whereas Nikita had to have budget cuts late last season to stay on the air.HoD does well online,too.Its more Likley Beauty,Cult,Carrie Diaries get cancelled than HOD. Also, in addition to GG ending this season,Emily Owens is cancelled so that’s two open spots for new shows already,just need two-three more,.Beauty is Likley to be cancelled as it lost more than half of its pilot audience by episode three but I’ve heard it does well online and sold to more international markets than SC last season.Its ratings in second half of the season will tell us.

  • Austin Lauran

    I was referring to low rated sitcoms in my post

  • joel

    Only two certain cancellations and three likely cancellations. Is the bear on a post-Thanksgiving diet?

  • joel

    I suppose that post answers itself.

  • Nick

    @Austin Lauran

    People who say that low-rated freshman sitcoms hurt the show before it are just plain delusional.
    However, the people who say it hurts the veteran after it are usually correct.

    Example 1) Modern Family-
    (I’m not using this year b/c of the huge drop in ABC ratings year-to-year, so I’ll use 2010-2011 and 2011-2012)
    In 2010-2011 MF had Better With You as a lead-in, a show with mediocre ratings that was cancelled after 1 22-episode season.
    In 2011-2012 MF had Subrgatory as a lead-in, a show that was a hit right out of the gate.
    Modern Family ratings grew year-to-year as a result.

    Example 2) 2 Broke Girls
    In Sept & Oct 2012 2BG had Partners as a lead in. You know what happened to that.
    1 day in Nov 2BG had a Big Bang repeat as a lead in. The TBBT repeat had ratings ~78% higher than the last Partners original.
    That day 2BG ratings skyrocketed ~21% from what they had been behind Partners.

  • Blake Williams

    If CBS lets Vegas go and I hope they don’t because I feel it is getting better with each episode……maybe AMC, TNT, or A&E will pick it up

  • Nick

    @Richard Steven Hack

    1) Its syndication potential is not as high as Nikita’s.

    I don’t know what “syndication potential” means in whatever Fringe alternate universe you live in, but in my world, it means “potential to do well in syndictation.” That depends on how well it repeats, and at least during the past summer, Hart of Dixie repeated better than Nikita. In fact, HOD repeated better than every CW show that doesn’t start with S and end in N. I think HOD has a higher syndication potential than Nikita.

  • PV

    Clearly all the networks are having problem with the 8:30pm slot in the comedy blocks. Partners was hurting 2BG, Ben and Kate ruined New Girl, The Neighbors also did no good to Modern Family and I believe that The office’s final season would get higher numbers if it had a better lead in than Up All Night. I think they should cancel all these shows because they are doing harm to the whole night. Or at least move them from that timeslot, because it is surely not the right timeslot for these shows.

  • r0ckmypants

    @Nick – Crossbones doesn’t even have a cast yet. It won’t be ready for midseason.

  • Oliver

    I think Ben & Kate still has a shot. I think its ratings will increase a little when The Voice departs in January and Mindy will continue to fall and I think it’s a straight fight between the three freshman Fox comedies for renewal.

    I think ABC will move HE and Apt 23 at mid-season, likely to 10pm Wednesday, before cutting them. I still think HE will be renewed, even if it ends up on cable.

    Hart of Dixie is the most ‘bubbly’ show of the year. It genuinely could go either way. My guess is that The CW relegates ANTM to Summer, moves Supernatural back to Friday in its place and axes BatB (ending The CW’s experiment with procedurals). It then depends on this years mid-season shows and choosing between a final half-season of 90210 and a new mid-season show vs dragging a low-rated show into syndication territory. I lean slightly towards renewal.

  • DeanW

    @ aleksander eide

    I agree with Sam because Dean was, of course, controlled by a monster. I don’t trust the “friendly vampire” exactly like i didn’t trust their grandfather two years ago. He has something to hide and he’s certainly a Crowley puppet.

  • Pepper

    90210 and BatB will be cancelled. Nikita and Hart of Dixie could really go either way, and will depend a lot on how the Carrie Diaries and Cult perform this spring.

    Chicago Fire, unless its ratings take a dive, will probably be renewed but I think Whitney will be cancelled.

    The three CBS bubble shows are truly toss ups, and I honestly have no idea which way it’ll go. Maybe CBS will cancel CSI:NY and move H50 to be paired with Blue Bloods on Fridays? Who knows.

  • CrystalFissure

    As an Australian, I am EAGERLY awaiting the American Midseason because Community will finally be returning. Really hoping the whole break allows the show to gain a bit more traction and gain more viewers so it’s renewed. Also really hoping Happy Endings is renewed, I quite enjoyed Season 1 and am powering through Season 2.

  • Glue

    Where’s MAX When you need him? REVENGE Is Certain Renewal… Scandal Is A Toss-Up. Lol :P

© 2015 Tribune Digital Ventures