Bubble Watch: 'Chicago Fire,' 'Scandal' Upgraded; 'The Cleveland' Show Downgraded; 'Nashville' Still On The Bubble

Categories: Bubble Watch

Written By

December 9th, 2012

Several minor adjustments this week among them Scandal and Chicago Fire were both adjusted up to likely renewals and The Cleveland Show was adjusted down to "on the bubble."  Cleveland's ratings say "renew" but they don't scream it at the top of Fox's lungs. Moreover, as some note in the comments nearly every week, it's the lowest-rated animation on Fox and it's the only currently airing animation that hasn't already been renewed and production cycles for animations are long.

The release of CBS's mid-season schedule brought forth the usual tea-leaf reading. With CSI: NY exiting early to make way for Golden Boy, some are prognosticating that is bad news for CSI: NY and good news for The Mentalist and The Good Wife.  Perhaps over the holidays I'll share my 1,000 word version of my thinking on that. The short version is the "that's bad news for CSI: NY and good news for others" argument certainly isn't foolhardy, it's just not compelling enough to sway me. I'm leaving all three on the bubble, and barring future changes to the ratings or "catch the dramatic series finale of CSI: NY!" news from CBS, that's likely where all three will stay all season.

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
Whitney 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
Cleveland Show, The Fox 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
Castle ABC Likely Renewal
Neighbors, The ABC Likely Renewal
Scandal ABC Likely Renewal
Suburgatory ABC Likely Renewal
The Middle ABC 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
Chicago Fire NBC 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
CSI 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 actually have several disagreements this week:
    -Up All Night: Bubble (its ratings now are useless, it will depend on how the multicam version fares)
    – Nikita: likely renewal
    – Beauty an the beast: likely cancelation (0.5 already)
    – the mindy project: likely cancelation
    – the neighbours: bubble
    – the middle: certain renewal
    – elementary: bubble (it is pulling 2.1s now and its a newbie, so there is lower tolerance for it. besides, cbs needs space on weeekdays to launch new shows. It will probably be renewed to save face and with the superbowl slot and all, but it is still a bubble show IMO)
    – hawaii five-0: its back to decent ratings and it has a syndication deal, no reason for it not to be certain, its one of the easiest locks for renewal over at cbs
    – svu: bubble (i will disagree with you on this one until the end of the season it appear)
    – i have csi at likely instead of certain but that is okay, its numbers have been very impressive.

  • omabin

    Oh and I coudn’t be happier with the headline concerning Chicago Fire and, especially, Scandal!!

  • CBSviewer

    CSI: NY will get another season.
    Why CBS put Crap in Jersey in the fall ? Golden Boy was a best choice !

  • zerg

    Shonda pushes Scandal to likely renewal..Chigaco fire won’t last long as CSi was a reapeat

    I don’t get why abc didn’t move nashville after revenge..

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “I think the Cleveland show will get renewed but then held back”

    Somebody who tracks ordered/available episodes better than I do (which is not at all) can probably inform us that Cleveland has XX episodes already ordered and will have whatever doesn’t air this season ready to air at some point during the 2013-14 season even if it is “canceled” and no more episodes are ordered.


    Scandal moved to likely renewal due to ABC’s pitiful performance this year

    CF moved to likely renewal due to NBC’s lack of scripted performers

    Looking forward to the 1,000 words

  • omabin

    Also, I think the Whitney situation might surprise. NBC’s weighted average of comedy is currently 1.4 (I give a higher weight to more recent airings). Whitney’s weighted average is 1.3. It’s a close call. I still have it as likely canceled, but could easily change, maybe bubble would be more suited.

  • Court

    I still think csiny save for season 10 .

  • Just Desserts

    I can’t believe Chicago Fire hung on!

  • aleksander eide

    i wonder how many moore seasons will csi: las vegas last?

  • LD

    The Cleveland Show doesn’t have an episode backlog. This is its burnoff year.

    A surprise renewal could very well lead to the show being held back, seeing as the production team is going to need time to get new episodes animated!

  • Just Desserts

    Noticed The Neighbors was back again at its rightful place after a vacation in Bubble status.

    Nashville would probably be renewed since it doesn’t have any competition unless, of course, Red Widow and Zero Hour become mega-hits, which is unlikely to happen.

  • Bee

    nashville has been very steady lately, but on the lower side. i hope it gradually builds its way up again.

    and i REALLY wish ABC would do a marathon for the show like they did with OUAT last year.

  • Vcoolwater

    Hmmmm….. I think we should wait another week for Scandal and Chicago Fire. Both shows were sampled this week. The question is can they keep the audience next week.

  • SarahL

    I am still disagreeing about The Neighbors. I think it is the funniest sweetest new show, but ABC burning off the remaining episodes by March and giving its time slot to Suburbatory does not bode well for renewal. I guess that there is always the possibility that ABC’s new comedy, How to Live with Your Parents will flop.

    After these two last weeks Scandal is now definitely “likely renewal.” I would even say “certain renewal.” Talk about a quick turn in fortune. Good work by Shonda Rhimes and ABC.

    I really want Nashville to get another season in hopes that it can be revamped and improved, but its demo is so low, I think that is cancellation is likely.

  • Dan S

    As usual my bone of contention is with The Middle. It really should be upgraded to certain renewal while I feel New Normal should go on the bubble. Those ratings are really mediocre & being in the 1st season it’s a long way from syndication. Another show sitting n the bubble The Mindy Project looks like its headed for the dustbin & I would downgrade it to likely cancellation short of a ratings miracle.

  • rob60990

    Scandal will be back to its 1.9s in no time.

  • Austin Lauran

    Does anybody think that it’s possible for the NBC execs to launch a hit sitcom that can get the same ratings as The Big Bang Theory or Modern Family & doesn’t have The Voice as a lead-in or is that impossible?

  • JeffT

    Nashville is unlikely to build audience, being a continuing series. No one is going to hop on board midstream. The idea of a marathon is a good one, just to let people get in from the beginning.

  • Max Vrany

    I’m looking forward to a picture on CBS’ situation.

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