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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  • Chosen

    Nikita would be certainly renewed, Hart of Dixie too.
    90210 will have its final season as Gossip Girl and One Tree Hill had. Beauty & The Beast is most likely to be cancelled. Arrow will get renewed except if it falls down. Nashville could have a second season but it has to stay stable.

  • JulieDawn

    Very pleased to see Chicago Fire now showing as a likely renewal, it’s become a favourite.
    But I really hope Beauty and the Beast can turn things around and hang on to get a second season. Enjoying it more than any other new show this year and I think it deserves it.

  • Melissa


    I expect Grey’s to fall into the high 2s regularly by around February and stay there for the season so I expect Scandal to pull 1.8-1.9. I do believe the show will get renewed just because ABC can’t cancel everything. It will be a pity renewal. This week the show got a bump from a highly promoted story. The hype will die down and the ratings will go back down. Anyone who believes this is the beginning of something more is delusional and it has nothing to do with my dislike for the show. I’m just stating the obvious.

    I agree with you about Grey’s Anatomy. I don’t think it will ever crack a 4.0 again, and I think the season nine premiere was the last time.

  • Holly


    Do we really have to repeat this conversation every single week?

  • ToXiX

    I think Fox will renew for a final season to air incase Murder Police flops. Which it will.

  • CBSviewer

    @ Everyone

    Do you think there is a chance for CSI: NY to be Renewed for summer ? After all, last season CBS Renewed Unforgettable for summer because it was the highest rated of their canceled shows. If CSI: NY is becomes the highest-rated of the canceled shows it has a chance to be “uncanceled” for summer.

  • DeanW

    My predictions:

    Happy Endings = Renewal
    Last Man Standing = Renewal (13 episodes)
    Malibu Country = Renewal (13 episodes)
    Nashville = cancelation
    The Cleveland Show = Renewal
    CSI: NY = Renewal (13 episodes)
    The Good Wife = Renewal (13 episodes)
    The Mentalist = Renewal
    90210 = Renewal (10 episodes)
    Hart of Dixie = Renewal
    The Mindy Project = cancelation
    Nikita = Renewal
    Beauty and the Beast = cancelation
    Vegas = cancelation
    Golden Boy = cancelation
    Rules of Engagement = Renewal

  • Hardline_Pro

    All of my shows are safe this year…so far. That’s a first. :3

  • Paul P.

    I love Vegas – better than Unforgettable last season – just not drawing
    enough viewers to get renewed. At least H5O is showing signs of life –
    scripts & ratings.

  • Richard Steven Hack

    I agree that anyone thinking a show doing a 1.9 is going to hit a 3.0 in a few weeks is delusional. I don’t even have to be a viewer of the show to know that.

    Only show I have any interest in on the Bubble Watch is Beauty and the Beast and frankly not that much interest because the show isn’t that good. My other show, Nikita, is a lock for renewal. Everything else I watch is good, except for Last Resort which was a disaster and deservedly canceled.

    I should mention that Revolution NEEDS to be canceled and I still think it will crash in the spring. But it might get renewed before it crashes. That show is just pathetic in premise, in execution, in acting (except for a couple of the cast) and in directing. It sucks rocks on a par with The Event.

  • Jane Elliot


    Considering Nikita ended both season 1 and season 2 with season finales that could serve as series finales, I see no reason why that won’t be true of season 3 as well. (Though, that said, I think there’s a better than even chance of renewal, thanks to whatever non-ratings factors caused the show to be renewed after season 2.)

  • roco

    @ Rob obviously you are a psychic, a dumb one at that, and you can predict the future, you are a depress person who apparently has hatred all over himself. You are like a dark cloud, I really hope that your favorite show loses audiences, so that I can gloat….

  • Day

    I’m so worried for The Good Wife. It needs to be renewed! Even for one season. Heck I’ll take half a season. I hope they make more new lawyer dramas next season.

  • rob60990

    Doesn’t FOX also have The Flintstones premiering next year as well or has that been totally scrapped?

    “obviously you are a psychic, a dumb one at that, and you can predict the future”

    I’m not the dumb psychic. The dumb psychic is the one who believes Scandal will hit a 3.0 in a couple of months.

  • greysfan

    Scandal is awesome this season and so glad it looks like it will return for a 3rd season. Nashville is getting better as the season goes on but at this stage its iffy right now. Body of Proof should have gone 8pm Thursdays and Zero Hour 10pm Wednesdays because i think Zero Hour looks very good. Its hard to determine on the preview i have seen though. Shows always look promising then turn out to be turds.

  • glover

    Yes Scandal! Where are the haters now?

  • Nick

    @CBS Viewer

    Do you think there is a chance for CSI: NY to be Renewed for summer ?

    No. Unforgettable got a summer run because Sony was able to sell it really cheap to CBS. CSI: NY is CBS-owned and likely very expensive.


    Last Man Standing = Renewal (13 episodes)

    Last Man Standing is within ~44 episodes of syndication. Any renewal would be a full season.

    @Richard Steven Hack

    We get it. You hate Revolution and Last Resort, and you love Nikita. You don’t have to remind us every single time you post something.


    Doesn’t FOX also have The Flintstones premiering next year as well or has that been totally scrapped?

    The Flintstones was never actually picked up by Fox. They were in preliminary discussions when Seth McFarlane decided that he was too busy and put the project on hold indefinitely.

  • Anna Clarkwood


    CSI: NY is way too expensive to use as a summer show. Yes Friday is “death slot” but @ least for CSI:NY the demo is stable/trustworthy enough. I could see as a trustworthy (demo wise) spring/late fall replacement show for a nice final season for it’s fans. It would be the first drama to replace a freshmen failed show i.e. “Made In Jersey 2013″. And, seeing as how the show didn’t expect a premiere until Jan 2014 they didn’t start filming until the fall which means that they could tack on a few episodes if a freshmen show really tanks early. CBS knows what they would get from CSI:NY fans & with it being an announced final season as long as they adjust the promo of when it premieres from Jan to say Nov I’m sure CBS will be happy they don’t have to keep “MIJ 2014″ on the schedule/NCIS repeats until Jan b/c they decided to keep CSI:NY in reserve. Then again, they may not think of that or think it’s a smart idea and just pull another CSI:Miami.

    I have no idea how much Unforgettable cost, but with it only being in it’s 1st season the uncancellation wasn’t that expensive to renew for Spring & eventually shipped to summer to burn-off. It’s not like it’s going to get any more episodes now that it didn’t even get a Spring chance. CBS doesn’t have room for a show they already cancelled once with Elementary/CSI:NY/TheGoodWife/TheMentalist & even Vegas/TheGoldenBoy…they have to “let-go/cancel” 3 of these shows if they want to try 3 new dramas, as usual, 1 already being the NCIS:LA spin-off, come fall 2013. Consider Unforgetable’s uncancellation as more like maybe they didn’t see that many good new pilots but since they did find a few & 2/3 of their new dramas will make it a full season, there ended up being no room in the spring schedule.

    I have no idea the status of how many episodes that they shot (did they shoot all ordered even when they had no room for the spring?) but I don’t think the uncancellation was b/c they wanted a summer schedule, like Rookie Blue & ABC. I could be wrong but I think it may be behind the scenes deals with the actors/execs etc not to ask for raises so the cost could still be low and to be used as a Spring Replacement show.

    Bottomline, Unforgettable’s uncancellation in no way reflects on CSI:NY & a possible uncancellation/renewed for summer.

    B/c I’m such a fan of CBS’s shows here’s another “add more hours in the schedule idea”. How about for H50 & Blue Bloods, aka those renewed mostly for syndication, save those shows for Jan-July…or Jan-Jun with like 0 repeats or even a few Nov/Dec episodes for failed Fall premiere dramas. CBS still gets mostly decent demo ratings & doesn’t have to cancel any show save for Vegas & Golden Boy…well & Unforgettable which they are going to do anyways. And, if they want, they can add one of The Mentalist/TGW/CSI:NY to that Jan-July schedule if they want to see if the can get Vegas going as it is renewal on the other networks. This would mean 0 spring 2014 freshmen shows, but is that actually a bad thing? Spring freshmen shows rarely succeed & each new show that fails costs quite a bit b/c of 0 syndication etc. Where as with a backup that has a syndication deal in place seems ideal. If the numbers go way down it wouldn’t be all that bad. Besides, CBS doesn’t get horrible numbers even on cancelled freshmen shows. And, if the numbers hold up, there could be a renewal for a Jan-May season to get to 100 episodes or even back to Sep-May if they improve & CBS does finally let go of some shows.

    There are just so many options out there that CBS can do with their impressive lineup that I hope that the execs have mulled them all over & don’t just take the easy road & go with well we want 3 new dramas so that means 1 of CSI:NY/TGW/TM must be cancelled & 2 if we renew Vegas or The Golden Boy approach. Their whole lineup is really so good that they are cancelling/considering cancelling shows that all the other networks would have as likely renewal or better. That is a good thing yes & right now of [b]all their 10 dramas that are On The Bubble or better they have, premiered in: 1 00, 1 03, 1 04, 1 05, 1 08, 2 09, 2 10, 1 11 & looks to be 1 12[/b]. This actually shows that their shows are relatively new, which is not what I thought when I started this research & that [b]since 08 they have kept @ least 1 if not 2 of their 3 new shows each year[/b]. So, what do I know? They seem to know what they are doing. Not having to rely on Reality TV like NBC/FOX or fill time with dancing ala ABC, nor having poor for other network shows at least not beyond freshmen & not for long, if that, & finding a way not to get the fans of series moves to death slots too mad @ them to effect ratings that bad. CSI:NY is pretty stable & The Mentalist, as late as it airs, still builds & does well vs The Good Wife which is doing decent enough all considering. CBS has so many stud horses but not enough Sep-May stables. While they have plenty of options & I hope they do something out of the box, they don’t need to.

    Congrats to anyone who read that. I’m glad I got it out there even though it probably won’t find it’s way to CBS execs.

  • Austin Lauran

    I have a few question related to ABC’s Thursday 8/7c pm timeslot:

    If Modern Family & The Middle ever moved to the Thursday 8/7 & 8:30/7:30 timeslots, how bad would the ratings of both shows be?

    Most of know that only 2 shows that have aired in that timeslot since in the past 10 years were able to survive that timeslot: Ugly Betty & Wipeout.

    Are these the reasons for the dramas in the past few years airing in the timeslot getting cancelled:

    -They appeal to the same audience that watched The Big Bang Theory & Two and a Half Men
    -They don’t click with viewers and/or aren’t any good
    -It’s doomed before it airs because of the timeslo

    Is the Thursday 8/7 PM timeslot of ABC really cursed or do the ABC execs just air the wrong shows in that timeslot?

  • Austin Lauran

    I meant “audience(s) that watches The Big Bang Theory & Two and a Half Men”

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