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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  • tjw


    I think it’s option #2. It’s not like every show has bombed in that timeslot. Ugly Betty ran for three seasons there, drawing between 11 and 16 million viewers its first season and 8, 9, 10 million its next couple of seasons.

    Flashforward debuted to 12.50 million viewers and a 4.0 rating a few years ago. That show was just terrible and the shows that have aired since just haven’t caught on for whatever reason.

  • Anna Clarkwood

    Austin Lauran probably a combination of all that you mentioned.

    ABC should just put Shark Tank in that Thursday 8/7 slot.

    They could find another cheap to make reality, heck even try “Duets” for that timeslot.

    Basically, Thursday 8/7 is just too competitive a time slot, so it’s just too hard to start any new show & too risky to move say Modern Family/The Middle & risk hurting the ratings and thus their advertisers. But, a cheap to make show wouldn’t need that big of a demo rating & you could treat it like a Friday. And, with Tim & Reba w/ ABC trying to bring back TGIF, Shark Tank, to stay on the schedule, will be looking for a new home. Well, that or Primetime: What Would You Do? since Shark Tank technically moved forward an hour and moved PT:WWYD off the schedule.

  • Oliver

    Regrettably, I think ABC has already effectively cancelled Happy Endings. All that is missing to make it definitive is its order being cut. My guess is that it finds its way onto TBS next season.

    I think Mindy is a likely cancellation. 1.3 is bad, 1.3 given its timeslot and lead-in is horrific. Ben & Kate isn’t doing that much worse in a much tougher situation.

  • Oliver


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

    ABC won’t care because Last Man Standing is a Fox show.

  • roco

    @ Rob, you predicted Scandal will adjust down, unfortunately, those numbers stayed the same, you and others can’t predict who tunes in or may tune in, get a life, just be grateful that Revenge is holding on to those steady numbers for now.

  • JakeSnake

    I think Mindy Project should be at Likely Cancellation. It’s absolutely not certain yet, but the way things are going now I get the feeling Fox will just decide to scrape their two new comedies and try starting fresh next year.

  • jimbo

    NBC should produce Friends’spin-off called”Monica and Chandler”
    This would be a great turning point for the network!!

  • jimbo

    Friends’spin-off called”Monica and Chandler”, They raise their adopted twins in a suburb!!

  • Jay

    I like The Cleveland Show and Family Guy. I hate athe Simpsons and will never watch Bob’s Burgers

  • ToXiX



  • tommie

    @Bill Gorman: 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.

    The Cleveland Show will air it’s 71th episode next Sunday – that’ll leave Fox with another 17 episodes to program for this spring. I guess they could schedule it conservatively and hold some back for next fall.

  • XXX

    Nikita on the bubble??!!
    Should be ‘likely renewal’.

  • tommie

    @Maximillian: I find it hard to believe Cleveland show will be cancelled after this season. For starters, its 17 episodes away from stripped syndication (which will round out a full 23 episode order for season 4)

    They’ve already produced a total of 88 episodes – Fox ordered 24 episodes for the season 3 production cycle.

    The reason why many of us believe that The Cleveland Show is done for is the fact that it’s been rumoured for a long time that Fox was looking to get rid of American Dad (the “Hot Water” episode from last season was originally supposed to serve as a series finale even) – obviously, they changed their minds this past spring when American Dad performed better than The Cleveland Show which is why those two have been alternating time slots.

  • Just Desserts

    I really hope Ugly Betty can be uncanceled/restarted. Thursday is bad for Abc. That show is the only one that can save it. With Partners and Park Avenue gone, maybe they can make an Ugly Betty season 5?

  • POIFanatic

    Glad that Revolution, Arrow and Go On are doing good. Only new shows that I’m liking this season. Don’t care about Last Resort’s demise anymore. It earned its cancellation.

    Except for The Mentalist (for factors other than ratings), all my other favorite shows are safe.

  • CoolRanchDoritos

    90210, Hart of Dixie, Nikita get out of the bubble..

    Scandal, The Middle, Elementary, Hawaii Five-0 move to Certain Renewal please..

    Modern Family, Revenge, Arrow, Supernatural, Glee, Parenthood move to Renewal.. I would put Vampire Diaries but i just don’t care.

  • Stormy44

    @ those who think that I am delusional about Scandal, lets talk again in a few weeks. My belief that Scandal will hit 3.0 soon has nothing to do with my feelings about the show–even though I think that it is awesome but rather about the trends of the numbers for the past month or so. Numbers don’t lie.

    And here is another delusional statement from me that you can bank, Scandal will be one of the earliest shows renewed by ABC.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “I really hope Ugly Betty can be uncanceled/restarted.”

    Apparently, this has become “drug induced fantasy bubble watch”.

  • Austin


  • Roco

    @ Stormy, I love Scandal and I’m so glad it’s doing better each week, but 3.0 is alittle too unpredictable, If they continue to showcase emmy worthy material like these last few episodes, those numbers will continue to increase.

    I predict Scandal will slowly pick up more viewers, especially in January.

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