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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  • DW

    i hoping abc brings back Hardcastle and McCormick. :)

  • Austin

    C’mon CBS… Why did you renew CSI: NY? Its doing terrible.. If you renew CSI: Miami instead, it would atleast be in the 10 million/11 million viewers. CSI:NY Cant even reach 10 million viewers…

  • Jared

    Now that Scandal has received the Oprah Winfrey stamp of approval I don’t see ABC cancelling this series anytime soon. Especially since last weeks episode was a series high in the demo. This is what happens when you give a promising series time to find an audience. Scandal can rival ANY drama on ANY cable network as far as storyline and execution goes. Kerry Washington is perfection.

  • rob60990

    I didn’t realize Oprah had that much power over a TV show. lol

  • Spence

    It’s a shame that Beauty and the Beast is performing so low that it’s already on the bubble. I know the show has gotten a lot of negative reviews from critics, but it has actually improved a lot while a “hit” show like Arrow keeps leaving me with disappointment. In my opinion BatB is superior than Arrow in storylines and acting.

  • SarahL


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

    Hee. I had the same thought as I shook my head in disbelief.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman


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

    Hee. I had the same thought as I shook my head in disbelief.”

    That wasn’t Robert. He’s the “nice” one.

  • SarahL


    LOL! I really should known that.

  • Wright

    Really happy TVD,SPN,Revolution,Arrow,Grimm,OUAT,NCIS,NCIS:LA,Criminal Minds and New Girl are certain renewals.I would really like to see Elementary,Bones,HOD and Nikita on the list too. Also, very upset that Fringe is ending.

  • SRD

    @Spence I’m enjoying both Beauty & the Beast and Arrow, but Beauty is can’t miss for me while Arrow I’ll watch in a day or so. It really is improving with each episode.

  • Stephen Judson

    I won’t be mad if The Cleveland show is cancel because the family will obviously be moved over to Family Guy. It would be interesting to see them interact.

  • Mark

    The New Normal “has” to be renewed. It’s fresh, fun, and visually charming. It might not have the best ratings out there, but it certainly draws more audience than most of the comedies from other networks. And it certainly has more audience than other NBC shows. Before trying with a new comedy, or a new show at all, I am quite sure NBC will keep its Tuesdays the way they are now, with Go On, The New Normal and Parenthood renewed for 2013-2014. Actually, critics say The New Normal has higher possibilities of scoring more nominations than Go On on Golden Globes. Now, that will be something to keep in mind when making cancel/renew predictions.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    That wasn’t Robert. He’s the “nice” one.

    I don’t discount the perception, but I ascribe it completely to reading the comments far less frequently than Bill.

  • Mon

    C’mon CBS… Why did you renew CSI: NY? Its doing terrible.. If you renew CSI: Miami instead, it would atleast be in the 10 million/11 million viewers. CSI:NY Cant even reach 10 million viewers…

    Oh please. So CSI: Miami would have suddenly be immune to year-to-year ratings decline and while everything on CBS hits lows? ROLLEYES

  • Duncey

    Chicago Fire is the real deal, once its audience grows even more it can get those numbers it got last week on a regular even when CSI is airing.

  • Raola

    Call me crazy but I see Whitney/Guys with Kids coming back. NBC seems to be setting up those two shows as a project for the future.

  • matt


  • David Howell

    Whitney ought to be canceled, any renewal for it is a de facto 44-episode order and even NBC can’t afford that. Apparently, judging by Nikita, the CW can. ;)

    I get that the 2.5 Men/HIMYM “likely renewal” status is to do with production costs rather than anything else, but honestly – how expensive can Men get before it’s less profitable than the #2 or #3 new sitcom from pilot season, i.e. the next Rob or Friend Me? My status for both would be “Won’t get canceled, but…”.

    Given the lag time, I suspect Cleveland Show is going to go. Any renewal would have been decided already.

  • Mickey

    WOOT! Now that Chicago Fire has been upgraded, all my shows are likely or certain to be renewed. CF grew quite a bit out of SVU this week, which is not too shabby for a 10 pm show.

    My favorites, Arrow, Revolution and OUAT are all certain to be renewed, so I’m good.

    I’m a wee but worried about Castle though. But it has a syndication deal with TNT, so that should help keep it on the air.

  • mike

    @ austin lauran. watch for Michael J. Fox’s new comedy in the fall of 2013. NBC will finally have their hit!

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