Bubble Watch: Misinterpreted Mayan Writings Don't Kill TV Shows, Business Models Do

Categories: Bubble Watch

Written By

December 16th, 2012

Image credit: "HodariNundu" you can see a larger version here.

This will be the last Bubble Watch until after the holidays, or for the doomsday crowd, the last bubble watch ever! It's as easy to predict that Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23 will live on past December 21 as it is to predict many people will disagree with some of the designations below - which, by the way, have not changed since last week. Yep, I'm mailing it in this week, blame a weakness for spiked egg nog...

Bears don't kill TV shows either though  the image of a bear chasing a TV show around is certainly more entertaining  (at least to me!) than a table with a list of shows and how things are shaping up.

Generally speaking, horrible ratings *do* kill shows, but because it's the relative ratings for a network that matter, it's more precise to go with "business models." CBS cancels shows with ratings that are bad for CBS that would be fantastic for other networks. Among the reasons that other networks simply don't pick up shows in CBS's scrap heap is those networks fully realize the shows wouldn't perform nearly as well in the ratings on their networks as they performed on CBS.

I had a healthy respect for business models even before we launched TV by the Numbers, but I have an even healthier respect now. When we launched the site I figured we'd be focusing much more on how the networks' existing business models were getting crushed by changes (DVR, On Demand, Netflix, etc.). There's certainly some interest in that, but it is teeny tiny compared to interest in whether shows will be cancelled or renewed.

There's lots of stuff we don't do that some people would certainly be very interested in. Some of those things we're even very interested in ourselves, but sadly, there's not enough interest in them to justify the cost of production. Even here at TV by the Numbers where the financial stakes are much lower, we have our versions of "666 Park Avenue" and "Last Resort"  that we scrap or never get around to doing to begin with. Those decisions don't always please us or all of our readers, but they make sense for our business model.

Either way, long after December 21, 2012 TV shows -- fan favorites among them -- will be canceled.

Happy holidays!

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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  • CenterGravity


    Don’t Trust The B-
    Ben And Kate
    Up All Night
    Happy Endings
    Cleveland Show
    The Good Wife
    Beauty And The Beast
    The Mindy Project


    Everything else

  • reidjr

    With Fringe/The Office/30 Rock/Gossip Girl plus the chance How I Met Your Mother does not come back those are some key series and it could be interesting to see how networks replace them.

  • James

    Interesting read.

    I was just wondering about how netflix has effected the overall ratings system.

    Personally, I’m dropping my cable when my contract ends (on 21st oddly enough), in favor of netflix. I’ve just found so much more that I’m likely to watch then ‘standard tv’, and the biggest win of all is no commercials.

  • Roswell

    @ Bill and or Robert

    How is 90210 on the bubble? there’s not way its going to be canceled… i mean by no means should it be at certain renewal,but at the very least likely renewal. given that it has been on longer that HOD and BATB and still managing to stay at the same level, I would count on 90210 being arond next year.

  • reidjr

    If its back my guess is it will be a final season maybe they go with 10 episodes and start it in early aug.

  • Renee

    The only ones I’m concerned about are Beauty & the Beast and Nikita. I love those two shows. Everything else is in good shape.

  • David Howell

    Could CBS consider going all-reality on Sundays with Survivor and TAR? Sunday night is so packed with cable dramas that CBS has to cut back with something different, and clearly the two shows are compatible.

    You’d also open up Wednesday 8pm for a new drama (probably the new NCIS spinoff).

  • Anthony

    Shame, SHAME. Ben and Kate and Happy Endings may be the next great shows to be cancelled?? Mob Doctor really isn’t all that bad either. In fact, it’s quite good. Yet we live in a time where Jersey Shore and the Kardashians pull in record ratings. Welcome to Obama’s America — a land of mindless zombies.

  • cm

    i hope revolutin gets renwed

  • Just Desserts

    I’ve just looked at the nominees for the Golden Globes and the People’s Choice Awards and I’m wondering how they could affect the renewal status for each show.

    If a one-step status upgrade was added per nomination here’s how the shows might rank:

    The Big Bang Theory :D :D :D :D :D
    The Good Wife :D :D :D :D :D
    Modern Family :D :D :D :D :D
    Nashville :D :D :D :D :D
    New Girl :D :D :D :D :D

    Golden Globes:

    Smash :D :D :D :D :D
    Parks and Recreation :D :D :D :D :D

    People’s Choice Awards:

    Arrow :D :D :D :D :D
    Beauty and the Beast :) :) :)
    Bones :D :D :D :D :D
    Castle :D :D :D :D :D
    Criminal Minds :D :D :D :D :D
    CSI: Crime Scene Investigation :D :D :D :D :D
    Elementary :D :D :D :D :D
    Glee :D :D :D :D :D
    Go On :D :D :D :D :D
    Grey’s Anatomy :D :D :D :D :D
    Grimm :D :D :D :D :D
    Guys With Kids :| :| :|
    How I Met Your Mother :D :D :D :D :D
    The Mindy Project :| :| :|
    NCIS :D :D :D :D :D
    The Neighbors :D :D :D :D :D
    The New Normal :D :D :D :D :D
    Once Upon a Time :D :D :D :D :D
    Revenge :D :D :D :D :D
    Revolution :D :D :D :D :D
    Supernatural :D :D :D :D :D
    The Vampire Diaries :D :D :D :D :D

  • Bob

    Guys with Kids only 3 stars with People’s Choice…I say give it 5 stars!!!! lol.

  • cris

    Bones and How I Met Your Mother were already renewed

  • saffron

    I’m interested in TV business models/how technology is changing things. However, this is more a consumer oriented site. Deadline does a reasonable job covering the business end of things.

  • hey Anthony

    Hey Anthony. if you have something political to say this isn’t the place. moron!

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