Bubble Watch Trading Places Edition: Scandal & Revenge + 'CSI: NY' Likely To Be Canceled

Categories: Bubble Watch

Written By

January 13th, 2013

It's a New Year and although it has been a while since the last Bubble Watch, not much has changed because for most of the absence there were no original episodes of scripted shows.

There are a few minor changes though -- the changes really are pretty minor, if you have a strong reaction to them consider yourself much more emotionally invested than I am!

Nashville was upgraded from on the bubble to likely renewal. I also upgraded Whitney from likely cancellation to on the bubble status. It could move right back down after its next episode. We'll see.  Two and a Half Men was upgraded from likely to certain renewal. From a ratings perspective that's been true all season, really. I held "Men" back a little bit because of the older show/expense issues. But it's pretty clear that both sides (Warner Bros and CBS) will be motivated to bring it back so it's hard to imagine any situation that doesn't result in renewal.

1600 Penn and Deception are on the bubble only because I'm waiting for more data. Also, since the last Bubble Watch How I Met Your Mother and Bones have been renewed.

Through most of the fall, Revenge was "certain to be renewed" while Scandal was "likely to be renewed." I've flipped that around to kick off the year. Which show is "better" in terms of quality is no concern of Bubble Watch (I personally haven't watched either, and I don't have anything against either show), the very recent ratings trend favors Scandal. But if Scandal vs. Revenge is some sort of sporting contest in your mind, that is for your own entertainment purposes only. There is no zero sum game between Revenge and Scandal. Both could be renewed and based on current ratings, both will be renewed. At least currently, which show you like more is as inconsequential as which show has the better ratings.

Edit: This post was drafted prior to the release of CBS's summer schedule. I have to give props to Bill who upon perusing CBS's midseason schedule a while back concluded CSI: NY was more likely to be canceled than renewed. I'd kept it on the bubble, but upon seeing the summer schedule have to conclude Bill had it right a couple of months ago.

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
Happy Endings ABC Likely Cancellation
CSI: NY CBS Likely Cancellation
Vegas CBS Likely Cancellation
Guys with Kids NBC Likely Cancellation
Up All Night NBC Likely Cancellation
Last Man Standing ABC On The Bubble
Malibu Country ABC On The Bubble
Cleveland Show, The Fox 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
1600 Penn NBC On The Bubble
Deception NBC On The Bubble
Whitney NBC On The Bubble
Castle ABC Likely Renewal
Nashville ABC Likely Renewal
Neighbors, The ABC Likely Renewal
Revenge ABC Likely Renewal
Suburgatory ABC Likely Renewal
The Middle ABC Likely Renewal
Elementary CBS Likely Renewal
Hawaii Five-0 CBS 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
Scandal 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
Two and a Half Men 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
How I Met Your Mother CBS Renewed
American Dad Fox Renewed
Bob's Burgers Fox Renewed
Bones 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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  • scott

    Csi NY is or was a good show, I do like the cast as they work well together. However the show died years ago, along with the other CSI’s. Its just the same story told over and over again. Time for them all to go away into rerun heaven and dvd glory, so the actors can find new and better work.

    I am disapointed that Vegas is leaning towards the cancelled side. I do enjoy the show and I think its a different type of cop show, with the added mob twist. No real detective work, no angry boss to report to, no forensic crap, just simple cop work with the mafia in vegas.

  • thazenstab

    Well, I hope your wrong about CSI NY! It’s my favorite show on t.v. and Gary Sinise is an Awesome Actor! If they cancel it…I guess I won’t be watching much t.v. next season, especially CBS!

  • sam

    Im not to sure about that New Normal prediction.

  • glover

    Where’s Max to celebrate this?

  • Leondre

    Whitney isn’t new on Wednesday.

  • Bob

    I will be thrilled if both Revenge and Scandal are renewed. I love them both. Both are different but good shows. One wish I do have is that Guys with Kids gets renewed! Is it REALLY doomed?

  • Petar Ivanov

    I have a big question – why all netwooks suddenly go to the summer with so many scripted shows? And from all i mean all networs? CBS even will try serialized drama. What we miss here? What networks think or know that we didn’t? TV by the numbers any idea?

    Is it possible NBC summers success with games(and fall success after) to make networks be aggresive during summer? May be they think good summer wil gice them good fall?

    ps CBS not only will make serialized drama they will advertise it suring super bowl.

  • sylvie

    Why with 10 millions viewers they still saying CSI NY will be cancelled , it’s a great show and I hope you’re wrong ….

  • Melissa


    The New Normal is likely to be renewed even after a 1.3 last week? And Go On is certain with a 1.5? I knwow it’s been only one week, but I thought I’d see both on the bubble

    You have to remember that NBC’s scripted average is only a 1.8.

  • Melissa


    Why with 10 millions viewers they still saying CSI NY will be cancelled , it’s a great show and I hope you’re wrong ….

    Total viewership is not a factor in whether or not shows will be renewed. The adults 18–49 demographic is what advertisers pay for, so that is what the network cares about. CSI: NY is averaging only a 1.4 in that demographic, which is 48% below CBS’s scripted average (2.7), though the fact that the drama airs on a Friday certainly allows for some leeway (Friday is a lower-rated night in general).

  • Michael

    Perhaps I am naive, but why is ‘CSI NY’ (love it) “likely cancelled” when ‘Blue Bloods’ is “certain renewal?” Don’t they both have VERY similar ratings? I know ‘Blue Bloods’ gets some consideration because it is a 10pm show, but are they really that far away to warrant the different classifications. Doesn’t ‘CSI NY’ get special consideration because of the syndication deals it has with TNT and Spike? Is the ‘CSI NY’ omission on the summer schedule and short 9th season that indicative that it is going away? Can someone please educate me? I know I must be missing something.

  • Just Desserts

    Why is The Good Wife still “on the bubble”?

    It just got nominated for the Golden Globes. No way is CBS going to trash it.

  • DJ

    I think the most interesting one on this list is the Mentalist vs the Good Wife. I don’t really see a case where CBS brings back both next year given they’d have to put off Undercover Boss and destroy their weekend schedule. So…..with that said, which one will CBS keep? Both are in the Bubble region and both have been on at least 4 years and both have staunch fans? It’ll be really interesting. What does everybody think: Mentalist or Good Wife, which one survives to next year? You can make a case for both—Mentalist: Better ratings, Simon Baker still having years left on his contract and probably being the single most influential character between the two shows.
    The Good Wife: Mentalist’s syndication deal issues, the awards, the fact that CBS seems to love this show as its little pet project and has put up with its awful ratings for years.
    So which one do you guys think?

  • Melissa


    Perhaps I am naive, but why is ‘CSI NY’ (love it) “likely cancelled” when ‘Blue Bloods’ is “certain renewal?” Don’t they both have VERY similar ratings?

    You are correct. They are both averaging 1.4’s this season, and they both have the same season low (1.2) and season high (1.5).

  • Anna Bones Clarkwood

    Petar, “so many scripted shows” really?

    I think it’s very limited as far as Broadcast.
    Summer, for awhile now, has been for Cable.

    ABC’s Rookie Blue (their main summer scripted show) has had decent rating’s, but that’s for Summer. Basically, a .9-1.5 demo (& 3.8 – 6.09mil total).

    So, I think in regards to CBS, which still is mostly repeats, just has a couple extra shows that if say Vegas had failed could have been used as a Spring Replacement. However, they were pushed to summer as CBS only canceled 2 shows (90 minutes) of fall programming.

    What all do you have for Broadcast Original Scripted over the Summer Months?

    Is that an actual commercial that they would miss out on the revenue from another advertiser? CBS is airing the Super Bowl so they can insert ads all over the place, esp if no one is paying for those ad spots (not just commercials mind you).

    @sylvie, viewers not aged 18-49 don’t matter that much to advertisers, unless demo is for all intents equal esp for those advertisers that are of the “mom & pop” variety not Car, Insurance, Soda, Chain type.. It’s way too easy to reach those viewers. ESP in CBS’s case, it appears as if, in general, about 10mil watch CBS live 6 days a week, every prime time hour, no matter what is airing.

    The other networks can’t rely on that many viewers, like CBS, but advertisers don’t stick with just 1 network or even 1 show. So, if they want viewers over demo, they can go with CBS & a non specific show ad package. However, if they want demo, then they can go with many CBS shows & Voice, Idol, Modern Family etc.

    This is where demo w/n the non CBS broadcast networks needs to go for demo as #1 priority. They might try to tweak it a bit to go for say 18-25 or $100K household salary so some advertisers can help them out but that’s not #1.

    As far as CBS, they get such a solid demo for basically every prime time hour, in order to keep it fresh by adding new shows, they have to get rid of shows (old & new), including the decent freshmen Vegas & probably the Spring & Summer scripted as well. Friday & NFL messed up schedule Sunday is obvious that’s where the lowest demo is for CBS & that’s why those 3 are the one’s most likely to leave in the next couple years. Though, after next year, Hawaii Five O & another Friday show, Blue Bloods, will have reached Syndication numbers, so they will enter the possible cancel conversation, esp if they can’t get mid 2s, for the 13-14 season.

    @ Michael, Blue Bloods needs 1 more year for syndication episode count. That’s the main difference btwn those 2 Friday shows.

  • Nick


    Can someone please educate me?

    Sure. Blue Bloods is within a season of the 88-episode “magic” barrier for stripped syndication.
    Studios produce most shows at a loss. They hope to strike gold when the show is sold in syndication. Thus, production studios will move heaven and earth to get a series to the 88-ep barrier, which is the limit most channels have for syndication deals. CBS Studios, which produces Blue Bloods, is obviously connected to Colombia Broadcasting Services, also known as CBS. The bottom line is, CBS will renew it because their sister company needs it to.


    They are both averaging 1.4?s this season, and they both have the same season low (1.2) and season high (1.5).

    Erm, they both got 1.6’s this past Friday.

  • Michael

    Thanks for the explanation guys. I knew ‘CSI NY’ was a bubble show, but the potential syndication deal for ‘Blue Bloods’ makes some sense. I guess all the talk last year about now knowing how back end financials work for older shows made me think that it still had a chance since it is a Friday show, is doing about the same as ‘Blue Bloods,’ and is produced by CBS Paramount Television (presumably cheaper to produce). I guess I will enjoy a few last episodes :-(

  • Austin Lauran

    Would this be a good idea for the CBS execs to do:

    Should 2 & a Half Men could end its season early in March/April so that the new midseason sitcom that’s not on the schedule could after TBBT? I don’t think anyone has thought of that idea.

    Also, should the Fox execs air their midseason sitcom after American Idol on Wednesdays in April or in March if Glee goes on a 6 week hiatus?

  • Dan

    @Robert or Anyone else wondering – Doubt it matters what anyone from The CW says now or lack therof regarding the fate of any CW shows. The fact if, no CW show is in real danger of being cancelled despite HOD, BATB, and 90210 being equally low rated and Nikita rating worse.

    Its best to look at it like this, history repeats itself, especially for The CW. 90210 will get a final season because The CW always wraps their veterans up. They did it for their WB veteran imports Smallville and One Tree Hill, They are oing it now for the first original series that broke ratings when it premiered, Gossip Girl and they will d it for their second series that did very well in the ratings 90210, no matter how bad the numbers are this year.

    Hart of Dixie will get renewed because with 2 more seasons comes syndication like Nikita last season. Also The CW has never cancelled a drama after 2 full seasons. Its either after 1 low rated season or after a show has been on the air for at least 5 seasons.

    Nikita will get renewed because of synidcation alone, its 1 season away and CW can fork up 22 more episodes to get to 88 so their parent company WB who produces the show, gets money. Plus CW has never cancelled a drama after 3 seasons.

    Beauty and the Beast will be cancelled because since 2008 CW always renews only 1 of their fall dramas for a second season and this year it will be Arrow. Beauty and the Beast is Privileged, Melrose Place, Hellcats, Ringer and more likely Secret Circle. Shows on CW that received full seasons but were 1 and done. Its more comparable to Secret Circle because its retention is worse out of Vampire Diaries and SC still got axed. Also if Cult or Carrie Diaries succeed, CW likely wont have room for BATB, which will be a struggling second year series with no prospects.

    The point is Nikita and HOD both have syndication prospects going for them while BATB does not. Its easier to renew a low rated show in its third season (Hawaii 6-0, Blue Bloods, Raising Hope, Nikita) then to renew a
    higher rated freshman series. Hart of Dixie getting a third season and then a fourth makes more sense then BATB getting renewed financially no matter how crappy the ratings look.

  • Dan

    Also not that CBS’s summer schedule means anything but it definitely implies CSI NY will get axed while not only Vegas will be cancelled but this fall the NCIS spin off will air at 9:00 sandwiched betwen NCIS (8:00) and NCIS LA (10:00). I still think despite Good Wife not airing repeats it still has a better chance to get renewed then Mentalist but I believe 1 of the two will be axed.

    Hawaii 5-0 being moved to fridays may imply that maybe CBS will air it there next season while they will try out a new drama on MOndays at 10 but who knows. Despite CSI NY getting axed, it stil could air repeats saturdays.

    If Mentalist gets axed over Good Wife, I still expect it to air reruns through August or CBS could double up on Unforgettable by then. If Unforgettable has a chance at a third year, it could very well run through this fall.

    Basically heres my guess

    Cancelled in May: CSI NY, Vegas, Golden Boy, Only one of Good Wife or Mentalist. (Its possible both get renewed but if not then its likely to be Good Wife over Mentalist)

    Already cancelled: Made in Jersey & Partners

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