Bubble Watch Waiting for 'The Following' Edition: Make Your Guesses About the Current Crop of Bubble Shows

Categories: Bubble Watch

Written By

January 20th, 2013

I received an e-mail this week that said "I know it's called "Bubble Watch" but if the difference between the Renew/Cancel Index and the Bubble Watch is that you're willing to guess, why are their any shows on the bubble. You should guess them all!"

It's a fair question. I am a bit more willing to do some guessing about the future, but I am not into random guessing. I'm not any better at pulling rabbits out of magical hats than Bullwinkle!

There are educated guesses and there is flipping a coin.  Currently I have 15 shows "on the bubble."  Several of them are there only due to nuance i.e., I definitely see 1600 Penn and Carrie Diaries quickly sliding into likely cancellation territory, but am holding off judgment in the interest of more time/data points.

Sometimes shows really are true tossups, either due to the ratings, the situation, or both. I don't want to make guesses in those cases. I can make the educated guess that ABC would like its Friday comedies to perform better and would prefer they not get beaten by reruns of Shark Tank! But I have no insight into what ABC thinks about those ratings or, and somewhat importantly, how the advertising sales for those shows work (versus the better performing repeat of Shark Tank). Throw in that if the comedies could be shepherded along for four seasons, there's a syndication payday that's likely/traditionally a fair bit better than the syndication payday for Shark Tank and for me, it adds up to "tossup, I don't know and can't really guess which way it will go." That's different than what I'd do based on the ratings data alone -- of course I'd cancel them and air reruns of Shark Tank based on that!

Still, of the 15 shows currently on the bubble, I am at least somewhat comfortable about guessing about 60% of them. While I'm more comfortable guessing those shows, I am not comfortable about the accuracy of the guessing, which is why I don't make those guesses. Usually.

But today, since there's not much going on and I don't feel like writing the "C'mon people, of COURSE the Middle will be renewed, but the reason I have it as only a likely renewal is..." piece, here are my guesses about the 60% of bubble shows I'm at least somewhat comfortable about guessing.  They are still on the bubble in the normal list, and since we're guessing, I'll guess by the end of the season those 60% will no longer be on the bubble.

Last Man Standing ABC Sorry, Still On The Bubble
Malibu Country ABC Sorry, Still On The Bubble
Cleveland Show, The Fox Canceled/No additional episodes ordered*
The Good Wife CBS Sorry, Still On The Bubble
The Mentalist CBS Renewed
90210 CW Final 13 episode season
Carrie Diaries, The CW Canceled
Hart of Dixie CW Renewed
Nikita CW Renewed
Beauty and the Beast CW Canceled
The Mindy Project Fox Renewed
1600 Penn NBC Canceled
Deception NBC Sorry, Still On The Bubble
New Normal, The NBC Sorry, Still On The Bubble, but almost went canceled
Whitney NBC Sorry, Still On The Bubble

*In terms of guessing my guess -- and it is just a guess -- is Cleveland doesn't get renewed, but I don't track how many episodes will be left over after this TV season and wouldn't count those remaining episodes as a renewal.

Feel free to make your own guesses in the comments, but remember, "Whitney should be canceled because I don't like it!!" is not...a guess.

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
Carrie Diaries, The 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
New Normal, The 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
Go On NBC Likely Renewal
Law & Order: SVU NBC Likely Renewal
Parks & Recreation 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
Grimm NBC Certain Renewal
Parenthood NBC Certain Renewal
Revolution NBC Certain Renewal
The Big Bang Theory CBS Renewed
How I Met Your Mother CBS Not Quite Renewed Yet, But a Certain Renewal
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 SeasonFinished
Fringe Fox Final SeasonFinished
30 Rock NBC Final Season
The Office NBC Final Season
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  • Richard Steven Hack

    June: From a 2010 article about Maggie Q:

    “In Asia, Maggie Q inspires Justin Bieber–like frenzy, give or take a couple million more fans and even crazier paparazzi. When I get into a Toronto cab with a driver who happens to be from Hong Kong, I ask if he’s ever heard of Maggie Q. ‘Oh, yes!’ he says. ‘She is very famous in Hong Kong!’

    In fact, one of the reasons she cites for coming to the US via Canada was the amount of paparazzi attention she was getting. It made it impossible for her to go to the store.

    Plus I imagine movies like Mission: Impossible 3 and Live Free or Die Hard played well in Asia as well as the movies she made there under Jackie Chan’s tutelage. Plus having been a model who appeared on over 100 magazine covers before and after taking to acting.

  • Jake

    america has become sports fanatics. If the CEOs of these major netowrks were smart they’d market on that much more. For example the fall of 2013 should be:
    8pm NFL

    8pm Shark Tank
    9pm Last Man Standing- half season
    9:30 Malibu Country- half season
    10pm Castle

    8pm The Middle
    8:30 Suburgatory
    9pm Modern Family
    9:30 NEW COMEDY
    10pm Nashville

    8pm Grey’s Anatomy
    9pm NEW DRAMA
    10pm Scandel

    8pm What Would U Do- half season
    9pm 20/20

    7pm NFL run over
    8pm AFHV
    9pm Once…Time
    10pm Revenge

    Sports & reality shows seem to get the best ratings the majority of the time.

    8pm Mike & Molly
    8:30 How…Mother
    9pm Two & 1/2 Men
    9:30 2 Broke Girls
    10pm Vegas

    8pm NCIS
    9pm Elementary
    10pm NEW DRAMA

    8pm Survivor
    9pm NCIS: LA
    10pm NEW DRAMA

    8pm Big Bang Theot
    8:30 NEW COMEDY
    9pm Person Of Interest
    10pm NEW DRAMA

    8pm Undercover Boss
    9pm CSI
    10pm Blue Bloods

    7pm NFL run over
    8pm 60min.
    9pm Criminal Minds
    10pm Mentalist

    8pm Bones
    9pm Glee

    8pm Raising Hope
    8:30 NEW COMEDY
    9pm New Girl
    9:30 NEW COMEDY

    8pm X Factor

    8pm X Factor
    9pm NEW DRAMA

    8pm Take Me Out
    9pm Kitchen Nightmares

    7pm NFL

    8pm The Voice
    10pm NEW DRAMA

    8pm THE VOICE
    9pm New Normal
    9:30 1600 Penn
    10pm Parenthood

    8pm Off Their Rockers
    9pm L&O: SVU
    10pm Chicago Fire

    8pm Go On
    8:30 NEW COMEDY
    9pm Parks & Recreation
    9:30 NEW COMEDY
    10pm Revolution

    8pm Grimm
    9pm Dateline

    6pm NFL

  • Richard Steven Hack

    Brandy: “Richard, Cougar Town wasn’t all that far from syndication ,was in season three and yet abc cancelled it, even Before it landed on TBS. So CW can just as easily cancel Nikita.”

    I’ve already answered that. Cougar Town is NOT Nikita. There is no comparing shows for syndication any more than there is comparing them for ratings. Every show is unique. The only thing that matters is in a given network whether a show is doing better or worse than the others on that network. And that doesn’t apply to syndication where the rules and the markets and the economic calculations are totally different.

    “You don’t have proof Nikitas been renewed for season four so you don’t know for sure CW made a two year deal for it.Unless you work at CW, provide proof.”

    There simply was no reason to NOT make a two-year deal. Of course, WB might have done so, nothing is impossible. But it wouldn’t make much sense to put the show on for season three and then let the CW kill it before reaching syndication.

    Of course, it’s possible that WB did the same thing they did with TSCC in October of 2008: pay the network to air it for one more season (or the back nine in the case of TSCC) and just HOPE that the ratings would improve enough to get a fourth season.

    But that makes no sense because any idiot could see from the ratings at the end of season two that Nikita had NO chance of growing in season three. I can’t believe either WB or the CW would be that stupid.

    “If the ratings go back to 0.2-0.3 this spring, that might too much for CW to handle for one more season, after all season three and last quarter of season had horrible ratings.Why would they keep renewing a show they don’t make money on?”

    Are you just a broken record or don’t you bother thinking about this? Once again: If there was no reason to renew Nikita for season three – and based on ratings there was NOT – then what OTHER reason than syndication would WB have for getting a deal with the CW to get a season three? And what OTHER reason but a very low price for Nikita would the CW bother to renew it for season three? Which means BY DEFINITION that the CW is making money – or at least not losing money – even on the current ratings.

    “Pedowitz is a fan”

    Based on what? His public comments? Network heads are “fans” of all their shows until they cancel him. Nothing he says is even remotely relevant.

    “It had already cancelled its limit of shows and couldn’t afford to put on six new shows.”

    Then why didn’t they renew TSC? Its rating was higher than Nikita even at the end. And it was a new show with at least a slight possibility it could be overhauled and grow in a second season whereas Nikita was at the end of season two and had worse ratings?

    “Probably Arrow and VD would do better than Nikita.”

    That’s ridiculous. They aren’t going to put TVD on Friday and they would be very unlikely to put a new show they expected to do well on Friday like Arrow.

    Sorry, your arguments remain pure speculation and with zero logic.

  • Richard Steven Hack

    Robert or Bill: Another post ended up in the spam trap. You need to look at the spam filter, it is NOT behaving properly. I posted one before the one above and it disappeared.

  • a p garcia

    Good to see Bullwinkle Moose is not forgotten.

  • omabin

    For me, it remains to be seen whether or not Cougar Town would have been canceled by ABC. I know they did not want to renew it, but I am not sure they would not have done so regardless. I believe we could have seen it renewed for scheduling spackle or to be paired up with Happy Endings with the Bitch had TBS not stepped in. Of course they preferred to let it go… But the fact that it was saved does not tell us if it would indeed have been canceled had no other network bought it.

  • Ateofi

    Beauty and the beast is one of the worst shows, even worse than Revolution. It begs to be cancelled.

  • RTV

    lol @Jake yeah I’m soooo sure the reason all the networks don’t play the NFL is because they don’t want to.

  • Anon

    Mad props for the Bullwinkle / “rabbit out of my hat” reference.

    ABC Friday comedies will be renewed.
    HoD will be cancelled.

  • Jake

    my fault i should elaborate more:
    8pm nfl / jan. DWTS
    jan. 10pm new drama

    8pm shark tank / jan. DWTS Results
    9pm last man standing / How…Parents
    9:30 malibu country / new comedy
    10pm castle

    8pm the middle
    8:30 suburgatory
    9pm modern family
    9:30 new comedy
    10pm nashville

    8pm grey’s anatomy
    9pm new drama
    10pm revenge

    8pm what…do / jan. shark tank
    9pm 20/20

    6pm NFL overrun
    8pm AFHV
    9pm Once…Time
    10pm Scandel
    I believe this would help ABC with their ratings problems.Have NFL on Monday nights that be a sure winner, and have it on a 2hours on Sun. evenings to compete with NBC. Plus put a new comedy behind the network’s biggest comedy modern family and the same with a new drama put it on behind grey’s anatomy so the new drama can achieve a lot of viewers.

    8pm Mike & Molly
    8:30 how…mother
    9pm 2 & 1/2 men
    9:30 2 broke girls
    10pm vegas

    8pm ncis
    9pm elementary
    10pm new drama

    8pm survivor
    9pm ncis: la
    10pm new drama

    8pm Big Bang Theory
    8:30 new comedy
    9pm person of interest
    10pm new drama

    8pm Undercover boss
    9pm csi
    10pm blue bloods

    6pm NFL overrun / jan. 7pm 60min
    8pm 60min / jan. 8pm amazing race
    9pm criminal minds
    10pm mentalist.
    This schedule will greatly help CBS get even more ratings. put on new dramas to follow the networks biggest hit dramas it will certainly bring a large audience to the new shows. And put a new comedy on behind BBT. that’ll bring that new comedy a great success.

    8pm Bones
    9pm Glee

    8pm Raising Hope
    8:30 new comedy
    9pm new girl
    9:30 new comedy

    8pm x factor

    8pm x factor
    9pm new drama

    8pm take me out
    9pm kitchen nightmares

    6pm NFL /
    in jan. / 7pm amer. dad
    7:30 bob’s burgers
    8pm simpsons
    8:30 new cartoon
    9pm family guy
    9:30 new cartoon

    8pm Voice
    10pm new drama

    8pm Voice Results
    9pm new normal
    9:30 1600 penn
    10pm parenthood

    8pm fear factor
    9pm l&o: svu
    10pm revolution

    8pm Go On
    8:30 new comedy
    9pm parks & recreation
    9:30 new comedy
    10pm chicago fire

    8pm grimm
    9pm dateline

    6pm NFL / in jan. 7pm biggest loser
    9pm celebrity apprentice

  • aok

    1600 Penn is gone, heh that didn’t take long.

  • Rebecca

    No, not yet. Might be predicted here to be canceled but no announcement from NBC yet. 1600 Penn still airing on Thursdays. I see ABC took away a couple airings of A23 though, in favor of HE episodes airing instead.

  • Nick H.

    “I’ll give you nine good reasons to Renew CSI: NY:

    1) All the cast signed until Season 10.
    2) It’s the highest rated Show on Friday for CBS.
    3) If it goes Blue Bloods will fall (Remember what happened in the Fall when Made in Jersey was at 9).
    4) It already has a syndication deal and more Episodes means more money for CBS.
    5) The Show is owned by CBS but no The Mentalist.
    6) It’s been on Friday for three years and it’s very stable.
    7) It made more money than CSI: Miami last year so it’s probably making more money than The Mentalist, The Good Wife and Vegas.
    8) It’s often #1 or #2 in its timeslot.
    9) No other Show could get a 1.6 and almost 11 million viewers on the “death slot”.

    I gave 9 reasons only because the Show is actually on its Ninth Season. I Hope CBS thinks the same things !”

    You sir, are absolutely right. I still think CSI NY will get a tenth and final season from CBS.


    I think ABC is more inclined to keep Malibu Country than Last man Standing even though the later is doing better. ABC at least ownes MC, thus if it actually does better next season and stays around a few years they will make lots of money when it goes into syndication. i think they will actually keep both, and probable try to rebot MC. IMO it has alot of potential with a cast like it has. I think over the last ten weeks it has gotten better every episode.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “Robert or Bill: Another post ended up in the spam trap. You need to look at the spam filter, it is NOT behaving properly. I posted one before the one above and it disappeared.”

    I freed it. Again, no idea why it was trapped.

    There is no “looking at the spam filter”. It is what it is.

  • Michael

    Last Man Standing- A CLOSE Renewed
    Malibu Country-Cancelled
    Cleveland Show-Cancelled
    1600 Penn-Cancelled
    The Mentalist-Renewed
    The Good Wife- A CLOSE Renewed
    Whitney – Anyone’s Guess,but leaning Cancelled
    New Normal-Cancelled
    Mindy Project- A CLOSE Renewed

    Nikia- A CLOSE Renewed
    Beauty and the Beast-Cancelled
    90210- 13 Episode Final Season

  • Michael

    Next Season Final Shows: HIMYM, Law and Order: SVU, 90210, The Good Wife, Hawaii Five-O (gonna be a hard 2013-14 for CBS).

  • Oliver


    For me, it remains to be seen whether or not Cougar Town would have been canceled by ABC. I know they did not want to renew it, but I am not sure they would not have done so regardless. I believe we could have seen it renewed for scheduling spackle or to be paired up with Happy Endings with the Bitch had TBS not stepped in. Of course they preferred to let it go… But the fact that it was saved does not tell us if it would indeed have been canceled had no other network bought it.


  • Mark3

    90210 will get renewed and so will dixie and carrie diaries!!

  • Doug

    @Jake – The NFL will never again be on ABC. It is far too profitable for sister network ESPN for Disney to allow ABC to cannibalize that audience. The most I could see would be ESPN getting the rights to the Super Bowl, and it airing on simulcast with ABC. But even that is not likely.

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