Bubble Watch: 'The Following' Premieres Well, But Remember "Alcatraz!" + 'Don't Trust the B----' & 'Ben and Kate' Now Canceled

Categories: Bubble Watch

Written By

January 27th, 2013

The Following premiered well with a 3.2 adults 18-49 rating. Bill notes that it would have to fall a long way (currently to below around a 1.7 adults 18-49 rating) to be at risk for cancellation.

Solid premieres are definitely much better than lousy premieres, but they still aren't very telling.  Remember, last January the two-hour premiere of Alcatraz averaged a 3.3 adults 18-49 rating. A little more than two months later its two-hour season finale averaged adults 18-49 ratings of 1.6 and 1.5 respectively and Alcatraz was canceled.

That does not mean that The Following will meet with the same fate as Alcatraz, it just means for now The Following is still on the bubble.

During the week Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23 was effectively canceled (protest the semantics as much as you like, even James Van Der Beek tweeted "Translation: we’ve basically been cancelled." Meanwhile Van Der Beek deserves some kind of TV by the Numbers award for being a realist and a class act with his tweets.



Ok, like many, he spelled Nielsen incorrectly, but otherwise that was pretty classy.

Ben and Kate was also effectively canceled by being pulled from the schedule and then just canceled outright. That means unless something moves down the list,  all of this season's "certain to be canceled" shows have now already been canceled.

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
Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 ABC Canceled
Last Resort ABC Canceled
Made in Jersey CBS Canceled
Partners CBS Canceled
Emily Owens, M.D. CW Canceled
Ben and Kate Fox Canceled
The Mob Doctor Fox Canceled
Animal Practice NBC Canceled
Happy Endings ABC Likely Cancellation
CSI: NY CBS Likely Cancellation
Vegas CBS Likely Cancellation
1600 Penn NBC Likely Cancellation
Deception NBC 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
Following, 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
New Normal, The NBC On The Bubble
Whitney NBC On The Bubble
Castle 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
Nashville 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
How I Met Your Mother 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
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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  • JJ

    Dang, I enjoyed “Don’t Trust the B—-” and “Ben and Kate”. “CSI:NY” needs to get out of the Friday slot. Maybe put it where “CSI:Miami” used to be. “Last Man Standing” turned stupid this season, and should definitely be canceled.

    Unfortunately, Nielsen families have no life, and turn to watching some really stupid reality TV so they feel like they do have a life. JVB is right – Nielsen system is antiquated. With technology of today, there HAS to be something better to get a finer look at what America is watching.

  • Colin

    Small issue, but I think Private Practice can also be changed to Final Season Finished.

  • Tested

    The Following has aired exactly once. (okay, twice if you count the repeat that did alright on Friday) Why exactly would you even bother to put it in ANY category at this point? Let’s see how it does Monday.. then we can look at whether it might get renewed or not.

  • Jordan

    Alcatraz ;’-( I liked that show

  • Marcos

    But it’s Alcatraz didn’t have positive reviews after the pilot. People got curious to watch because o the promos and stuff, like I did, but then we watched and it was a turnoff. Unlike The following that everybody who watched seemed to really enjoyed it and wants to keep watching

  • Marcos

    I think The following can keep above 2.0 the whole season

  • omabin

    Again, I have several disagreements concerning what is bubble or not (Nikita, Happy Endings, CSI NY, and The Neighbours being the main ones), but I have covered those last week.

    Today I would go to the nipticking between two certain renewal/ likely renewals:
    – I would like to know why is it that you insist on putting H50 on likely renewal. Its ratings alone, despite the initial drop, would be a likely renewal at this point. Add to that syndication (and this case, it is not even the perspective of syndication, it is one of the fattest syndication deals from TV), and it becomes a sure thing. I simply do not understand the logic of it being a likely and blue bloods being a certain.

    – Nashville certain renewal? I disagree… Strongly. Bill putting it there I can get because he refuses to think in terms of whether or not a show ratings will hold, but Nashville ratings, a 2.1 in terms of weighted average of more recent airings a 2.0 of simple average, do not show signs of clear renewal which that category should entail. Having Nashville there but having revenge and the middle on the likely renewal side makes no sense to me IMO.

  • Felipe

    You forgot to put Bones on “Renewed”.

  • danny94

    I just dont understand how you can put Nashville as certian renewal a show which struggles to pull a 2.0, Yet you put The middle as just likely which pulls in mid 2’s weekly and i’m sure nashville costs more to produce then the middle does, it just make no sense to me????

  • Kenny

    How do u have 1600 Penn “Like;y Cancelled”..You guys are unreal BUT “Whitney” ON the Bubble… You guys are BRUTAL!!!!!!!!!

  • Sel

    I feel so frustrated about the cancellation of “Apartment 23″. God, I’m really gonna miss that show! :(

  • omabin


    100% agree

  • Ricky

    Please nobody remind us of the disastrous early death of Alcatraz…I really don’t want The Following to suffer the same fate!

  • NEK38583

    I know how the site works and that rating mostly determines how the predictions work, but would it not be safe to go ahead an move Vegas down to Certain to be cancelled. I mean we all now CBS is going to cancel more than just one MIJ. So, wouldn’t it safe to assume that Vegas is a goner.

  • Ultima

    The Following has aired exactly once… Why exactly would you even bother to put it in ANY category at this point?

    Why would you bother to write all that instead of taking the same amount of time and looking up the phrase “on the bubble”?

  • Mark Wood


    Its not that they couldn’t get better data, everyone knows they can (though everyone seems to insist that getting more data would help their show, when statistically there is an equal chance your shows would actually perform worse).

    There are two primary issues with this, they are:

    The first issue is that no one is willing to pay the huge fees needed to set up and get that system running, and its costs that would occur every year after.

    Were probably talking over years figures that could hit a billion, easily in costs.

    The 2nd issue is that only a part of the pubic would be willing to have their viewing monitored, and thats what would have to happen. THey have to know that not only the set is on, but that you (and whomever else is in your home, dorm, or whatever is also watching what is shown, specifically the commercials.

    There is a huge segment of society that would never, ever allow you access to that. And that is one of the things that is needed.

  • PhilipM

    I agree that H5O is just as certain to be renewed as BB. It might be moved to a less desirable timeslot, but it won’t be canceled.

    Elementary is probably a safe bet for renewal as well at this point. CBS wants this show to succeed and its ratings have been decent enough to warrant some confidence and support.

  • Ultima

    would it not be safe to go ahead an move Vegas down to Certain to be cancelled

    It’s entirely possible that Vegas may rebound now that Private Practice and Parenthood have both ended. I don’t think it’s likely, however.

  • Serial Rocker

    I don’t see The Following going the same way as Alcatraz. I think the basic premise of The Following is a lot more accessible to the average viewer than the slightly convoluted plots of Alcatraz. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Alcatraz and really wanted it to succeed, but I don’t think there’s much cause to compare the two shows.

  • Ultima

    How do u have 1600 Penn “Like;y Cancelled”..You guys are unreal BUT “Whitney” ON the Bubble… You guys are BRUTAL!!!!!!!!!

    Whitney gets better ratings than 1600 Penn.

    There’s been some good objections today, this is not one of them.

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