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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  • bruce

    I agree with Patrick about 1600 Penn . The ratings for this show is getting better and better each week . I could see if the ratings went down that it moved from bubble to likely cancel status but it didn’t . So I will watch with interest where the ratings for the show go when it is back on the air on the7th of Feb. If it holds or goes up I think it should move to likely to be renewed status.

  • chris23

    “In fact, BB averages the exact same 1.42 among adults 18-49. That’s more impressive…”

    First of all whoever says it is more impressive for a 10:00 show on a FRIDAY getting the same as a 9:00 show is being totally unrealistic.

    CSI NY is up against a much stronger timeslot with a strong Grimm on NBC, a strong Shark Tank on ABC, and a loyal audience Fringe on FOX (which has now ended as will csi ny).

    Blue Bloods lets see ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm oh yeah!! Fox doesn’t air at 10:00 and both Abc as well as NBC air 20/20 and Dateline much weaker shows! Not to mention no CW is on at 10, not that the “cw” makes much of a difference!!!

    So when I hear that CSI NY (which has recovered from a very slow start when CBS threw that crappy Jersey Show and changed the whole lineup, as did Blue Bloods)is more likely to be canceled than Blue Bloods I just think that is idiotic.. Considering todays nielsen ratings in general and specifically on Fridays, Networks need to realize Fridays are not meant to be strong nights and definitely are not as strong as they once were years ago.

    Sure Blue Bloods has the syndication factor so I don’t disagree on a likely renewal, however I totally disagree with the CSI NY certain cancellation, especially when The Good Wife is hitting lows in its season 4 which has met its syndication quoto this year, and The mentalist which has been effected due to poor scheduling and a horrible TGW leadin.

    CSI NY should be renewed especially if the new golden showers errr boy tanks! Blue Bloods will be renewed by the force sent upon them from the “Syndication Gods” and then should be left hung to dry next year for cancelation!!! Blue Bloods is not impressive for A friday show only in its 3rd season, CSI NY in its 9th Season on the other hand as a veteran show isn’t as bad!!!

  • rob60990

    “The ratings for this show is getting better and better each week .”

    Each week? It went up a whole tenth from a 1.2 to 1.3 this week after 3 weeks of declines. Hardly worth celebrating and not getting it renewed.

  • Nick


    The slight ratings difference over Malibu Country is not why I could see Last Man Standing being renewed over it. It’s because LMS is pretty durable. It can be guaranteed to get at least moderately successful ratings in any slot. It could be their new cornerstone for TGIF, their savior for the dump that is Tuesdays, or as midseason filler. Heck, I could even see it being successful in the Thursday @ 8 death slot. Malibu Country does not have that guarantee.


    I don’t think you know what a rating is…

  • CBSviewer

    CSI: NY should be “On the Bubble” or “Likely to be Renewed” ! It’s really doing a great job for its 9th Season considering it airs on Friday and it’s a third generation spin-off.
    Last year CSI: NY was already Likely to be canceled while CSI: Miami was Likely to be Renewed. Which one survived ?
    I know it’s probably CBS’s #3 most expensive Drama after the Original CSI and NCIS. But like Chris 23 said Tom Selleck is probably most expensive than Gary Sinise (who signed until Season 10).

    Look at this:

    Mark Harmon = $500,000
    Mariska Hargitay = $395,000
    David Caruso = $375,000
    Marg Helgenberger = $375,000
    Ted Danson = $350,000
    Gary Sinise = $275,000
    Michael Weatherly = $250,000
    Patrick Dempsey = $250,000
    Thomas Gibson = $225,000
    David Boreanaz = $200,000
    Joe Mantegna = $200,000
    Julianna Margulies = $175,000
    Dana Delany = $150,000
    Lauren Graham = $150,000
    LL Cool J = $125,000
    Chris O’Donnell = $125,000
    Tom Selleck = $125,000
    Nathan Fillion = $100,000
    Alex O’Loughlin = $100,000
    Scott Caan = $80,000

    Sinise is not much expensive ! Caruso earned $375,000 per episodes and I think that’s why Miami got canceled.
    The only problem for CSI: NY is that Sela Ward only signed for 3 Seasons

  • chris23

    what is wrong with this post of renewed or canceled shows? here is the problems I see:

    CSI NY: should atleast be a bubble show.

    90210: should be called 9021-UH-0 your going to get canceled!! Why is this on the bubble list it performs low demos and can’t break 1 mil viewers. should be certain or likely cancelation.

    The Mindy Project: should be certain cancellation. It does slightly better than recently canceled Ben and Kate on the same night!!!

    The Neighbors: Why is this on likely renewal? The neighbors should be evicted by their landlord ABC. What A BIG disappointment! should be put on likely cancellation or some might consider it a bubble show, me I don’t.

    The Middle: If Neighbors and Suburgatory are likely renewals, then it should be a given Middle deserves to get out the middle and put in the top list of CERTAIN Renewal.. Modest ratings and not being dependent on a MF post audience, unlike Neighbors, happy endings, or Suburgatory which can’t maintain any audience of the powerhouse comedy.

    Suburgatory: Another Comedy that can’t maintain the MF leadin 9:30 slot. I say bubble show just based on the fact that it shows it is leadin dependent. don’t know what happened since last year it did good at 8:30.

    Go On: This show is obviously lead in dependent on Voice. Ever Since the Reality show has gone, Go On has seen it’s audience “go on” to better and bigger shows.. This show should be a bubble show. I also believe NBC put Revolution on hiatus because I too believe it is apparent that its leadin dependent on Voice! With most Recent Ratings hitting too low I would say certain cancellation but I can see it also being a “bubble show” as a whole in general.

    Nashville: Although I root for this 10 PM show to make it through season 1 to see season 2, I don’t think hitting low 2’s is a guarantee for a second season. Especially since the last episode dipped below 2 again, which the show has been hovering around 1.8/1.9 for most of the season. I say this is a bubble show with a slight chance of improving to likely renewal if it can hit and maintain at or around 2.1/2.2 level!

    Blue Bloods: Fans of this lowely rated show should rejoice and thank god for a thing called “SYNDICATION”. If not for this, it would be likely cancelation. Next Year at this time it will be on the likely Cancellation list! But I still chuckle at the fact this show is “Certain”, when you have another 10 PM show called H50 on the likely renewal list, which will also accomplish syndication status if renewed. Sure H50 is on Mondays and BB on Fridays but H50 is nowhere as pathetic in demo as BB.

    Private Practice: Come On we knew last year this show was going to be in its final season this year. Just list it as final season finished instead of “Cancelled” this show was going out on its own with the final 13 episodes. I’m sure it was up for debate whether to keep it at 13 or 22 eps and ratings sealed its fate but either way it retired not canceled! Why insult a dead show and its fans :)

  • Nick

    I have a question:
    What is defacto-cancelled (like A23) in bear-metaphor terms? Has the Cancellation Bear eaten the show or not? Is it breathing down its neck? Has the show been caught, but not eaten? Is the Cancellation Bear letting it age, like cheese? Or is it being slow-cooked?

  • Jaxson


    I agree, I’m just not sure what ABC is going to do with Friday.

    Suburgatory is definitely getting renewed (though it’s been a disappointment post-Modern Family). Family Tools is basically dead anyways since they almost canceled it before it premiered and there’s not a ton of faith behind How to Live. The Neighbors is much more up in the air (though I don’t really understand the insistance to continue to put it as likely renewed, but whatever. Not my list).

    Suburgatory is going back to 8:30 on Wednesdays. That means The Neighbors has very few options on where it could to go — it could go to Tuesday (though ABC seems committed at some level to a more irreverent comedy night on Tuesday, whether or not Happy comes back). It could also go to Friday. We’ll either see an LMS -> The Neighbors or Malibu -> The Neighbors if ABC wants to keep that block there. Or it could keep comedies on just Wednesdays or Tuesdays. Or just Wednesday. They could hold it to midseason, but, yeah. I assume that we’ll still see 3 comedy blocks from them, but how that manifests itself, I’m not sure.

    A lot of this will come down to development. It’ll be hard to determine the fate of a variety of ABC comedies just because many of them are in fairly specific situations.

  • Ultima

    Why is CS:NY likely to be cancelled but Blue Bloods certain to be renewed?

    Because a Blue Bloods renewal brings with it the potential (likely) revenue from selling all ~88 of its episodes into syndication.

    unless CSI:NY is more expensive to make than Blue Bloods

    CSI:NY is a much older show and is certainly more expensive to produce than Blue Bloods.

  • Austin Lauran

    How many years do you think it’ll take for the highest rated shows on CBS, ABC, & NBC to be considered hits with low 1’s in the demo? Will the CBS, ABC, & NBC execs find a different business model if the end of shows getting 3’s in the demo occurs or will they stick with the same model they currently use?

  • Ultima

    I agree with Patrick about 1600 Penn . The ratings for this show is getting better and better each week .

    That’s completely nonsense. Have you even looked at the show’s ratings?

    2.2 (preview), 1.6, 1.2, 1.3

    I could see if the ratings went down that it moved from bubble to likely cancel status but it didn’t .

    It didn’t go down, however, the 1.3 rating confirmed that the previous 1.2 was not an outlier (and those ratings will get the show canceled).

    So I will watch with interest where the ratings for the show go when it is back on the air on the7th of Feb. If it holds or goes up I think it should move to likely to be renewed status.

    That’s because you have absolutely no clue what you’re talking about.

  • Dan

    @Robert – “The Following premieres well but remember Alcatraz” in a crowded season with 4 new dramas airing, Alcatraz not only fell each week but was burned off 2 by two in order to make room for Touch. The Following has 15 straight weeks with no preemptions and no jumping around the schedule Also Alcatraz premiered when FOX had House, Bones, Fringe, Glee, Terra Nova (before it was axed), The Finder, an Touch to consider. Alcatraz did better Than Finder but ultimately worse than Terra Nova (which was too expensive to justify renewing it for another season) and slightly worse than Touch which FOX ended up renewing. This season the stakes are different. FOX doesnt have that many dramas, and with Fringe gone, and Touch yet to premiere. At this point they will take what they can get. If The Following holds steady and builds on Bones, It will get renewed. Fox will salvage The Following if it can, likely for midseason next year.

    @Kenny – 1600 Penn does horrible after The Office while Whitney does respectable along with GWK. Whitney also has more of a chance than 1600 Penn, GWK, Up All Night, and maybe even Community. But Whitney has less of a chance then Parks, Go ON, New Normal.

  • Dan

    To whoever is questioning why CSI NY is bubble and Blue Bloods isn’t

    Blue Bloods needs 1 more season for syndication, so its a lock.

    CSI NY escaped cancellation 2 times. In May 2011 when it was barely renewed over Criminal Minds Suspect Behavior, though it was for syndication and in May 2012 when it was renewed in favor of CSI Miami because NY was younger and CBS liked how Fridays were over Sundays. With CBS getting CSI NY out of the way early, there’s almost no chance its returning for Season 10, the show had a good run and I’m sure the writers will give it a good finale.

  • Brandy

    @Chris23, Networks look at things besides ratings especially CW.1.GG, with similar awful ratings, got a short final season, OTHgot one despite having what could’ve been a series finale the season before Pedowitz said “90210 will get a proper senoff.Im a big believer in giving vetran shows a proper senoff” at TCAS.
    2.CW can only put 4-5 new shows on next season and GGs over,Emily Owens MD,LA Complex already cancelled and BatB underperforming behind VD with the potential to fall Futher in spring,Carrie Diaries has only had middling ratings despite all the promotion ect and Cult may not do well.Networks cancel underperforming or failing freshman & sophomore shows before underperforming vetran shows.
    3.90210 is cheap to make and cast contracts aren’t Likley up til next season.
    4.You mustn’t be looking at all it’s ratings this season because at least five episodes got over a million viewers and 0.5-0.6, same a BatB most of this season,same as Carrie Diaries so far and same HoD so far.It has bounced back up from lows.
    5.Another season, means another DVD,more money from Netflix,more syndication money, more money from iTunes,huluplus ect and plus international sales.This is what I meant by CW looks at other things besides ratings.If CW looked only at ratings, Nikita would’ve been cancelled by now. How come you don’t pick on Nikita?It has the same 0.4 demo as 90210 and has had even lower demo 0.2-0.3 and also went under a million viewers three times I think this season .

  • The Cool Max

    23 should not have been canceled! A very fun, quirky show! ABC really messed up on this one.

  • The Cool Max

    Middle DESERVES to be under certain renewal!!!

  • bruce

    @Ultima I believe that this show will continue to climb. I know from reading your comments that you are passionate about what you believe and I am glad for you. but I respectfully disagree with you.

  • Dan

    @Robert – Hawaii 5-0 likely renewal? It has a syndication deal already, it could go below a 1.0, its still certain.

    Also ratings say likely for all the shows under likely renewal but other prospects say certain

    There’s no way NBC and ABC would dump comedies Parks and Rec and The Middle respectively because they are reliable performers and for Parks its NBC’s last comedy left, so I’d say certain. As for ABC , The Middle is still reliable as a Wednesday opener and with so many other lower rated series, how could ABC not certainly renew The Middle. Suburgatory though it loses a good amount of Modern Family lead in, (AS does every show that airs after Modern Family, I think Happy Endings performed the best post MF since Cougar Town) will definitely be renewed. Its 2 seasons away from syndication.

    Castle is still respectable and with no other “hit dramas” this season Castle is safe. Castle’s fate always depends on how many hits ABC has. Same with Elementary, CBS had no other hit dramas this season and with Vegas likely to be axed, after giving Elementary the plum Superbowl slot, it shows that they will renew it no matter what. Also ABC will be renewing Revenge, as its very hard to inherit Desperate Housewives slot and perform the same.

    Every show under likely to be renewed, with the exception of The Neighbors, I would be very surprised if they were cancelled.

  • Richard Steven Hack

    You can’t even begin to compare Alcatraz and The Following except the comparable ratings for the premiere.

    The two shows are utterly different. Alcatraz had a stupid premise to begin with, and I predicted it would “die very badly” before it even aired, and its execution was even worse. Touted as a “Fringe wannabe”, it was merely a procedural cop show with a veneer of science fiction tacked on. It’s amazing it even got a green light to be produced given how weak the premise was.

    The Following premiere was decent, well acted, had a decent cast, was more or less well written and had a fast pace. It it can keep that up, I think it will do reasonably well – unless the gore turns off the audience, which is possible. More important, in comparison to Alcatraz, the premise makes some plausible sense, depending on how the execution of that premise goes. There’s nothing “scifi” about it, it’s all set in the real world.

    One possible problem: How many followers does the killer actually have? Because if he has too many, it will be implausible, and if he doesn’t have enough or the FBI doesn’t catch most of them, it becomes implausible.

    There’s also the issue of how competent his followers can be, since their leader is back in prison and presumably cut off from further communications to his followers. Presumably his followers are not as good at killing as he is, which means the FBI should be able to catch them more easily.

    The writers will have to be careful about this sort of thing or the show becomes implausible and viewers will start abandoning it.

  • Austin Lauran

    I just wanted to ask one question. What do you think are the 5 most despised shows on TV? I’m not really sure what shows I’d list, but what would you guys list?

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