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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  • Perdix

    Woah. NBC cancelled only one show.

  • CBSviewer

    CBS probably gave CSI: NY an early finale this year because, last year, the Show had a 18 episodes order but CBS put in Hiatus for 2 months. When it came back CSI: NY lost 0.3 in the demo and almost 1.5 million viewers.
    The only thing we have to see is how Golden Boy will rate on Friday at 9/8c.

  • CBSviewer

    I mean CBS doesn’t want the Show to loose any viewers if CBS has to bring it back next Season (if Golden Boy is a flop) !

  • Richard Steven Hack


    OK, we get it now. You like 90210 and hate Nikita, so this is why you’re bashing Nikita all the time.

    “@Chris23, Networks look at things besides ratings”

    No, they don’t – other than syndication, ratings are the be all and end all. Whatever Pedowitz says, syndication (assuming the network owns the show, not a studio) is what matters.

    “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″

    Viewer totals do NOT count and .5-.6 on a week night is pathetic, at least compared to the CW’s better performing shows like The Vampire Diaries and Arrow and even Supernatural which does .7.

    “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.”

    None of which except syndication really matters. This has been established for a long time now.

    “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 .”

    And WB has sold it to the CW for a low rate which makes it profitable, or at least even, for the CW to keep it on the low-rated Friday nights.

    Again, Friday nights are NOT the same as week nights. 90210 sucks on week nights. Despite Pedowitz’s alleged predilection for “giving veteran shows a proper send-off” (which he has only done with GG, probably for syndication revenue reasons), he would be wise to cancel it and take his chances with new shows.

  • Dan

    @Perdix – Yeah because NBC has had a good season, their 2 new dramas that aired this fall have both thrived and out of the other new shows, only Animal Practice flopped and while Guys With Kids under performed, it did build from AP and Whitney. The other returning shows either got some extensions, Whitney and Up All Night for example or full seasons.

    CBSviewer – They had to finish something up early to premiere Golden Boy because they already timeshared Undercover Boss with The Job (13 eps each). CSI NY was perfect because it already had a short order unlike other low rated series The Mentalist and The Good Wife, and Friday is where CBS usually premieres midseason dramas. It was smart that they are airing 2 episodes behind NCIS LA to sample the show unlike airing it so late and burning most of the order off during the summer like Miami Medical, CHAOS or NYC 22. And why air Vegas repeats for two weeks if the show is going to get axed anyway when they can air originals in that slot. This will guarantee that Golden Boy finishes in May, whether it gets renewed or not.

  • Moe

    “Viewer totals do NOT count and .5-.6 on a week night is pathetic, at least compared to the CW’s better performing shows like The Vampire Diaries and Arrow and even Supernatural which does .7.”

    Richard Steven Hack, actually, Supernatural averages .89 on Weds night (according to a poster on the Wednesday overnight thread), and lately, it’s been actually getting .9. It’s only received one .7 for this season, for the fourth episode, “Bitten.”

  • Dave


    Can you just shut the #*%* up!

  • Doug

    Re: not giving shows enough time to find an audience.

    Shows in the last season or two are getting WAY more time than they used to. If you want a diversion, flip through Wikipedia and count how many shows Fox has cancelled after a handful of episodes. Back in 2001, ABC tried to expand into comedies on Tuesday, and ended up cancelling What About Joan after 2 episodes and Bob Patterson after 5. Even the CW cancelled TBL after 2 episodes in 2009. Networks have stopped doing that because it’s expensive to get these shows on the air and they’re trying to stop the $$ bleed. Hence Apt 23 surviving to air 11 of its episodes (and I love the show). Comparatively, it probably would have been pulled after 2 or 3 in 2008.

    The only network with a quick trigger finger these days seems to be CBS, but even Vegas is still holding on despite poor numbers.

  • Just Desserts

    i;m probably going to be the last commentor again but anyway, I’m happy that The Neighbors is sticking it up to everyone. Once mock as the “worst show” this season is probably going to be back next year.

  • Dan

    @Just Desserts – While The Neighbors is doing better than Happy Endings, Apartment 23, Last Man Standing and Malibu Country. I feel like its going to go the “Better With You” route. Between The Middle and Modern Family its drop is just too deep to justify a second season renewal. Since The Neighbors is runing new episodes straight through March 27, We will see how the show does when there is no new Middle or Modern Family and keep in mind ABC still has 2 new comedies to premiere.

    The only thing we know about ABC’s comedies is that The Middle, Suburgatory and Modern Family are 100% definite no question renewals. The Neighbors is 50/50 leaning toward slight renewal, Happy Endings is 50/50 leaning toward slight cancellation while honestly Last Man Standing and Malibu Country could go either way. Another thing to note is that the multi camera comedies getting axed wont have an effect on the single camera comedies.

  • Tyler


    I actually don’t think The Neighbors is a leaning towards slight renewal, but whatever. In fact, I’m not sure if it’s even worth arguing about Neighbors/HE/LMS/MC. Those are all decisions that will come down to development and money costs that we all have no way of knowing. I would actually say Malibu is the only one that would surprise me if it came back. I wouldn’t be surprised either way on the other three.

  • Tyler

    @Richard Steven Hack

    That’s a bit BS. Even last year, Body of Proof was renewed mainly because it’s ABC Studio’s top international export outside of Grey’s and Criminal Minds.

  • v

    Neighbours is more likely to get cancelled, based on actions by ABC.
    It will finish early in April.
    ABC is moving Suburgatory back to 8:30, so post Modern Family slot goes to Sarah Chalke Comedy.
    If that bombs, ABC will use that slot for new comedy next year, guaranteed.
    Remember Neighbours was to be behind MF this year but was flipped with Suburgatory.

  • Dinaminjo

    The question for CBS is not what to cancel, it it what to move next year..
    They need a few slots to air new shows.

    Monday would be launching two new comedies and a drama..
    MON: HIMYM, (new) comedy, 2 BG, (new) comedy, (new) drama

    Tuesday would be used for the new NCIS spin off..
    TUE: NCIS, (new) “NCIS: spin off off off”, CSI

    Wednesday for a new drama:
    WED: Survior, Criminal Minds, (new) drama

    Thursday not touched:
    THU: TBBT, 2.5 Men, Person of Interest, Elementary

    I would at this point consider making Fridays 8pm a comedy hour for CBS..
    FRI: Mike and Molly, McCarthy’s (new), Blue Bloods, The Mentalist

    Sunday would be action packed to counter the soap line up of ABC..
    SUN at 9pm: Hawaii-5-0, NCIS:LA

    Cancelled: Vegas
    Possible mid season return: CSI:NY, The Good Wife

    Another possibility is a two hour comedy block on Thursdays..

    MON: HIMYM, (new) comedy, 2 BG, Mike and Molly, (new) drama
    TUE: NCIS, NCIS spin off (new), CSI
    WED: Survivor, Person of Interest, Elementary
    THU: TBBT, (new), 2.5 Men, (new), Criminal Minds
    FRI: ??, Blue Bloods, The Mentalist

    ?? beeing NY, TGW or something new

  • chris23

    @ Brandy…

    In regards to you asking why don’t I just pick on Nikita in place of 90210?

    Well first off I don’t watch either show, however I do root for the whole CW as a whole as I’m all for the underdog.

    You stated you think 90210 deserves a proper ending as one tree hill and gossip girl did.

    I think One Tree Hill pulled modest ratings and had a loyal audience that did end up lowering at the end of its run but no where near as pathetic as 90210 and gossip girl..

    If the CW gave 90210 a heads up to wrap things up with the remaining episodes for this season and let fans know this will be the end, that would be more than fair for everyone involved. For a show struggling with its last episode hitting 790,000 viewers and couldn’t even break the 1 mil mark for its “spectacular” 100th episode as well as anemic demos I think it is time for CW to come up for some air and say goodbye.

    In regards to Nikita.. Well last year I was saying that it would be gone. I was proved wrong. This year due to the syndication factor I think it will be renewed.. Not to mention that CW renewed Nikita with the horrible numbers last year so what is stopping them from renewing this show again especially if syndication is right around the corner?!

    And If that horrible rated 90210 gets renewed ship it to Fridays at 9 lets see how much better it would be than Nikita then!! I guarantee 90210 would hit below 650,000 viewers and .3 demo!

  • KevinY

    Not a good year for me. Of the 16 shows already canceled or “likely” canceled I liked nine of them. I also think it’s unfair to have 1600 Penn as “likely” canceled when Go On is “likely renewed.” I like both shows, but they both scored a 1.3 last week, they should only be one category apart at the most.

  • keith

    Not many people watch programmes as they air these days..There is so much choice,its easy to download as well as recording shows..Most of these shows would have millions added by people who watch at a later time is any of this taken into acount?

  • Cyrax86

    @Ultima, OK, but after 2004-5 they always renewed something, 2 years ago Body of Proof and a year before V, in both seasons everything flopped and those two were considered as “pity renewals”. Even if Nashville drops further, I can’t see them cancelling it unless the upcoming two shows exceed all expectations.

  • Henry

    Up All Night is not yet canceled officially, but looking at the ratings we can take for guaranteed that it is. Guys with Kids goes against Idol this week and thus it will have signed their death sentence (if it hadn’t already). 1600 Penn has very bad critics and demos I doubt anyone or anything can save it. Now my main concern is whether they’re gonna burn this shows in the Spring schedule or leave them as they are now.

  • networkman

    Nashville should not be listed under certain renewal. Revenge is more certain than Nashville. So if Revenge is listed as likly renewal, at this point I consider Nashville to be a Bubble Show.

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