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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  • Dan

    @Tyler – Actually I think that Last Man Standing and Malibu Country is a package deal. Either both are renewed for Fridays next season or ABC dumps both of them and starts fresh with comedy. Happy Endings will be kept only based on syndication but ABC will try to shop it to other networks like Cougar Town. The Neighbors probably will be cancelled only because ABC has too many comedies and instead of extend their block like they tried this year they may keep it to Fridays and Wednesdays. If Neighbors is axed, ABC may try to keep HTLWYP.

  • AiPod

    I amazed that March – April schedules haven’t been released yet. I really want to know how are they going to handle Go On and TNN season finales. If they’re bringing these shows back next season, both finales better air after The Voice.

  • Dan

    @AiPod – I’m sure NBC will air the Go On and NN finales after The Voice, NBC will try anything to save them since other than them Parks is the only guaranteed comedy to return. NBC will save the tuesday shows.

  • MichaelChickless


    Happy Endings
    1600 Penn
    Up All Night
    The Cleveland Show
    The Good Wife
    The Carrie Diaries
    The Mindy Project
    The New Normal

    All else renewed, including Community.

  • gerry

    i love you dawson!

    i agree w dan, the nbc tues sitcoms would have to completely fall in the gutter before renewals are announced to not show up next year.

  • Dan

    @MichaelChickless – 90210 will get a final season, Mindy Project will be renewed so FOX doesnt go 0-3 comedy wise, and NBC will renew The New Normal so they have a few returning single camera comedies to rebuild thursdays. Good Wife will probably get a final season but if CBS cant get a syndication deal, then its dead. The only way Happy Endings can be saved is if another network picks it up.

    As for The Following how it performs tonight and the next few weeks will seal its fate.

  • Nick


    Mindy Project will be renewed so FOX doesnt go 0-3 comedy wise

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Fox went 0-3 this year. That’s not a big deal. The shows that get the pity renewals are the ones that prevent a network from going 0-5 or even 0-6.

  • JacobYates

    Touch fans should just give up on Touch at this point. It dropped from a 3.9 premiere rating to a 1.3 finale rating. A 1.3! The only reason that it wasn’t cancelled after that was because Fox had already renewed it. Plus, Fox has pushed back Touch’s second season premiere month after month until finally saying screw it and putting it on Friday, probably while saying, “There’s absolutely no conceivable way that this could go wrong! Pass the cocaine!”

  • Dan

    @JacobYates – The ratings for that random lost episode aired in September were horrible too, but I doubt FOX takes that into account. Touch and Fringe probably would have paired well together and FOX could have paired Bones and Touch had they pulled The Mob Doctor in November but its preemption to February is basically a way of FOX saying “We give up on this show”. The show couldn’t do any better than Fringe did 9pm Fridays so I doubt it will see a third season.

    @Nick – I don’t think Mindy will be renewed for that reason alone, I think there are other factors. By beating New Normal and Apartment 23 recently, it seems Mindy is coming out strong. If it continues its upward trend, Mindy Project will be renewed. If Fox salvages Mindy Project and The Following from this season, they will be OK for next season.

    My guess even before ratings
    Renewed: Family Guy, The Simpsons, Bob’s Burgers, American Dad, Bones, Glee, New Girl, Raising Hope, Mindy Project, The Following, Kitchen Nightmares, Idol, X Factor, Hell’s Kitchen

    Cancelled: Fringe, Mob Doctor, Ben & Kate, Touch, The Cleveland Show

    Of course Mindy, Cleveland, Touch and Following could go either way. Cleveland has not been renewed yet, so that’s a very bad sign. Touch airing on fridays basically seals its death. And as for newcomers Following and Mindy, FOX will probably renew them because its doubtful as of now that they can do better.

  • Ted Craig

    Not that this means anything, but NBC and Fox have ordered A LOT of comedy pilots, so 0-3 is a possibility.

  • DJ

    Why is Criminal Minds a lock to be renewed? Is there some kind of deal they have, something with syndication or something that goes on for X amount of time? Next season would be the ninth year, which is alot, any ideas of how many more years the show has? The ratings are solid but hardly mind blowing for a Wednesday night slot. I’m not questioning the index rating, I’m just wondering why.

  • CoolRanchDoritos

    NOOOO Deception!! :( This show should not be on NBC.

    90210, Hart of Dixie get off the bubble. i need another season.

    Revenge, Middle, Elementary, Hawaii Five-0, Chicago Fire- Good but i’d like it to be certain they’re coming back.

    YAY for Modern Family, Arrow, Supernatural, Glee, Parenthood.

    I’m over Scandal & Vampire Diaries so i can’t get excited for them.

  • Craig

    Why the hell is Raising Hope still around?

  • Sonny


    Because it’s the only funny sitcom that Fox airs.

  • BigBrotherFan

    ABC could not possibly be that dumb and cancel the well crafted and well written NASHVILLE. THIS IS THE BEST SHOW ON TV RIGHT NOW! (I reserve the right to change that after a few more episodes of the following). ABC really helped out the NOT-AS-GOOD but still GREAT Scandal and look how well that turned out. The show went from high 1’s to mid to high 2’s and this could just as well happen to NASHVILLE.

    Poor Nashville has the worst freakin lead-in ever! SUBERGATORY, ARE YOU FOR REAL? Nashville deserves so much better and SUBERG should of NEVER EVER got that slot. It’s turned out to be a REAL ratings loser in respect to keeping any audience from MF.

    They better promote the HECK out of it during the ACADEMY AWARDS like they did last year with REVENGE.

  • sweetd

    Wow, this is the first time it’s been obvious you guys have no understanding of the television/film industry, and somehow the commenters on this site hang on your every word.

    The Likely Cancellations and On The Bubble shows are all wrong.

    it’s 2013, and you may not be aware that television studios also benefit financially from international viewings, and syndication and potential.

    You can no longer suggest that TV shows will be cancelled based solely on US Fast Nationals.

    The commentary added to the ratings as well as the comments from idiot posters is ridiculous – I can see why Hollywood hates you.

  • Nick


    You can no longer suggest that TV shows will be cancelled based solely on US Fast Nationals.

    Oh, really? Because Bill and/or Robert predicted every single show correctly last year (the exception being Body of Proof) using ratings.
    And besides, they don’t use Fast Nationals. They use the finals that come out later. Of course, they’re closely aligned, but still.

  • Mr Mumble


    “Oh, really? Because Bill and/or Robert predicted every single show correctly last year (the exception being Body of Proof) using ratings.”

    Looking at this time last year the likes of “House”, “Ringer”, “The Secret Circle”, “Rob” and “Chelsea” were likely renewals on the renew/cancellation index, Other ‘mistakes’ included having “CSI:Miami” ahead of “CSI:NY” (and for that matter “Unforgettable”). The Bubble index made many of the same mistakes and expected “Fringe”, “Whitney”, “CSI:NY” and “Unforgettable” to get canned.

    Bill, Robert nor anyone else can be expected to get everything right so suggesting they do so when they don’t is silly.

    If you’re going to mention predictions made in mid-May I’d make the analogy that this is akin to predicting the Kentucky Derby winner with a couple of lengths to go. Hardly noteworthy unlike predicting the placings half-way through the race as everyone is trying to do right now.

  • JacobYates

    Touch has only been renewed for 13 episodes and wasn’t picked up for more than 13 last season. So even if it does see a full season pick up and a third season, which it won’t, it wouldn’t have syndication benefits. It’s done.

  • Theoacme

    @Mr Mumble – both lists are based on what actually happened to that point when the lists are published, and are subject to recalculation each week, based on new data obtained.

    Example – Let’s have a show called “Jail or No Jail”, on the IBC Network, and the relative demo of it, compared to the network demo average, was like this:

    Episode 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
    JonJ .95 .93 .91 .88 .90 .91 .88

    Okay, so far, as of week 7, it’s probably a bubble show, or maybe a likely to be renewed.

    Now, presto, the next 6 weeks:

    Episode 8 9 10 11 12 13
    JonJ .85 .84 .81 .83 .80 .80

    Now, ignoring these last 6 weeks of data, which you would have done, you would have missed it going the other way, to likely to be cancelled or bubble…

    …then, the new Lee Majors show, “The Night The Reindeer Died” aired in JonJ’s slot and got a 3.2, then a 3.0, then a 2.9, leaving it with an index of 1.33…

    …now you may have Jail or No Jail survive, depending on slot availability, and a lot of other “maybe” factors, or not…and since it is JonJ’s first season, the Syndication Gods (R) (c) CBS, Inc. will not save it…

    …but you would say Bill and Robert missed, yet they never claimed that it was a Millionaire “final answer” in any week, ever.

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