Bubble Watch: Super Chicken When It Comes To Low-Rated NBC Sitcoms + 'The Following' Upgraded

Categories: Bubble Watch

Written By

February 3rd, 2013

Even though it's only aired two-episodes, I've upgraded The Following to likely renewal. It's current ratings say certain renewal, but, again, it has only aired two episodes and is not out of the woods yet. Last week I reminded readers that Alcatraz opened well only to wind up canceled. Unlike Alcatraz, The Following improved in its second airing  from a 3.2 adults 18-49 rating to a 3.3.

Alcatraz dropped three tenths in its second week, but to a still healthy 3.0 adults 18-49 rating. Similar to Alcatraz's second episode, the second episode of the The Following aired against repeats on CBS.  CBS is all new this Monday and has the Super Bowl the night before to pimp its lineup...

For now other than Up All Night which has been on the bench a while, and 1600 Penn , and since it's "Super" Bowl Sunday, I'm going the route of that great super hero of my youth, Super Chicken, and have moved all the other recently very low-rated NBC sitcoms to the bubble.

I've seen many choruses of "I knew NBC would miss Sunday Night Football and The Voice!" (uhm, duh!) while Chicago Fire fans fire back "Yeah, yeah, maybe people don't like those shows, our show isn't missing The Voice or the NFL!"

While I still give Go On and Whitney an edge over Guys with Kids and The New Normal, at this point it's be ridiculous to list Guys with Kids as a likely cancellation and Go On as a likely renewal. It wouldn't be ridiculous to leave Guys with Kids as a likely cancellation and just move Go On on the bubble, but  with their recent ratings convergence I'm going the "cluck, cluck, cluck Super Chicken!" route.

Either way, NBC has to be especially disappointed in the ratings erosion for Go On.

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
Do No Harm NBC Certain Cancellation
Happy Endings ABC Likely Cancellation
CSI: NY CBS Likely Cancellation
Vegas CBS Likely Cancellation
1600 Penn NBC Likely Cancellation
Deception 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
Mindy Project, The Fox On The Bubble
Good Wife, The CBS On The Bubble
Mentalist, The 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
Go On NBC On The Bubble
Guys with Kids NBC 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
Elementary CBS Likely Renewal
Hawaii Five-0 CBS Likely Renewal
Following, The Fox Likely Renewal
Chicago Fire NBC Likely Renewal
Law & Order: SVU NBC Likely Renewal
Parks & Recreation NBC Likely Renewal
Grey's Anatomy ABC Certain Renewal
Middle, The 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
Mike & Molly 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
Big Bang Theory, The CBS Renewed
How I Met Your Mother CBS Renewed
NCIS 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 Final SeasonFinished
Gossip Girl CW Final SeasonFinished
Fringe Fox Final SeasonFinished
30 Rock NBC Final Season Finished
The Office NBC Final Season


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  • Big Toe

    NCIS is not on NBC

  • Common Anomaly

    I am just glad NBC renewed NCIS.

  • Anthony

    I think it is probably safe to move Chicago Fire to Certain Renewal. It got a 2.0 last week (which is WAY ahead of everything else except for Biggest Loser and the Office). It is now consistently growing from it’s lead in (and is NBC’s second highest rated drama- below Revolution).

  • bk8718

    The Following is listed as being both “On the Bubble” and “Likely Renewal”

  • Niki

    what happened this week that (Finally!) the Middle was upgraded to certain renewal?

  • aleksander eide

    ncis is not on nbc

  • Gripper

    You’ve upgraded The Following to Likely Renewal but also left it in On The Bubble – SuperDuper Chicken!

  • JRL

    The Following is listed twice (on the bubble and likely renewal)

  • badman

    the following is listed in two places…!

  • Honey Badger

    Isn’t it time for NBC to do something drastic, they are in big trouble and very close to a total disaster.
    Isn’t it time they do something different than cancelling a few shows.
    What can NBC do to be able to compete with other networks like NBC?

    NBC does not look good without “ The Voice “ or “ NBC NFL Sunday Night Football “ . And “ The Voice “ is a risky show to be counting on holding its ratings and great lead-in effects helping ratings of other shows.

    NBC is in better shape than 2 years ago but that is due to NBC Sunday Night Football and “ The Voice “. And specials like the Golden Globes ‘. Even NBC says describing there year over year increase “NBC was led by “Sunday Night Football,” which hit series records with this week’s Cowboys-Redskins showdown.””
    And yes NBC was Sunday Night NFL Football has been around for years, the ratings and viewers keep going up.
    Even NBC says describing there year over year increase, a quote from NBC press release: “NBC was led by “Sunday Night Football,” which hit series records with this week’s Cowboys-Redskins showdown.””

    “ The Voice “, very important not only for it ratings driving the overall ratings of NBC up, but also as a lead in that drives up the ratings of the shows following it. Example Go On without “ The Voice “ as a lead in tanked to a 1.2 adults 18-49 rating. Without “ The Voice “ NBC would be in bigger trouble than they are now.
    Just look at when “ The Voice “ season ended, lots of shows ratings collapsed. Go On for example.
    My point is they are miles behind CBS with the number of shows with good ratings, and they are too heavily dependent on one show “ The Voice “.
    NBC is playing a very risky game counting on “ The Voice “. As many predicted on tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com a long time ago, the saturation of singing shows and talent shows would sink the ratings for all these shows.
    And it is happening, look at the dropping ratings of “ The X Factor “ on Fox. And Look at last night’s American Idol on Fox 4.5 18–49 rating and only 13.80 million viewers. I am not saying these shows should be cancelled, I am just saying all of these types of shows will have continuing downward ratings and viewers.
    “ The Voice “ will have an inevitable big decrease in the ratings and viewers, it just a matter of when. And since NBC is having the show on more and more, and they are having 2 new judges, the drop may come faster than NBC thinks.
    Add to this NBC News Chief Jeff Zucker has just left NBC, “after struggles at the unit, including lower ratings for its flagship morning TV show, “Today.” ” “The “Today” show has been in a back-and-forth ratings war with ABC’s “Good Morning America” ever since ABC snapped NBC’s 16-year unbeaten streak last year”

    This week on NBC all new shows: NFL Pro Bowl 4.0
    This week on NBC all new shows : The Biggest Loser (8-10PM) 2.3, Deception 1.2
    This week on NBC all new shows, Whitney earned a 1.3 adults 18-49 rating. Guys With Kids earned a 1.1, Law And Order: SVU earned a 1.7. Chicago Fire earned a 2.0.
    This week on NBC all new shows: Betty White’s Off Their Rockers 1.5 18 – 49 rating, Go On 1.2 rating , The New Normal 1.1 rating, Dateline NBC 1.3 rating
    This week on NBC all new shows: 30 Rock 1.9 (and this is 30 Rock last show ever), The Office 2.1 (The Office in its last season), Do No Harm 0.9.
    This week on NBC all new shows: 44th NAACP Image Awards (8-10PM) 0.8, Dateline NBC 1.1
    NBC does not look good without “ The Voice “ or “ NBC NFL Sunday Night Football “ , only two shows barely break 2.0: , The Office 2.1 (The Office in its last season), and The Biggest Loser (8-10PM) 2.3 (The Biggest Loser “ on NBC usually does between a 2.3 to 2.4), and most of the rest in low 1’s ouch. With new shows Deception 1.2 and Do No Harm 0.9, ouch.

    What would everyone do if they ran NBC?

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    You’ve upgraded The Following to Likely Renewal but also left it in On The Bubble – SuperDuper Chicken!

    You’re on to me!

  • Robbie Bishop

    Lol, NBC just wishes they had “NCIS.” :P

  • Honey Badger

    Almost all NBC shows would be canceled if they were on CBS

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    @Anthony: I agree w/you about Chicago Fire…unless something crazy happens on Wednesday,next week!

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    If only I had had put “NBC Renews NCIS in the Headline” there would already be 200 comments! Fixed.

  • Holly

    @Honey Badger,

    Almost all NBC shows would be canceled if they were on CBS

    Again, that’s not true. Revolution, Chicago Fire, Parenthood, and possibly Grimm could all be renewed on CBS. Aside from Revolution they’d all be bubble shows, but not sure cancellations.

    NBC comedies on the other hand…

  • Nick

    My predictions for the bubble shows-

    Last Man Standing: Renewed
    Malibu Country: Depends on how invested ABC is in TGIF. I’m leaning towards cancelled, though.
    Cleveland Show, The: Cancelled
    Mindy Project, The: Cancelled
    Good Wife, The: Renewed for short season
    Mentalist, The: Depends on whether or not CBS sees the light and keeps Undercover Boss in the fall. I doubt it, so renewed.
    90210: Renewed for short final seaon
    Carrie Diaries, The: Cancelled
    Hart Of Dixie: Renewed
    Nikita: Renewed for full final season
    Beauty And The Beast: Cancelled
    Go On: Renewed
    Guys With Kids: Cancelled, simply because it didn’t get a back order. Why are people forgetting that?
    New Normal, The: Renewed
    Whitney: Renewed

    I’ll bet any amount of money that someone’s going to not pay attention and complain that The Middle is not certain renewal, when it is.


    what happened this week that (Finally!) the Middle was upgraded to certain renewal?

    The Neighbors & Suburgatory’s ratings this past Wednesday put The Middle’s into perspective.

  • Holly

    @Honey Badger,

    Do you just copy and paste that huge block of text for every NBC discussion?

  • Nick


    Just wondering if you were planning on writing something about Do No Harm. The ratings speak for themselves, but you usually write a little something about every show that premieres.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    “Just wondering if you were planning on writing something about Do No Harm. The ratings speak for themselves, but you usually write a little something about every show that premieres.”

    If Bubble Watch were posted early Friday, I would’ve said something. By Sunday, there’s not really anything to say that hasn’t been said many times already other than “hey, we only had to go 1 week without having any shows that are ‘certain to be cancelled’ but by next week we might be back to 0 shows!”

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