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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  • Brian

    How I’d save NBC:

    7 The Voice (Fall/Spring); Biggest Loser (Between)
    9 Blacklist (Fall/Spring); After Hours (Between)

    7 The Voice (Fall/Spring) Off Their Rockers (Between)
    8 About a Boy
    830 Parks and Recreation
    9 Parenthood (Fall); Smash (Spring)

    7 Wonderland
    8 Law and Order SVU
    9 Chicago Fire

    7 The Mole (I think there’s an opening for reality, and this show would come fairly cheap)
    8 Craig Robinson Sitcom
    830 Michael J. Fox Sitcom
    9 Revolution

    7 Sixth Gun
    8 Grimm
    9 Dracula

    7 Community
    730 Whitney
    8 The Gates
    830 Welcome to the Family
    9 Reruns

    6 Sunday Night Football (fall); Dateline (spring)
    7 Movie (Spring)
    9 Celebrity Apprentice (Spring)

    NBC has to try some bold stuff. Bringing back the Saturday night sitcoms would be a surefire way to do that. Plus they get publicity for winning another night. It’s time to break the string of cult sitcoms on Thursdays and try to broaden things up. Thursday doesn’t HAVE to open with the Mole, but a reality show could provide good counter programming, plus it worked for CBS for quite a while. I think Revolution has a chance to steal second on Thursdays. And Fridays, we have some companions for Grimm to hopefully lift that night up. Plus, bring back a movie night (I chose Sundays in the spring) and I think NBC can look to brighter days in 2014.

  • Nick


    besides the Voice what hit reality shows has NBC launched recently?

    Betty White’s Off Their Rockers is their only recent hit, if you don’t include their acquisition of American Ninja Warrior.

  • The End


    Major problem with that schedule, asides from Revolution unlikely to be moved from Monday when renewed is simply that it isn’t an 8pm show lol.

    You would have to tone down some of the violence quite a lot, certainly there would be less swords through the gut from Miles. So placing it on Wednesday at 8pm will never in a million years occur in reality.

  • Buitingf

    Wow… Half of the entire CW schedule is on the bubble… However, maybe it is time they did some spring cleaning over there

  • cass rowland

    what nbc shows would survive if they were on abc or cbs

  • omabin

    @The End,

    I would like to know how accurate the whole distinction between 8 and 10 pm really is. 2 Broke Girls is possibly the edgiest shows on tv in terms of sexual content and it aired at 8h30 last season! As for revolution, what content is that? I mean, I don’t see anything there that I don’t see on once upon a time for instance for the most part and that airs at 8pm. Maybe I am just being ignorant, I genuinely dont know, but I doubt that networks can put shows on at 10 that they cannot put at 8, just strikes me as odd that they would work that way. Would you say that 9pm would be more acceptable? It just seems random to me… It would also work though with: Chicago Fire at 8, Revolution at 9 and Crossbones at 10. And facing survivor would actually be good for chicago fire seeing how big of a crossed audience it has with csi.

    The schedules does have a major problem though which is to assume that revolution will hold its ratings come spring. Only if it does will it be strong enough to anchor its own night, otherwise it should remain a 10pm show.

  • r0ckmypants

    @omabin – “2 Broke Girls is possibly the edgiest shows on tv in terms of sexual content…”

    You’ve clearly never watched Happy Endings, Don’t Trust the B or New Girl. “Edgy” isn’t really an adjective that describes CBS comedies very well.

  • Petar Ivanov

    @Major problem with that schedule, asides from Revolution unlikely to be moved from Monday when renewed is simply that it isn’t an 8pm show lol.

    You would have to tone down some of the violence quite a lot, certainly there would be less swords through the gut from Miles. So placing it on Wednesday at 8pm will never in a million years occur in reality.

    Me: Well, i agree that RVN has violence. But if RVN is only 10 pm show than CM, The fowolling, 2 broke girls, TAHM and many others are too 10 pm shows with even more violence and racy jokes. CM was blast from all critics for violence over the years and still CBS stay it at 9pm.

  • Joseph

    Looks like our own Cancellation Bear might chew up as many as 21 more shows!

    As far as he’s concerned, the more shows cancelled, the better for him.

  • Douglas from Brazil

    NBC,ABC and FOX they’re all with trouble right now.They need to reinvent themselves,fix their primetimes,stay with it works and burn with doesn’t.NBC should stop now to put their shows in hiatus,it doesn’t work.The Voice doesn’t need 2 cycles a year,it’s too much.They need multi-cam comedies and launch in another night(not thursday).ABC needs to stop on depends on Modern Family to launch a new comedy,it kills,every comedy that premiered after MF it gets cancelled.Grey’s isn’t a hit anymore.DWTS is old.Male shows doesn’t fit in the network or neither edgy comedies.FOX still has American Idol but for how long?They need new more dramas,new comedies.

  • TeeVeeViewer

    “Go On” should be cancelled. It isn’t funny and it’s obvious that it’s just another vehicle NBC has stuck Matthew Perry (who is funny) into try to recapture some of the ratings magic of “Friends.”

  • outlawz

    next year i want cbs killing the other network tuesdays to be like this

    08. ncis
    09. new ncis <try la on monday move 5o to other night
    10. vegas 2013(half season) & golden boy (only if peak up for half seaso) if dont and unfogetable do good in the summer then brin it in as (unforgatable summer hit show)

  • TeeVeeViewer

    Correction. I meant to type:

    “Go On” should be cancelled. It isn’t funny and it’s obvious that it’s just another vehicle NBC has stuck Matthew Perry (who is funny) into as they try to recapture some of the ratings magic of “Friends.”

  • Rebecca

    “it’s be ridiculous”? I think you meant “it’d” or “it’ll” there.

    I might lose UAN, 1600Penn and HE. :( My bubble shows might make it, but if not, RIP to LMS, Go On, Mindy, GWK, TNN and Whitney. A few of those might make it (GO, GWK and maybe Mindy), and I don’t care if the others don’t.

  • Rebecca

    I wouldn’t call 2BG “edgy.” “Raunchy” is more like it, and why I don’t watch it.

  • Rebecca

    I agree with you about Mindy – the show is a lot better now since its pilot. Funny show.

  • Melissa

    @Petar Ivanov

    ps And LOST is one in a lifetime show. No one will be able to launch that hit again in our lifetime. Other generation after us may be but not us.

    You’re drastically over exaggerating Lost‘s success. Yes, it was a high-rated show, but it only had one airing with a double digit demo, and its peak seasonal average was a 7.9. Tons of shows have been far more successful, such as its fellow mid-aughts Desperate Housewives, which had 20 straight episodes with double digit demos and a seasonal average peak of 10.8, and Grey’s Anatomy, which had ten episodes with double digit demos and a seasonal average peak of 9.4.

  • Rebecca

    Grimm has ten episodes left, not just a few, I think.

  • Oliver


    I am not sure where everyone keeps getting the sentiment that NBC is so much better at launching dramas than they are comedies. Yes they have launched two seemingly viable dramas this year, plus Grimm (and Smash- jury is still out, wait for it’s premiere) last year but before that they had an absolutely horrid track record with launching new dramas (that is why Chuck continued to be renewed year after year despite very low ratings). A few years ago they were in a position like CBS is now where they would cancel comedies that rated higher than their drama average.

    Yes! Thank you. People have incredibly short memories.


    I actually think that Petar has a point concerning the promotion that half hour shows require. It is easier to promote and generate buzz for two shows than for four shows, regardless of the length of the episodes.

    I agree with this. NBC needs to launch fewer new shows each fall rather than being in a perpetual state of relaunch.

  • omabin


    Happy Endings is one of my favorite comedies and I am not a regular 2Broke Girls viewer. I was very sad about Apartment 23’s demise, so why don’t you stop making assumptions about what I watch and what I don’t watch. I do agree with Rebecca though, that raunchy is a better adjective.


    Excellent examples of shows more violent than Revolution at earlier times. If the ratings are there, it could and should be moved because not only NBC needs it elsewhere, but it also needs the spot it is at, because where else will they launch dramas?

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