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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  • maplab98

    La NBC está hundidisima. Espero que renueven Chicago Fire que es lo mejorcillo.
    Anatomia de Grey tiene que renovar si o si.
    No entiendo como CSI:NY tiene los mismos datos que Blue Bloods y esta casi cancelada mientras BB tiene la renovacion segura..
    Grande Once Upon a Time!

  • maplab98

    Ah y por cierto muy bien por Revolution :)

  • Fred

    I see that Revenge has been downgraded and Nashville upgraded.

    ABC needs a major overhaul to help get out of 4th place:


    AFHV (too profitable to get rid of)
    SCANDAL-Might become a MEGA HIT here.
    RED WINDOW (if a hit, if not, new drama)


    NASHVILLE – why not air this musical drama at 8:00? Might perform better.
    CASTLE – deserves a chance to grow in an earlier slot.
    REVENGE- Shouldn’t do much worse than its doing now. Can’t afford to waste valuabe realestate with a fading show.


    MIDDLE – A little risky, but it will be in its 5th season. Should be strong enough by now.
    New sitcom
    New sitcom
    BODY OF PROOF- I think ABC FINALLY found a long running procedural.


    LAST MAN STANDING – Worth a shot. Can always move back Middle if it fails.
    New sitcom(bring back NEIGHBORS midsason)
    New sitcom
    New Drama


    The TASTE/BAHCELOR (or another low budget unscripted program)
    GREY’s – Still strong enough to help another drama.
    New Drama



  • asdf

    I think I finally feel confident that Parks will return, if only for a final half season. I’ll be okay with that.

  • Fred

    Ha Ha, I mispelled my worst ABC program Bachelor. Can not believe it still does respectable #s.

  • Hector

    The New Normal will be renewed even if it’s for a 13 episode season to fill some gap next year. Murphy won’t give up on his show so soon, and so will not NBC. TNN has proven to work well with a consistent lead-in. After all, NBC won most Tuesdays if not all last fall. I certainly believe that Go On and TNN will be renewed. 1600 Penn, Up all night and Guys with wids certainly not. Whitney is a real bubble.

  • Chris

    I don’t see how 1600 Penn is likely cancellation. It’s last rating was a 1.3, terrible, but on par with Go On and Tnn.

  • maplab98

    Que cancelen de una vez The Cleveland Show!

  • Melissa

    Can Bill or Robert or anyone try to solve this for me? In September 2004, Desperate Housewives premiered to an 8.9. What would that equate to now? What about Grey’s Anatomy‘s premiere 7.2 in March 2005?

  • Ellen

    Very few freshman shows *aren’t* lead-in dependent, which is why networks don’t usually put them at 9pm as the tentpole of an entire night. NBC should have seen from the Fall results that while Go On and TNN were doing ok, they weren’t breakout hits and still needed The Voice.

    Notably, NBC chose to hedge their bets with an actual hit like Revolution, ensuring that every episode airs with a Voice lead-in.

    If NBC is disappointed with Go On or TNN they only have themselves to blame.

    They’re really shooting themselves in the foot with scheduling this year. It’s February and one of their biggest succeesses, Grimm, isn’t even on the schedule. Then when it returns it is serving as a lead-in for Fashion Star.. while the compatible Mockingbird Lane was given the shaft.

  • jake

    Network tv isn’t trying to improve, a there’s another 2 factors:
    1. They cancel a lot of shows (that gives the message that they use crappy shows to fill schedules).
    2. Nielsen is unaccurate and old, it doesn’t reflect the real tastes from people, only just a tiny part.

    And another one before I miss it:
    3. CABLE TV IS GETTING STRONGER THAN EVER, I visit this site almost everyday and is usual to me see post about “record-breaking ratings from FX, USA, TLC, etc.”

  • Fred


    I couldn’t agree with you more. NBC started out so strongly early this season, only to crash and burn midseason.They put too much faith on new unproven shows.
    Now if THE VOICE and REVOLUTION return to strong #s in the spring, they may have a chance to rank #2 for the season. But I have a strong feeling FOX will lay that claim. IDOL and THE FOLLOWING are (so far) stronger than THE VOICE and REVOLUTION. If only NBC could air football all season long!

    Poor ABC looks iike it will rank 4th again. Very troubling, because they have many solid shows, just not enough BIG hits.

  • The End

    @Petar Ivanov

    I’m not sure what you mean by your examples given, because they’re not relevant to the point I made.

    I just don’t see Revolution ever being moved to 8pm by NBC because of its content, there’s quite a lot of graphic death scenes in the show with people being stabbed and what not by Miles and his trusty sword.

    There’s a huge difference between a comedy with crude humor and a show with graphic violence.

    That’s not me saying the show wouldn’t fit at 9pm for example, just not 8pm. If you had put the show at 9pm I likely would of just flicked through your comment and likely agreed.

    But as you made the effort to respond, 2 Broke Girls and Two and a Half Men are fine on their timeslots on CBS at the moment. Both of these shows are completely different to Revolution in terms of content.

    Just to me, overly violent shows belong in the 9pm onwards slots. And ironically enough that’s where they’re scheduled. Hmmm. Of course this all depends on timezones though.

  • The End


    Do you watch Revolution? There’s quite a few scenes of people being stabbed, shot, beaten etc in random scenes. Then of course Miles and his battle scenes when his running people through with his sword. This show is more graphic than Once Upon a Time. Certainly it wouldn’t belong in an 8pm timeslot and will never appear there. But 9pm perhaps. If NBC makes the decision to place on another day.

    Anyway in regards to 2 Broke Girls, some shows can go close to the line of acceptability and not cross it. You won’t see any sex, or any nudity in the show for example. Because of the time slot.

    In regards to the examples he gave, he named The Following, a 9pm show.(Which had nothing to do with what I was talking about) and another 9pm show, and the comedys. Pretty poor examples as mentioned as I was speaking about Revolution and the 8pm slot.

  • omabin

    @The End,

    Yes, I do watch Revolution and I enjoy it quite a lot. I still don’t recall being impressed with any sort of violence there that would prevent it from being on earlier. I also don’t think there is that big of a difference between what can be shown at 8pm and what can be shown at 9pm. If the following and criminal minds work at 9pm, revolution would certainly work an hour earlier, because it doesn’t even come close to these shows. In any case, Revolution could be used as 9pm show on Wednesday in my schedule, with Crossbones following it at 10pm and Chicago Fire coming to 8pm, away from CBS procedurals.

  • chrisss

    @ The End

    Yet if Revolution aired at 9 eastern, it would air at 8 central. So why would it be okay to air at 8 central but not at 8 eastern?

  • The End


    Opinion or not, Revolution does have a lot of graphic scenes with the violence and blood that wouldn’t work as a 8pm show, as said numerous times I don’t see much wrong with 9pm/10pm though I don’t believe it will be moved from behind The Voice, from what I understand NBC are doing.

    If you can name a show with violence on the same level as Revolution on at 8pm on any of the major networks feel free to mention. Once Upon a Time is quite toned down compared to Revolution. Certainly I haven’t seen any scenes of people being stabbed and bleeding from said wound/mouth afterwards, or people being shot and emphasis being made on them dying. Kinda like the blonde woman earlier on in the season, the way she was stabbed and died was quite er graphic.

  • The End


    Mentioned about time zones above.

  • s0303

    i think nbc should go back to 2 cycles of the biggest loser instead of the 1 that they did this season…it’s the top rated show on nbc since it premiered and is getting about a whole point in the demo higher than go on, tnn, 1600, whitney, gwk etc…they could definitely benefit from having about 4 less comedies on the air next season…

  • CBSviewer

    This is what CBS should do next season:

    8:00 – How I Met Your Mother
    8:30 – 2 Broke Girls
    9:00 – The Big Bang Theory
    9:30 – Mom
    10:00 – NCIS: Los Angeles

    8:00 – NCIS
    9:00 – NEW NCIS
    10:00 – Elementary

    8:00 – Survivor
    9:00 – Criminal Minds
    10:00 – CSI

    8:00 – Mike & Molly
    8:30 – Two and a Half Men
    9:00 – Person of Interest
    10:00 – NEW DRAMA

    8:00 – NEW DRAMA / Undercover Boss
    9:00 – CSI: NY
    10:00 – Blue Bloods

    8:00 – The Amazing Race
    9:00 – Hawaii Five-0
    10:00 – The Mentalist

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