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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  • Shay

    I think that The programming for The next fall season will be:
    8/7c-Dancing With The Stars

    8/7c-Dancing With The Stars Results
    9/8c-Last Man Standing
    10/9c-New Drama

    8/7c-The Middle
    8:30/7:30c-New Comedy
    9/8c-Modern Family
    9:30/8:30c-New Comedy
    10/9c-New Drama

    8/7c-New Drama
    9/8c-Grey’s Anatomy

    8/7c-Shark Tank
    9/8c-New Reality

    8/7c-Once Upon A Time

    8/7c-The Voice

    8/7c-The Voice
    9/8c-Go On
    9:30/8:30c-New Comedy

    8/7c-New Comedy
    8:30/9:30c-New Comedy
    9/8c-Law & Order:SVU
    10/9c-Chicago Fire

    8/7c-Parks And Recreation
    9/8c-New Drama
    10/9c-New Drama


  • omabin


    I actually agree that all those moves would be the best, drama wise. Comedy wise, I would not move the big bang theory nor I think they would do it. I wouldn’t also demote 2broke girls from being anchor. I would simply move mike and molly to 8h30 so that mom could be launched after 2 broke girls. But the dramas i agree. Except that I think CBS will save the good wife (and I certainly hope so because I love the show), although it does not really fit with the schedule. I think the wisest move would actually be to keep the three bubble shows. Just insert the good wife in that friday at 8 timeslot for the fall for a short final season, and have undercover boss take over once it’s done. It is likely to do better than yet another failed new drama on friday IMO… Other than that, I agree with moving LA to Monday, it seems like a smart move, even though I am not sure the show is stronger than Hawaii once you take out the lead-in. As for Elementary, we will see post super bowl, but this is the kind of show that even though still has good enough numbers to avoid the bubble this season, seems to be that will soon be saved simply for the prospect of syndication by CBS. I mean, it has a highly compatible and high rated lead in from POI, only one other broadcast competition, is brand new and yet, only pulls the same ratings as CSI and Five-0. The Tuesday timeslot is currently a very weak one across broadcasts so if it remains like that next season, it could do well in there, although I say that we would be delaying the inevitable. But of course it will be renewed, yes.

  • The End

    @The Tuesday timeslot is currently a very weak one across broadcasts

    I agree, that was mostly why I thought ABC might premiere S.H.E.I.L.D on a Tuesday.

  • Wright

    Still missing Fringe. Can’t wait for Cult to premiere.

  • omabin

    @The End,

    I agree, but only if they move all the female skewing programs, especially the dwts results, away from the night. The night should be a male skewing night only. I would go with:

    Once Upon a Time
    DWTS/ Specials and movies during winter
    DWTS/ Specials and movies during winter

    DWTS Results/ The Bachelor during winter
    Revenge/ The Bachelor during winter
    New Female Skewing Drama

    New Make Skewing Drama

    The Middle
    Modern Family
    New Comedy

    Grey’s Anatomy
    New Female Skewing Drama

    Shark Tank
    Last Man Standing
    Malibu Country

  • iggy agrimotor

    So much for that comedy boom.

  • Rachel

    FoxFast’s TV listings (yes, they’re reliable) list The New Normal’s Halloween episode “Para New-Normal Activity” to be aired on February 19th, when the series returns. This will make TNN (and Go On) have four episodes to be aired after The Voice. Perhaps even more, if NBC uses any other February-March-April Tuesday for premiering stuff (just like they’re doing next week with Smash). In other words, NBC is going to save the averages for both Go On and The New Normal at all costs, not changing their schedule and using The Voice as lead-in again. If they weren’t interested in keeping these shows, they wouldn’t be airing the Halloween episode at all.

  • Brandy

    Glad to see VD,Nashville,Once Upon a Time,2 Broke Girls,Big Bang Theory certain renewals, hope Nashville stays there.Wish 90210,HoD,Carrie Diaries,Beauty & the Beast were certain renewals too.

  • psychic

    Can someone answer the question of why CBS would move The Mentalist to Sundays?
    It was pulling 2.5s and 3.0s on Thursday. Now it’s lucky if it makes it to eight million.
    Can’t see the logic.

  • Holly


    Because launching a new show on Thursdays behind PoI was easier than launching a new show on Sundays behind The Good Wife.

  • Bob

    Guys with Kids DID get a back order of 5 episodes. I think and pray that it survives!!!!!!

  • Dan S

    On the subject of Elementary it’s post SB appearance may be marred by a blackout delay of the game. I understand play was suspended for up to 45 min which could very well push Elementary well out of primetime. I’m now thinking it could easily go well under 20m viewers.

  • Rollie Dethloff

    ABC 2013-2014

    7:00 Shark Tank
    8:00 AFHV
    9:00 Grey’s Anatomy (probably would do tons better than Revenge)
    10:00 Red Widow/Zero Hour/New Drama

    8:00 Modern Family
    8:30 New Comedy
    9:00 Suburgatory
    9:30 Happy Endings/New Comedy
    10:00 SHIELD

    8:00 The Middle
    8:30 Malibu Country (I honestly don’t care about how many cameras the shows are shot with)
    9:00 DWTS/ The Bachelor

    8:00 DWTS Results/The Taste/ Some Midseason Reality Show
    9:00 Nashville
    10:00 Scandal

    8:00 New Drama
    9:00 Zero Hour/Body Of Proof/Revenge
    10:00 Body Of Proof/Revenge

    8:00 Last Man Standing (Clearly doing well enough to stay)
    8:30 The Neighbors
    9:00 OUAT (move it into a cancelled drama’s slot if it doesn’t work)
    10:00 20/20 (I can’t see it anywhere else)

  • janus

    @Honey Badger–So you are brillant and San Fransisco will win? Riiiiiiiiight–LOL!

  • Lily

    The CBS ads during the Super Bowl left a strong impression that Vegas isn’t going anywhere.

  • Dave

    I think CBS should do this for next Season:

    8/7c: How I met your Mother(FS)/2.5 MEN(midseason)
    8:30/7:30c: Mike and Molly
    9/8c: 2BG
    9:30/8:30c: Bad Teacher(N)
    10/9c: Beverly Hills Cop(N)

    8/7c: NCIS
    9/8c: NCIS:Red
    10/9c: Hawaii Five-0

    8/7c: Survivor
    9/8c: Criminal Minds
    10/9c: NCIS:LA

    8/7c: Big Bang
    8:30/7:30c: Mom(N)
    9/8c: Person of Interest
    10/9c: Second Sight(N)/ Hostages(N)

    8/7c CSI:NY(FS)/Undercover Boss
    10/9c: Blue Bloods

    8/7c: Amazing Race
    9/8c: Elementary
    10/9c: The Mentalist

  • Dave

    I know some might think I’m crazy for holding CBS’s #2 comedy for midseason, but in all honesty, the show is old and CBS needs to find new hit comedies since 2.5 is getting old and HIMYM is ending.

  • Dan

    How can Vegas be in the Likely Cancellation category?

  • Mark

    @Rachel good point. Everyone (including myself) thought that the Halloween episode would never see the light on TV, even though it’s one of the funniest (it’s available on iTunes). Before this move, Go On had four episodes that would have aired after The Voice, while The New Normal had only three. Now both shows have four, which is pretty indicatory that NCB trusts this line-up and want them together. Demos and viewers will go up for those episodes once The Voice returns and this will be NBC’s “formal” excuse to renew them instead of other shows also pulling low 1’s this winter. “Non-formal” excuse is Matthew Perry and Ryan Murphy respectively.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “The CBS ads during the Super Bowl left a strong impression that Vegas isn’t going anywhere.”

    Then the CBS promotional marketing folks have done their job well!

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