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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  • omabin


    Not that is a guarantee of anything (see CSI Miami last year), but it certainly looks like we will have to consider a bit of external factors when Bop arrives.

  • Chris

    I don’t honestly care which of its flop sitcoms NBC renews (though Whitney really should never have been greenlit to begin with), but just wanted to give you respect for the Super Chicken ref. Jay Ward rules. ;)

  • Chris

    But seriously, be a bit gutsier in your prognostications. I mean, you knew the job was dangerous when you took it. :D

  • Justin121


    Some day you have to relize that success isn’t limited “by the numbers” — certainly not by the Live + Same Day numbers.

    Success is also measured by cultural impact, other means of viewing/revenue-generating, among other factors.

  • Ted Craig

    @Rollie Dethloff

    Is that a joke?

  • Richard Steven Hack

    bruce: “if you look at shows like Nitika, Go on , The cleveland show ,new normal ,Whitney to name a few how did they even get on the air period?”

    In the case of Nikita, because it was 1) well cast, 2) had prior art to hook onto, and 3) had good writers and producers. The fact that it sank is mostly to do with being on the wrong network. It probably should have either been on any other broadcast network, or, more likely, on cable where its niche audience probably is.

  • Bazza

    I live in the UK and although watch US shows I don’t watch US TV, can anyone tell me why a show would preform better on CBS than NBC. It is advertising or just a better brand

  • Richard Steven Hack

    Fred: “BODY OF PROOF- I think ABC FINALLY found a long running procedural.”

    Are you serious? This show SHOULD have been canceled based on the ratings! It was one of three shows last spring that everyone assumed would be canceled – but weren’t. They were Fringe, Body of Proof and Nikita. Fringe was renewed for extended syndication reasons, Nikita was renewed presumably for syndication reasons, and Body of Proof was renewed for God knows why – unless it was also renewed for two seasons (this season is its third) for syndication reasons like Nikita. But I don’t see why it would it would have been unless someone thinks Jeri Ryan is big somewhere – because Dana Delaney sure as hell isn’t.

    Oh, and I just noticed that it has only aired 29 episodes so far (season one was only nine episodes in the spring of 2011) – which means it needs MORE than two seasons to get to even stripped syndication. And season three is only for 13 episodes (so far).

    It was doing 1.8-2.0 for the first half of season two, then 1.4-1.6 for most of the rest of the season, with one episode at 1.2, although it did bounce back up to 2.0 and 1.9 for the last 3 episodes.

    So someone explain to me why this show was renewed if it was not ratings and not syndication.

  • Richard Steven Hack

    Justin121: “Some day you have to relize that success isn’t limited “by the numbers” — certainly not by the Live + Same Day numbers. Success is also measured by cultural impact, other means of viewing/revenue-generating, among other factors.”

    Not for the networks – its ad revenue, which is ratings. Plus syndication if a show gets that far. “Cultural impact” is almost irrelevant, and so are most other means of generating revenue.

  • JacobYates

    What do you mean? I didn’t see a single add for Vegas. Do you mean that Vegas isn’t going any further and will be canceled or do you mean that it’s staying for next season?

  • Michael

    NBC originally had “JAG” which evolved into NCIS, but they cancelled it. However, USA, which is owned by NBC, airs reruns of NCIS.

  • Richard Steven Hack

    Bazza: “can anyone tell me why a show would preform better on CBS than NBC. It is advertising or just a better brand”

    I would say – or maybe guess is the better word – that it’s partly the brand, partly the mix of shows on the network as compared to other networks – and a lot probably has to do with whether the network has had more or fewer successful shows in the recent past; in other words, whether the audience thinks there are any shows worth watching on the network.

    NBC is a dog in that last respect, as is the CW. Most of those network’s shows do very poorly compared to the other three networks.

    However, relative network ratings can and do change from season to season with one or the other network moving up or down depending on how many of their shows did well in the current season.

  • JacobYates

    I think Vegas’ ratings will stay steady tomorrow despite competing with the premiere of Smash. It doesn’t seem like they would share the same audience.

  • Dave


    I believe it was deadline that reported that the show was a huge international seller for ABC studios.

    It could’ve been a PR stunt but I believe the spike in the last few episodes of Season 2 and dive downward for other shows was the reason for its renewal.

  • Michael


    NBC is only a dog in prime time. They are #1 in early morning, evening news, and late night. Also, NBC’s non-scripted shows do great. Their only problem is their scripted shows. Their comedies do not make me laugh. Both “Parks and Recreation” and “30 Rock” seemed obsessed about female leads mentally abusing their overweight male co-workers. I get that men have done that to women, but that doesn’t make it funny. Once their comedies can figure out a way to tell a joke in under 2 minutes, they’ll go back to being “must see.”

  • Fred

    @Richard Steven Hack

    I never said BOP was a hit or should have stayed in the lineup.
    In my memory the last ABC procedural that lasted more than a season or two was NYPD BLUE. So ABC must like something about it. Perhap it appeals to a high income demo.

    So congrats to all the BOP fans!!

  • James

    I will no longer be watching any major network. I have cancelled by cable in favor of netflix.

  • bsp

    So if you’re doing the Super Chicken role, does that mean that Bill is Fred? Buck-buck-buck-buck buck-buck-buck-buck buck-buck-buck-buck buck-buck-buck-buck wraaaaaack! :^)

    Loved those ‘toons, and my kids do, too!

  • omabin


    Castle is a procedural on its 5th season!

  • Daryl

    Wow the writer if this blog just cannot bring himself to list The New Normal as likely cancellation.

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