Bubble Watch: 'Community,' 'Smash,' and 'Touch' Return + 'Mindy Project' Upgraded

Categories: Bubble Watch

Written By

February 10th, 2013

Community returned higher to a 1.9 adults 18-49 rating at 8pm. I've got it "on the bubble" because there's only one data point. If Community stays in the ratings neighborhood it premiered in, it's a lock for renewal.

Smash's return wasn't as happy for NBC with its two-hour season premiere netting just a dismal 1.2 adults 18-49 rating, so dismal for a season premiere that even with only one data point I've got it as a likely cancellation. Consistency zealots who are Smash fans, feel free to wail "but Community only has one data point!"

In preliminary numbers, Touch returned to a 1.0 adults 18-49 rating in its two hour return. It started with a 1.1 in its first half hour and fell to a 0.8 adults 18-49 rating in its final half-hour.  I have it on the bubble for now, but though the ratings are similar to Fringe's, with only 26 episodes after this season, Touch will still be miles away from stripped (Mon-Fri) syndication. It's ratings may be similar to Fringe's, but it's in a different (some might say "sinking") boat.

I've probably been overly swayed by a twitter-feed full of TV media types, but my perception from reading them is that Mindy Kaling must be  the most lovable person in the history of the entire world and Fox will look for any reason to renew The Mindy Project. Is "it just posted its best 18-49 rating in four months" (with a 1.9) reason enough? Good enough for me to bump it up to a likely renewal.

Excluding Community, which is too soon to tell, I still have most of the low-rated NBC sitcoms (other than 1600 Penn which is a likely cancellation) on the bubble. Clearly they won't all be renewed, but looking ahead the picture is still cloudy. The return of The Voice might help clear the picture up but that return is still six weeks away and I doubt I'll wait that long to start downgrading.

Update: D'oh! My apologies to "Rules of Engagement" fans, I forgot to add "Rules" to the table or mention it. It's there now and it's "on the bubble"....

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 Canceled
Happy Endings ABC Likely Cancellation
CSI: NY CBS Likely Cancellation
Vegas CBS Likely Cancellation
1600 Penn NBC Likely Cancellation
Deception NBC Likely Cancellation
Smash 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
Touch Fox On The Bubble
Good Wife, The CBS On The Bubble
Mentalist, The CBS On The Bubble
Rules of Engagement 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
Community NBC 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
Mindy Project, The Fox 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
Chicago Fire NBC 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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  • Holly

    Guys, as others have said in the past, MAX is a member of the staff

    If I were Bill or Robert I’d be less offended at people thinking they would troll their own website than I would be that people think they would do it such a bad job of it.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “@bill why would you do that to 90210? It has been on for 5 seasons a final season is at least 75-80% guaranteed. You had gossip girl at likely renewal last season and its ratings were atrocious as well”

    We can continue this discussion on Tuesday, after I make the change.

  • Mari

    How is Nashville Certain Renewal and Revenge and Castle Likely Renewal?

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “I don’t even think either of them likes me very much”

    More like I don’t even think of you very much.

    “the only reason I am not banned is because I don’t participate in sock puppetry”

    That would be true, seeing as that sock puppetry (plus directly threatening other commenters) are the only reasons we do ban people.

    “I just wish MAX would register an account and add a little picture”

    I would encourage anyone who gets people “faking” them to do the same. Note the gravatar instructions at the top of the comments area.

  • Max

    I really (and seriously) fail to see how I am a troll. Every one of my posts relates to actual ratings and their effects on shows. I hardly ever bash a show just for the sake of it without doing what this website is intended for- discussing the NUMBERS.

    Just because you guys do not like what I have to say doesn’t make me a troll and considering that my thoughts are turning out to be quite true about one specific show, well… I guess the “troll” succeeds these days.

  • Keith

    NBC has no ideal what it is doing…Smash did okay last year(even with bad soap style writing)because it was on after The Voice ..so why not wait till than to put them on together…In fact why are they waiting so long to bring their ratings champ back. All their doing is killing all their shows!! Someone needs to feed the monkey that’s running the network more banana’s!!!

  • Max


    That’s awesome. Not being thought about is better than being disliked to me. :)

  • Brandy

    @joel, I believe Community already has a syndication deal with ComedeyCentral .

  • Dan

    Revenge will be renewed, so ABC definitely will be 3 for 3 in terms of there second year dramas returning for a third season.

    As for a cage match between HOD, BATB and CD. HOD will be renewed likely because the same reason Nikita was last May. As for BATB its retention is OK but probably not enough to bring it back, and Carrie Diaries is 50/50 at best.

    With Rules of Engagement its never about ratings anymore. Its numbers are fine but CBS has 5 definite comedy renewals so unless they extend their Thursday block, or Rules gets midseason again, its likely done. CBS’s renewal last May happened to pay off for them because Partners flopped and Friend Me never premiered.

    Touch and Smash are definitely dead.

  • DW

    i keep saying that raising hope has lost half it audience. i was wrong. it was hitting the same ratings a year ago as it is now. i do believe that RH is more on the bubble than certain to be renewed.fox is going to retool that tuesday lineup in a big way next season.

  • Petar Ivanov

    It’s really funny how almsost in ALL days MAX is MAIN TOPIC. I mean come on isn’t that ridicules??? And no one even on tv by the numbers is so smart to create such a person/character. Sorry TVBTN.But he is natural one. Obsessed is the rught word. He is obsessed from one hand from other so many people start to be obsessed with him. Wow……..it’s funny.

  • TerryJacksonNYC


    I just really want to know if your problem with Revenge has anything to do with your affinity for another show. I have a hard time believing anybody cares about the ratings of anything that they don’t like unless they think it’s a threat to something they do like. If you can tell me your REASONING (because I don’t buy your argument about the NUMBERS; Revenge is slipping, but it’s coming back), I’d be really happy. It’s not your job to make me happy, but I assume you don’t want people coming to conclusions about your comments, so why not just clarify?

  • Petar Ivanov

    And if there is poll should TV by the numbers ban MAX i will vote with NAY. He gives color on the site. Has passion and that is USA, democracy, freedom od speech etc. And he make so many people angry….

  • danny94

    I hope SCANDAL keeps you warm tonight Max, Silly Little Man!!

  • Dan

    @Joel – Community already has a syndication deal on Comedy Central and while 88 episodes used to be the cut off, other shows have gotten away with less like Til Death’s 81.

    The only reason NBC renewed it was likely to let it reach 84 but if it gets renewed it will definitely get above 100 eps.

    @Roswell – Bill goes by ratings on the site so 90210 to him and the site would be more likely to be cancelled if you look solely on the numbers. However knowing CW it would be highly unlikely they would cancel 90210 without giving it a proper sendoff.

    90210 is getting renewed despite its garbage numbers.

    Everything on the likely to be renewed list is certain with the exception of The Neighbors which in my opinion could go either way.

    Everything on the likely to be cancelled list will definitely be gone by May, with the exception of Happy Endings which may find life some way or another.

    Bubble shows on CBS The Mentalist and Good Wife could go either way while Rules is probably gone (not because of its ratings). Touch and Cleveland will definitely be cancelled this May while ABC’s friday night comedies could go either way (both cancelled, both renewed, or just 1) though if only 1 is renewed then it will definitely be Last Man Standing over Malibu Country, however I think ABC will keep both.

    Of NBC’s “likely” comedies since all ratings are garbage, my guess is NBC will try to salvage Go On and New Normal as well as Whitney while its more likely Guys With Kids will be cancelled. It’s too early to tell with Community.

    @Bill or Robert – Shouldn’t Hawaii 5-0 be certain? It seems illogical for CBS to cancel it after 69 episodes when there is already a syndication deal. This one has to be certain, despite its sub par ratings.

  • TerryJacksonNYC


    Most people tend to come and post a bunch of times for a few days and then not again for weeks. That’s what I noticed when I started coming here three years ago. And that’s how I post, too.

    If they remember me at all, I think most people probably remember the posts I made regarding V in 2010 and 2011. You could say I was obsessive about that show’s numbers, but I was interested in the whole process of how ratings are measured and what they mean in the long run for any show on any network at any time.

    Because I like to give the benefit of the doubt, I’m guessing Max is here for the same reasons. If not, it wouldn’t make sense for him to be coming here, since most people tend to disagree with him in ways that are becoming simultaneously hostile and dismissive. Then again, I’m saying that as someone who’s been around for a few years, if off and on. I have no idea how long Max has been around.

  • Dan

    @DW even if FOX retools Tuesday, Raising Hope is owned by FOX and it will have 66-68 episodes by May. Its 1 season away from stripped syndication, and If FOX has to somehow they will renew the show. Syndication rules everything. Plus the series’ 1.7 average isn’t as horrible especially considering it was against The Voice, NCIS and Dancing this fall.

  • langslow

    I would think with Christina Applegate leaving Up All Night it would be a certain cancellation. Are you waiting to see if they manage to get a replacement or the ratings go lower?

  • RexG

    On the other side of the spectrum has a show you’ve had at likely cancellation ever gotten renewed?

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “On the other side of the spectrum has a show you’ve had at likely cancellation ever gotten renewed?”

    Definitely. Again, counting just my predictions, there are a couple every year.

    Last year Body of Proof was one. I had it as “certain to be canceled”. I still have not heard a compelling, logical argument, with any sort of data backing it up why it might have been renewed. The most interesting reason I’ve heard is that there was some sort of tax rebate or credit that caused its net cost to be very low, but I know no details.

    Prior to last year, I got caught by syndication related reasons all the time. Now, I’m less likely to be caught (because some would say I’m more chicken).

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