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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  • cris

    Why Beauty & the beast is on the bubble?

  • Shepherd

    The only thing I know about BOP is that it won some sort of TV and film Tax credit in California. I don’t know if any show is qualified to apply, but I know that only a hand-full were selected via a lottery type process. Something like 25 shows qualified for a 25% tax break in a effort to keep production jobs from moving out of state. The program was recently extended by two years to 2017.

  • kyle

    Where is Vegas

  • kyle

    Nvm I see it now doh

  • TerryJacksonNYC

    I remember when Body of Proof debuted in 2011. I was certain that it was going to get renewed for at least a third season based on something I observed: I’d never seen ABC spend so much money in advertising for any series. Living in NYC, it’s easy to see what is and isn’t being given extra attention and I just thought there was no way they were going to even make up for the campaign without at least two full seasons. I’m not saying there is a whole lot of logic to this, but it was probably my boldest prediction in respect to ratings and the fact that it came true likely has little to do with my thinking. Without any other logical reasoning, though, I’m going to take my prediction as being as likely as anything else in being the actual reason.

  • Brandy

    Cris, because it has the best lead in and can only keep half of VDs audience where other shows get the same ratings with no leadin, and between pilot and episode three, it lost half it’s audience, and it’s already doing worse ratings than SC which was cancelled and Nikita which was moved to Fri after underperforming in the slot in thier first season, and in a month or two, it’s ratings might fall as most shows during spring do and it’s already had a low of 0.5 in the first half of the first season that’s not good.

  • Tom

    Chris: Beauty is back on the bubble because, in the last three episodes, it’s dropped from a 0.7 demo/179 MM viewers to a 0.6 demo/148 MM viewers.

  • TerryJacksonNYC

    Predicting what will and won’t happen at CW is impossible. I applaud anybody who is going to try, though. All of the ratings are as awful as all of the others. Sure, there is a hierarchy, but I don’t think they have one show on their schedule that wouldn’t be canceled on any other network. It seems to me the best way to look at anything on CW is to think of it as no better or worse than a bubble show. I know shows are picked up relative to other programs on the same network, but crap relative to crap is still crap.

  • Honey Badger

    What The What ? If Nashvilleon ABC is Certain Renewal, then ABC is in big trouble. ABC is heading into NBC territory (NBC without “ The Voice “ and NBC NFL Sunday Night Football, most shows have low ratings).

    ABC renewing a Nashville when its last airing of a new show had a 1.7 18-49 rating. Nashville should be Likely Cancellation; if ABC renews shows like Nashville then next year will be a disaster.

    10:00 CBS CSI 2.4/7 10.97
    NBC Chicago Fire 1.9/5 6.60
    ABC Nashville 1.7/5 5.30

  • Mr Mumble

    “CSI:NY” is now getting better numbers on a Friday than “The Good Wife” is getting on a Sunday. “CSI:NY” may get cancelled but there’s no way “TGW” survives – its a show that has to give up its slot next year and the advocates who say CBS will put it on a Friday talk as if TGW wouldn’t immediately drop to a 1.0! CBS will not give that scenario an opportunity.

    Robert should grow the smallest of balls and move “1600 Penn” and “Happy Endings” to certain cancellations. Both are being sidelined and moved around the schedule already. No way 1600 is coming back and no way HE comes back on ABC.

  • Tom

    @ Terry I agree. The only things I’m certain of is that what happened to the Secret Circle isn’t likely to be repeated. As of Episode 17, TSC still had fairly respectable (for the CW) 0.7 demo/1.72 MM. Within two episodes, TSC fell to a 0.5/114 MM. It still baffles me how that epic crash happened. Anyway, I doubt if any of the four or so CW shows that are currently bunched together in the 0.5/0.6 range will plummet like that. If anything, one or more may gradually drop further down in the ratings. So, it should be interesting to see which shows still have chairs when the music stops.

  • chris23

    I agree with this weeks list for the most part.. Starting from likely cancelled and ending with certain renewal here is what I DISAGREE:

    1. CSI:NY should atleast be listed as bubble. (With Vegas failing, Good Wife hitting Friday #s, Mentalist up and down, not to mention The Job did horribly and didn’t effect CSI with its pathetic 0.9 leadin, I could see another season a final one at that especially if golden boy fails)

    2. Malibu Country. The weak show of ABC Fridays. I can see why it is a bubble show, I guess. However I would think more along the lines of likely cancelation. Its viewership is decent but demos are hitting new lows right and left.

    3. Touch. Sure you give shows a courtesy first episode bubble slot but we all know it will not go higher I mean even its half hours show that people turned off their tv sets. It should be likely cancellation With it airing only one episode or not!

    4. The Neighbors: Bubble Show. Shouldn’t be likely renewal. It does have a loyal fanbase tuning in each and every week but still should be considered a bubble show!

    5. Suburgatory: Bubble show. Why is this a likely renewal? The retention is horrible, ratings have dropped from season one and did much better last year w/o the Modern Family leadin. Not to mention a lot of shows that used to air behind MF, pulled much better numbers which at that time were still considered blah from the retension point of view.

    6. The Mindy Project. This show has hit many 1.3-1.5s and is a likely renewal? Oh yeah I guess a 1.7 and 1.9 as of recent airings warantee a notice of likely renewal for this underperforming show?!!! This should definitely be a bubble show. If ratings continue to grow into 2’s throughout the season, I could understand a likely renewal!

    7. Nashville. A Certain Renewal? Are you kidding me? I agree that Revenge is likely renewal but Nashville being a Certain over Revenge is just nonsense. Nashville has decent dvr #s however this show should be bubble or possible likely renewal. I would list this as a bubble show others would understandably list it a likely renewal. But Certain Renewal?

    Notable Mention: 1. 90210 should be likely cancellation but it is the CW so I understand the bubble logic as it loves to give the lowest rated shows on their network a pity renewal even if syndication requirements have been met!

    2. Nikita. Last year I said this was a dead show. CW shocked me by renewing it. Its ratings stabilized as of late and haven’t seen any pathetic 0.3 or 0.2. More 0.5 and 0.4s on Friday Nights which rival those other weeknight CW dramas which also underperform. This should be atleast Likely Renewal with Friday Factor and for Syndication Purposes. Also, if CW renewed Nikita for a Season 3 with these ratings last year, they would look stupid for not renewing it for a final season to meet syndication Requiremnts!

  • Austin Lauran

    Does anybody know why people freak out when ABC’s highest rated sitcom dips below a 4 before spring while ABC’s lowest rated drama’s been below a 4 in the demo for the whole season (besides the season premiere)? Is it because the sitcom is younger & has higher expectations while the drama is older?

  • StevenD

    Is there any chances of Parks and Rec going to certain renewal? It’s the highest rated comedy on NBC besides The Office and thats ending. It hit a 2.0 this week, so if it can get a 1.8 next week, then I think it should be moved up.

  • JulieDawn

    @cris & @tom

    BATB isn’t back on anything for the purposes of this thread. It has always been on the bubble in this index, the Bubble Watch. It’s the Renew/Cancel Index where it got moved last week to Likely Renewal. Whether or not it does get moved back down in THAT index will be seen on Tuesday.

  • v

    Rules is pretty much dead, but its defied us before.

    Its deals are up with all actors, and it finally sold into syndication.
    It was a hard negotiation to get renewal this past season.
    One of the actors booked a pilot on CBS already.
    CBS will need to start looking for replacement with Mother in final season, next year.

  • Ultima

    Then none in March, two in April and, finally, four in May.

    Huh? Where are you getting only two episodes in March/April from?

    Revenge’s midseason schedule…

    3 episodes, off two weeks (HHOF movie & Super Bowl)
    2 episodes, off two weeks (Oscars & Red Widow premiere)
    5 episodes over six weeks, off one week* (HHOF movie)
    3 episodes during sweeps (Billboard Music Awards is the final Sunday)

    *I’m expecting that they won’t air an episode on 14 April, making that five episodes followed by two off weeks before sweeps.

  • Just Desserts

    Haha, who would’ve thought that the season would end in a race between MINDY and THE NEIGHBORS on which NEW COMEDY would be renewed first.

    To think these two are the only premieres I watched back at the beginning of fall is funny. Anyways, I’m rooting for The Neighbors.

  • Dan

    @langslow – This list doesn’t have certain cancellation, though my guess is NBC may cancel Up All Night before it goes back into production.

    @X – Rules is basically done. CBS barely renewed it last season but it seems they werent confident in Partners which is now canceled or Friend Me which has no premiere date and the co creator committed suicide. Its good they renewed Rules for this season to get to magic number 100 but with HIMYM, 2BG, M&M, TBBT & TAAHM all guaranteed a fall slot, unless CBS makes Thursday a two hour comedy block, it seems Rules is done. It always got great ratings but CBS is a network where a lot of shows get high ratings but they need to introduce new shows. I expect that new series Mom to land on Mondays at 8:30 or 9:30 and the current 5 series will remain in their slots.

    @StevenD – I’m surprised Parks isn’t certain on this list, its doing much better than almost all of NBC’s current comedies (besides the ending Office), and even better than Go On now. With The Office and 30 Rock done, and Go On, The New Normal, Community, Whitney, Up All Night, 1600 Penn and Guys With Kids more or less bubble, it is 100% without a doubt that Parks and Rec will return. NBC needs it to rebuild Thursdays next year.

    @Bill – It seems we’ll never know why Body of Proof was given a third season. Maybe because the numbers rose toward the end of its second season, maybe because ABC knew Private Practice would only get 13 episodes and BOP was doing OK enough to succeed it in the slot as opposed to a new midseason series. The facts were that ABC was having a good year in the 2011-2012 season handing out renewals (where the previous season had very little renewals) maybe they figured they could use BOP for midseason. BOP was also notable in that it was the first drama series on ABC since Castle to earn a third season (before Castle was Private Practice), and its certainly not the last since this May I’m positive sophomore trio Once Upon a Time, Revenge and Scandal will all receive third seasons.

  • Dan

    @Just Desserts – I think both The Mindy Project and The Neighbors have a good chance to return. The Mindy Project has a really good shot since FOX doesn’t have too many comedies and Mindy has risen in viewers. To all those saying that Mindy’s numbers are garbage and FOX can do better, how does Fox expect to do better if they cancel Mindy and only have New Girl and Raising Hope to rebuild Thursdays? My guess is if FOX keeps Tuesdays as a 2 hour block they will do this

    8:00 Raising Hope
    8:30 The Mindy Project
    9:00 New Girl
    9:30 NEW COMEDY

    FOX is better off with 3 returning comedies for Tuesdays. Plus as far as Tuesday comedy is concerned while initially shaky FOX has ended up doing the best 9-10 despite having the worst lead in. Mindy WILL be renewed.

    As for The Neighbors, it has a good shot but this means that either it or Suburgatory will have to be moved off Wednesday for next season. Should ABC want to premiere 1 new comedy next fall.If ABC renews HTLWYP then they could move both Suburgatory and The Neighbors to either Tuesday at 8, Thursday at 8 or Friday at 9. Then they could keep HTLWYP at 9:30 and air a new comedy at 8:30. ABC is very hard to predict at this point so who knows.

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