Bubble Watch: 'The Following' Downgraded, Remain Calm All Is Well? + Community' & 'Zero Hour'

Categories: Bubble Watch

Written By

February 17th, 2013

It could be argued that The Following should've never been upgraded to likely renewal. It's been downgraded back to 'on the bubble." If you Google the phrase "remain calm all is well" you literally get Kevin Bacon as the top result. It's from the classic National Lampoon's Animal House (pictured above, video below).

One way or the other "remain calm, all is well" is good advice for fans of The Following to follow. Either in a real sense --if it stabilizes at around the 2.4 adults 18-49 rating, it will still certainly be renewed -- or in the Kevin Bacon-y 'Animal House' sense if it keeps dropping and dips down into the low 1.x ratings range.

Though Community premiered well last week, it still started on the bubble due to sparse data. In its second-week it fell 37% to a 1.2 adults 18-49 rating, and even though there's more data, and it wasn't "good", Community is still on the bubble. No need to get into the fan excuse bingo of "Valentine's Day" and post-premiere expectations. Right now, woeful as things are for NBC, a 1.2 adults 18-49 rating legitimately bubble show territory at NBC.

I've started Zero Hour at certain cancellation. Yes, there is only one data point, and yes it was Valentine's Day. But...

There are a few other minor tweaks versus last week that you can scrutinize at your leisure.

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
Zero Hour ABC Certain Cancellation
1600 Penn NBC Certain Cancellation
Guys with Kids NBC Certain Cancellation
Happy Endings ABC Likely Cancellation
CSI: NY CBS Likely Cancellation
Vegas CBS Likely Cancellation
90210 CW Likely Cancellation
Cleveland Show, The Fox Likely Cancellation
Touch Fox Likely Cancellation
Deception NBC Likely Cancellation
The New Normal NBC Likely Cancellation
Smash NBC Likely Cancellation
Up All Night NBC Likely Cancellation (Or already canceled?)
Last Man Standing ABC On The Bubble
Malibu Country ABC On The Bubble
Following, The Fox On The Bubble
Good Wife, The CBS On The Bubble
Mentalist, The CBS On The Bubble
Rules of Engagement CBS On The Bubble
Carrie Diaries, The CW On The Bubble
Hart of Dixie CW On The Bubble
Beauty and the Beast CW On The Bubble
Community NBC On The Bubble
Go On 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
Nikita CW 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
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
Arrow CW Renewed
Supernatural CW Renewed
Vampire Diaries, The CW 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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  • Rollie Dethloff

    Revenge should switch slots with Zero Hour, problem solved. Once Upon A Time would be a great lead-in, and it would get higher ratings.

  • Ryann

    Why is the following a bubble show? It’s one of the highest rated shows and builds from Bones + gave bones an increase in ratings? Surely it should at least be likely renewal?

    90210 will go as will beauty and carrie. The CW needs new hits not below average shows..

  • Richard Steven Hack

    I expect Revenge to either stabilize this week or go up slightly – say, a tenth. I don’t expect it to keep dropping other than the “spring effect”. And I expect it to be renewed.

    As for The Following, I think it has some problems – an over-emphasis on the trio being one of the major ones – but all in all I think it will survive. The cast is good, the pace is good, the writing is OK. The gay stuff may negatively impact it with the general audience, however.

    Zero Hour is doomed. The premise is too complicated and arcane for the general audience and the show’s pilot wasn’t quite compelling enough to sustain it given the premise. Neither is the cast.

    I suspect The Cult will end up doomed for precisely the same reasons, although the cast for that show is better. The premise is equally confused.

    Nice to see Nikita in “Likely Renewal”. Not that it will stop the Nikita haters from listing reasons why it won’t.

    Carrie Diaries is doomed IMO.

    The only reason CW questions are HoD and Beauty and the Beast. I don’t see the latter surviving the “spring drop”, but HoD is harder to predict.

  • One

    Wait, that’s Kevin Bacon in that scene?! Holy crap!!

  • Petar

    The following will survive. fox need to save face. Also they need friday show. bones, glee or the following is the only choicse. Touch was renew last year but flop bad. The following can be really best what fox has for fridays. Glee will collapse hard there and doubt that bones will be move.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    Why is the following a bubble show? It’s one of the highest rated shows and builds from Bones + gave bones an increase in ratings? Surely it should at least be likely renewal?

    As noted in the post, unlike the Renew/Cancel Index which usually predicts what would happen if the season ended *now*, Bubble Watch is more forward looking. If the season ended today, The Following would not be a bubble show, it would be renewed.

    But, the season doesn’t end today, and it is a show with falling ratings and as of yet, there is is no sign of that stopping. If it stabilizes where it is, it will ultimately be upgraded. If it keeps falling, it will ultimately be downgraded.

  • Jonay

    Why don’t you just put all the NBC comedies on the bubble or cancelation they all do about the same???

  • Gabriel

    I hope Community gets a 5th and final season, like Fringe did :)

  • Claudia

    Im new to this, and Ive been a tv addict for my entire life! So please dont kill me with this comment.

    I like both shows Nikita and BATB those are the only shows I watch in the CW, I stopped watching Arrow, but lately I’ve been leaning on watching BATB live than Nikita, because Im worried it can get cancelled being such a addictive kind of show I really prefer BATB.

    But an old show (Nikita) going to their 3rd. season and has lower ratings than the new show (BATB) can get a new season? when they have lost so many fans is hard to get new fans when you are into those many seasons in, in the other hand, BATB is a new show they are building a really huge fanbase in house and internationally ala Twilight in a couple of months it will be huge, CW barely promotes the show and its very low budgeted as you can see while you watch. But has a lot of heart and soul. I just hope they dont cancel any of them, but if I have to choose I want them to stay with BATB I think it has more to grow and get more audience is a young show, they did that with HOD and Nikita, they didnt have the greatest ratings but they kept them…so Im hoping here!

  • Tom

    Why did The New Normal get downgraded to likely cancellation? It only had one 1.1 rating and all the other episodes in 2013 ranged between a 1.2 and 1.4 rating. Until its new episode gets a 1.1 rating I’m looking at it as a bubble show.

  • Dan W

    Agreed on The New Normal. It’s ratings aren’t great, but neither are Go On’s. I know Go On rates a little higher than The New Normal, but it has also fallen much farther from its premiere ratings. I think they should both be on the bubble or both be likely cancellation. I don’t see the difference between the two.

  • Dan

    Nikita has an uptick recently, 1 more season for syndication and good for Fridays next season. I say a renewal is in order.

    As for The Following, unless it drops to below 2.0, As long as it keeps building on Bones, it WILL get renewed. FOX has no other dramas.

  • Dan

    @Robert – Any chance Touch, Deception and Smash will downgrade to certain cancellation next week? Their numbers so far are horrible.

    Vegas and CSI NY would be certain cancellation in my opinion but their ratings arent horrible enough generally to have them be in danger. But since their on CBS they will definitely be gone in May.

  • K

    Elementary should be in the Certain renewal area

  • jel

    I am not surprised by the Nikita move, with syndication around the corner and adjusting for lower viewership on Friday. Who would have guessed when it pulled that 0.2 in the fall that it could hit a 0.5 ever again? I certainly didn’t expect that.

    Touch should be certain cancellation. There is no finessing the numbers. It dropped from hour 1 to hour 2 last week and dropped even more this week. Barring some move by FOX to salvage the show by moving it away from Friday (odds of this happening somewhere in the vicinity of less than 1%), it is as dead as Up All Night.

  • Austin

    Honestly, I think reality shows like Shark Tank and The Job should be put in here for fans because who really thinks Shark Tank isn’t getting renewed next year after it beat its own records. And, The Job scored terribly for CBS it will not get renewed. It’s not too hard to predict.

  • Dan

    @Claudia – In this case Nikita would be renewed over BATB because of syndication factors. The main reason Nikita was renewed was because CW had already produced 2 full seasons. They have yet to cancel a series after just 2 or 3 full seasons and with 1 more left until syndication, Nikita has a chance. Also it does just as well on Fridays leading off the night as BATB does and while BATB may do slightly better, it lsoes a big chunk of it’s Vampire Diaries lead in. Thats what happened last season to the Secret Circle. It did better than Nikita, Hart of Dixie, Gossip Girl, even 90210 but it was expensive to produce and lost a big chunk of its VD lead in. Another thing to look at is that CW typically only renews 1 of its new fall shows. Since fall 2008 The CW has renewed (90210 from fall 2008, Vampire Diaries from fall 2009, Nikita from fall 2010, Hart of Dixie from fall 2011) They’ve already renewed breakout hit Arrow and as far as freshman series from this season they canceled Emily Owens and have BATB, Carrie Diaries and Cult to consider. Cult hasn’t premiered yet and Carrie Diaries is looking good for a renewal should it hold up. This puts BATB at an odd spot. I believe CW already would renew 2 of their 5 freshman dramas and if Cult is a hit BATB has no chance.

    @Tom – New Normal is likely cancellation because of the downward spiral. With no Voice lead in, Go ON and New Normal have sunk like a lead balloon. While I believe Go On will benefit from The Voice as a lead in (and be renewed for next season) I cant say the same about The New Normal. NBC is at an odd position here. 2 veterans are done this season The Office and 30 Rock. With Parks and Recreation definitely returning, they have a number of other bubble shows none of which rate any higher than a 2.0

    Up All Night, Whitney, Guys With Kids, Community, Go On, The New Normal and 1600 Penn.

    1600 Penn and Guys With Kids are done one they finish their episode orders up, Up All Night has already finished its season and is now considered cancelled after it’s star left, and other series like Whitney and The New Normal are low rated but NBC may keep them anyway.

  • Dan

    @Austin – Scripted shows are excluded but without a doubt, Shark Tank will return next season while The Job is cancelled by May.

    @Jel – It helped that the series was moved from 9:00pm to 8:00pm Fridays and when renewed it will likely stay in that slot. I always said from the beginning since Nikita got a third season, it will get a fourth due to syndication. The uptick was good for CW and honestly what else would they put on Fridays?

    Hawaii 5-0 should be certain renewal. CBS wont cancel it after 70 eps after there already is a syndication deal.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    @Robert – Any chance Touch, Deception and Smash will downgrade to certain cancellation next week? Their numbers so far are horrible.

    Vegas and CSI NY would be certain cancellation in my opinion but their ratings arent horrible enough generally to have them be in danger. But since their on CBS they will definitely be gone in May.

    As ever, many of you split hairs between the designations in ways that I do not (and it’s also true I do some splitting of those hairs in ways you do not!).

    It’s possible I’ll drop all of those shows down to certain cancellation at some point, but I’d guess Touch & Smash have the best chance of that happening next week. There’s definitely a case to be made that Deception is certain, but NBC is so awful, I’m not downgrading it unless it keeps dropping. Touch is certain to be cancelled but it got bumped up simply for Fridays, but it should’ve been downgraded this week. Unless CSI:NY/Vegas drop from where they are, I plan to keep them as likely cancellations rather than certain cancellations.

  • aleksander eide

    Why did The New Normal get downgraded to likely cancellation?

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