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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  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    Why did The New Normal get downgraded to likely cancellation?

    Because its recent post-Voice 18-49 average has been worse than Whitney and Go On. In fact, it’s been worse than 1600 Penn & Guys with Kids, but I split a hair and gave it a slight edge over those two due to past performance.

  • jel

    Is it too late to downgrade Touch this week? Even adjusting for Friday, I can’t see any viable basis for anyone even considering renewing that show on that network based on its ratings in that time slot at all. My gut tells me it will get pulled sooner rather than later.

  • The End


    Touch won’t get pulled because of Kiefer Sutherland. He’s the reason this show even got a second season. Fox want him on their network, though with these numbers, they will be looking at alternate ways of keeping him, such as giving him his 24 movie, or trying to get him on another show.

  • omabin

    I agree with most of your changes this week. However, I still have some disagreements (this wouldn’t be the bubble watch without me splitting hairs):
    – Guys with Kids: Likely Cancelation – I agree that it has move past the point of being a bubble show, but certain cancelation when it is just a couple of tents lower than go on which is a bubble show sounds too much to me. There is a chance, albeit a very small one, that it could be renewed for spackle purposes a la Whitney, especially if they go heavy on the multicam direction
    – Happy Endings: I will not repeat myself, but I still say that we do now know the extent of syndication power. And the fact that ABC is making an effort to air those episodes somewhere goes to show that IMO. It should be a bubble show
    – Vegas: I think we are on a point when it could be certain cancellation. I don’t see any scenario in which CBS renews it
    – Touch: Could be certain cancelation already
    – Last Man Standing: I think I am not confident enough to move the show to likely. Its ratings have been okay in the 1.4 range whereas the middle of the week comedies have been falling fast. I think it will be renewed
    – The Following: For me, it is still a very likely renewal, almost certain to be honest, even if it ends up on a friday, which I don’t think will happen. I admit it could fall way more though, so here it is just a guess of trajectory, and it is hard to argue those
    – The Neighbours: this is a bubble show. I don’t understand your insistence, and Bill’s of putting it on the likely renewal. I am not sure where ABC would put it other than Fridays if they replace MC or if the extend their comedy hours there, as it sure as hell is not strong enough to go to tuesdays or to remain on wednesdays. I also have the theory that it has been averaging down the whole night. Its weighted average of ratings is 84% of ABC’s weighted average of comedy. That, per se, might be okayish, but I still say given the space on ABC’s schedule, there is a large chance it is not. It is a bubble show.
    – Revenge: I still say it is certain, but I sort of understand it.
    – H50: You have told me before that it should be certain and a lot of us always ask about this one, so I really don’t get why you didn’t upgrade it in this “clean the house” edition. It is certain.
    – The Mindy Project: I am not confident enough to say likely. Bubble.
    – Nashville: Honestly, this one is very surprising to me. I think a case could be made for whether or not it should be bubble or likely. Never certain to me. I do realize it is at 98% of ABC’s weighted drama average, but a case for cancellation could also be made, as I am sure it is not probably cheap and its rating are far from being spectacular. Having it higher than castle or revenge makes absolute zero sense to me, especially considering its a newbie (higher probability of falling in the future) and that it received tones of promotion this year, which it cannot expect to get in the future.

  • Nicole

    Nice to see Parenthood at certain to be renewed.. hope the following stays up.

  • RJ

    With FOX’s drama woes, The Following isn’t going anywhere.

  • Nicole

    Its really to bad theres not a renew cancel index for ABCFamily shows.. id be interested to see where they would fall.

  • Ccemerson

    Just a suggestion, @ the top of the list under the heading Canceled. Can you also show how many episodes are unaired of each show ??? Thanks :-)

  • Cyrax86

    I’m surprised The Neighbors & Nashville still cause so much discussion. The Neighbors has 6 airings left and while it will have 2 episodes drowned in repeats next month, it won’t even experience the DST effect! The upcoming two sitcoms will have 6 and 2 airings respectively before the upfronts, it’s not likely they will be doing so much better than The Neighbors. It is coming back for a second season.

    Nashville is the only freshman drama working for ABC, they always renew that single drama. Red Widow will only have 8 episodes, not enough to prove itself in the long run (although it might still get renewed, see Scandal last season), whereas Nashville has already proven itself at 10 pm (it’s also likely it will be beating Body of Proof every week).

  • Dan

    @Jel – I’m sure

    @RJ – Agreed

    @Nicole – The index for those ABC Family shows would say that Secret Life is ending this year while Pretty Little Liars and Switched at Birth have already been renewed. Melissa & Joey and Baby Daddy have new seasons this summer while Bunheads and Lying Game are bubble at best.

    @Omabin – Mindy Project is likely only because FOX will salvage something from the season not to make it a total waste. Also going 0-3 isn’t good comedy wise this year. And with the recent uptick, Its definitely not bubble anymore. Revenge is likely but the downward trend is very worrysome, and I agree about Vegas and Touch. I actually believe The Neighbors is bubble because of its drop between The Middle and Modern Family, a la Better With You, however the numbers are better than Apartment 23, Happy Endings, Last Man Standing and Malibu Country so there’s that.

  • Dan

    @Jel – I meant to say, I’m sure Touch will be downgraded very soon since a 0.7 is horrible even for FOX standards. Fringe never even got that. However it wont be pulled because whats the point, there would be nothing to replace it with at this point and just more summer burnoffs it may as well air through May. Fox will have a new plan for fridays for next fall and life will go on.

  • Dan

    @Cyrax86 – I agree with Last Resort and 666 Park Avenue both cancelled and Zero Hour & Red Widow heading in that direction, ABC will renew Nashville to save face for the season. Just like how Castle, V, and Body of Proof were “Save face” renewals. Not to mention Revenge & Once Upon a Time going down every week (Both will still be renewed for next season), Private Practice ended and we still dont know how Body of Proff will do. Ratings are OK for Nashville but it will return. Now I’m even believing ABC will save The Neighbors although they might save that midseason series How to Live With Your Parents if it does well post MF.

  • Mary 1

    I believe Guys with Kids got a 1.0 rating last week which should be the lowest rating for a NBC sitcom so far this year and probably the reason why it’s under certain cancellation. Unfortunately, I don’t see this as the low point for any one of the current NBC batch of sitcoms. Too bad, because I do like some of them.

    If NBC decides to bring any of these shows back, they really should show the repeat shows over the summer. Take a page from TBBT which seems to come on every single day on some channel. I’m sure that’s the reason their ratings have improved so much. But Networks have stopped doing that bringing us mediocre reality shows instead. No wonder people don’t remember these shows by the time the Fall season comes around.

  • Ccemerson

    Robert or Bill , Just a thought. With so many networks launching expensive new shows that are DOA and cursed time slots like ABC Thursdays @ 8pm est. Why don’t the networks go to the producers and pitch the idea of say 44 episodes in one season of their monster hits like Big Bang Theory or Modern Family ??? Just for like a single season to give a network a foot in the door where they can’t launch a new show. Modern Family on Wednesdays @ 9pm and Thursdays @ 8pm would be an awesome epic battle for #1. Big Bang on Thursdays and Mondays or even Sunday @ 8pm would be a home run for CBS. And it would be a win win to both the network and show because more episodes for syndication faster. So long as cranking out double the episodes didn’t affect the quality. Thanks :-)

  • Dan

    @Ccemerson – If Robert can’t then I can

    666 Park Avenue – 4
    Apartment 23 – 8
    Last Resort – 0
    Made in Jersey – 0
    Partners – 7
    Emily Owens MD – 0
    Ben & Kate – 2
    The Mob Doctor – 0
    Animal Practice – 3
    Do No Harm – 10

    ABC has stated that 666 and Apartment 23’s unaired eps will turn up this summer, FOX has said that its likely Ben & Kate’s 2 episodes will air back to back sometime soon while NBC has similarly stated that Do No Harm may burn off its eps this summer. Animal Practice’s 3 eps have been released online while CBS hasn’t stated anything about a summer burnoff for Partners though last season they burned off How to Be a Gentleman saturdays in May-June.

  • Cyrax86

    @Dan, It is possible they will save How To Live… but like I said, it’ll air only 6 times before the next season schedule is revealed so it won’t have proven itself by then. And most likely at least twice it will air out of Modern Family repeats. I don’t remember if that was the case for …Apartment 23 as well, but last season they had Suburgatory & Last Man Standing as well, hence why I don’t think How To Live… is direct competition to The Neighbors in this regard.

  • layla

    boo! switch batb and niktia around!

  • jel

    if it drops more, reruns of something would probably do better in the timeslot, possibly to help “The Following” or something like that. If there is a financial basis for running all episodes of Touch this spring that we are not aware of, then fair enough. I contend that the series has shown no traction at all in 3 hours, and appears poised to drop more, or at best stay where it is. Hour 1 pulled 1.1, hour 2 last week pulled .9 out of hour 1, and hour 3 pulled a .7 this week. The ratings started out bad and are hemorrhaging.

  • Dan

    @Cyrax86 – ABC did have Suburgatory and Last Man Standing last season which means this season since both shows are in consideration for next, ABC has less room once again. I believe How to Live could be renewed like Apartment 23 was but then there is the question if The Neighbors is renewed, where will it go.

    It seems assuming both The Neighbors and How to Live get renewed. Than I see The Neighbors and Suburgatory being the Happy Endings and Apartment 23 of last season and maybe being moved off Wednesday night. Maybe to Thursday at 8 or Tuesday at 8. I can see ABC premiering a new comedy Wednesdays at 8:30 or 9:30 and airing How to Live in the other slot. Happy Endings is the Cougar Town of this season and will hopefully get picked up by TBS. As for Last Man Standing and Malibu country, I see a scnenario where LMS is renewed, both are renewed or both are cancelled.

    ABC is impossible to predict in terms of bubble comedies but one thing that is certain is The Middle, Suburgatory and Modern Family will all be on the fall schedule.

  • Dan

    @Jel – In the past Fox would have just pulled the series. In fact they could’ve just pulled The Mob Doctor last fall in favor of a new Touch season but they didn’t. The Following reruns would be better but remember FOX is already airing encores every saturday. Sure Bones and Glee repeats would do as well but why not just air the episodes if they paid for them.

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