Bubble Watch: Why 'Last Man Standing' Is Still On The Bubble & 'Beauty and the Beast' Is Likely to Be Canceled + Format Change

Categories: Bubble Watch

Written By

March 17th, 2013


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.

Beauty and the Beast & The Carrie Diaries

I’ve downgraded Beauty and the Beast to likely cancellation. I’ve left The Carrie Diaries on the bubble, but it’s by the slimmest of margins and I was tempted to downgrade it too. I understand Bill’s and others' thinking that if you’re not sure the CW would cancel both of those shows (or even either of them) due to need for shows on next season’s schedule, that relative to each other which one stays and which one goes definitely seems like a tossup. But while lead-in and retention are rarely a predictive factor in renewals, I think they matter in this case and in ways that aren't favorable at all for Beauty and the Beast.

It's true that The Carrie Diaries gets the lead-in from CW affiliates syndicated programming, but that's not been nearly as good as the cover The Vampire Diaries provides Beauty and the Beast. And while with the better lead-in Beauty and the Beast has recently outperformed The Carrie Diaries with adults 18-49, with the women 18-34 both shows presumably target, The Carrie Diaries is ahead in recent episodes.

I’m pretty sure CW will cancel one of the two. I’m not as certain that they will cancel both, but I still don't love the chances for either show, I just like The Carrie Diaries a teeny tiny bit more. Even with the lament "but The Carrie Diaries doesn't have to face off against Grey's Anatomy and Beauty and the Beast does!" I still like Carrie's prospects just a bit better.

At this point it doesn't seem likely that I'll upgrade Beauty and the Beast before the season ends, but the chances I'll downgrade The Carrie Diaries to likely cancellation remain high.

Last Man Standing & Malibu Country

Along with many readers, Bill made a compelling case for upgrading Last Man Standing to likely renewal. I won’t be surprised by that outcome, but in a world where success possibly equals doing worse than reruns of Shark Tank, and no recent history on ABC to use as a guideline (or recent history* with any Friday 30 minute sitcoms being renewed on  any broadcast network) I still shrug my shoulders and think “I don’t know.” So I went the other way on this one, I left Last Man Standing on the bubble and downgraded the noticeably worse performer Malibu Country to likely cancellation.

*If you think “Family Matters, Boy Meets World and others thrived on Friday!” counts as  recent history I am defining “recent” much differently than you!

New Format

Shortly after posting last week’s Bubble Watch, I changed the table format to get rid of the distinction between likely and certain. For now, I’m sticking with the approach, though I have (hopefully) improved some of the terminology to be less confusing than what I used last week.  Gone are the “likely” and “certain” distinctions. All that remains are “renewed” and “canceled” predictions.  I still have grouped the shows that have already been canceled or renewed separately and have attempted to label things in such a way that it’s quite clear what’s already been decided and what are predictions. Update: I have changed the table to improve readability further based on a suggestion from commenter JulieDawn.

The new presentation format doesn't mean all the renewal predictions are as likely as each other, or all the cancellation predictions. Of course I don't think The Neighbors' chances* are as good as Modern Family's. Same for Red Widow (a certain cancellation) and Malibu Country (a likely cancellation). Both appear the same on the table with a "canceled" prediction, but I don't view their prospects the same. But I still think Modern Family & The Neighbors will be renewed and that Red Widow and Malibu Country will be canceled so despite levels of likelihood, I don't think the distinctions matter much as far as the table goes. We'll see.

*"The Neighbors barely did better on a Wednesday than Last Man Standing did on Friday, how can you not upgrade Last Man Standing!? At least you should downgrade The Neighbors!!!" If you're one of those people, let's just say that when ABC airs 5 programs on a Wednesday and four of them are repeats with The Neighbors being the only one that isn't, I don't make too much of the ratings.

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
Private Practice ABC Final Season Finished
Zero Hour ABC Canceled
Made in Jersey CBS Canceled
Partners CBS Canceled
90210 CW Canceled/Final Season
Emily Owens, M.D. CW Canceled
Gossip Girl CW Final Season Finished
Ben and Kate Fox Canceled
Fringe Fox Final Season Finished
The Mob Doctor Fox Canceled
30 Rock NBC Final Season Finished
Animal Practice NBC Canceled
Do No Harm NBC Canceled
Office, The NBC Final Season
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
Following, The Fox Renewed
Mindy Project, The Fox Renewed
New Girl Fox Renewed
Raising Hope Fox Renewed
The Simpsons Fox Renewed
Malibu Country ABC Cancellation Predicted
Red Widow ABC Cancellation Predicted
Body of Proof ABC Cancellation Predicted
Happy Endings ABC Cancellation Predicted
CSI: NY CBS Cancellation Predicted
Golden Boy CBS Cancellation Predicted
Vegas CBS Cancellation Predicted
Beauty and the Beast CW Cancellation Predicted
Cult CW Cancellation Predicted
Touch Fox Cancellation Predicted
Cleveland Show, The Fox Cancellation Predicted
1600 Penn NBC Cancellation Predicted
Guys with Kids NBC Cancellation Predicted
Up All Night NBC Cancellation Predicted
Deception NBC Cancellation Predicted
The New Normal NBC Cancellation Predicted
Smash NBC Whoops, should've been moved to canceled
Last Man Standing ABC 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
Community NBC On The Bubble
Go On NBC On The Bubble
Whitney NBC On The Bubble
Castle ABC Renewal Predicted
Neighbors, The ABC Renewal Predicted
Revenge ABC Renewal Predicted
Suburgatory ABC Renewal Predicted
Grey's Anatomy ABC Renewal Predicted
Middle, The ABC Renewal Predicted
Modern Family ABC Renewal Predicted
Nashville ABC Renewal Predicted
Once Upon a Time ABC Renewal Predicted
Scandal ABC Renewal Predicted
Elementary CBS Renewal Predicted
Hawaii Five-0 CBS Renewal Predicted
2 Broke Girls CBS Renewal Predicted
Blue Bloods CBS Renewal Predicted
Criminal Minds CBS Renewal Predicted
CSI CBS Renewal Predicted
Mike & Molly CBS Renewal Predicted
NCIS: Los Angeles CBS Renewal Predicted
Person of Interest CBS Renewal Predicted
Two and a Half Men CBS Renewal Predicted
Hart of Dixie CW Renewal Predicted
Nikita CW Renewal Predicted
Glee Fox Renewal Predicted
Law & Order: SVU NBC Renewal Predicted
Parks & Recreation NBC Renewal Predicted
Chicago Fire NBC Renewal Predicted
Grimm NBC Renewal Predicted
Parenthood NBC Renewal Predicted
Revolution NBC Renewal Predicted


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
  • danny94

    hmm… i think this was better when you included the likely and certian

  • Mickey

    Oh crap, went back to check because it seemed too good to be true that all those decisions had come in so early. I hadn’t seen the “undecided-prediction.” Oh well, at least they’re predicted to be renewed.

  • matt

    I just would like to know how MC is likely cancelled… Its friday, so obviously its not gonna do good in the demo.. But viewer wise, it and LMS always beat every other show except Blue Bloods.. It also only sheds not even half a million from LMS and onle sheds 1-2 tenths in the demo… It also does better than some other ABC comedies!

  • rob60990

    There’s still no excuse for The Neighbor’s ratings. All year it’s been doing poorly in a good timeslot. It won’t be able to survive anywhere else on schedule on its own.

  • Tony

    Yess, Revenge and Nikita i hope so they will be renewed. Really

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    and onle sheds 1-2 tenths in the demo

    Except sometimes it sheds only 3 tenths! But given the small numbers even 2 tenths is a sizable drop off.

  • aleksander eide

    only 10 more weeks until this tv season is over :(

  • Watcher

    Clearly you didnt read or see that its says UNDECIDED prediction, which means its not officially renewed by the networks yet.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    Clearly you didnt read or see that its says UNDECIDED prediction, which means its not officially renewed by the networks yet.

    Probably also clear that I’m going to have to re-engineer the format to minimize the fact that people chronically skim on the Internet vs. actually reading. But there are ways to do it e.g. add a column to the left of the predictions where every cell says “the prediction to the right is only a prediction!” ;-)

  • Tony

    Yes I did see and read that it`s a undesided prediction..but as i said, i hope they will be renewed..

  • Bad Wolf

    Hey ! No mention of The Good Wife’s brand new syndication deal and how/if it affects its renewal prospects ?

  • zerg

    Last Man Standing,renewed

    Good Wife,can the syndication deal save it?
    Mentalist,shorter season like this year CSI NY
    Rules of Engagement,The last year burn-off on saturday wasn’t enought?Cancelled

    Carrie Diaries Renewed, it’s the WC after all

    Community,Cancelled..Go On and Whitney renewed

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    Worth repeating ;)

    Marc Berman doing a bad Vader voice

    “Seidman once thought as you do. You don’t know the power of the Retentionista Side…”

  • Niki

    good format! though I am kind of bored with the Carrie & BATB speculations. I would rather read more on the NBC sitcoms:)

  • Data

    That prediction for Happy Endings just breaks my little heart. Not that I would argue with that but what do you, Robert, think about Happy Endings moving to friday’s: If it did similarly to what LSM is doing right now would there be any change in its current status? I’m not saying it’ll happen – I’m just curious.

  • dottydorothy

    NBC- Sad about Smash, but I guess the long wait didnt do it any favours! And this season seems all over the place! Somehow none of the characters seems like someone you can connect to! Also if it has to be then Deception should be cancelled immediately so that it can get a proper ending! It could be short mini-series this way!
    ABC- I like Malibu Country! Its got a sweet, homely feel…but I guess not many besides me like it!
    CBS- I hope The Good Wife gets renewed if its between that and The Mentalist! Red John has been dragged out way too much by now!
    CW- While I watch both Carrie Diaries and Beauty & the Beast, I couldnt care less about either! (They cancelled Secret Circle :-s) For my part, get rid of both and get something new! Super happy about HoD out performing the 2! And I predicted Cult cancellation even before it began! :(
    Fox- Touch again has no particular character that you can connect to! No wonder it looks heading to cancellation! I was surprised it did well enough last year!

  • Douglas from Brazil

    The deal syndication of The Good Wife doesn’t upgrade the show to be renewed?
    Is more possible to be renewed than The Mentalist which has already airing on syndication?

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman


    Easy for you to be sanctimonious with the ratings when you’ve ensured a predictive position where you can claim you were right no matter what!

    Retention rarely matters for predictive purposes, but rarely isn’t never! Please don’t humorously group that thinking with clowns who would look at the network’s highest-rated non sports show pulling a 5.4 with the drama following it retaining only 40% and then claiming that drama needs to go even though it is the networks’ highest-rated drama!

  • Percysowner

    The only thing I hope for the Mentalist is that they give the producers of the show enough of a heads up that they can wrap up the Red John storyline. I’m not sure I can see a decent wrap up, but it has been the big overarching storyline and I would like to see it concluded. I’m one of the apparently few people who watches The Good Wife AND who doesn’t think it is the best written show out there. Maybe it’s because I started watching this season and I missed the glory days. Maybe it isn’t what I consider great, but for me, I watch it because I was catching it when I covered overruns from Amazing Race and I found it pleasant and interesting enough, just not wonderful.

  • Common Anomaly

    Kindly provide a link or a quote from someone who has stated that Revolution should be canceled because of the retention from The Voice. This is once again propaganda from this website making claims that they have no support for.

© 2015 Tribune Digital Ventures