Bubble Watch: Why ‘Last Man Standing’ Is Still On The Bubble & ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Is Likely to Be Canceled + Format Change
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!
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.
|666 Park Avenue||ABC||Canceled|
|Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23||ABC||Canceled|
|Private Practice||ABC||Final Season Finished|
|Made in Jersey||CBS||Canceled|
|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|
|Do No Harm||NBC||Canceled|
|Office, The||NBC||Final Season|
|Big Bang Theory, The||CBS||Renewed|
|How I Met Your Mother||CBS||Renewed|
|Vampire Diaries, The||CW||Renewed|
|Mindy Project, The||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|
|Beauty and the Beast||CW||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|
|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|
|Neighbors, The||ABC||Renewal Predicted|
|Grey’s Anatomy||ABC||Renewal Predicted|
|Middle, The||ABC||Renewal Predicted|
|Modern Family||ABC||Renewal Predicted|
|Once Upon a Time||ABC||Renewal Predicted|
|Hawaii Five-0||CBS||Renewal Predicted|
|2 Broke Girls||CBS||Renewal Predicted|
|Blue Bloods||CBS||Renewal Predicted|
|Criminal Minds||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|
|Law & Order: SVU||NBC||Renewal Predicted|
|Parks & Recreation||NBC||Renewal Predicted|
|Chicago Fire||NBC||Renewal Predicted|