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

last-man-standing-jonathan-taylor-thomas

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
tvbythenumbers.com
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
tvbythenumbers.com
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
tvbythenumbers.com
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
tvbythenumbers.com
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

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  • Ultima

    @RSH
    And yet the industry publishes the RATINGS and the networks only look at the RATINGS, NOT the VIEWERS

    Nonsense.

    The weekly top 25 uses adults 18-49 viewership totals as well as ratings. Press releases use the actual adults 18-49 viewership numbers from time to time as well (sometime in absence of the actual rating; this happens a lot with certain cable networks). The final season ratings list that gets posted here also includes both the A18-49 viewership number as well as the rating.

    Again, I’m not talking about TOTAL viewership, I’m talking about A18-49 viewership, which represents exactly the same thing as the A18-49 rating (the rating is simply the percentage of the whole that the viewership represents).

  • Ultima

    @RSH
    NO ONE CARES WHAT THE “RANGES” ARE! THE NUMBER IS THE NUMBER!

    There’s nothing quite like unadulterated ignorance.

    You can scream all you want, but you simply cannot average a bunch of numbers with one significant figure and get a result with two significant figures. That’s not how math works.

  • Nick

    @Richard Steven Hack

    And yet the industry publishes the RATINGS and the networks only look at the RATINGS, NOT the VIEWERS, raw numbers or NOT.

    I’m not going to get into this argument between you and Ultima, but I want to clarify something for you. Viewers = Ratings. There is no known reason why Nielsen releases the numbers as percentages, but it is what it is. That doesn’t mean the network only looks at the percentages, just that the public does. If you have one, though, I would like to see a source that says that the networks look at the percentages.

    @Ultima

    It’s a moving target.

    Yeah, a moving target would be a good term for it. I suppose having one Bubble Watch from one year isn’t going to produce productive results, either. I don’t feel like going back and looking through years of Watches, though.

    My original point is that I see a lot of comments where people just don’t understand the concept of the bubble. Many seem to think it means a prediction of cancellation or that a show that’s repeatedly on the bubble but keeps getting renewed is super lucky and so on.

    Oh, that has an easy explanation. Other sites, specifically TV Guide, use the term “on the bubble” much more loosely. It has come to mean any show from the 50% range to the saddest of flops. So, when people see “On the Bubble” here, unnecessary danger warnings go off in their heads.

  • Richard Steven Hack

    Nick: Once again. How many times do Bill and Robert have to point out that the networks do NOT care about viewers?

    Yes, viewers = ratings, as I’ve said here before, because if there are no viewers there are no ratings. The opposite isn’t true – you can have a 0.0 rating and still have viewers – it’s happened, BTW – viewers that NO ONE cares about.

    Which isn’t even the point here. The networks care about the ratings 18-49. Period. It’s completely irrelevant whether a given rating percentage reflects a greater or lesser number of viewers in a given week or across weeks. No one cares.

    A season average is merely the average of the season’s ratings. They are perfectly valid computations if not entirely predictive (trends are more so, IMO, unless of course the difference in season averages is great.)

    Nothing Ultima has said is even remotely relevant. He’s pounding away at a mathematical point that absolutely no one in the industry cares about and they’ve repeatedly said so. Rounding errors are ignored by everyone except him and are very unlikely to be taken into consideration when deciding a show’s fate. Whether a number is “precise” or not is completely irrelevant in a measuring system that is strictly an “estimate”.

    He’s the one who just doesn’t get it. Every one of his last posts here above simply talk about things that are utterly irrelevant to the entire point of the ratings system. He’s complaining about “precision” and everyone else is merely looking at a relative ranking. Whether it’s accurate out to two decimals is completely irrelevant and unprovable in any event as even he admits with his “ranges” argument.

    I wish Robert or Bill would weigh in on this. They probably know better.

  • Richard Steven Hack

    In fact, the clown can’t even see that when I talk about total viewers, I’m talking about 18-49 viewers, the exact same number he’s talking about. That’s all I’ve been talking about (aside from ratings themselves, of course.)

    Seriously? He can’t even read.

  • Paul

    The only two shows on the “cancellation likely” list that hugs me is “Body of Proof” & “The New Normal”. “Body” is terrific. It may be s “Castle” wannabe but its still a great show. NBC possibly canceling “Normsl” sucks. It’s a funny, cute, well scripted show. NBC kept low rated shows like “The Office”, “30 Rock”, “Parks & Rec” & “Community” on for years. NBC is a ratings disaster network. They should move “Normsl” to Thursdays along with “Parks” and continue to have terrific low rated shows on Thursdays.

  • Richard Steven Hack

    Re: “on the bubble”

    It simply means the criteria for judging whether a show will be renewed or not is inadequate to do so because of either too many variables or the variables are too close together in value to make a definite conclusion.

    I agree, the loose use of the term by sites that don’t use ratings averages as the criteria probably makes people confused. People who come here should never reference any other site that doesn’t use the same criteria this site does because it becomes “apples and oranges”.

  • Richard Steven Hack

    Paul: Frankly, I wouldn’t mind seeing Body of Proof get renewed, even though the show is not great. I’d watch it just to see Jeri Ryan every week – and Dana isn’t bad looking, either. :-) The show isn’t “awful” a la Charlie’s Angels or Revolution, it’s just not THAT compelling and the lead is the most unlikeable character I watch on TV.

    But it is doomed. It will never see 2.0 again and it’s nowhere close to syndication. Unfortunate for the fans and even me, but there it is.

  • Ultima

    @Richard Steven Hack
    In fact, the clown can’t even see that when I talk about total viewers, I’m talking about 18-49 viewers, the exact same number he’s talking about.

    Your previous comment…

    How many times do Bill and Robert have to point out that the networks do NOT care about viewers?

    Networks do not care about total viewership, they do care about Adults 18-49 viewership (which is typically represented as a rating).

    Are you intentionally being obtuse or are you really this stupid?

  • Ultima

    @Richard Steven Hack
    The networks care about the ratings 18-49. Period. It’s completely irrelevant whether a given rating percentage reflects a greater or lesser number of viewers in a given week or across weeks. No one cares.

    You don’t think there’s a differnce between 443,000 viewers in the demo and 569,000 viewers in the demo?

    I mean, one number is 28% higher than the other, but since they have the same rating, they’re really the same number.

    Yet, if the second show actually had 570,000 viewers in the demo, it would all of a sudden being doing significantly better than the other!

    :roll:

  • Richard Steven Hack

    Ultima: My previous comment – and all previous comments – were about 18-49 viewers. The fact that I don’t EXPLICITLY preface every use of the word “viewers” with “18-49″ is irrelevant. You obviously can’t even read.

    Who the hell would even MENTION TOTAL viewers except in the context of the total viewers watching TV for the season? We’re talking about 18-49 ratings and 18-49 viewers – OBVIOUSLY.

    Yes, they care about 18-49 viewership (expressed as a rating) and yes that is expressed as a rating. Again, DUH… Your constant repeating of the obvious does nothing for your argument.

    They DO NOT care about the number ROUNDING in the VIEWERS OR the ROUNDING in the RATING. That is a FACT.

    In addition, they look at the rating number, NOT the viewer numbers – not in 18-49, not in ANY category. The only reason they might look at the viewer numbers is to make sure the rating wasn’t totally off for some glitch reason, a “reasonability check.”

    You’re the one who is still DENSE about the fact that NO ONE CARES about the rounding errors. No one even THINKS about them except you – either here or anywhere else. As they’ve repeatedly SAID.

    Look, dude, give it up. You’re the only one who cares about this crap.

  • Richard Steven Hack

    Ultima: “You don’t think there’s a differnce between 443,000 viewers in the demo and 569,000 viewers in the demo?”

    From the network’s standpoint – absolutely not.

    As everyone here has repeatedly said since the site started.

    God, are YOU this dense?

    Dude. Go away. I’ve had more than enough of this nonsense.

  • Ultima

    @Richard Steven Hack
    “You don’t think there’s a differnce between 443,000 viewers in the demo and 569,000 viewers in the demo?”

    From the network’s standpoint – absolutely not.

    Fair enough. A 126,000 difference in viewership doesn’t matter.

    But there is a difference between 0.4 and 0.5, yes? So there is a difference between 443,000 viewers and 570,000 viewers.

    So a 1,000 difference in viewership does matter!

    That makes sense! :roll:

    My previous comment – and all previous comments – were about 18-49 viewers. The fact that I don’t EXPLICITLY preface every use of the word “viewers” with “18-49? is irrelevant. You obviously can’t even read.

    We’re talking about 18-49 ratings and 18-49 viewers – OBVIOUSLY.

    Then why did you refernce Bill and Robert saying viewership doesn’t matter? They were talking about total viewership, NOT A18-49 viewership.

    Who the hell would even MENTION TOTAL viewers except in the context of the total viewers watching TV for the season?

    What? Total viewership is the Persons 2+ demographic, it’s all of the people who watch something.

    People talk about it everyday. It’s listed in the daily ratings (under “viewers (millions).”

  • Ultima

    Put another way…

    A rating of 0.5 is 25% than a rating of 0.4.

    Therefore, 570,000 viewers in the demo is 25% better than 569,000 viewers in the demo.

    However, 569,000 viewers in the demo is the same as 443,000 viewers in the demo (rather than being 28% better).

    That’s clearly an absurd argument (as much as you want to cling to it).

  • Ultima

    @Nick
    There is no known reason why Nielsen releases the numbers as percentages

    Well, a 24.3 household rating (meaning it was watched by 24.3% of households) is a bit more meaningful to a layman than saying it was watched by 27.8 million households).

    It’s also useful for historical context; the number of households grew every season, but by using percentages, comparisons could be made.

    Although, to be sure, every time some big event hit a high in households, but not in HH rating, the network points out that even though the rating was lower, the absolute number of households was higher because there’s more now! ;)

  • Richard Steven Hack

    Ultima: “Then why did you refernce Bill and Robert saying viewership doesn’t matter? They were talking about total viewership, NOT A18-49 viewership.”

    Christ, you’re an idiot… Bill and Robert couldn’t care less about total viewership, any more than I do.

    “Who the hell would even MENTION TOTAL viewers except in the context of the total viewers watching TV for the season?

    What? Total viewership is the Persons 2+ demographic, it’s all of the people who watch something.

    People talk about it everyday. It’s listed in the daily ratings (under “viewers (millions).””

    Who cares? You claim that people “talking about it” is meaningful here? And I SAID total viewers is the total of people watching TV specified during a given season. CHRIST, CAN’T YOU READ? Are you frickin’ DYSLEXIC of something?

    Go away, moron. Your stupidity is embarrassing yourself.

  • Richard Steven Hack

    Actually, if I was a network exec, come to think of it, I wouldn’t even look at the ratings, let alone the number of viewers. All I’d care about is the profit and loss calculation. I’d set revenue and profit goals for the season as a whole, for each night of the week, and for each show. Then I’d measure the ad revenue vs the studio’s fee (and other costs such as advertising for the show) and decide to renew based on whether the show was profitable (and trending profitable). Any show not meeting the goal gets tossed as long as I have something I can replace it with.

    The ADVERTISERS are the ones who care about show ratings and viewer numbers. Maybe some DO care about actual numbers to the last digit of precision, and thus maybe care about the rounding. But I suspect not. They probably look at the rate percentage like the rest of us and that’s it.

  • Ultima

    @Richard Steven Hack
    Go away, moron.

    No, thanks.

    Now that your efforts to belittle me have failed, what else do you have left? I’m guessing a coherent argument is too much to hope for.

  • JohnnyRico

    I will make a slight case for Happy Endings not being completely dead

    If “albeit a huge if” it can equal LMS 18-49 numbers when they burn it off Friday in a few weeks you got to think a show which probably does better in 18-34 (aka will be able to sell slightly higher ad rates) then LMS and actors who salary are much less then Tim Allen’s then it has a shot being renewed and being some kind ROE/Whitney type scheduler patchwork filler that gets moved around.

    And TGW syndication purposes is irrelevent because it is a serial show not a procedural. I am guessing it’s 50/50 either way and dependent on cost numbers no one here has access and kind of high end ad revenue.

  • Ultima

    @Richard Steven Hack
    CHRIST, CAN’T YOU READ?

    I can read. That’s probably what frustrates you so much. You keep trying to change what you said, and I keep calling you out on it.

    You said “Who the hell would even MENTION TOTAL viewers except in the context of the total viewers watching TV for the season? “

    I answered your question by saying there were many contexts in which total viewers were used.

    To which you responded Who cares? You claim that people “talking about it” is meaningful here?

    The networks and Nielsen also use total viewership in the manner than I used it. Do you find that to be meaningless as well?

    And I SAID total viewers is the total of people watching TV specified during a given season

    No, that’s not what you said. You used that as one context in which the term would be used and asked why else it would even be mentioned. Again, the networks, Nielsen, etc. use total viewership and the persons 2+ demographic synonymously.

    Why are we even talking about total viewers? Oh, that’s right, you brought it up.

    You said “Which is probably why the industry doesn’t CARE about VIEWERS.”

    I clarified that I was talking about Adults 18-49 viewership (which is what the rating is derived from) and Nick chimed in to clarify that as well.

    You said How many times do Bill and Robert have to point out that the networks do NOT care about viewers?

    They were talking about total viewership (i.e. the persons 2+ demographic) and subsequently, so were you.

    You tried to misconstrue what they said as meaning that the networks don’t care about Adults 18-49 viewership and only the resulting Adults 18-49 rating.

    I’m not stupid enough to fall for that. Nice try.

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