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


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  • Ultima

    @Richard Steven Hack

    By the way, despite your attempts at misdirection, I’ve noticed that you still haven’t defended your position.

    Please explain why the difference between 443,000 viewers and 569,000 viewers doesn’t matter, but the difference between 569,000 viewers and 570,000 viewers does.

  • Patrick Gillease

    Glad to see the “likely” and “certain” categories blended, though it makes your predicitions statistically more accurate and easier (which is why you eliminated them). It will also eliminate some of the cat fighting in here among the commenters, but that’s a good thing. RIP “likely” and “certain”!

  • Patrick Gillease

    @ Ultima and RSH…who cares!?!?! Give each other your e-mail addresses already and duke it out there. As the old saying goes, “get a room”!

  • Morwalk

    Some of these entries don’t make any sense. The “comedy,” “2 Broke Girls” relies on mean cut-downs for it’s humor, and it’s renewal is predicted. I also can’t believe “Whitney” is on the bubble. That show is just not funny. Then there are shows where the writing and acting are really good, where the humor doesn’t rely on meanness to get laughs, shows like Malibu Country. “Don’t Trust the B-…” and “Guys With Kids” were both better than “2 Broke Girls.”

    I also find it pathetic that quality dramas such as “Touch” are likely to be cancelled, but it doesn’t surprise me. It having been a mid-season replacement last year didn’t allow it the start it deserved. Then they go and put it on Friday where really cool shows usually go to die.

    Some good things…the best show, IMO, is expected to be renewed, “Parenthood.” Also, I really enjoy the ABC comedies on Wednesday night. Contrary to what some people are saying, it was only the first couple of episodes of “The Neighbors” that weren’t very good. After that, it became an entertaining, campy show that allows the viewers to see humanity from a different perspective.

  • Ultima

    @Patrick Gillease
    @ Ultima and RSH…who cares!?!?! Give each other your e-mail addresses already and duke it out there.

    I’m not interested in holding a private conversation with him.

    I made a general observation, using one of his comments as an example. He responded with an illogical argument based on bad math and a misunderstanding of the subject. After I called him out on it, he berated me with insults.

    I’m not going to be belittled into silence. My apologies if that bothers you.

  • Ultima

    Some of these entries don’t make any sense.

    Networks make their decisions based on who watches the shows (specifically, the adults 18-49 demographic, or a subset thereof) and their overall financial viability. Quality, or a particular viewer’s tastes, aren’t relevant.

    It having been a mid-season replacement last year didn’t allow it the start it deserved.

    On Touch in particular, it was given every chance to succeed last season. It was heavily promoted and had very good numbers for its preview and premiere, as well as a good lead-in with American Idol. Its ratings tanked after that.

    It should have probably been canceled last year, but FOX decided to give it another chance. Fridays are better than not being on the schedule at all.

  • Richard Steven Hack

    Patrick Gillease: Relax. I’m done talking with this idiot. He has a bug up his butt about viewers being more important than the rating, which everyone knows is utter nonsense. He’s misrepresented every single post I’ve made to the point where even I don’t know what he’s referring to. He’s talking apples and I’m talking oranges.

    The hell with him. No one cares.

  • Ultima

    @Richard Steven Hack
    He has a bug up his butt about viewers being more important than the rating, which everyone knows is utter nonsense.

    Nonsense. Talk about misrepresenting someone’s argument. :roll:

    I have two points. The first is a basic rule of math. You can’t average numbers with one significant figure and get a result with two significant figures.

    The second, and more general, is that if you ignore that, you come to false conclusions about the relative strength of shows when you take averages of low ratings, due to the higher degree of rounding error involved with ratings.

    It’s a logically sound argument that I think is relevant when discussing certain shows. If no one cares, so be it. Their silence will lead to mine.

    However, I will not stop talking in response to

    The hell with him
    Seriously? He can’t even read.
    You obviously can’t even read.
    God, are YOU this dense?
    Dude. Go away. I’ve had more than enough of this nonsense.
    Christ, you’re an idiot
    CHRIST, CAN’T YOU READ? Are you frickin’ DYSLEXIC of something?
    Go away, moron. Your stupidity is embarrassing yourself.

    At least you didn’t call me RETARDED. I guess you overused that one in other Friday ratings topic.

  • Ultima

    He has a bug up his butt about viewers being more important than the rating, which everyone knows is utter nonsense.

    For anyone who TL;DR the discussion, Richard Steven Hack is trying to trick you here so that you think I’m stupid.

    See, he knows that anyone who reads that statement will think I’m referring total viewers, and obviously total viewers being more important than demo ratings is indeed utter nonsense.

    That, of course, is not my position at all. I’m talking about adults 18-49 viewership (from which the rating is derived).

    I say that 569,000 adults 18-49 viewers is different than 443,000 adults 18-49 viewers.

    He says they are the same, because both values result in a 0.4 adults 18-49 rating.

  • kev00

    BATB isn’t going to get cancelled, the higher ups likes where the show is going. Whoever wrote this is trashing it because they don’t like it. Ya it’s on after TVD, so what? It’s doing better then Nikita, 90210, Cult, TCD. The only one it isn’t beating is TVD and Arrow. If they don’t renew it I will be shocked. If it does it might move to a new night. I would move it to Friday or move it after Arrow.

  • Ted Craig

    “BATB isn’t going to get cancelled, the higher ups likes where the show is going.”

    Do you know people at The CW?

  • Ted Craig


    While Tim Allen makes more than anybody on HE, the entire cast might make more than the entire cast of LMS. The only way HE might come back is the income of its demographic. I’ve read it’s above average.

  • Mi

    I agree with Ultima on the rounding. When we see a show getting 0.5 in the 18-49 ratings, it’s impossible to know whether it actually got 0.54 or 0.46 because both will be rounded to 0.5, so it’s hard to make a real comparison with the data we get.

    A lot of times when we see shows going up or down a tenth they are actually going up or down by much less than a tenth but end up on the other side of the rounding.

    This week the difference between B&tB and TCD was supposedly 0.1 18-49 ratings, but the real difference between them could’ve been much smaller, it could’ve been 0.44 vs. 0.46 and still be rounded to 0.4 vs. 05.

    I think the networks get the complete info of how many 18-49 viewers each of their shows have and make their decisions on the non-rounded data.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    I’m not going to try and Judge Judy who wrote what to whom, but of course performing operations on rounded numbers produces uncertainty/error in the results.

    And of course the adults 18-49 viewership is a more precise number than the adults 18-49 rating.

  • Richard Steven Hack

    Bill: Well, duh… That obvious observation wasn’t helpful to anyone. The question is whether the networks – and more importantly the advertisers – pay more attention to the viewer totals – and for Ultima’s retarded benefit, I’m talking here strictly about 18-49 viewer totals since he seems unable to READ – than the rating number.

    Ultima: Same stupid trick. Telling people I’m talking total viewers when I have never ever in this series of posts talked about total viewers. Ever.

    Total misrepresentation of everything I’ve said. Which he has been doing all along.

    A total baby, whining now.

    Mi: Fine. Then TCD and BATB should both be canceled. If we accept Ultima’s argument, then neither show has the slightest chance at all of being renewed. The latter point is what I’ve been saying, except that I’ve still distinguished between a .49 and a .64. From here on out, fine, I’ll ignore that distinction and referencing Ultima will assume both shows to have EQUAL season averages and thus both should be canceled.

    If those numbers don’t mean anything, then EVERYTHING on the CW network except Nikita and the top performers should be canceled, including HoD. The only reason NOT to cancel all of Cult, TCD, BATB AND HoD will be IF the CW CAN’T cancel all four shows due to lack of replacements.

    Nonetheless, HoD being closer to syndication still has a shot. The other shows are all doomed.

    The reality is that .64 is still higher than .49. The POTENTIAL for being less accurate than the numbers suggest due to viewer number and rating rounding is not the same as ACTUALLY being less accurate. Which is why the industry doesn’t pay attention to the viewer totals. It’s assumed any rounding bias will wash out in the long run.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    ” That obvious observation wasn’t helpful to anyone. The question is whether the networks – and more importantly the advertisers – pay more attention to the viewer totals”

    Of course they pay more attention to the adults 18-49 viewer totals than they do the ratings. They’re the more precise numbers.

    Who could believe otherwise?

    Is it your contention that the folks in the industry care more about the rounded to the single digit ratings than the 3 significant digit adults 18-49 viewership totals? That’s comical.

    How do you think the ratings are calculated?

    They’re the viewership of a particular demo group divided by the total number in that demo group.

  • Richard Steven Hack

    I know how they’re calculated.

    And of course the viewer numbers are the more precise, at least the raw data.

    What I’m saying is that everyone here has said viewer totals don’t matter compared to the demo ratings. That’s been the mantra here repeatedly since I’ve been posting on this site since 2009: that the networks don’t concern themselves about total viewers in the demo versus the rating number. I even quoted one network exec as basically saying that.

    You’re now saying that’s not true at all?

    OK, fine, I stand corrected. Ultima is correct and I’m wrong.

    So BATB and TCD have essentially identical ratings and both should be canceled. And unless the ratings differences are very large, I’m not even going to bother about the ratings any more. Anything under a specific rating is cancellation territory absent other major factors.

  • Richard Steven Hack

    Actually on reviewing some of the articles here, it seems that where I may have gone wrong is that when you guys reference “total viewers” not mattering you’re talking about ALL the viewers and not just 18-49 viewers, and I may have assumed you were talking about 18-49 viewer numbers.

    Ok, so I’m wrong.

    However, I still say the rounding error isn’t important when it comes to comparing .49 and .64 in the demo. Because it doesn’t PROVE those numbers aren’t identical, it just makes it POSSIBLE that those numbers are identical.

    Nonetheless, I’m going to ignore demo ratings under, say, .6 for the CW from now on since if the errors are that bad, all shows under that are basically crap. If the precision can’t handle numbers that low, there’s no point in making distinctions.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “What I’m saying is that everyone here has said viewer totals don’t matter compared to the demo ratings. That’s been the mantra here repeatedly since I’ve been posting on this site since 2009: that the networks don’t concern themselves about total viewers in the demo versus the rating number. I even quoted one network exec as basically saying that.

    You’re now saying that’s not true at all?”

    You’re surprisingly confused.

    Total viewership, the average number of all viewers is irrelevant.

    Demo group viewership, like adults 18-49, the average number of viewers within a given demo group is most definitely relevant.

  • Nick

    @Richard Steven Hack

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

    Once. Because I have never seen them say that and I’ve been following this site for about a year now.

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