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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  • Olka

    I hope Nikita getting renewed soon :).

  • Bizarro

    I think or I hope if TCD does not go up then it deserves to be in likely cancellation territory. I don’t think 18-34 WOMEN ratings matter that much to the CW at this point. Especially since just about all of their shows that are aimed primarily at women have failed. Beauty would fit more with the CW’s programming for next year. So I hope TCD will be put likely cancellation too because I don’t understand how the CW cancelled a scripted drama this season that was stable at .4’s like TCD and TCD is STILL a toss up. This makes M.D. and Ringer treated like a piece of garbage!

  • Ray

    The new format sucks. Switch back

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    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?

    Douglas from Brazil: I’m always doubtful of $/episode numbers people “hear” about syndication since they are rarely verified. Mostly though I didn’t read anything that the partners were on the hook for future seasons. So no upgrade. It’s possible that CBS is now more likely to renew it for at least 13 to see if there’s any streaming effect over the summer (since I’m presuming they won’t see much of it in the next few weeks). Hard for me to gauge its relative position versus the Mentalist since Warner Bros could still make CBS a very attractive licensing deal if it makes financial sense for them.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    @Robert, drive by sanctimony is all I’ve got today!

  • JulieDawn

    By now I think most people realise a TVD lead-in doesn’t mean much at all, with their type of fandom. In fact in this day & age lead-ins mean very very little no matter which show or network you’re talking. Too much choice out there and even the high-end of the target 18-49 demo has grown up with remotes and is intelligent enough to change the channel to watch what they want to next, rather than what is presented on the channel they watched before.

    The old argument that even today some people are too lazy to press their remote to change the channel is hardly likely to apply to the miniscule number of Nielsen watchers either, since they have to press a button anyway to register what they’re watching.

    On another point, I dislike the new format. We already know that a huge percentage of readers to this site barely skim the info and focus on maybe 1 or 2 show names without reading it properly. Showing ‘cancelled’ or ‘renewed’ next to titles that haven’t yet been given that status by their networks is misleading and will lead to a zillion misconceptions out there in the real world…unless of course online traffic relating back to this site was your intention all along! ;)
    How about keeping the general idea but taking the wording one step further..don’t just have ‘Prediction’ in the column header, have it in the body too? For instance, every show in that section should say either “Cancellation Predicted” or “Renewal Predicted”.

  • Justin121

    Why do you have to make things so complicated?

    No need for the “decided”, “prediction” labels.

    Go back to Likely to be… and leave out the Certain to be… and leave the decided below the table.

    Malibu Country, Body of Proof, Golden Boy, Vegas, will be renewed.

    Good Wife, Man Standing, Community, Go On, Whitney, will be renewed.

  • Mary

    Sorry but why does tv cater to the 18 to 49 year olds….they are all out partying, going out, etc. especially on Friday nights. Don’t count out the very young and the over 50 crowd! Don’t understand Malibu Country…it has some of the best ratings..after all it is on a Friday night! It is not like the old days when there was only 3 networks…there are tons of shows now. Truly I liked the Reba show better but I love MC…it is cute and funny. It is so Malibu…Lily Tomlin, Reba and the cast have a great chemistry. To me Last Man Standing, Malibu Country and Shark Tanks need to stay…that is a good Friday night line up.

  • disney rocks

    CBS 12-13 schedule-

    Sunday- 60 Minutes
    8- TAR/Survivior
    9- Hawaii Five-0


    8- HIMYM (Final season!)
    830- M&M
    9- 2bg
    930- mom (new sitcom)
    10- CSI


    8- NCIS
    9- NCIS:LA Spin-off (NEW)
    10- POI


    8- NCIS:LA
    9- NEW DRAMA
    10- CM


    8- TBBT
    830- NEW sitcom
    9- 2.5 men
    9:30- ROE (Final full season!)
    10- Elementary


    8- Survivor/TAR
    9- TM
    10- BB


    Two dramas on Fall schedule for sure. Spaces for new dramas later- TGW in midseason timeslot; Fridays at 10; Take Elementary off at 10 thurs january-march. So, order 4 dramas and 2-3 on fall sched.

    Sitcoms- 2 new sitcoms; ROE and M&M are spots for a third in JAN-MARCH.

    TGW final season, ROE final season and HIMYM.

    Lots of time changes.

    Canned- CSI:NY, Golden Boy, Vegas

  • feinn

    Beauty and beast will be canceled eventually but may get a13 episode pickup

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    How about keeping the general idea but taking the wording one step further..don’t just have ‘Prediction’ in the column header, have it in the body too? For instance, every show in that section should say either “Cancellation Predicted” or “Renewal Predicted”.

    @JulieDawn: I agree, see my comment from earlier…though I like your solution even better!

  • DM

    I liked the old format better

  • William

    I love ABC friday’s::



  • KS


    Completely agree with you.
    I have been supporting TCD over Beauty all the time.
    But I still think there is a possibility for renewal of both the shows.

    ??Someone posted that TCD is costlier than Beauty. Is that true??


    I have no idea about retention on other networks, but as far as Beauty and TCD are concerned this is what I think.

    >> There is little chance Beauty and the Beast will retain the time slot if it is renewed. And it is obvious that, it is managing to get 0.5 only because of TVD. Next season if it is shifted to some other time slot, I really doubt if it can get this much. Why would the management of CW not take this into consideration?

    >> TCD on the other hand is doing fine with a lead-in not as good as that of Beauty. Pairing it with Hart of Dixie next season may boost the ratings a little bit, IMO.

  • Bad Wolf


    I think you’re completely right. What’s bad, ok or wonderful is a matter of taste. However, I think there are a few things that can’t be denied about The Good Wife :
    – even if the show uses a “cases of the week” formula, it always tries to tell these stories in new and original ways ;
    – unlike pretty much every CBS procedural, its “secondary” characters are given a lot of opportunities to shine, there aren’t Cary, Diane, Will or Kalinda-centric episodes (like with Abby or Tony on NCIS, Garcia, J.J. or Morgan on Criminal Minds, once or twice a season), because all characters are connected in one way or another by complex and ambitious long-running storylines, such as the gubernatorial campaign, Kalinda and Peter’s relationship, the firm’s money problems etc;
    – I know acting skills can also be subjective, but I believe there is a good reason if Julianna Margulies and Archie Panjabi were honored by Emmys and Golden Globes awards instead of say, Simon Baker, Ted Danson, Thomas Gibson or Mark Harmon (who actually was nominated for an Emmy when he was on The West Wing in 2002… hmm);
    – no other CBS show is currently able to attract so much widely acclaimed guest stars : Stockard Channing, Michael J. Fox, Martha Plimpton, Dylan Baker, Carrie Preston, Mamie Gummer, John Noble…;

    Really, try seasons 1-3, I hope you’ll be able to see what too many older people and not enough young people (I’m 28 by the way) see in this show.

  • Masterbreel

    Liked the likely/certain distinction

  • Carmen

    At this point, Last Man Standing probably deserves the nod and get a renewal. They could, however, do even better if they got away from the baby daddy storyline, but they went all in on that (plot line) when they switched out the older daughter in order to age the kid and make the (daughter) look more believeable as the mom of a 5 year old.

    As for Malibu Country, by the numbers in many circumstances it would be cancelled. But In this case I don’t think it will due to Reba.
    I think ABC will give it one more chance, but it will need some type of re-tooling.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    I have now implemented the suggestion of @JulieDawn to improve readability.

  • NBC Fan

    I like the New format.

  • meah

    I hope DECEPTION isn’t going to be canceled.its Demo numbers are pretty good for NBC at 10pm.aside from chicago fire and SVU,no other nbc shows @10 are successfull.I mean look at smash,community

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