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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  • Sel

    I can’t believe that only 6 of my shows are going to make it, while 14 are getting eaten by the bear! Obviously I watch bunch of crap… :X

  • KS

    Even I wish Bubble Watch were back to the same old format. I don’t understand why there is a need to merge Likely Cancellations and Certain Cancellation blocks(Merging Certain and Likely Renewal blocks is more meaningful though).

    And today’s format is only making things more complicated.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    @KS: though I do not agree that The Carrie Diaries is “doing fine” I am mostly with you as far as the Beauty and the Beast thinking. But not only do I think there is little chance it will retain its timeslot if it’s renewed, I think there’s absolutely 0 chance it will retain that time slot. That’s definitely a big factor in my prediction.

  • Archie

    I don’t care for the new format. Last Man and Malibu will both be renewed. They do great for Friday nights, and some of the shows you say are certain to be renewed that have better weekday time slots are not doing much better. Carrie Diaries I also think will be renewed. I don’t love it, but I like it, and I don’t think it needs much to stay alive.

  • jsnj

    This new format = bad idea. The colors stand out far more than their bold section titles. I’d edit this week’s table and not just wait for next week for the changes.

  • JulieDawn

    @Robert Seidman

    Yes, thank you…looks MUCH better now. (Not that I’m any happier about some of the predictions, but we can’t get everything at once lol)

  • Tommy






    Now that i have your attention, please go and like the official SAVE MALIBU COUNTRY facebook page. Thanks. :D

  • jsnj

    lol….must’ve changed while I was posting.

  • Bad Wolf

    @Robert Seidman

    Thanks for your answer about The Good Wife’s deal. Some journalists on other TV-related websites say that, since The Good Wife is the first CBS show to wrap up this season, CBS would likely need another season to see if there’s any effect. They also insisted on the uniqueness (if such a word exists) of this deal, which could mean that CBS went to great lengths to secure it for such a low-rated show, which leads to this question : why securing a kind of groundbreaking syndication deal for a show if they intend to cancel it 2 months later ?
    Anyway, thanks to TVBTN, I know better than to believe something because I like it, so I’m not counting my chickens before they are hatched. But I’m sure a syndication deal won’t do any harm to the show so, if its renewal prospects are impacted, even slightly, I think it’s in a good way.

  • Anna Bones Clarkwood

    Is there a reason why you went from:

    “Canceled” “Certain/Likely Canceled” “Bubble” “Certain/Likely Renewal” “Renewed” “Final Season/Finished”


    “Canceled/Final Season/Finished” “Renewed” “Cancellation Predicted” “Bubble” “Renewal Predicted”

    IMO, it now has lost it’s flow from “sad” to “happy”.

    I’d prefer,

    “Canceled/Final Season/Finished” “Cancellation Predicted” “Bubble” “Renewal Predicted” “Renewed”

    All that changes is “Renewed” is on the bottom.

    Personally, I also like how you used to keep “Cancel” separate from “Final Season”. I understand you don’t really care that much about the distinction but in the hearts of fans, there is a big enough difference. At the very least, maybe w/n that one 1st category you sort the 2 labels, instead of back and forth?

  • gigi

    Love the new format! It’s simpler and very obvious even for those who just skim and never bother to actually read what’s written… Sad you have to cater to that faction, but there ya go.

  • American

    Like the new format, hated the subtle distinction between “Likely Renewal” and “Certain Renewal”. Now just “Renewal Predicted”. Nice :)
    I still think MC is a bubble show, though, just because it’s real iffy about whether ABC’ll continue with the TGIF, and if they do they’d bring back MC.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    why securing a kind of groundbreaking syndication deal for a show if they intend to cancel it 2 months later ?

    @Bad Wolf: Keep in mind, though I haven’t upgraded my prediction to renewal, I haven’t predicted and definitely won’t be predicting that it will be canceled this season — either the prediction is upgraded or it stays on the bubble. I’m in no way saying CBS intends to cancel it, but in the event that it is canceled, the answer to the question of “why do the syndication deal then?” is that the millions of dollars (whether it’s $80 million or $180 million, it’s still millions of dollars!) for the existing episodes are still millions of dollars.

  • Ryan Tadych

    I love LMS and hope it gets renewed! I think it will as every Friday ABC keeps posting how they have ratings highs compared to last year, or the high for the night with LMS, MC, and Shark Tank! I think that LMS would do even better if it were kept in a better timeslot!!! It wouldn’t have Modern Family ratings, but I think it would be solid! I LOVE the show!! By the way, when do networks release their full summer schedules and when do they announce the fate of their current shows for Fall?

  • Rollie Dethloff

    ABC will renew LMS, Malibu Country, MF, The Middle, and Suburgatory. I personally wish the latter three would be cancelled, or not get so much hype, as they are garbage in my opinion. The Neighbors is up in the air for me, and HTLWYP looks like it will get renewed to me. Happy Endings and Family Tools will probably be the ones to get the axe and join Apt. 23

  • johndoe

    I gotta say I like the old format with all the various distinctions better, but I’ll get use to this one I suppose

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    @Ryan: bits of summer schedule usually come out early (some already have) with some more formal summer schedule announcements following into April. As far as the fates of the current shows:


  • Fake Me Out

    Just my 2 cents but I don’t like the new format. If the page views remain unaffected and you decide to keep this format, then I’d suggest do away with the tables entirely and just have a post that discusses a few shows prospects each week … as is now, to me, the tables aren’t worth the time to scroll down to have a look at … your own description of the changes in the 2nd last paragraph point out exactly why the tables are now, IMHO, pointless … but they do look spiffy at least.


  • Justin121

    Likely to be Renewed
    Likely to be Cancelled

    Simple and clear (communicate meaning in least words possible).

  • Rollie Dethloff

    Also, ABC should switch out Fridays and Sundays somehow.

    Maybe something like this……

    7:00 20/20
    8:00 Shark Tank
    9:00 Revenge
    10:00 Nashville/New Drama

    8:00 Last Man Standing
    8:30 Malibu Country/The Neigbors/HTLWYP
    9:00 America’s Funniest Home Videos
    10:00 Once Upon A Time

    Even though 20/20 has been a Friday night stalwart for years. It’s time to try it on a new night. Same thing with AFV and Shark Tank. Once Upon A Time is starting to see a ratings slide, but I’d bet it could pull high 1’s or low 2’s on Fridays at 10, which is still pretty good. If anything flops, just move it back rather than cancel it.

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