Bubble Watch: 'The Neighbors' Hangs On + 'Last Man Standing' & 'Malibu Country' Upgraded; What About 'The Good Wife?'

Categories: Bubble Watch

Written By

March 24th, 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.

Last Man Standing & Malibu Country

I’ve upgraded Last Man Standing to likely renewal, and Malibu Country to the bubble. Last Man Standing has done well enough that it’s more likely to be renewed than canceled.  The unknown is whether keeps the Friday comedy block around anchored by Last Man Standing, or uses it as schedule spackle for other nights. If ABC keeps the Friday block, Malibu Country is a tossup for renewal, if it doesn’t keep it, it’s likely to be canceled.

Beauty and the Beast & The Carrie Diaries

Bill and I remain in disagreement about which is on the bubble and which is likely to be canceled. A small uptick for Beauty and the Beast on Thursday didn’t sway me. With the women 18-34 that both shows presumably target, The Carrie Diaries still had the edge last week despite Beauty and the Beast having the fairly wide percentage lead with adults 18-49.  Beauty and the Beast still has the much more favorable adults 18-49 lead in (last week a 1.3 vs. a 0.7 for The Carrie Diaries).

I don’t love the ratings for either show and if I wasn’t at least a little uncertain about how many shows CW can afford to cancel, I would probably have them both as likely cancellations. I may still by the end of the season.

How Could You Not Upgrade ‘The Good Wife’ to Likely Renewal After the Syndication Deal!?

Often shows are sold into syndication before they have enough episodes for stripped Monday-Friday syndication (as with Hawaii Five-0, NCIS: LA and Castle) with the buyers being on the hook for future seasons. Because it took The Good Wife so long to come up with a syndication deal, they already had four seasons (including the current season). In the case of The Good Wife Amazon and Hallmark are already on the hook for the current season, but it doesn't appear they're locked into any future seasons. Still, I can't see not upgrading the prediction to renewal by the end of the season.

CBS won’t have much time if it really wants to figure out if the streaming effect that seems to have benefit other serialized shows will help shows like The Good Wife. However, while I’m sure CBS would love some data about that, I’m not sure how much they’ll find out.

While much is made of the streaming effect for serialized shows, so far “streaming effect” is mostly synonymous with “Netflix Streaming Effect” (Sons of Anarchy, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, etc) , much is not made about the fact that we don’t really know much about Amazon Prime subscribers because Amazon doesn’t disclose that information. We don’t know how many there are. Estimates range from 5 million to 10 million subscribers to the $79/yr. service primarily known for its two-day shipping. How many of them besides me ever stream any of the “included in Prime” programming. Whatever the math, it works out to a number much smaller than Netflix which reported 27M streaming customers in the U.S. at the end of 2012.

How Could You Not Downgrade ‘The Neighbors’?!

To answer the question above: simple, I ignore the ratings for episodes that are sandwiched into otherwise all-repeat lineups.

To answer the follow-up question of “doesn’t it tell you something that ABC has sandwiched it into an lineups that are otherwise all repeats?” Nope, it doesn’t tell me that.  Maybe ABC just wanted to protect it from the more daylight-y version of Daylight Saving Time. Or maybe they just wanted to shelter it from the inevitable “disappearing ratings” stories in late April.  Mostly It tells me ABC has still more stuff it needed to sandwich in.

I’m not saying there aren’t reasonable cases to be made that it should be downgraded to the bubble, only that so far I am not swayed by those cases.

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
Smash NBC Canceled
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
Cleveland Show, The Fox Cancellation Predicted
Touch 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
Malibu Country 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
Last Man Standing 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
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
Big Bang Theory, The CBS Renewed
CSI 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


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  • HowardBeale

    @Robert. One of the best and most informative articles that’s been on the site. Nice job.

  • Richard Steven Hack

    Robert: “Bill and I remain in disagreement about which is on the bubble and which is likely to be canceled.”

    And you’re both right (or both wrong, depending on which perspective you look at) because both of them will be canceled.

    “The Carrie Diaries still had the edge last week despite Beauty And The Beast having the fairly wide percentage lead with adults 18-49″

    Which I got insulted for pointing out before, so now, yes, as far as I’m concerned there IS NO wide percentage lead. They both suck and they’ll both be canceled.

    ” Beauty And The Beast still has the much more favorable adults 18-49 lead in (last week a 1.3 vs. a 0.7 for The Carrie Diaries).”

    True, but since it doesn’t hold much of it its ratings are basically what it would do on any other night, most likely.

    “I don’t love the ratings for either show and if I wasn’t at least a little uncertain about how many shows CW can afford to cancel, I would probably have them both as likely cancellations. I may still by the end of the season.”

    If I were you, I’d go ahead and do it now. The worst that can happen is that you’ll be wrong about BATB. The odds are in your favor that both shows will be canceled.

    The CW CANNOT continue to renew shows rated as low as BATB using the excuse that the network average has dropped another 30-50% for another season. They HAVE to start cleaning house and trying new pilots and ruthlessly canceling anything that doesn’t perform (and isn’t already scheduled for syndication like Nikita.)

    They have canceled 85% of their new shows in the past. If they do so this season, they can dump EO, Cult, TCD and BATB (90210 doesn’t really count, that show wasn’t new.) That leaves Arrow out of their five new shows – a nice 80%.

    The problem with renewing BATB is again what will it do in season TWO? Given a likely 20% drop between seasons, it will be STARTING season two with a .5 rating at best and likely to be doing .4 before mid-season. WHY would the CW bother with a show like that? If it already was in season two heading into season three, it might make sense because Nikita was in that position. But it’s not – it’s in season one and will do significantly worse in season two.

    The ONLY reason why the CW would keep BATB around is precisely the reason you cite – that they have nothing to replace it with.

    But they’ve canceled that many shows before. I’m convinced they will do it again this season because they almost literally have no choice. I don’t believe there is any “either-or” involved with TCD and BATB. They both are going to go.

  • Jason

    “To answer the question above: simple, I ignore the ratings for episodes that are sandwiched into otherwise all-repeat lineups.”

    That seems like a very arbitrary rule.

  • rob60990

    The Carrie Diaries went below a million this week. It’s as good as dead. The CW is not this pathetic yet.

  • s0303

    personally, i think neighbors should be on the bubble…i think the episodes that are sandwiched between repeats are significant since it shows how loyal of a fan base the neighbors has…if abc keeps it and moves it to another night (which they probably would do) those ratings are probably going to be similar to these episodes that are sandwiched between repeats and they aren’t very good and not worth renewing over, imo…

    i also think rules of engagement is going to be cancelled…not due to the actors being in other pilots (which doesn’t mean anything) but cbs has never treated the show very well and it’s the weakest performer of the comedy mondays…i would be very surprised if it returns next season…

  • DW

    the good wife for me is still on the bubble. you cant put it in certain renewal because it has the 88 at the end of the season. the reason for certain renewal would be the hulu factor and that the show pops up on there in the fall. but that is a very tiny percentage.

  • chrisss

    Unless Beauty and the Beast’s ratings crash, I think whether or not it gets renewed or depends on which studio the pilots CW pick up are from- BatB is the only renewable show from CBS studios currently on the air (with 90210 having been cancelled)

  • HV

    I think that ABC will keep their fridays the same. Next year: LMS, MC, ST, 20/20

  • HV

    Oh, and I also think that The Neighbors will be canceled. I think that the only way it will be renewed is if HTLWYP does horribly, which I doubt because a. it looks really funny b. It airs after Modern Family c. I think that it will retain a large amount of the Modern Family audience

  • GreatBoy

    The Carrie Diaries!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THE BEST <3

  • John A

    No chance TCD makes it. Its ending in April a month before the rest of the CW lineup like Ringer last year. Thats proof enough

  • John A

    So how is the mentalist ending the season? I really think its getting the axe. Hope they arent doing a cliffhanger.

  • Justin121

    Malibu Country
    The Good Wife

    will be renewed.

    Beauty and the Beast I feel wil be renewed and paired with Nikta or Hart of Dixie. It just makes sense.

  • Leverage-Fan

    @John A: The season finale of “The Mentalist” will almost certain end with a cliffhanger. Casting news, interviews and other reports proof that the producers expecting a sixth season. Hopefully it will happen because I want closure not another series which ends on a cliffhanger!!!

  • Dan S

    I’m fairly certain NBC will pull the plug on 3 bubble shows. I don’t see Community, Whitney or Go On coming back even as spackle. NBC has a fair numer of comedy pilots to choose from & with Michael J Fox already picked up to series some shows are going to have to go. Question becomes how many hrs of comedy will they have ? I think they may just work on Thur for now & program dramas & reality on the other nights in the fall. I wouldn’t rule out Tuesdays but they struck out with Go On & TNN as their ratings tanked.

  • CBSviewer

    Beauty and the Beast will be Renewed ! The Good Wife too.
    The Mentalist will probably get a final Season of 18 episodes to have a proper closure.

  • Iggy

    I had Amazon Prime for only a month last Fall because all I could find was John Oliver’s NY Stand Up Show and Kurosawa films.

  • disney rocks

    ABC 13/14 schedule-


    7- AFHV
    8- DWTS/The Bachelor
    10- Nashville


    8- The Middle/ NEW sitcom
    9- DWTS Results/celebrity wife swap/DWTS results
    10- Castle/ NEW drama (March-May)


    8- Splash/New drama (January-March)/Splash
    9- OUAT
    10- NEW drama


    8- SUburgatory
    9- MF
    9:30- NEW sitcom
    10- Revenge


    8- BOP/wife swap (march-may)
    9- GA (Final season)
    10- Scandal


    8- LMS/MC-The Neigbors
    9- ST
    10- 20/20

  • a p garcia

    I hope MC gets renewed.

  • Douglas from Brazil

    Around this time last year CBS,NBC,FOX and CW has already renewed almost all of their shows.ABC, you know waits until upfronts in May to announce its fall schedule and which show has been cancelled or renewed.This season has been worse for all major networks with shows hitting lows in ratings and no one new show being a hit.Cable are doing better but broadcast tv needs more edgier shows and not too much reality shows.

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