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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  • were123

    What’s working right now on NBC is drama, so they should cut their comedy time. The highest rated shows on NBC right now are all dramas: Revolution, Parenthood, Chicago Fire, Grimm, SVU. Only The Office (which will end this season) and Parks generate some numbers worth keeping (you know, for NBC). NBC shouldn’t renew many comedies, go Parks, Community (because once in a while it can draw a 1.9 or a 1.5) and… that’s it, generate a thursday only for comedy, use Tuesdays’ Voice result show to launch a drama. They should make a schedule like this:

    8-10: Voice:
    10:00: New drama

    8:00: Voice result show
    9:00: New drama
    10:00: Parenthood.

    8:00: SVU
    9:00: Chicago Fire.
    10:00: Revolution

    8:00- Michael J. Fox Comedy
    8:30- Community
    9:00- Parks & Recreation
    9:30- New Comedy (or Go On if it manages to do somehow well in this timeslot)
    10:00- Filler like Rock Center (or Hannibal if it pulls a miracle)

    8:00: New drama or Hannibal (give Grimm a lead in! It could be a returning Hannibal if it pulls 1.5s on Thursdays, Dracula or Crossbones)
    9:00: Grimm
    10:00: Dateline

    The network should only have comedies for thursdays and start focusing on dramas. Then, little by little, start pushing some comedies away (the mediocre/middle ones), while developing more dramas that can work.
    They could still renew Whitney as a back up in case some comedy flops too hard, and have some for midseason, but as things are now NBC needs to focus on drama, just as The CW needs to work around genre shows

  • Anon

    @John A

    Although I do agree that Carrie diaries won’t make it, it’s season finale date doesn’t reflect on its renewals glances I don’t think because Life unexpected ended around the same time and was still renews for a second season.

  • Bizarro

    I don’t see TCD getting renewed but I’m optimistic that Beauty & The Beast may get a pity renewal. The CW has a bad retention rate for their freshman shows and if Beauty can become stable with .6’s and higher. I do see it being renewed, so Beauty is still on the bubble for me for now unless it is stable at .5. The CW has eight pilots for next season to choose from and the last few years the CW has renewed only one freshman show. I doubt that the CW will have that many successful pilots next year. The most is three and thats a big doubt. The CW always sucks with their freshman shows. Their going to have at least six pilots for next year and that’s including 6 renewed shows. That’s a ton of new shows. Beauty is not dead yet, it still has 5 more eps, the quality is improving, more countries are picking it up, and its ratings just improved again. So its a wait and see game for me. Not a its already dead.

  • david

    You make a point about TCD having a better w18-34 rating than Beauty and the Beast but, i think the CW is trying to broaden its audience now that they have Arrow. I bring up
    Arrow because tha proves to them that they can hae a wide audience and older people to watch the CW. I think that is what they want to start focusing on some next year. Beauty and the Beast is doing slitely better in the 18-49 demo so i think it may get renewed ut i would not be surprised if not. I hope allot of the pilots they are working on are good this year beause i would like them to have good ratings. Meaning more than just 3 shows that can get a 1.0.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    @David: In the case of Arrow, certainly. In the case of The Carrie Diaries and Beauty and the Beast, it seems pretty clear they weren’t going for that, at least not deliberately. Still, all other things being equal I’d view the broader general appeal of Beauty and the Beast as a feather in its cap. But all other things are not equal.

  • Kyle

    I think New Normal and Whitney will both be renewed.

  • Joseph D

    Re: Your Friday sitcom reasoning — Yes. That is exactly right!

  • Joseph D

    …ABC Friday sitcoms, I meant.

  • Martin

    Ok, it’s been a few weeks and have to say I prefer the old way you did bubble watch.

    Also, what do people thing the likelihood of the neighbours being renewed and moved to friday.

    and can we be in agreement that the middle is actually a better lead in than modern family.

  • matt

    Glad MC and LMS were upgraded. They both rrally did prove themselves with the finale numbers. I’m so confused by CBS. They cancel shows that do mid 2s and around 10 million, but then they constantly renew shows like The Good Wife, which has been doing a 1.4 and 8 million?? I know its a critical/award juggernaut, but that is complete nonsense. I think greys has a few more seasons left in it. But it has to be scandal’s leadin whatsoever.

  • omabin

    My disagreement:
    – Body of Proof: Should be on the bubble. If it holds on to that 1.5 (and it is a fair assumption since it will continue to have DWTS as its lead in), it won’t be that far from Nashville’s levels for one to be renewal and the other cancelation. Besides, Nashville is only a freshman and Body of Proof has something on his side that got it renewed last year anyway (the tax credit or whatever it was) I think it will be renewed, but bubble is the most suited place for it, not cancelation
    – Happy Endings: I insist that it is a bubble show. Syndication can still save it
    – The Good Wife: I understand your point, but I still think it will get a renewal to get to 100 eps. But it would not shock me to see an announced final season of 13 eps only, timesharing with Undercover Boss…
    – The Carrie Diaries: I get your point about the lead-in, but I am on Bill on this one. 0.4s for a first year show with only 13eps is just too low. I think it is a goner. Beauty has some sort of chance for a Friday run imo, but a very low one, it doesn’t bother me to have it as likely canceled, although bubble would probably be better
    – The Neighbours: I disagree… I think ratings with repeats surrounding it are relevant, because those are telling of the type of numbers one can expect of the show if it is moved next season, as it will be if it happens to be renewed. I think it will end up being canceled, but for now I would place it on the bubble.

  • Jonay

    If Body of Proof keeps gaining ratings will it get renewed???

  • CBSviewer

    What I think CBS should do:

    8:00 – How I Met Your Mother (24 episodes)
    8:30 – Bad Teacher (13 episodes) / Rules of Engagement (13 episodes)
    9:00 – 2 Broke Girls (24 episodes)
    9:30 – Mom (13-24 episodes)
    10:00 – NCIS: Los Angeles (25 episodes)

    8:00 – NCIS (24 episodes)
    9:00 – NCIS: Red (13-24 episodes)
    10:00 – Beverly Hills Cop (13-23 episodes)

    8:00 – Survivor
    9:00 – Criminal Minds (22 episodes)
    10:00 – CSI (22 episodes)

    8:00 – The Big Bang Theory (25 episodes)
    8:30 – Crazy Ones (13-22 episodes)
    9:00 – Two and a Half Men (23 episodes)
    9:30 – Mike & Molly (22 episodes)
    10:00 – Person of Interest (24 episodes)

    8:00 – Intelligence (13 episodes) / Undercover Boss
    9:00 – Hawaii Five-0 (22 episodes)
    10:00 – Blue Bloods (22 episodes)

    8:00 – Crimetime Saturday
    9:00 – Crimetime Saturday
    10:00 – 48 Hours

    7:00 – 60 Minutes
    8:00 – The Amazing Race
    9:00 – Elementary (22 episodes)
    10:00 – The Good Wife (18 episodes) / Hostages (13 episodes)

    I think it could work.

  • Lisa

    I use Amazon Prime as much as I use Netflix. I also use Hulu Plus to catch up on current episodes that I miss. One gripe: I would like to watch Arrow since I’ve heard good things about it. Yet Hulu Plus and the CW website only have the last few episodes on it – not all from earlier this season. How dumb is that?

    I think that The Good Wife will be renewed because of the prestige factor.

  • Rob R

    “The Good Wife” hits 90 episodes at the end of this year, has a syndication deal, and still places in the Top 20 almost every week, but as we know, that includes a host of 50-something viewers. CBS does not treat this like a bubble show……..full seasons at 9 pm on one of the most heavily viewed nights of the week….never moving it…..CBS is making money of this show based on their behavior.

  • Olka

    Can’t wait to see Nikita renewed for season 4.

  • Olka

    *For a

  • Dant2590

    so many of the shows that I’ve really gotten to like aren’t renewed yet. I hope Malibu Country gets renewed. I like Reba and Lilly Tomlin together. I also like Rules of Engagements, but they’re putting “Russell” in it too much this year. His trampiness is getting to be too much of the plot of the show.

  • Tom

    The CW never made any pronouncements about what ratings it expected from B&B. The show received a an additional three program order after it dropped from 1.2 for episode 1 to a 0.7 for episode 2. It received a full season order after episode 5. The fifth episode apparently made some difference because the program had just rebounded from consecutive 0.6 ratings to a 0.7. So, within the context of this season, it could be argued that the show needs to prove that it can consistently achieve at least a 0.7.

    B&B rose to a 0.7 for two episodes after the holidays. However, it then fell to new lows. It almost got there again last Thursday. We’ll have to wait until next week to see if that was because CBS preempted POI for low rated NCAA Tournament and the Office was in reruns. If B&B ratings can stay at or near 0.7 for its remaining six shows, it stands a chance of being renewed. This assumes that the CW still believes a 0.7 rated show with no immediate syndication potential is worth supporting. If its ratings decline, especially to around 0.5, it will be cancelled.

  • Frank

    There are actually numbers besides the demo numbers that need to be considered.

    The reason that Rules of Engagement is going to end is that the contracts are up, and the show isn’t a big enough hit for studio(s) to pay the actors what it’s going to take to bring them back. So as far as the actors are concerned it isn’t like the show is being cancelled because they are no longer under contract. They are just moving on.

    And Malibu Country will almost certainly be renewed because it’s getting decent demo ratings for a friday, strong total viewer ratings for a friday, and with Reba, Lily Tomlin and Sara Rue. it has plenty of starpower to bring in revenue from international sales. It also has the advantage of being a multicam, and multicams still rule the syndication and international half hour worlds.

    Also, because the emmy’s love both people that have been Movie stars and senior citizens, Lily Tomlin is likely to get a nomination and that usually leads to a ratings boost. Overall, I’d imagine the the numbers people are thinking that there are just too many possible revenue streams for the show for ABC to cancel.

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