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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  • aaronjoannides

    im getting worried about criminal minds/criminal minds got early renewal last year and it still hasnt been renewed yet

  • Just Desserts

    Haha. eat this The Neighbors haters. :-P

  • Anna Bones Clarkwood


    No need to worry one bit.

    Both Robert & Bill know that Criminal Minds is a “sure bet”.
    Heck, even if contract negotiations don’t go well, CM has already established that they can let go of cast & gain new cast.
    CBS hasn’t really renewed “any” show yet this year, only NCIS b/c of Mark Harmon’s new contract & CSI b/c of Ted Danson’s contract extension.
    Also, Criminal Minds along with Both NCIS’s & POI are the 4 dramas that are going to remain on the schedule for years to come. I’d like to make CSILV the 5th, even though many insist on scheduling it for Fri next year.

    For CBS, the only dramas that “really” remain up in the air are:
    Vegas – basically canceled, 1st year already pulling the numbers it gets.
    Golden Boy – basically canceled, half year already pulling the numbers it gets.
    CSINY – most likely canceled, expense plus to debut 3 new dramas have to cancel 3 time slot hours.
    The Mentalist/The Good Wife – if a comedy hour is added then one has to go, otherwise, these 2 are safe for 1 more year, maybe more.

  • POI fan

    CBS, don’t mess with POI. It stays where it is – ((( 9pm ET Thursday ))).

  • martin

    is SMASH officially cancelled or are you speculating? I haven’t read / heard that it officially was! thanks

  • rob60990

    @martin, no NBC did not officially cancel the show but a move to Saturdays means it’s been cancelled.

  • Clark K.

    Loved loved loved Smash LAST year. This year, no.

  • Solelle

    I really don’t care if BATB and or TCD is cancelled as long as Hart of Dixie is renewed of the three it is the freshest and best written. It reminds me a little of the feeling WB shows had in the 1990s you know the ” Oh what a night” weekly lineup they had. for about 5 to 6 years there WB knew what they where doing. Then they merged and we got the freakin CW which is not bad but is no WB.

  • Solelle

    and thats what I get for having two windows open at once the above post was meant for the cw board lol.

  • Will

    Neighbors future is no more certain than Malibu.

  • Kavyn

    How could the CW possibly justify renewing The Carrie Diaries when EO got cancelled for the exact same ratings (and arguably, it was appealing to the exact same crowd).

    I’m fully convinced BATB has the edge over TCD if one of them must be renewed for whatever reason, but I’m also 90% sure they’re both going to get cancelled (and deservedly so).

  • Kavyn

    @martin it was moved to Saturdays. That’s basically equivalent to saying it’s been cancelled.

  • karl

    Golden Boy should be renewed…It’s a good show and it was a good decision not to move it to Friday.

  • William

    Hey Rob, sometime i think you are a little out of your mind! Why would ABC breakup a very successful friday comedy block?? Please,,,, MC is a very good show that will get better and ABC will rule friday night next year!!!

  • William

    @Frank::: YOU ARE THE MAN!!! Brilliant analysis!! GO MALIBU COUNTRY!!!!

  • thensnowleopard

    @Robert Seidman
    You mentioned Amazon Prime. Are there any figures for Amazon Instant Video on shows?

  • tvlog

    NBC’s weakest nights are Saturday, Sunday when no sport event is on! Thursdays! All shows on Thursdays are dreadful! NBC should do Miniseries! Univison is killing you for Fourth place! You and The CW are battling for Fifth place! Go for Miniseries! Launching shows and cancelling shows seems you are doing Telenovelas! Cast divers people doing drama! Order thirteen episodes show for Thursday! Saturdays! Sundays!

  • Nick

    My predictions for the bubble shows:

    Malibu Country: Cancelled
    Good Wife, The: Renewed
    Mentalist, The: Cancelled
    Rules of Engagement: Renewed
    Carrie Diaries, The: Cancelled
    Community: Renewed
    Go On: Renewed
    Whitney: Cancelled

  • TheEmulator23

    @Robert Thank you always. Well written & excellent. Neighbors should be renewed, because it’s doing very well in the social media space. It seems to be a bit of an experiment. It’s working for Scandel.

  • V

    Neighbours competition is HowTOLiveWithParents, which will have Modern Family Lead in. I doubt both shows get renewed.
    It does look like ABC still wants 3rd block, since they ordered as many comedy pilots as last year.

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