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

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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
tvbythenumbers.com
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
tvbythenumbers.com
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
tvbythenumbers.com
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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  • Janus

    The Mentalist will get a final year to wrap(maybe on Fridays) while TCD cancelled as will BATB UNLESS the CW totally stink. They should cancel the Giood Wife–but it will probably gey one final year too.

  • Janus

    *unless the CW pilots stink*

  • BPKK

    Smash being banished to Saturdays gets it labeled cancelled, though no official announcement has been made by the network, but Cult being banished to Friday nights (equivalent of Saturday for a new show on the CW) after just 2 episodes leaves it only in the Cancellation predicted category same as BATB?? I think Smash and Cult are both certain to be cancelled, but I’m wondering why Cult isn’t being labelled cancelled same as Smash.

    And if it is between Carrie Diaries or Beauty and the Beast for renewal, I’m going with Beauty. If the network needs to renew one of them, why not go with the one with the higher rating, better DVR numbers, more active fan base, stronger international sales, and greater episode count, meaning more dollars from Netflix.

    Also so far the CW’s actions seem to indicate more support for Beauty than Carrie. Although still in production, Carrie received no additional episode order after its premiere, while Beauty was given its back 9 even though it had already received two 0.6s. Beauty is also the only scripted show they are repeating in the Tuesday 9pm slot and they just announced that they are extending the repeats of Beauty into the first week of April. If the network was keen on keeping Carrie, why not some repeats of that show on Tuesdays? Finally ending the show in early April. Yes the Following is ending in April as well, but will be aired at least during the first week of sweeps which starts April 25th.

  • Alan

    I hope TCD gets renewed! Stop saying that BATB will be renewed only because there’s not a replacement (come on, The Originals will air right after TVD)

  • Alan

    @BPKK TCD didn’t got a back 9 order because it’s a mid-season show, while BATB is a Fall show. If they ordered the extra 9, they wouldn’t be able to air all the other 9 episodes before May.
    Repeats of BATB aren’t helping at all, and there’s no excuse, it should have higher numbers.

  • Richard Steven Hack

    Alan: Agree with your points about BATB, but TCD is definitely doomed. No way a show with its ratings in season one gets renewed even on the CW.

    Again, arguing that one of the shows MUST be renewed is purely speculative and I don’t know why people do it. BOTH shows suck in the ratings even by CW standards and both should be canceled to make way for pilots that might do better and almost certainly will do better than either show at least initially.

    If the CW orders five pilots – which they can certainly do and still have one or two in the can for mid-season – if those shows fail in mid-season, they’re no worse off than they are now with Cult and the other failures – they put The Originals on Thursday to solve Thursday’s problem and leave Wednesday alone. They put four new shows on Monday and Tuesday, canceling TCD and BATB and moving HoD to Friday.

    What a show does THIS season is not the only issue. What it does NEXT season is what matters. HoD may be a stable show NOW but it WILL drop next season just like Nikita so there’s no reason to keep it on Monday or Tuesday. Move it to Friday for syndication purposes and forget about it, again just like Nikita.

    Replace ALL of Monday and Tuesday with new shows. It’s the simplest and most effective solution. The CW ends up with three nights out of five that work and the potential to fix Monday or Tuesday in the next season by keeping whatever new shows survive season one. Then the next season after they maybe only have to worry about one night.

  • Bizarro

    @Tom
    I agree with you, if it gets stable at .5’s for the last five eps. Then its going to be cancelled but as of right now its on the bubble for me.

  • HV

    ABC:
    Malibu Country: Renew
    Body of Proof: Renew
    The Neighbors: Cancel
    All else as predicted above.

    NBC:
    Go On: Renew
    Whitney: Cancel
    The New Normal: Renew
    Community: If requires more episodes for syndication, renew. If not, cancel.
    All else as predicted above.

  • brian

    Malibu Country ABC Cancelled
    Good Wife, The CBS Moved to Fridays
    Mentalist, The CBS Renewed
    Rules of Engagement CBS Midseason Spackle
    Carrie Diaries, The CW Cancelled
    Community NBC Midseason Replacement
    Go On NBC Renewed
    Whitney NBC Renewed

  • Jarrod

    @Richard Steven Hack: Saying HoD will drop next season is speculation. It’s demo has stabilized with 0.5 and 0.6 last season and this season. It’s demo is rather consistent with these numbers and though viewership is not steady, it’s demo is and that’s all that really matters. I’m not saying it’s worthy of renewal, as The CW DOES need to clean house and do the smart thing here. Still, saying HoD will drop like Nikita is ridiculous as Nikita was on a Thursday (and backed by TVD) and then moved to Friday and then moved to a different time slot on a Friday – a night that is terrible for any network. Yes, that’s a BINGO fan excuse, but HoD is the only show that stabilizes on The CW on a Tuesday and they need that – stability. I’d rather a show pull a 0.5 or a 0.6 rather than a 0.4 or 0.3 like others show have. IF they renew HoD, they should leave it where it is seeing as it’s the only show that managed to pull in it’s own fanbase and not a fanbase from another show.

  • BPKK

    @Alan The Carrie Diaries received no additional episode orders. I’m not saying that it needed to have 9, but if the CW was pleased with its performance, they could have ordered a few additional episodes since it was still in production. That they ordered no additional episodes, aren’t airing the show during sweeps or bothering to repeat it in the slot vacated by Cult on Tuesdays, along with its 0.4 rating and less than 1 million viewers, leads me to believe that the network will not be renewing the show.

    @RSH The CW hardly seemed capable of properly promoting three new dramas this fall and you expect them to launch 5 with better results than this year? According to TVGuide each year it gets harder and more expensive to market new shows. Arrow with all of the studio and network promotion and better than usual reviews for a CW show only managed to attract a little over 4 million viewers and a 1.3 rating for its premiere. Unless the CW can afford to promote shows outside of its own network, they are basically setting themselves up for low ratings.

    And the early ratings for even the first two episodes of Carrie (0.6/1.61 0.5/1.27), Emily(0.5/1.67 0.3/1.11) and Cult (0.3/.86 0.3 /.82) show that your belief that the CW pilots “certainly will do better” even initially than what they have now in Beauty and Hart isn’t a given.

    And if Hart hasn’t dropped in its second season, what makes you so sure that it will drop in its third? And weren’t you the one that kept predicting Beauty would return down after the winter hiatus and then would fall even further when DST hit?

    Based on the reported ad rates for CW shows, I can’t imagine any but maybe Vampire Diaries and Arrow being covered by their ad revenue alone. And with the ad rates between second season Hart of Dixie and first season Carrie Diaries being a mere $250 per 30 seconds, I’m not seeing this great loss in ad revenue that wouldn’t be made up for or surpassed by the money from the Netflix deal which pays the CW based on the number of episodes produced per series. And if the ad rates for Beauty are somewhat accurate, then Beauty’s $1.5 million in international sales would actually be higher than its network ad revenue.

  • Oliver

    @BKPP
    Can you provide an example of a network ever expanding the order of a mid-season replacement?

  • Richard Steven Hack

    Jarrod: “Saying HoD will drop next season is speculation.”

    Not entirely. MOST shows drop season to season, usually by a significant amount. HoD DID maintain a very stable season average of .6 in season one and is essentially at that level for season two. Still, there’s no guarantee it will do so in season three. It’s much more likely to drop.

    Even if it doesn’t, it’s STILL better to replace it with a new show that is likely to do better, at least initially. Moving it to Friday means the CW doesn’t have to care about its ratings. If worst comes to worst, mid-season they could move it back again to replace a new show that has failed miserably on either Monday or Tuesday.

    “Still, saying HoD will drop like Nikita is ridiculous as Nikita was on a Thursday (and backed by TVD) and then moved to Friday and then moved to a different time slot on a Friday – a night that is terrible for any network.”

    Nikita season one had a .9 average. season two had a .5 average – not much different from Hart’s .6 in both seasons. So it’s not ridiculous at all to suggest HoD will drop like Nikita did in season three. Moving it to Friday means it won’t matter.

    “they need that – stability.”

    No – they need shows that pull in money with consistency. HoD is stable but still low-rated. It’s only marginally better than TCD and BATB and that’s mostly because it’s still stable in season two than season one.

    They should move HoD and cancel the other two and pin their hopes on four new shows that will almost certainly do at least as well as HoD and probably better.

    BPKK: “The CW hardly seemed capable of properly promoting three new dramas this fall and you expect them to launch 5 with better results than this year?”

    Once again, promo is not the be-all and end-all. Frankly, NO ONE here is capable of determining what is or is not “proper promotion”. When shows fail, they fail because they either were bad quality, up against heavy competition, or simply didn’t resonate with the audience. Promo is NOT the make or break for any show.

    “According to TVGuide each year it gets harder and more expensive to market new shows.”

    And that’s true for ALL the shows. The fact that it costs less – presumably – to promo a returning show isn’t going to make or break a new show OR the returning show.

    “Unless the CW can afford to promote shows outside of its own network, they are basically setting themselves up for low ratings.”

    They are getting low ratings because the network has a reputation for putting on shows that don’t resonate with anyone but teenage girls. They have to rebuild that reputation and it will take time. Renewing low-rated shows will only ACCENTUATE that perception.

    “And the early ratings for even the first two episodes of Carrie (0.6/1.61 0.5/1.27), Emily(0.5/1.67 0.3/1.11) and Cult (0.3/.86 0.3 /.82) show that your belief that the CW pilots “certainly will do better” even initially than what they have now in Beauty and Hart isn’t a given.”

    I didn’t say it as a given for ALL shows – or even the majority of them. In fact, it’s almost certain a majority will fail.

    But it makes NO SENSE to NOT order a new pilot and renew a FAILED SHOW because the NEW show MIGHT fail.

    “And if Hart hasn’t dropped in its second season, what makes you so sure that it will drop in its third?”

    Precisely because it’s the third season. And the fourth season it will likely drop more. Very few shows don’t drop season to season by at least some amount – and the CW shows can’t afford to drop by ANY amount because they’re already incredibly low-rated just by being on the CW network!

    “And weren’t you the one that kept predicting Beauty would return down after the winter hiatus and then would fall even further when DST hit?”

    DST hasn’t fully hit yet. For the entire northern half of the country, March is not good weather. Wait until April.

    Also, while I still predict BATB will drop a bit to a .5 season average before it ends its run, it’s quite possible that I will be wrong. So what? The show is still going to drop season to season. It’s highly unlikely – due to the odds – of doing another HoD and maintaining its same season average next season, particularly given the slide it’s done this season.

    Of course, anything is possible. It’s still wise to play the odds.

    “Based on the reported ad rates for CW shows, I can’t imagine any but maybe Vampire Diaries and Arrow being covered by their ad revenue alone.”

    Probably true.

    “And with the ad rates between second season Hart of Dixie and first season Carrie Diaries being a mere $250 per 30 seconds, I’m not seeing this great loss in ad revenue that wouldn’t be made up for or surpassed by the money from the Netflix deal which pays the CW based on the number of episodes produced per series.”

    Wait a minute. According to the LA Times:

    “However, the final worth of the contract won’t be known for years and could be much less as it will be determined by HOW WELL THE CW’S PROGRAMMING PERFORMS. Netflix is buying rights to repeats of current and future series on the network, and THE LONGER THE SHOWS STAY ON THE AIR AND PERFORMS WELL, the more the subscription video company will pay for streaming rights.

    For example, Netflix is paying in the neighborhood of $600,000 an episode for “Gossip Girl,” an established show, but will initially pay MUCH LESS FOR NEWER OR LOWER-RATED CW programs, people familiar with the pact said ”

    So Netflix paid for Gossip Girl.

    And where is Gossip Girl now?

    Also, if they’re only getting $250 for an ad spot, how is the Netflix deal going to make up for that low level of ad revenue?

    Do we KNOW how much Netflix is going to pay for TCD and BATB, given that it was paying $600,000 for a much older show like Gossip Girl? For all we know, Netflix is paying $100,000 for TCD or BATB, not $600,000. In fact, one article I found on the deal says the range is from $150,000 to $700,00 DEPENDING ON THE SHOW AND HOW LONG IT HAS BEEN ON THE AIR.

    So TCD and BATB are not benefiting much from that yet.

    All of this is speculative since we don’t have the actual figures.

    In addition, the Netflix deal gives the CW some money which it can use to enable it to divert other resources into promotion and development of new pilots – exactly what it needs to do. The Netflix deal isn’t just to support recovery of studio production costs of low-rated shows – it’s there to enable development of new properties to replace those low-rated shows so that the CW can stop being the “loser’s network”.

    But if all they do with that money is renew low-rated first season shows, that’s not going to help them.

    “And if the ad rates for Beauty are somewhat accurate, then Beauty’s $1.5 million in international sales would actually be higher than its network ad revenue.”

    That’s possible. But as I said before, if the show performs as poorly in international markets as it’s doing in the US, the international buyers may not pay that same sum for season two.

    Bottom line: People are scrabbling for reasons for the CW to renew low-rated shows which may or may not be profitable. That is a loser’s game.

    Given the poor state of the network, the network needs to start concentrating on CANCELING low-rated shows and selecting decent pilots and repairing its week nights one at a time. No one is saying they will be successful next season, the season after that or even the one after that. But if they don’t try, they are going to continue to lose $50 million a year as has been reported before the Netflix deal and their perceived value is going to continue to be a losing network whose shows aren’t worth watching. And the Netflix deal itself will become less profitable because the low-rated shows will not perform well enough or last long enough to receive the higher per episode fees from Netflix.

  • Richard Steven Hack

    I’m going to quite discussing TCD and BATB. I’m wasting far too much time arguing with people who are scrambling for reasons the CW should renew two shows which are utter failures.

    Those shows are going to be canceled. They need to be canceled. That’s it. End of story.

    If the CW renews either of these shows, all it will prove is that the people running the network are still idiots. Which will come as no surprise to me or anyone else since it’s been fairly obvious to everyone for years.

  • jane

    Networks might have to change their business model to survive the current TV climate. Small is beautiful…and certainly more creative,as we see on the hundreds of small cable channels.Maybe NBC will be the first to do that because of necessity…..let USA represent their dramas and let NBC become a 24hour news/reality/sport/games/commercial outlet….with long periods of adverts.

    Their quality work can go elsewhere.The money they make from NBC as a commercial advertising venture can then subsidise the quality work produced on a smaller channel with less overheads.

  • tscchope

    HoD would be moved to the 9PM slot on Fridy where it would do no better than Nikita and Cult have done and that would endanger its chances of getting its all important 4th season. Advertisers may not be prepared to pay the same rate , if the show were moved to Fridays.

    US made shows are typically $3m an episode, shows in Vancover $1m so I’m boosting Toronto to $1.5m Those figures are a few years old, but it’s unlikely that production costs have been allowed to increase, especially as networks have been looking at falling viewer numbers year on year.

    If the international partners are preparedto continue buying BaTB, there’s no reason not to keep it airing. There’s no guarantee that any new show will succeed.

    @RSH You’ve made your views very clear on TCD and BaTB. Even on CW ,relative performance is still important.

  • tscchope

    HoD would be moved to the 9PM slot on Friday where it would do no better than Nikita and Cult have done and that would endanger its chances of getting its all important 4th season. Advertisers may not be prepared to pay the same rate , if the show were moved to Fridays.

    US made shows are typically $3m an episode, shows in Vancover $1m so I’m boosting Toronto to $1.5m Those figures are a few years old, but it’s unlikely that production costs have been allowed to increase, especially as networks have been looking at falling viewer numbers year on year.

    If the international partners are preparedto continue buying BaTB, there’s no reason not to keep it airing. There’s no guarantee that any new show will succeed.

    @RSH You’ve made your views very clear on TCD and BaTB. Even on CW ,relative performance is still important.

  • Masterbreel

    Please, bring back the distinction between ‘certain’ and ‘likely’ I found them very informative

  • BatbFan

    crazy things happen ….
    Because I totally agree with Tom :-)

  • Ted Craig

    What is interesting is that in the 2010-11 season, ABC had a sharp axe. Better With You and Mr. Sunshine were both canceled. But last season, everything that made it through its full run was renewed. If that trend continues, LMS, MC and Neighbors all get another season. HTLWYP might, as well, although Mr. Sunshine proved the MF lead-in is no guarantee of success and Apt. 23 may have made ABC execs wary.

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