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


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
  • Brandy

    My post on page four should say “I doubt any show besides HoD or SPN would have a stable loyal fanbase on Mon or Tues”.
    @BPKK CW repeated CD once on Thurs and many times on Fri .Arroww and BatB were also repeated a lot on Fri.The only reason for that beyond repeating the pilots is because there weren’t enough original shows/.They can only show a episode three times.BatB reruns on Tues will end in April and will be replaced by repeats of another show, just like 90210 reruns are replaced by HoD and will be replaced by Top Model reruns I saw on futon critic a few weeks ago.Them repeating BaTB so much means three things:1. They are still hoping and trying to get the show a bigger audience 2.It repeats better ratings wise than some of cws others shows 3.They have an hole in the schedule 4.BaTB probably won’t be repeated in the summer as they’ll have used the three times an episode up.Also, as an earlier poster said,the repeats aren’t doing anything as far as finding BatB or CD a audience/improving thier ratings.Most Midseason shows don’t get more episodes than the 13.Plus, when a show starts in Jan, it’s tough to see how it does then if it does well enough, order more episodes and have them written and filmed a couple months before they’re set to air.Also, a reason CD didn’t get more episodes is because Pedowitz wanted to try cable length seasons with CD and Cult, he said so last May because of the Ringer thing.BaTB got a full season cause 1.its ratings we’re reccent enough and 2.They didn’t have anything to fill that hour with if it didn’t and they already had a hole in the schedule on Fri.

  • the_trouble_with_the_truth

    @Richard Steven Hack AIN;T NOBODY GOT TIME TO READ ALL THAT!!!

  • gerry

    i have to say, there are a lot of people i’m going to laugh at if either batb or tcd gets renewed.

    i’m rooting for tcd and i think its more likely to renew, but cw will cancel both if it can afford to promote another show successfully. we don’t see those numbers on cw’s end, so we don’t know what will happen. more likely, i see tcd or batb being renewed (i agree w robert on tcd) for a short order to air in the fall and if the numbers remain low or drop then they’ll be able to put money behind promoting a new show for spring.

  • Justin121


    Monday: Voice – Revolution

    Tuesday: Voice – new drama – Parenthood

    Wednesday: Parks, Community – Chicago Fire – new drama

    Thursday: Guys with Kids, new comedy, Whitney, new comedy – SVU

  • Dan

    I agree, in Terms of ABC’s bubble comedies its impossible to determine if they will return so in my opinion both MC and TN with similar low ratings remain 50/50. They could both be cancelled or one of the two renewed

  • Win

    two 1.0 for Hod with Live + 7 #wop!

  • Ben

    What are the odds that ABC picks up Guys with Kids to join LMS, MC, and Neighbors to form a 2 hour TGIF block? Shark Tank could anchor another night. I am hearing that How to live…is terrible. It looks like a family show that is totally inappropriate for most members of the family.

  • Richard Steven Hack

    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.”

    Except that’s exactly what they did with Nikita. And that doesn’t endanger its chances for getting the fourth season. Once the deal is made for a third season, the presumption is that the fourth season is a given.

    “Advertisers may not be prepared to pay the same rate , if the show were moved to Fridays.”

    Once the show is moved to Fridays, the ad rates are less important (not totally unimportant, however) than getting the show to syndication. That’s why the decision to get season three is all important, not season four. What is important with seasons three and four is the reduced license fee from the studio – that’s what continues to make the show profitable for the network.

  • Richard Steven Hack

    gerry: “i have to say, there are a lot of people i’m going to laugh at if either batb or tcd gets renewed.”

    Going to be hella lot more people I laugh at when they’re both canceled. Because I’ll be able to laugh at both TCD and BATB fans, whereas only one set can laugh at me if their show is renewed.

  • Mi

    @Richard Steven Hack
    “We also don’t that the $1.5 million per episode international sales IS covering enough of BATB’s production costs that WB can – or will want to – offer it to the CW for a low enough license fee that the CW will ignore the loss of ad revenue in a season one show.”

    B&tB is owned by CBS, not WB, and it’s the only CBS fall show left after 90210’s cancellation. We don’t know how many CBS content hours the CW are committed to air next year and we don’t know how the CBS owned pilots will turn out. It’s possible that the CW will decide to renew B&tB with its low ratings if they think the potential CBS pilots that could replace it will bring even less, and we don’t know this info.

  • Mi

    “You expect the CW to have no midseason shows? Have they ever done that?…Has any network done that?”
    Emm, the CW already did that.. last year. They had only a cheap Canadian import and reality as midseason shows last year.

  • Holly


    Import and reality or not, they had midseason replacements.

  • Mi

    “Import and reality or not, they had midseason replacements.”
    And they could have such replacements next year too even if they choose to air all pilots they pick up as fall shows without leaving any scripted show to mideason.

  • Tom

    If the CBS/WB joint venture is typical of that type of business arrangement, the respective parties would be expected to cover expenses and divide profits (if any) equally. Under that arrangement, the joint venture partners would also decide what programs to air on the CW. The CW network may be an independent entity for business purposes but, for all intents, it’s owned and run as part of the joint venture. That means neither CBS nor the WB will independently decide shows are to be broadcast on the CW.

    The fact that a particular program is being produced by CBS or the WB for eventual airing on the CW is not the pertinent consideration. What matters is that the money used to fund the production comes from the joint venture. In theory, it wouldn’t matter if one joint venture partner produced all the programs, so long as the other pays half of the expenses. So, the survival of B&B is not affected by the fact that it’s produced by CBS rather than the WB.

    Another consideration that hasn’t been discussed much is how (or even “if”) B&B, Carrie, etc. fit into the joint venture’s long term plans. Most major business entities engage in business planning that extends over a period of years. We can assume for certain that the joint venture knows it will have to to replace TVD and SPN in the next few years. As demonstrated by 90210 and GG, shows inevitably tend to lose their ratings as they age. This season, the CW only managed one decent show – Arrow. Although B&B might prove useful to plug a hole in the CW’s schedule, the CW will likely already have two low rated shows on its schedule for syndication. Adding one more will simply take away another slot that the CW could use to develop a potentially promising replacement for TVD or SPN. So, considering the joint venture’s poor recent record in developing new shows, renewing B&B and Carrie does not make a great deal of sense in terms of long term business strategy.

  • Angellica .T.

    Renewing Secret Circle now would be The best thing for their network at this point cuz it shouldnt of ever been cancelled The Secret Circle,The Vampire Diaries,and supernatural were their best shows including Arrow so it would be in cw’s best interest to renew The Secret Circle

  • SandiJ

    Oh the neighbors is why I dvr the Middle…at the very least it should be on the bubble..The Good wife…yes…Go On yes but they need to expand the story line…Malibu Country just keeps getting better…I like the show Smash, but it was doomed when they put the show in hiatis tweaking it a little too much holding over with Revolution…Whitney..NO….Community deserves another shot

  • Karen Pac

    Frank – I like the way you think! :) And I also agree with others that Malibu Country is just getting better and better! It just makes more sense to renew it!! I will be so disappointed in ABC if MC does not get renewed!

  • j dianne

    Hope Grimm, The Good Wife and yes, The Neighbors are renewed. Didn’t think I would like The Neighbors, but find it’s one of my favorites and a great lead in to Modern Family.

  • Stephen

    Your text has suddenly become difficult to read on some of your background colors now that they’re hyperlinks.

  • Bob Ketler

    The season finale of THE NEIGHBORS this week was one of the funniest episodes of a sitcom that I have EVER witnessed. It was INCREDIBLY clever without being smug. From an opening in which they skewered the plot trajectory of ALL 22 minute sitcoms (opening, disagreement with another main character, supposedly going separate ways, but really copying one another and everything working out by “9 p.m.” He he he….) to the closing reference to hopefully seeing each other in the coming “season,” it was uproarious, clever, knockabout fun. Given a chance to grow and a good placement….this may well become a TV standard that runs for many, many, many seasons. BRAVO to EVERYONE connected with this show.

© 2015 Tribune Digital Ventures