Bubble Watch: A Sad Fate for "Happy Endings?" + CBS + More 'Beauty and the Beast' vs. 'Carrie Diaries' + "Nashville'

Categories: Bubble Watch

Written By

March 31st, 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.

Another Network Will Have to Save Happy Endings

Happy Ending's fate on ABC has been sealed for a while. I'm not basing that on one Friday's worth of preliminary ratings (and it was Good Friday to boot) but rather that ABC had already shipped it off to Friday.  At that point I wasn't sure ABC would take the show even if Sony offered it to them for $0.00, and that doesn't seem likely. Consider that ABC owned the similarly ratings-challenged Cougar Town and still shipped it off to TBS. ABC doesn't own Happy Endings, so its pretty clear they're done with it.

Will another network pick it up? I don't know. I never like those odds, but nor can they be ruled out. While Sony isn't likely to give the show away for nothing, there is a history to suggest it is sometimes willing to do deep discounts. With regard to syndication proximity, Happy Endings is in a worse position than Cougar Town was last year, but not dramatically worse (Happy Endings will end the current season with 57 episodes, Cougar Town had 61 after its last season on ABC.)

CBS Renews Pretty Much Everything Except Criminal Minds and Two and a Half Men

CBS announced the renewal of several shows including The Good Wife and The Mentalist. Notably absent from the announcement were Criminal Minds and Two and Half Men which we predict (and are still predicting) will be renewed. Though I have removed the "likely" and "certain" distinctions in the table below, both shows are still certain renewals. Chalk it up to contract negotiations in the case of Criminal Minds and both contract negotiations and licensing negotiations in the case of Two and a Half Men.

The Carrie Diaries Downgraded to Likely Cancellation; "Beauty and the Beast" Still a Likely Cancellation

I've downgraded The Carrie Diaries to likely cancellation so now have both it and Beauty and the Beast as likely cancellations. I still favor "Carrie" ever so slightly but that's only because if CW renews Beauty and the Beast it will land somewhere else on the schedule than Thursday at 9pm and its ratings can be expected to fall.

I don't expect any announcement for either show until the upfronts in May. The above predictions could still change several times between now and then!

Nashville & Body of Proof

Yes,  I noticed that Body of Proof is recently out-rating Nashville.  For now, that alone doesn't sway me to change the predictions for either. But that could change very soon. Besides, the "bubble" section in the table below is looking pretty sparse now.

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
Carrie Diaries, The 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
Rules of Engagement CBS 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
Criminal Minds 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
2 Broke Girls CBS Renewed
Big Bang Theory, The CBS Renewed
Blue Bloods CBS Renewed
CSI CBS Renewed
Elementary CBS Renewed
Good Wife, The CBS Renewed
Hawaii Five-0 CBS Renewed
How I Met Your Mother CBS Renewed
Mentalist, The CBS Renewed
Mike & Molly CBS Renewed
NCIS CBS Renewed
NCIS: Los Angeles CBS Renewed
Person of Interest 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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  • Richard Steven Hack

    For those claiming that they only care that BATB should be “on the bubble” instead of likely cancellation, note that the guys running this site DO take more than ratings into account. They take into account poor performance after the best lead-in the CW has, despite not being “retentionistas” generally.

    Robert also clearly states in this post that the problem with BATB is not so much THIS season’s ratings but what NEXT season’s ratings are likely to look like. Which is what I’ve been saying – and what the CW will be looking at as much or more than this season’s ratings and profitability. Speculating that BATB would do BETTER on another night is just that – speculation. Without seeing next season’s schedules for the CW and its competition, there’s no way to predict today that it would do better.

    There’s also the issue of season to season drops which most shows do. As I’ve said, if BATB is pulling a .6 or so this season, it can expect a .5 just from season to season drops next season, regardless of what night it’s put on. Even if it gets an adjustment up from lesser competition on some other night, that is likely to be offset by the loss of whatever lead-in benefit it DOES get from being behind TVD this season.

    And if it’s put on Fridays, it will do even worse, at least a drop to .4. When Nikita was moved to Fridays, it dropped from a season average of .9 to .5.

    So the bottom line is: why would the CW chance it? It’s much safer to dump it and replace it with a new show that is almost guaranteed to do better, at least initially. Not every new show is going to be a Cult or Emily Owens and crash disastrously. BATB didn’t this season, not to mention Arrow, so the CW can expect one or two of five new shows to do at least decently at least initially, even if they crash in the spring.

    In other words, it makes no sense to renew a low-rated show because you think a new show will be low-rated.

    All of those reasons together – not just this season’s current ratings – make the show likely to be canceled.

  • Jacob

    @ Barbie

    I thought AJ Cook had a 2 year contract for this season and next. My guess was Thomas Gibson was the hold up. Without AJ I have no use for the show.

  • Phil

    People need to keep their comments only about the shows they like. Just because you say that you don’t like a show and it needs to be cancelled, well nobody cares about your opinion. Just because you don’t like Nashville, it doesn’t mean a thing to the fans of that show. I happen to think that Nashville is one of the all around best shows on TV. I am a big country music fan, so the entertainment alone on that show is worth keeping it on. Not to mention the way they develop the characters and have such great story lines too. So all of you Nashville haters please keep your stupid opinions to self. Nobody wants to hear them. Also, to the people who feel the need to correct other people’s grammar and punctuation, get a damn life !!!

  • Jon

    Just because TBS picked up Cougar Town, now everyone things they are going to scoop up everyones sloppy seconds. My bets are that TBS will continue to acquire quality sitcoms in syndication like The Big Bang Theory, while bringing in a few more original sitcoms like it has done with Men at work and Sullivan and son

  • Jon

    @ Phil, the nature of any fare debate is that there are always two sides to a debate. I don’t mind seeing people be critical about something, just as long as they aren’t personally attacking someone on here, or feel somehow they are better because they don’t watch said show. Life would be pretty boring if everyone always agreed with me. For the record I have never watched Nashville, and probably never will. I will say nothing about the quality of the show, because for those that watch it, its good entertainment. For me the content doesn’t inspire me to watch it.

  • Terry Franz

    So glad Elementary has been renewed. Love that show!

  • Miranda

    Save Happy Endings :(

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