Bubble Watch: Uncertainty for 'Hannibal'; 'Glee' for 2; 'The Neighbors' Likely to be Renewed + 'Body of Proof'

Categories: Bubble Watch

Written By

April 21st, 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.

Glee Renewed: shame on you if that surprises you

I’m not a Glee viewer so I have no skin in the game. If you don’t like it and you want it to be canceled because you don’t like it, that’s fine. But if you expect it to be canceled because you don’t like it, that’s kinda nuts. Who cares if Glee’s ratings are a shadow of their former self? Glee still has above average ratings for Fox and shows with above average ratings almost always get renewed.

“Why renew it for two seasons? It’s ratings are above average now, but they will be below average the season after next!” That it made financial sense to Fox to renew it for two seasons is a good enough generalization for me. Beyond that, while we don’t fiddle with adults 18-34 ratings for purposes of prognosticating (it doesn’t change the predictions, so why complicate things?) it’s an important subset of adults 18-49. Glee’s 18-49 ratings are above average and its adults 18-34 (and women 18-34) ratings even more so.

Translation: don’t be too surprised if Glee still has a higher 30 second spot cost than Person of Interest when Ad Age’s annual estimates come out next fall.

The Neighbors Still Likely to Be Renewed

Bill downgraded The Neighbors in last Tuesday’s Renew/Cancel Index due to the relative comparison between post-March 1 ratings for The Neighbors and How to Live with Your Parents.

No ding on How to Live with Your Parents performance (and I’ve upgraded it) I just don’t think it’s a case where using those two shows’ absolute ratings as a yardstick against each other is the way to go. Considering everything --even post-March 1 performance, where among other factors, three out of four of The Neighbors episodes aired after repeats of The Middle and four out of four did not air after Modern Family -- I still have the shows even.

The Neighbors has something else going for it – ABC has an ownership stake. How to Live with Your Parents is a Fox production.

Body of Proof Upgraded to the Bubble

Assuming Body of Proof has settled in at ratings that won’t deteriorate further, it will end the season with a little bit better index than it had last year. Given last year’s renewal, that makes it at least a bubble show. I won’t be surprised if it’s canceled, but after last year how could I be surprised if it’s renewed?

Hannibal Still on the Bubble

Hannibal got off to a promising start (at least on NBC) and actually went higher in its 2nd episode. But its 3rd episode fell 18% to a 1.4 adults 18-49 rating.  Even if it merely stabilizes from here, I still think it probably scrapes out a renewal. Another 18% drop though and it’s in Deception territory with a possible “yeah, but NOTHING works for NBC Thursday’s at 10pm!” played on fan excuse bingo cards, and hey, it can actually fall another 18% and still be ahead of last year’s Awake!

Yep, I upgraded Beauty and the Beast back to the Bubble

I tried to talk myself into it with conventional wisdom last week but didn’t quite get there.

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
Cult CW Canceled
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
Happy Endings ABC Cancellation Predicted
CSI: NY CBS Cancellation Predicted
Golden Boy CBS Cancellation Predicted
Vegas CBS Cancellation Predicted
Carrie Diaries, The 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
Body of Proof ABC On The Bubble
Malibu Country ABC On The Bubble
Rules of Engagement CBS On The Bubble
Beauty and the Beast CW On The Bubble
Community NBC On The Bubble
Go On NBC On The Bubble
Hannibal NBC On The Bubble
Whitney NBC On The Bubble
Castle ABC Renewal Predicted
Revenge ABC Renewal Predicted
Suburgatory ABC Renewal Predicted
Grey's Anatomy ABC Renewal Predicted
How to Live with Your Parents... ABC Renewal Predicted
Last Man Standing ABC Renewal Predicted
Middle, The ABC Renewal Predicted
Modern Family ABC Renewal Predicted
Nashville ABC Renewal Predicted
Neighbors, The 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
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
Glee Fox Renewed
Mindy Project, The Fox Renewed
New Girl Fox Renewed
Raising Hope Fox Renewed
The Simpsons Fox Renewed


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  • rob60990

    ABC isn’t renewing both The Neighbors & HTLWYP.

  • CBSviewer

    I thought The Cleveland Show was canceled.

  • Oliver

    I suspect Fox may regret Glee’s 2yr renewal when it gets horrible ratings in 2015.

    Then again, the production company probably makes a ton of money on international sales, songs and licensed merch, so perhaps not.

  • Ellen

    Robert, perhaps you could elaborate on why Deception is predicted as cancelled despite outrating bubble shows like Whitney and Community. For the record I do not watch any of those shows. But looking at the ratings something doesn’t make sense. At Bill’s index for instance Deception is at 91% of the scripted average, which should put it in renewal territory. Others have said dramas and comedies are weighted differently but this has not really been discussed in the past — if NBC has an hour of sitcoms doing worse than Deception, looking at the data we have (18-49 ratings) wouldn’t it be a possibility that NBC replace an hour of comedy with a drama hour?

    The only other factor would be retention — but as explained before on this site, NBC shows at 8:00 get decent lead-ins at least in the ballpark of The Biggest Loser’s 2.0s.

  • omabin

    I agree with everything this week, except for the neighbours, which I still view as being a bubble show (I actually predict cancelation but that is more a gut feeling than anything, but there certainly is a good chance the show is canceled, which is the definition of a bubble show, right?). Other than that, really in agreement.

    BTW, you still have Bop as likely to be canceled despite what you wrote, I think you’ve missed the change.

  • bob

    renew vegas please

  • vincentdante

    Hannibal outrated Elementary repeats but not Person of Interest repeats. That seems to have weighed heavily on the rankings.

  • Jeff

    Glee may not be what it used to be. But it is still fun to watch. HTLWYPFTROTL is a stupid tv show. Not funny at all. The Neighbors is a fun show. Goofy but fun.

  • Brad


    Deception has 10 episodes in the can while Whitney has over 40 and Community nearly 80.

    Deception isn’t coming back. It’ll take 3+ years for syndication.

  • Funeral Dinner

    So either way you have no idea what’s going to happen with Body of Proof?

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    Hannibal outrated Elementary repeats but not Person of Interest repeats. That seems to have weighed heavily on the rankings.

    If by heavily you mean “not something I considered at all” then yep.

    BTW, you still have Bop as likely to be canceled despite what you wrote, I think you’ve missed the change.

    Oops! Will fix, thanks.

    I thought The Cleveland Show was canceled.

    Some site called Cartoon Brew said it was, but Fox says it hasn’t made it’s decision yet. I’d bet (very heavily!) on canceled, but it doesn’t seem right to change the status based on available info.

  • Dan S

    Quick question. Wasn’t Cleveland Show cancelled this past week ? It’s still listed as cancellation predicted.
    I think Parents will likely get renewed unless it sinks much more. I think the open spot is between The Neighbors & Malibu Country which still has a fighting chance of returning. I’m giving the edge to TN however which would move to Fridays.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    @Dan S (and anyone else asking about Cleveland Show) see note in my comment posted at 9:50a PT.

  • Dan S

    Never mind about my question regarding Cleveland. I see Roberts response above my previous post

  • Laura

    Cancel B&B was boring and bad ! Kristin K. Is not a good actress!

  • Kavyn

    @Ellen It’s highly doubtful NBC will remove their Thursday comedy block, since it’s the only real comedy block they have. Moving Go On to Thursdays is them experimenting for next season with different shows now that The Office and 30 Rock are both ending.

    If they do remove a comedy block, it’ll be the one that aired Tuesdays at 9-10pm where they originally aired Go On and TNN after The Voice. With Deception they were probably trying to jump on the Revenge bandwagon and failed miserably. I highly doubt they’ll cancel two comedies just to renew Deception. Just curious but which comedies were you thinking they should cancel? So far the only comedies that stand a chance of renewal are P&R, Community, Go On and Whitney.

    Assuming they keep P&R, Community and Go On on Thursday and Whitney on Wednesday, I imagine they’ll pick up 2-4 new comedies to fill up the gaps.

  • omabin

    @Dan S,

    Why would they renew the neighbors over malibu country? This year, LMS fell 37% in the ratings by moving to fridays, from a 2.37 to a 1.49. Assuming the Neighbors fell just by as much, it would be 1.17 on the slot, whereas MC averaged a 1.39 in the slot (its average is inflated by high premiere numbers, but so is the neighbors’ average, so the argument still stands).

    Add to this two factors:
    – when LMS was moved, it was coming out a bad situation (having to lead the night all by itself, no compatible show to be paired with, DST hitting it hard at the end of the year, etc.) and it still fell 37%. The Neighbors has a cushy slot in the Wednesday block (despite having had to air surrounded by repeats a few times, I will give you that), which means it likely has less loyal audience to stick with it when moved. I think the drop would be higher than what LMS experienced
    – there is in general a higher risk when moving shows. So even if it was to be expected that TN could equal MC’s average (which, as I have proven it is not likely), there would still be a higher risk in that than by leaving MC there and canning the TN. The only way the move would make sense is if was to be expected that TN could significantly improve on MC’s numbers, so as to compensate the higher risk they would be undertaking by doing such move. But, as I’ve said, this is not even the case, because TN would likely be pulling a 1.0 average or lower

  • Kavyn

    @Jeff As much as I hate to admit it (as I’m a big Sarah Chalke and Elizabeth Perkins fan), the Neighbours is much better as a comedy. The writing on How to Live is quite boring and has a lot of forced quirkiness, and with the ratings declining so much each week it wouldn’t surprise me if the show dropped lower than the Neighbours soon enough.

  • Nick

    I agree with everything except The Neighbors :).

    BTW, I’ve been looking through your archives recently, for fun mostly, and I can’t seem to find the first edition of the Bubble Watch or an article announcing its conception. Can anyone help me?

  • Anthony

    if NBC has an hour of sitcoms doing worse than Deception, looking at the data we have (18-49 ratings) wouldn’t it be a possibility that NBC replace an hour of comedy with a drama hour?

    The only other factor would be retention — but as explained before on this site, NBC shows at 8:00 get decent lead-ins at least in the ballpark of The Biggest Loser’s 2.0s.

    No it really isn’t a realistic possibility that NBC replaces an hour of sitcoms with Deception. As you already stated, it had horrible retention out of Biggest Loser, which doesn’t bode well for it’s chances next season when it likely would not have such a big lead in (see Smash this season, it crashed and burned without a big lead in). Plus, Deception is NBC’s lowest rated drama this year (besides the already cancelled Do No Harm). On broadcast networks, it isn’t good to be the lowest rated anything on your network as that spells certain cancellation, because the network can launch something new that will likely rate better (or at very least equally as bad).

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