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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  • Oliver


    Networks don’t tend to cancel every show in a genre. It seems unlikely that Parks will be the only renewed NBC sitcom.

    Community’s proximity to 100 episodes gives it added leeway too. It’s currently on 84 episodes.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    I can’t seem to find the first edition of the Bubble Watch or an article announcing its conception. Can anyone help me?

    Nick, if I can’t help you (and I can’t) I doubt anyone else will. Bubble Watch evolved kind of of organically with no fanfare or formal launch. I’d do “bubble themed” posts here and there (probably starting in the 2009-10 season) then more weekly versions I think beginning in the fall of the 2010-11 season mostly just as something to post on Sundays.

    It will probably evolve yet again– either into weekly renew/cancel recaps or by pawning off bubble watch on someone else (Tom Shaw, if you see this, e-mail me!)

  • Marc

    I have a feeling ABC might try moving LMS and MC back to Tuesdays. If you factor in the Friday effect, they would probably be around 1.9-2.3. They also do very well in overall viewers, which could help with the 9PM hour/DWS results or whatnot. They might even promote the pair as a “Friday block” in upfronts but try it for two Tuesdays at the beginning of the season so if it doesn’t pan out, they can swap it back to Friday without losing face.

  • Rollie Dethloff

    ABC will cancel Red Widow, The Taste and Happy Endings
    CBS will cancel Vegas, Golden Boy, and Rules Of Engagement
    NBC will cancel 1600 Penn, Smash, Whitney, Fashion Star, and Deception
    FOX will cancel The Cleveland Show and Touch
    CW will cancel The Carrie Diaries and Beauty And The Beast

  • Ray

    Your site puts out predictions way too early. One week you’re certain to be renewed, the next likely or certain to be canceled.

  • The End


    You must be new here. Predictions can be made on the current ratings for any show really, and any associated conditions. If a show falters or shows signs of a downward trend it gets adjusted accordingly.

  • Sel

    I want renewed : The Neighbors, Hart of Dixie and Hannibal and I’ll be great!

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    @The End/Ray: I don’t think we make predictions too early, but I think the criticism of sometimes inserting the adjective “certain” into those predictions (particularly into post headlines) too soon is probably a fair one.

  • hubert r

    I always think its quite unfair to put the final season shows among the cancelled. They deserve some respect :p

  • Karen Pac

    I will be disgusted with ABC if they dont renew Malibu Country. I love that show and its way way way better than How To Live With Your Parents. No contest. I also like Malibu Country Betterthan The Neigjbors. ISABE MALINU COUMTRY!!

  • Cyrax86

    I really hope The Neighbors gets renewed, if they choose How To Live… separately instead, that would be one of the biggest disappointments of the season!

    I wonder if Family Tools has any chance whatsoever, it only airs 2 episodes before the upfronts…

  • andri

    I can’t understand what strings red widow alive. Could our prediction of splash be the culprit predator? Prefactory is happy endings feeding no frenzy -nowhere to go & body of proof kicking.

  • David

    ABC should cancel The Neighbors. It could barely hold its own even when it was sandwiched between NEW episodes of TM and MF. And being sandwiched between repeats is no excuse. Suburgatory held up nicely against more competition than TN (CM and final half hour of Idol). The Neighbors only competition on the majority of those nights was Survivor and Idol, Whitney repeats don’t count).

  • SJ

    Ultimately, this is how I see the ABC comedy situation shaking out: The Neighbors and Malibu Country (and, obviously, Happy Endings and Family Tools in addition to Apt.23) cancelled, everything else renewed. How to Live… stays after Modern Family in the fall, new comedies premiere Wednesdays at 8:30 and Fridays at 8:30 (the Friday one will be a new multi-cam). Suburgatory gets its 22-episode order but waits until mid-season and likely airs back-to-back originals in the spring.

    Do I agree with this? Hell no. I’d personally can How to Live/Neighbors, keep SUB where it is, and focus on rebuilding the drama department, but hey…

    Body of Proof has now settled into the 1.4 range. It’s tragic that that’s considered somewhat acceptable these days. Two years ago a show pulling a 2.0 in a 10pm time slot would have been firmly on the bubble. I can see it coming back in some capacity, but I’ll wait for Richard Steven Hack to tell me, for the 1000th time, why that’s not going to happen. ;)

    As for NBC, they really should be cancelling all comedies except Parks and Rec, but I can see Community getting a final season order as well. And, though totally undeserved, I can see any number of the other underperforming comedies creeping through:
    The New Normal (the PC factor, Ryan Murphy), Go On (because NBC WANTS it to work, even though it just isn’t, plus Matthew Perry), Guys With Kids (Jimmy Fallon, corporate synergy, y’all), Whitney (see GWK). The only truly dead sitcoms are 1600 Penn, which doesn’t seem to enjoy any network support, and Up All Night, which I’m sure won’t even get a mention at the upfronts.

    Deception is 100% dead and I think Hannibal will slip to levels too low for even NBC to tolerate, but that’s just a hunch. With SVU and Parenthood likely going into their final seasons and Chicago Fire on the wane, NBC needs hit dramas ASAP.

    I think the CW will cancel Carrie, but renew everything else. Why is Top Model pushed to summer?! Are they crazy? They have two holes in their schedule for crying out loud!

  • Dan

    I disagree with The Neighbors. It’s a toss up at best. I could see ABC bringing back the Neighbors and moving it and Suburgatory to Tuiesdays at 8 but ABC could just as easily cancel The Neighbors in favor of a new comedy. Thus it’s more of a toss up.

  • Dan

    @SJ – I actually agree with your predictions that its likely Malibu Country, Happy Endings, Family Tools, & The Neighbors are all cancelled and How To Live keeps the post MF slot with a new comedy airing at 8:30. But in the case of Suburgatory it’s possible that ABC could lead off Tuesdays with Suburgatory and a new comedy. If they opt not to do that then I think the next case is that it still gets a 18-22 episode order but perhaps it airs with a new comedy Tuesdays at 9 when Dancing ends and if it still has leftovers when DWTS returns, ABC could move its remaining episodes to Wed.

    Suburgatory may follow the pattern of ABC moving a comedy off Wed after its second season. I can’t see ABC giving Suburgatory anything less than 18 episodes since it needs a third and fourth season but I highly doubt ABC will dump it after its 3rd season like they did with Cougar Town and Happy Endings.

  • Cass

    Community’s proximity to 100 episodes gives it added leeway too. It’s currently on 84 episodes.

    It’s already syndicated on Comedy Central. Unless the production company gives it to NBC for chump change, there’s no need to create more, to justify previous investment, for syndication.

    Sure, more episodes equals more money but there’s probably a balance sheet somewhere that has the point when giving away to NBC compared to money from syndication is not profitable. Fans, like myself, can hope its ratings haven’t fallen to that point!

  • Chris

    You’re clueless Rob60990, The Neighbors will be renewed. I know how TV works. It’s not emotional, it’s stats.

  • TVDude


    Sony produces Community. This is the same company that produces CBS’s Rules of Engagement, which had 87 episodes at the end of the 2011-2012 season. Rules was syndicated on WGN and TBS, that didn’t stop Sony from forking over the money to get 100 episodes. Expect the same thing with Community. Given Sony’s history, I don’t see reason not to think they won’t give it away to get 100 episodes.


    I think Hannibal is a planned renewal. NBC seems to be favoring the producer and although its ratings have been just OK for NBC, they are great for the time period compared to shows airing there over the last couple of years. I would expect the show to be stable (a little down at most 1.2-1.3ish) this week and then bounce up by having The Office as a lead-in for three weeks. By that point, they will more than likely have renewed it so even if drops post-Office, it won’t matter. Like all of us, I don’t know for a fact it will be renewed, but I do think renewal is a lot more likely for it than cancellation is, given the circumstances the show is in and how NBC has made decisions recently.

  • Justin121


    Suburgatioy, How to Live, Neighbors, Malibu Country, Last Man Standing all will be rewened.

    So will Body of Proof, Nashville, Revenge…


    Beauty & Beast will be renewed. Carrie Diaries is 50/50.


    Community and Whitney will be renewed. Go On and New Normal will be cancelled. NBC has Revolution and Chicago Fire, so they don’t need the face-saving renewals. Hannibal needs to remain +1.3 — this year’s Touch.


    The Good Wife is renewed. Nothing else matters.

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