Bubble Watch: Will The Olympics Have NBC Back In Bed With ‘Community’ and ‘Whitney?’
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 Bubble Watch of the 2012-13 Season
If history holds, we’ll know all renewals and cancellations from the 2012-13 season by the end of next Friday, May 10, so by next Sunday nothing will be on the bubble.
Not much new this week, but Family Tools debuted on the list with cancellation predicted. So what of the 7 shows remaining on the bubble? Here’s an early glimpse at some of my “Oddsmakers” picks for Tuesday’s Renew/Cancel posts where Bill & I will give our “percentage of renewal” chances picks for all shows not already renewed or canceled (not just bubble shows). My percentages for the bubble shows could change (dramatically) between then and now.
Body of Proof: I’m leaning towards renewal (55%).
How to Live With Your Parents: not a lot of ratings history to make a pick, and it’s ratings are in the “could go either way” band. A true toss-up! But, 50% in oddsmakers is cowardly, so leaning towards cancellation (45% chance of renewal).
Malibu Country: If ABC sticks with a Friday comedy block, it definitely has a shot, but even then I’m leaning towards cancellation (40% chance of renewal).
Rules of Engagement: Unlike the others, this one isn’t a true toss-up based on ratings. But its ratings have been good enough where wheeling and dealing (Sony is involved in the show’s production) to keep the show around as schedule spackle didn’t seem completely ridiculous. But I’m more than leaning towards cancellation (33% chance of renewal).
Community: Of all the NBC comedy bubble shows, I like Community’s chances the least. I’m still leaning towards renewal (55%)
Whitney: More than leaning towards renewal. (75%).
Go On: Even more more than leaning towards renewal than Whitney (85%)
Speaking of NBC’s bubble comedies…
The text below comes from long-time reader Tom Shaw who has thought a lot about renewals, cancellations and scheduling needs. Tom was the person who coined the phrase “schedule spackle” in the comments way back when, so another piece this week involving, you guessed it, schedule spackle. Tom thinks about things much more from a scheduling perspective than I do. I haven’t spent any time thinking about what NBC will stick on Fridays next season. Tom has!
Will The Winter Olympics Give Whitney Another Shot?
NBC has a major project for this upcoming season: Rebuilding their comedies. With The Office finished, NBC only has one comedy with the numbers to (barely) warrant renewal: Parks & Recreation. Add the new Michael J Fox show (with 22 episodes), and that still leaves probably two more new shows in Fall (and possibly two more in Spring as well).
Complicating matters is the 2014 Winter Olympics. Running from February 6th to February 23rd, it provides NBC with a platform to launch new comedies on February 27th, but also a problem: they have to come up with shows to cover until January 30th, itself the first day of the February 2014 sweeps.
Let’s say NBC starts The Voice on September 9th (and why not, given how well it worked out this year). That means we’ll probably see NBC’s comedies premiere on September 19th. That gives NBC 20 weeks it has to cover until the Olympics. Even assuming NBC takes weeks off for Thanksgiving, Holiday specials, New Year’s, etc., that’s well over 13 weeks. I find it unlikely NBC keeps an Animal Practice-level flop on the air until the Olympics.
Or to summarize, NBC will be launching more Thursday comedies than ever before, will have every reason to delay starting new comedies until February, and will need extra episodes to cover until the Olympics. That’s the perfect recipe for spackle in bulk. I expect NBC to again schedule an hour of comedy spackle on Fridays.
Now, which shows? That’s the difficult question. I expect at least three shows to get spackle orders. In order of likelihood, by my estimation:
- Go On – Produced by Universal, NBC may want to give it another shot.
- Whitney – Produced by Universal, held up okay in various time slots.
- New Normal – Not produced by Universal, and the numbers have dropped to “ugly even for NBC”. However, NBC may want to give it another chance, may see some value in keeping Ryan Murphy happy, and may want to demonstrate to showrunners that NBC will give their shows every chance. (If there are any “political” considerations, they are positive.)
- Community – Yes, it could use 4 more episodes for domestic syndication. However, it already has a cable deal, there are no showrunners NBC wants to keep happy, and numbers have dropped down to nothing special. (I also still wonder if Sony/Comedy Central won’t go the Futurama route and give it a made-for-DVD wrap up movie they can chop up into 4 episodes.)
- 1600 Penn / Guys With Kids – Admittedly only given one chance, but the numbers are bad and there no showrunners NBC will want to keep happy (Fallon should already be covered with The Tonight Show).
Note: only scripted shows that have aired at least one episode this season are in the table below.
|666 Park Avenue||ABC||Canceled|
|Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23||ABC||Canceled|
|Private Practice||ABC||Final Season Finished|
|Made in Jersey||CBS||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|
|Do No Harm||NBC||Canceled|
|Office, The||NBC||Final Season|
|Family Tools||ABC||Cancellation Predicted|
|Happy Endings||ABC||Cancellation Predicted|
|Red Widow||ABC||Cancellation Predicted|
|CSI: NY||CBS||Cancellation Predicted|
|Golden Boy||CBS||Cancellation Predicted|
|Carrie Diaries, The||CW||Cancellation Predicted|
|Cleveland Show, The||Fox||Cancellation Predicted|
|1600 Penn||NBC||Cancellation Predicted|
|Guys with Kids||NBC||Cancellation Predicted|
|Up All Night||NBC||Cancellation Predicted|
|The New Normal||NBC||Cancellation Predicted|
|Body of Proof||ABC||On The Bubble|
|How to Live with Your Parents…||ABC||On The Bubble|
|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|
|Grey’s Anatomy||ABC||Renewal Predicted|
|Last Man Standing||ABC||Renewal Predicted|
|Middle, The||ABC||Renewal Predicted|
|Modern Family||ABC||Renewal Predicted|
|Neighbors, The||ABC||Renewal Predicted|
|Once Upon a Time||ABC||Renewal Predicted|
|Criminal Minds||CBS||Renewal Predicted|
|Parks & Recreation||NBC||Renewal Predicted|
|2 Broke Girls||CBS||Renewed|
|Big Bang Theory, The||CBS||Renewed|
|Good Wife, The||CBS||Renewed|
|How I Met Your Mother||CBS||Renewed|
|Mike & Molly||CBS||Renewed|
|NCIS: Los Angeles||CBS||Renewed|
|Person of Interest||CBS||Renewed|
|Two and a Half Men||CBS||Renewed|
|Beauty and the Beast||CW||Renewed|
|Hart of Dixie||CW||Renewed|
|Vampire Diaries, The||CW||Renewed|
|Mindy Project, The||Fox||Renewed|
|Law & Order: SVU||NBC||Renewed|