Bubble Watch: Will The Olympics Have NBC Back In Bed With 'Community' and 'Whitney?'

Categories: Bubble Watch

Written By

May 5th, 2013

Whitney - Season 2

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.
-

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
tvbythenumbers.com
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
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
Deception NBC Cancellation Predicted
Guys With Kids NBC Cancellation Predicted
Hannibal NBC Cancellation Predicted
Up All Night NBC Cancellation Predicted
The New Normal NBC Cancellation Predicted
tvbythenumbers.com
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
tvbythenumbers.com
Castle 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
Neighbors, The ABC Renewal Predicted
Once Upon A Time ABC Renewal Predicted
Scandal ABC Renewal Predicted
Criminal Minds CBS Renewal Predicted
Nikita CW Renewal Predicted
Parks & Recreation 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
Two and a Half Men CBS Renewed
Arrow CW Renewed
Beauty And The Beast CW Renewed
Hart Of Dixie 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
Chicago Fire NBC Renewed
Grimm NBC Renewed
Law & Order: SVU NBC Renewed
Parenthood NBC Renewed
Revolution NBC Renewed

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  • Ultima

    @David
    Haha. Sorry, just noticed something. When was the last time Raising Hope was mentioned in a discussion. The show has less buzz than Whitney! It’s a shame, because even though I’ve only ever seen 1 episode, it did have potential. I guess the show will just live out for another season and be cancelled. Greg Garcia (the creator), has hyped up pilots this season, so I think Raising Hope has just been forgotten – by it’s creators, viewers, FOX.

    Raising Hope was renewed…

    Is airing 88+ episodes not good enough anymore? It has to have buzz while doing so!

  • marcus

    Reply to your Predicted schedule. I agree with most of it and with all the predicted schedules out there I think you are right on. I would think they would tweak it slightly however.

    If CBS expands its comedy hours Rules of Engagement will be Renewed.

    MONDAY
    8:00 – How I Met Yout Mother (24 episodes)
    8:30 – Crazy Ones (13-22 episodes)
    9:00 – 2 Broke Girls (24 episodes)
    9:30 – Mike & Molly (22 episodes)
    10:00 – Beverly Hills Cop (13-24 episodes)

    TUESDAY
    8:00 – Survivor
    9:00 – NCIS (24 episodes)
    10:00 – NCIS: Red (13-24 episodes)

    WEDNESDAY
    8:00 – NCIS: Los Angeles (24 episodes)
    9:00 – Criminal Minds (23 episodes)
    10:00 – CSI (23 episodes)

    THURSDAY
    8:00 – The Big Bang Theory (25 episodes)
    8:30 – Two and a Half Men (23 episodes)
    9:00 – Person of Interest (23 episodes)
    10:00 – Elementary (23 episodes) INSERT THE MENTALIST HERE, ELEMENTARY IS SLIPPING QUICK. THE HUNTING DOWN OF RED JOHN WILL MAKE THE SHOW MUCH BETTER.

    FRIDAY
    8:00 – Intelligence (13 episodes) / Undercover Boss
    9:00 – The Mentalist (18 episodes) / Hostages (13 episodes) INSERT HAWAII FIVE-O HERE
    10:00 – Blue Bloods (22 episodes)

    SUNDAY
    8:00 – The Amazing Race
    9:00 – Hawaii Five-0 (22 episodes) INSERT ELEMENTARY HERE, IT HAS A MORE FEMALE FAN BASE THEN 5-0 AND WORKS BETTER WITH THE GOOD WIFE. HAWAII FIVE-O STILL HAS AN AUDIENCE AND FOOTBALL WOULD KILL ALL OF IT.
    10:00 – The Good Wife (20 episodes)

    Thoughts ?

  • mark

    CBS VIEWER I agree with most of it and with all the predicted schedules out there I think you are right on. I would think they would tweak it slightly however.

    If CBS expands its comedy hours Rules of Engagement will be Renewed.

    MONDAY
    8:00 – How I Met Yout Mother (24 episodes)
    8:30 – Crazy Ones (13-22 episodes)
    9:00 – 2 Broke Girls (24 episodes)
    9:30 – Mike & Molly (22 episodes)
    10:00 – Beverly Hills Cop (13-24 episodes)

    TUESDAY
    8:00 – Survivor
    9:00 – NCIS (24 episodes)
    10:00 – NCIS: Red (13-24 episodes)

    WEDNESDAY
    8:00 – NCIS: Los Angeles (24 episodes)
    9:00 – Criminal Minds (23 episodes)
    10:00 – CSI (23 episodes)

    THURSDAY
    8:00 – The Big Bang Theory (25 episodes)
    8:30 – Two and a Half Men (23 episodes)
    9:00 – Person of Interest (23 episodes)
    10:00 – Elementary (23 episodes) INSERT THE MENTALIST HERE, ELEMENTARY IS SLIPPING QUICK. THE HUNTING DOWN OF RED JOHN WILL MAKE THE SHOW MUCH BETTER.

    FRIDAY
    8:00 – Intelligence (13 episodes) / Undercover Boss
    9:00 – The Mentalist (18 episodes) / Hostages (13 episodes) INSERT HAWAII FIVE-O HERE
    10:00 – Blue Bloods (22 episodes)

    SUNDAY
    8:00 – The Amazing Race
    9:00 – Hawaii Five-0 (22 episodes) INSERT ELEMENTARY HERE, IT HAS A MORE FEMALE FAN BASE THEN 5-0 AND WORKS BETTER WITH THE GOOD WIFE. HAWAII FIVE-O STILL HAS AN AUDIENCE AND FOOTBALL WOULD KILL ALL OF IT.
    10:00 – The Good Wife (20 episodes)

    Thoughts ?

  • Ultima

    @k Alex
    Only P&R can reach a 1.6 or higher on NBC.

    I don’t think Rules of Engagement would average anywhere close to a 1.6 on NBC, especially not on Fridays.

  • r0ckmypants

    @marcus – They moved The Mentalist away from Thursdays for a reason; it’s not going back.

  • Ultima

    @CBS Viewer
    Thoughts ?

    Mom will certainly be on CBS’ fall schedule.

    Also, what is the point of shuffling NCIS and Survivor? Don’t fix it if it’s not broken.

  • Michael1

    I’m hearing a lot of people claiming that “Guys with Kids” has a prayer of renewal. Is this really a possibility? This is the greatest news I’ve heard in quite some time.

  • Anthony Parello (AP076)

    I guess I am of an opposite mind about NBC’s comedies.
    In terms of renewal chances I think:

    Community>Whitney>Go On

    The New Normal and Guys with Kids are toast.

    If NBC were to cancel Whitney or Community I can’t help wondering if either would be a better (corporate) fit on USA rather than ABC’s Happy Endings.

  • Television Town

    @Michael1

    I have predicted Guys with Kids for renewal. The show hasn’t done terrible in the ratings, but has done good enough to justify renewal. I also hear the people at NBC love the comedy and are willing to give it a second season. :) Check out Television Town on Facebook. :)

  • CBSviewer

    @ Ultima

    The Voice is hurting NCIS and when CBS repeated it at 9 it got a 2.2 and topped DWTS. Survivor is very strong and I think it would do good on Tuesday at 8. Plus NCIS will boost Red at 10.

  • Serial Rocker

    Only shows I enjoy that still haven’t been decided yet are Nikita and Hannibal, and I’m pretty confident about Nikita. All my other shows have either been renewed or ended properly (seeya Fringe, you’ll be missed!) so I really can’t complain.

    Hopefully Hannibal will be given the Touch treatment and get another season to find an audience. It’s too good to be cancelled. Not to mention completely wrong for the typical NBC viewer, but too late to do much about that.

  • Chris

    NBC needs to renew Guys With Kids over Whitney. GWK is just better and its ratings weren’t that bad in comparison to the other NBC comedies. Consistently got decent ratings without a lead in like The Voice.

  • Tom

    I hope Whitney gets renewed

  • Anna Bones Clarkwood

    @ Serial Rocker,

    If I were a Hannibal fan, I’d hope for the Southland treatment over the Touch treatment.

  • Oliver

    I hope Whitney gets cancelled.

  • colt13

    I expect Body of Proof to come back, because I think there will be less of Dancing With the Stars.

    I also think there will be less recap shows and repeats of American Idol, The Voice, X Factor, etc, and more shows will end up on the fall schedule. Whether they make it past the initial 13 is a different story.

  • Dan S

    It’s interesting that ABC has yet to announce any renewals. All the same BOP will likely return midseason as will How To Live but I don’t think MC will return. On CBS ROE is finished & I don’t see it returning even if they add another hr of comedy. Otherwise I don’t expect to see any other surprises unless NBC renews any of their low rated comedies.

  • brian

    Calling it now:

    NBC:
    Community—Renewed (Friday bound)
    Go On—Renewed (Moving to 7 PM Thursday to help build a cocoon for Fox’s sitcom and endless Thursday night comedy is back promos)
    Whitney cancelled—(That’s Whitney’s husband in that other show…pretty good sign to me)

    CBS:
    Rules of Engagement—Cancelled (They got enough sitcoms around that some other show can serve as spackle.

    ABC:
    Body of Proof—Midseason Replacement
    Malibu Country—Cancelled (Leguizamo’s show will take its spot on Fridays)
    How to Live With Your Parents—Renewed, but on a new day (maybe Midseason?)

    Others:
    Nashville—Renewed
    Nikita—Renewed, Still on Fridays
    Last Man Standing—Renewed, Still on Fridays
    What Would You Do—Midseason Spackle
    Wife Swap—Midseason/Summer Spackle
    The Neighbors—Renewed
    Betty White’s Off Their Rockers—Midseason Spackle
    The New Normal—Cancelled
    The Taste—Cancelled
    Guys with Kids/1600 Penn—Cancelled
    Deception/Hannibal—Cancelled
    CSI New York/Vegas/Golden Boy—Cancelled

  • davie

    Really? It gotta be cheaper for NBC to air Community and relying on less of a license fee than pay outright for more Whitney (a 3rd season, then by default a 4th?) And relying on its ratings alone to balance out the loss of profit on 44 more episodes, rather than charging roughly the same price for Communitys ads but not having to pay as much to air them?

    Id expect Community to be renewed 13-16 episodes before Whitney or Go On get 22.

    But all 3 will probably be renewed

  • Funeral Dinner

    Community will probably be renewed. I think Whitney is doomed, unfortunately. Both leads have moved on to other projects. Go On tanked worse than Whitney in it’s first season, so I don’t know why that should be renewed. Guys with Kids is a goner… TNN probably is too.

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