Bubble Watch: 'Revolution,' 'Mom,' 'Dads,' 'Parenthood,' 'Hawaii Five-0' 'Mindy Project' & More Predicted Cancelled

Categories: Bubble Watch

Written By

September 29th, 2013


Note from the editors: Robert has hung his Bubble Watch shoes this season. Long-time reader Tom Shaw is taking the reins. Fear not! Bill is still doing new Renew/Cancel Index posts on Tuesdays.

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** (2014-15).  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.

Bubble Watch: Numbers, Numbers Everywhere!

Broadcast TV may finally be reaching a modern equilibrium, as overall ratings are slightly up from last year and every network has a premiere to crow about (SHIELD, The Crazy Ones, Sleepy Hollow, & The Blacklist). It’s a much lower equilibrium than would have seemed possible even a decade ago – depending on the timeslot, a 2.0 will now get you renewed on every network – but it’s an equilibrium nonetheless.

Enough navel-gazing, as there are a mountain of rookies and transplants to cover. In rough chronological order:


Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. started off as the #1 premiere of the season. No surprise… and frankly irrelevant. The much bigger question is how, say, episodes 4 and 7 do.

The Goldbergs started off as ABC’s #2 premiere. Its lead-in being network TV’s #1 premiere may have helped there.  Too early to tell how it settles (or more accurately, how SHIELD settles).

Trophy Wife received little of SHIELD’s halo; with multiple comedies waiting in the wings, it probably needs every other new comedy to fail to have a chance.

Lucky 7 is dead. Full stop. The question now becomes when, not if, ABC yanks it off the air. (Though it may very well produce all 13 episodes in its order. The Whole Truth did with roughly equivalent ratings a few years back.)

Back in the Game started off as ABC’s worst rated non-Friday comedy. That is not a recipe for survival.

The Neighbors dropped 17% in Week 2. Doing 45% of ABC’s worst Tue-Wed comedy, the ABC schedule would have to completely implode before they needed The Neighbors as spackle. I can’t imagine ABC renews it for two more seasons of sub-1 ratings on Fridays to get it to syndication.


Mom started off as CBS’ worst rated comedy. That isn’t good. Furthermore, can even the Chuck Lorre name save it… from being replaced by a Chuck Lorre show (Mike & Molly)?

Hostages is dead after these 15 episodes. The only question now is if the numbers get bad enough that it swaps timeslots with Hawaii Five-0.

Person of Interest returned to numbers slightly worse than it was doing in Spring.  It was still CBS’ top rated 10pm show. Its performance probably has CBS executives chugging antacids nonstop – not because of PoI’s ratings themselves, but because Scandal-level ratings are now nearly impossible at 10pm on broadcast TV from now on.

The Crazy Ones is the #2 rated premiere of the season. I wouldn’t break out the champagne quite yet, as nostalgia-based ratings fall apart fast.

Two and a Half Men did roughly CBS’ ratings average. I thoroughly doubt CBS gets it at the average programming cost. Some year CBS will have enough successful comedies to let this go – and it could be this year.

Hawaii Five-0 actually held onto most of its Monday audience, dropping only 20% from its April & May average. That said, skipping Sundays is a significant sign that CBS considers it all but dead.  A decent performance when it replaces Hostages might convince CBS to give it another chance – but I certainly wouldn’t bet on it.


Sleepy Hollow dropped a mere 11% in Week 2, against full first run competition. Almost Human has the tiniest of leashes to survive into Spring.

Dads and Brooklyn Nine-Nine predictably suffered vs. first-run competition, dropping over 30% this week.  On the plus side, they aren’t worse (yet) than The Mindy Project’s numbers!


The Blacklist took advantage of its Voice lead-in to be the #3 premiere of the season.  As long as it keeps The Voice as its lead-in, it gets renewed.

Chicago Fire took advantage of its Voice lead-in to gain nearly a full ratings point over where it was in Spring.

Revolution, now without a Voice lead-in, did numbers nearly equal to how it ended Spring. This is frankly a significant victory for the show! (Or a sign that NBC wasted that Voice lead-in for all of last Spring. Either or.) If it can keep above 1.5 or so (and there’s no regime change at NBC), I could see a (cheapened, effectively two season) renewal. I just won’t predict that, yet.

Parks & Recreation took over Community’s timeslot. It apparently took over Community’s ratings too, tying Lucky 7 for the worst rated Monday – Thursday show on the Big Four. And yet (given the probable lack of any Fall comedy hits on NBC) I still think it is likely it gets a 13 episode spackle/farewell order for next year.

The Michael J. Fox show premiered to ratings slightly over NBC’s scripted average. As the result of a bidding war that lead to a 22-episode order, this has to be highly disappointing for NBC. Even worse, the show didn’t appreciably improve at 9:30, when there was no competing nostalgia option on CBS.

Parenthood, moving to a much rougher timeslot, tied its series low. Not a particularly healthy situation, when it is now at a syndicatable episode count and NBC has multiple Spring dramas that could be successful.

Note: only scripted shows that have aired at least one episode this season are in the table below.

Show Network Status
How I Met Your Mother CBS Final Season
Back In The Game ABC Cancellation Predicted
Lucky 7 ABC Cancellation Predicted
Nashville ABC Cancellation Predicted
The Neighbors ABC Cancellation Predicted
Trophy Wife ABC Cancellation Predicted
Hawaii Five-0 CBS Cancellation Predicted
Hostages CBS Cancellation Predicted
Mom CBS Cancellation Predicted
Dads Fox Cancellation Predicted
The Mindy Project Fox Cancellation Predicted
Parenthood NBC Cancellation Predicted
Revolution NBC Cancellation Predicted
The Goldbergs ABC On The Bubble
The Crazy Ones CBS On The Bubble
Two and a Half Men CBS On The Bubble
The Michael J Fox Show NBC On The Bubble
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ABC Renewal Predicted
Castle ABC Renewal Predicted
Grey's Anatomy ABC Renewal Predicted
Last Man Standing ABC Renewal Predicted
Modern Family ABC Renewal Predicted
The Middle ABC Renewal Predicted
2 Broke Girls CBS Renewal Predicted
Blue Bloods CBS Renewal Predicted
Criminal Minds CBS Renewal Predicted
CSI CBS Renewal Predicted
Elementary CBS Renewal Predicted
NCIS CBS Renewal Predicted
NCIS: LA CBS Renewal Predicted
Person of Interest CBS Renewal Predicted
The Big Bang Theory CBS Renewal Predicted
Bones Fox Renewal Predicted
Brooklyn Nine-Nine Fox Renewal Predicted
Sleepy Hollow Fox Renewal Predicted
The New Girl Fox Renewal Predicted
Chicago Fire NBC Renewal Predicted
Law & Order: SVU NBC Renewal Predicted
Parks & Recreation NBC Renewal Predicted
The Blacklist NBC Renewal Predicted
Glee Fox Renewed


  • K

    Blacklist does not need The Voice to have good ratings.

  • queeneeuq

    I agree that the tavle is too aggressive. The only things certain to be cancelled are Lucky 7. Dads. Mom. Revolution. Hostages. and Mindy. The rest are pretty much buble shows. All ABC comedies should be in the bubble since there is no way ALL of them will be canceled. Brooklyn 99. is also in teh buble. While the crazy ones and nashville are likely to be renewd.

  • D. Fernandes

    I loved the changes in the bubble watch. It’s now the best feature on the site. I may not agree with all of the predictions, but i really like the new feature.

  • harry

    Hostages , Lucky 7 , Hawai 5-0, the crazy ones ,the neighbors , two and a half men, nashvile ; consider all those canceled !

  • harry

    also super fun night will fail so hard.

  • Matt

    I don’t really see how Nashville is predicted cancelled. IF it stays above a 1.6 and 6 million viewers, it should be renewal-material. Also, top that with outstanding critical reviews and phenomenal acting by the entire cast. It SHOULD’VE been placed on Sundays at 10 after Revenge. They would’ve made a great pair.

  • Michael1

    What is the point of renewing Parks and Recreation for another season? Isn’t it already eligible for syndication? It had 94 episodes going into this season, and all affiliates in the Philadelphia market passed on it. I imagine most other markets did the same. I doubt another sub-1.5 year will make a difference.

    Doesn’t the success of “The Voice” prove that it is possible for an NBC show to attract viewers? Maybe making fun of a fat guy and having an angst-ridden 20-something woman who doesn’t appreciate anything isn’t the best formula for a hit TV show, or maybe we need a few more seasons to make a decision.

  • HV

    We’ll just have to see next week then. But I’m pretty sure that TCO will be getting around a 2.2 and that Mom will be getting around 2.3-2.4 next week. And, I also expect TCO to fall faster than Mom.

  • omabin


    Regarding the H50 debacle, I think people are dismissing all the variable at stake here. People need to think about:
    1. How many dramas will CBS premiere next fall? I say it is between 1 (unlikely) to 3.
    2. How much space for new dramas will CBS already have next fall? This one requires answering to:
    a. Will they stick to 4 hours of comedy? I think there is a real chance they do not.
    b. Will they stick with Undercover Boss in the fall? If they want to go back to premiering a friday drama, they may very well don’t (they will certainly miss its utility role now that Hostages is flopping)
    c. Will Intelligence work, effectively taking one more spot or not?

    If we consider all these, and if we accept, which I don’t think is a stretch, that The Mentalist will the be first of the 4 Friday/Sunday dramas to be let go, then the only three scenarios in which H50 COULD be in danger are:
    – CBS wants 2 new dramas and it has no slots available. This implies that all of the following are true: they stick with 4 hours of comedy, Undercover Boss is on during fall and Intelligence works. Even in this case, I think it is a tossup between H50 and TGW.
    – CBS wants 3 new dramas and it has 1 slots available. This implies that all but one of the following are true: they stick with 4 hours of comedy, Undercover Boss is on during fall and Intelligence works. Again, it would be a tossup between H50 and TGW in this case
    – CBS has no slots available and decides to premiere 3 new dramas (I think this is unlikely, but it is the most dangerous situation by far). It would imply that all of the following are true: they stick with 4 hours of comedy, Undercover Boss in on during fall and Intelligence works. In this case, I think both H50 and TGW would be canceled in addition to the mentalist.

    I would like to hear your views on this. Because for you to predict its canceation, it means that you have to really believe that one of these scenarios and all of its preceding conditions will take place and that (excluding the third scenario) H50 is lower on CBS priority list than TGW, which I am not sure at all. There is also an outside chance that other variables change (if Survivor deteriorates further it would be possible, though not likely for it to timeshare with TAR, there is a chance Elementary completely collapses, etc. etc.). I just feel that there is no way you can safely predict all these variables with a reasonable amount of confidence for me to believe in you (the 4th comedy hour in particular, which is in direct competition with H50 at this point, especially because you seem to be quite harsh on the comedy renewals at the same time, so I am not sure what you expect CBS to do).

    (And for the record, yes, I am a fan of H50, but I am even a greater fan of TGW, so no biases here for the most part)

  • HalCapone

    Recognizing my opinion is irrelevant w/r/t cancellation and even though I think The Crazy Ones is crazy bad, I share the view with a few others it will fall precipitously over the next few airings. Everything airing after The Big Bang Theory will continue to be a challenge for CBS since they have yet to find a compatible show. The Millers, based on early reviews, sounds like another “miss”. Scandal should easily rule the 10pm hour when it debuts next week. Wonderland will no doubt struggle mightily when it debuts in a few weeks against The Big Bang Theory but it could perform better than other ABC attempts in their infamous death slot. The MJ Fox show is a goner unless NBC throws it a pity lifeline. Lots of churn on Thursdays to come which should continue to engender much lively discussions about ratings.

  • Joe

    SHIELD wasn’t the number 1 premiere, THE BLACKLIST was

  • James

    – Mom: Mom is the worst-rated comedy on CBS, but only this week. We are Men and The Millers will do worse than Mom. The over-expansion of comedy blocks and the final season of HIMYM will also force CBS to renew more sitcoms than usual. I guess it will lean toward renewal.

    – Back in the Game: The Middle premiered with 2.4, and Back in the Game lost only 0.2 from its lead-in. If it doesn’t drop too much it may gain a renewal.
    – Nashville: It did unexpectedly bad with Modern Family as a lead-in. With Super Fun Night it would do even worse. But since it got renewed last season with that mediocre rating, I predict renewal.

    – The Michael J Fox Show: That the most hyped sitcom is on the bubble is just depressing. But if NBC needs to keep their comedy block, they can’t just cancel every new sitcom like in previous years.
    – Parks and Recreation / Parenthood: If NBC wants to maintain Thursdays as family-themed and comedy nights, they’re the only assets. But if NBC wants to start from scratch again, they’re done.

    – The Mindy Project: Its rating is embarrassing especially when it follows the highest-rated sitcom New Girl. But Fox can’t replace it now because the replacements may do worse than Mindy. I predict cancellation.

  • omabin


    – Agents of Shield: 4.70
    – The Blacklist: 3.80

  • omabin


    I think a lot of people fail to recognize the very real possibility that CBS can very easily go back to 3 hours of comedy a week. Most likely 2 on Thursdays and 1 on Monday but it could happen. There is still a lot of season to go through and comedies do not necessarily follow downards trajectories as much as dramas, so a lot can change, and they still have two new midseason comedies to debut, plus Mike and Molly, in addition to this week’s millers and we are men. But it could very well happen. If that was the case, I think only TBBT and 2 Broke Girls would be 100% safe.

  • SJ


    Nashville is a likely cancellation, agreed. It started out with a 2.8 last year and managed to go all the way down to a 1.5. Starting out eight tenths of a ratings point lower this year is not good at all. Things are only going to get worse once Super Fun Night (and presumably, its spring follow-up, Mixology) debut in the 9:30 time slot.

    Last Man Standing is a likely cancellation. If its ratings don’t recover ABC will either slash the number of episodes (if they ordered 22) or simply not order any more (if they ordered 13). Syndication won’t save it, especially as it’s not an in-house production and I can’t think of a recent example of 20th cutting a deal with a network other than Fox to keep a low-rated show going for the sake of syndication.

    The Neighbors’ episode count, reportedly at 22, is also getting slashed sooner rather than later.

    Trophy Wife/Back in the Game – pretty bad starts for both. I can’t imagine either being able to crack a 2.0 rating again. Both likely goners.

    The Goldbergs – it had an OK start, but it also followed the impossibly beastly-rated SHIELD. It’s also worth remembering that The Neighbors started out a tenth of a point higher than TG and look at it now. Still, TG won’t change time slots so as long as SHIELD doesn’t collapse, it won’t either.


    While it’s hard to predict The Annual CBS Drama Mess, 2013-2014 Edition (patent pending), especially before the Sunday dramas have even premiered, I’m going bold here and predicting The Good Wife and The Mentalist as likely cancellations and Hawaii 5-0 and Blue Bloods as likely renewals.


    CBS seems intent on not only getting its shows to a “syndicatable” episode count – 88 – but also to get them to 100+ episodes. That automatically shields both of the Friday dramas – plus Blue Bloods posted good-for-Friday premiere numbers out of the gate. The Sunday dramas are older and more expensive, and in the case of TGW, they’d have to lock in Josh Charles for an additional season, which usually comes with a pay upgrade. Which brings me to my next point – should CBS decide to keep one of the two, it will likely be The Mentalist, whose lead, Simon Baker, is signed on through season 7, not to mention the fact that they’re letting go some of the existing cast members and bringing in new, cheaper ones.

    The CBS veteran drama cancellation order from most likely to least: The Good Wife – The Mentalist – Hawaii 5-0 – Blue Bloods.

    As for the comedies, I wouldn’t write Mom out just yet. If 2 Broke Girls recovers (which it probably will once Mike and Molly inevitably takes over the 8:30 time slot), it will go up with it. Plus, being a Chuck Lorre show, it likely has a lot of goodwill at the network.

    I can’t see Two and a Half Men ending this year, but next season will most likely be their last. The Crazy Ones will likely survive as well, if only because I don’t see CBS giving up on the two-hour Thursday comedy block that easily. Plus, I can’t imagine it falling that far.


    Parenthood and Revolution are goners. Parks and Rec might earn a farewell 13-episode season because of the support it has enjoyed at the network, but then again, they could just announce this season as its last at some point during the season.

    The MJF Show landed with a thud, which, frankly, surprised me. Things are only going to get worse once Welcome to the Family and Sean Saves the World come into play and it’s relegated to being the :30 show. At this point, I don’t expect renewal.


    Sleepy Hollow held up in week 2, which is a good sign, but it’s being replaced by The Following mid-season. Hopefully TF isn’t down too much year-on-year, because this could be a good one-two punch on Mondays at 9 for the next several years.

    I still don’t think Bones should move and I remain unconvinced that it will. Maybe it would be better to cut one hour from The X Factor and air it Wednesdays at 9, or pushing Glee to Fridays – although neither option is perfect, seeing as American Idol is going to need 2 hours on Wednesdays and Rake is already slated to replace Glee in the winter.

    Or maybe Almost Human gets pushed to mid-season (although I still don’t know where it would air).

    The comedy block crashed in week 2, predictably. With not even New Girl being able to consistently stay above a 2.0 – starting next week, probably – what does Fox do? Do they just throw in the towel and air all the ordered episodes of Dads and B99 or do they try to do some damage control, maybe by shoving Raising Hope and Mindy there and trying to revive B99 in the 9:30 slot? Who knows. But if Mindy somehow manages to see a third season I will be really surprised.

    I don’t think The X Factor is coming back. If this newest gimmick they have planned for next week doesn’t bring in the ratings, it’s done.

  • Randy

    Jed, H50 has been in syndication all summer and it has done miserably. It was given 2 slots on Thursday nights on TNT; 9 PM and 10 PM and failed. And TNT is paying $1.5 million per episode, one of the most expensive deals in syndication. I doubt they want to pay that much for a failing show.
    They even moved it to 10 PM and 11 PM . It did better this last Thursday so I guess if it improves things could change. But if it goes back down to oblivion, I think TNT won’t buy season 5 and H50’s run will end.

  • Alan

    I pretty much agree with everything. I tried to like Mom, but it wasn’t funny, a lot of people aren’t watching it next week too. ABC made a huge mistake by renewing Nashville, and FOX too renewing Glee for next season already!

  • Ryan


    Really? You expect Mom to only drop 0.1 to 0.2 but you expect The Crazy Ones to drop 1.7? A 4% decline for Mom and a 44% decline for the Crazy Ones?

    I liked both shows so I don’t think I’m being biased here. Yes, Crazy Ones won’t have a direct TBBT lead-in, and yes 2 Broke Girls could easily fluctuate up, but your prediction is just ridiculous. We Are Men could also drag down Monday just as easily as The Millers drags down Thursday.

    Until the Crazy Ones does decline (by a full point, no less), CBS has a legitimate hit on its hands. And as long as Mom holds steady, CBS could have a sleeper hit with it as well. At this (early) point I see renewal for both.

  • Brandy

    I disagree with Nashville a Likley Cancellation.It come back up over its finale and was over a 2.0 ,which it’s getting harder to have shows at 2.0 or higher.Plus. There’s its music sales and last season it had a lot f critical acclaim and won awards and it’s DVr numbers were pretty good and CMT bought & aired the first nine episodes.Plus, abc seems to support and the split season could help.Itd ur in on the bubble since its too early IMO to make predictions other than Hostages,Lucky 7 as Likley cancelations or Certain cancellation .Mom I’d probably put there too since 2.5 is low for a premiere of a brand new show ,and espcially a Chuck Lorre show.But, maybe CBS will be patient and try different things to get it to succeed.

  • queeneeuq

    Among ABCs comedies, Back in the Game has zero chance of surviving past November. The Goldbergs are only as good as SHIELD.

    LMS and the Neighbors are likely to stay in Friday up until May. ABC isnt going to risk yet-to-premiere comedies just to have mediocre ratings

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