Bubble Watch: ‘Ironside,’ ‘We Are Men,’ ‘Sean Saves the World,’ ‘Welcome To The Family’ Headed to Cancellation; ‘The Originals,’ ‘Super Fun Night’ Start on the Bubble


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.

It’s early in the season, with shows still premiering, so straight to the hail of snippets:


Betrayal started off as ABC’s second lowest drama.  Already scheduled to be replaced by Resurrection come March, I have my doubts it lasts even that long.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. dropped 30% from its premiere. It was still ABC’s #2 drama of the week. While I doubt ABC is happy with its performance so far, it can still drop quite a bit before it is in danger.

The Goldbergs dropped 29% from its premiere, much like its lead-in. When SHIELD levels off, we will have an accurate reading on this.

Lucky 7 dropped 46% from its terrible premiere and was promptly canceled. I expect a mix of repeats and holiday specials until January.

Super Fun Night started off as ABC’s #2 comedy of the week; critical and popular reception seems chilly, so we’ll see where it settles.

Scandal returned as the #1 drama of the week. The only question is if and where ABC moves it. (My personal pick would be to move Grey’s Anatomy to Sunday @9, Revenge to 10, and Scandal to Thursday @9 leading into ABC’s most promising drama pilot.)


The Good Wife and The Mentalist returned to where they ended Spring at, as some of CBS’ worst rated shows. While I expect to see some yo-yo-ing due to NFL late games, neither show has much left in the tank.

We Are Men started off as CBS’ worst rated comedy. With 22 episodes of Mike & Molly waiting in the wings, WAM’s run will be short.

Mom only dropped 12% in Week 2. It was still CBS’ second worst rated comedy, when midseason options like Friends With Better Lives and Bad Teacher are lurking.

The Millers premiered as CBS’ #2 rated comedy. The Big Bang Theory lead-in should drag this to a renewal.

The Crazy Ones dropped 26% in Week 2; for nostalgia shows, that’s not bad. I’m bumping this up to renewal until we see if any of the midseason shows break out.

Hawaii Five-0 was adjusted up a tick last week in the finals; this week’s fast nationals were the same as last week’s. I think at least two out of The Good Wife, The Mentalist, and Hawaii Five-0 get canceled, with Hawaii Five-0 having the best shot at survival so far; I want to see a few more weeks of settling (especially against normal competition) before I declare Hawaii Five-0 the winner, though.


The Originals premiered to how The Vampire Diaries was doing at the end of last season. The more relevant question is how it does in its proper timeslot.


The Animated Block keeps on chugging on, with The Simpsons being renewed for another year (keep in mind, some of those episodes will probably air in the 15/16 season!). Given the massive lead times in production, this will probably be the last time they are mentioned until Murder Police premieres.

Dads and Brooklyn Nine-Nine continue to drop; they are now doing worse than The Mindy Project (which interestingly enough is still above where it ended last Spring). I am going to predict them all as canceled until we get midseason show comparisons.


The Blacklist (technically) picked up the first backorder of the season. If you view backorders as manufactured “good” PR, it is worth pointing out that news came within 36 hours of this week’s three NBC premieres arriving stillborn. Speaking of which…

Ironside premiered as NBC’s worst drama; it won’t make it past the Olympics. I wouldn’t be surprised if NBC soon airs a new episode of Revolution in the timeslot to evaluate their options.

Welcome to the Family premiered as NBC’s worst comedy. I expect to hear that NBC is switching to Community into Parks & Rec as soon as WTTF drops below 1, which could be as early as its next airing.

Sean Saves the World premiered low, at about 70% of NBC’s scripted average. While NBC can arrange the order of their comedies around somewhat, SSTW will probably have to air until NBC can reboot after the Olympics.

The Michael J. Fox Show dropped 23% in Week 2. I still moved it to a renewal because I can’t imagine that only a 13 episode spackle order of Parks & Rec survives the year, but the situation bears watching.

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

Show Network Status
Lucky 7 ABC Canceled
How I Met Your Mother CBS Final Season
American Dad Fox Moving to TBS
Back In The Game ABC Cancellation Predicted
Betrayal ABC Cancellation Predicted
Nashville ABC Cancellation Predicted
The Neighbors ABC Cancellation Predicted
Trophy Wife ABC Cancellation Predicted
Good Wife, The CBS Cancellation Predicted
Hawaii Five-0 CBS Cancellation Predicted
Hostages CBS Cancellation Predicted
Mentalist, The CBS Cancellation Predicted
Mom CBS Cancellation Predicted
We Are Men CBS Cancellation Predicted
Brooklyn Nine-Nine Fox Cancellation Predicted
Dads Fox Cancellation Predicted
The Mindy Project Fox Cancellation Predicted
Ironside NBC Cancellation Predicted
Parenthood NBC Cancellation Predicted
Revolution NBC Cancellation Predicted
Sean Saves The World NBC Cancellation Predicted
Welcome To The Family NBC Cancellation Predicted
The Goldbergs ABC On The Bubble
Super Fun Night ABC On The Bubble
Two and a Half Men CBS On The Bubble
The Originals CW 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
The Middle ABC Renewal Predicted
Modern Family ABC Renewal Predicted
Once Upon a Time ABC Renewal Predicted
Revenge ABC Renewal Predicted
Scandal ABC Renewal Predicted
The Big Bang Theory CBS Renewal Predicted
Blue Bloods CBS Renewal Predicted
The Crazy Ones CBS Renewal Predicted
Criminal Minds CBS Renewal Predicted
CSI CBS Renewal Predicted
Elementary CBS Renewal Predicted
The Millers CBS Renewal Predicted
NCIS CBS Renewal Predicted
NCIS: LA CBS Renewal Predicted
Person of Interest CBS Renewal Predicted
2 Broke Girls CBS Renewal Predicted
The Vampire Diaries CW Renewal Predicted
Bones Fox Renewal Predicted
Family Guy Fox Renewal Predicted
The New Girl Fox Renewal Predicted
The Blacklist NBC Renewal Predicted
Chicago Fire NBC Renewal Predicted
Law & Order: SVU NBC Renewal Predicted
The Michael J Fox Show NBC Renewal Predicted
Parks & Recreation NBC Renewal Predicted
Bob’s Burgers Fox Renewed
Glee Fox Renewed
The Simpsons Fox Renewed
Sleepy Hollow Fox Renewed

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