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

Categories: Bubble Watch

Written By

October 6th, 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** (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


  • Charmed

    Scandal and Grey’s are not moving anywhere!

  • Nasir

    Typo in the chart. The Vampire diaries is listed as a CBS show,

  • Colin

    The Vampire Diaries is on CW, not CBS.

  • Hardline_Pro

    Why would ABC moves Grey’s Anatomy to Sunday? That makes no sense.

  • Charmed

    The Good Wife and The Mentalist have been left out the chart

  • Charmed

    Grey’s is doing just fine where it is, don’t fix what ain’t broken

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    thanks for the feedback. edit: table now updated.

  • CrimTV

    @Hardline_Pro, @Charmed

    It makes sense. Instead of keeping the schedule the same and premiering a new show on Sunday at 9/10pm next season, where it will inevitably fail (GCB, Pan Am, Betrayal, 666 Park Avenue, Red Widow etc). Why not move an established show which will probably end next season to Sundays at 9pm where it will have a good audience, move Revenge to the 10pm slot so it might not do amazingly well, but better than others in that slot. Then move Scandal to 9pm Thursdays to launch a successful show on Thursdays, sounds good to me!

  • tp

    I still believe nashville and h5o should be on the bubble and I am not sure parenthood will get cancelled. Soon parenthood will have the best ratings in nbc’s Thursday lineup.
    Also revolution will move to 10pm soon and if it can maintain their numbers it may get a renewal.

  • Charmed

    @CrimTV I don’t think grey’s will end next season, er lasted 15 seasons!

  • Douglas from Brazil

    Why The Good Wife and The Mentalist aren’t in the table?
    ANd why Parks and Rec as renewal predicted?Parks will likely be cancelled by the end of the season or at least have a final season of 13 episodes like 30 Rock in fall 2014.I don’t see TGW and TM being cancelled, they’re both stable in their timeslots for a sunday night where are NFL delays which push the shows to air later.My concern is about Person of Interest, which moved to tuesday and it’s dropping.POI is probably moving to fridays to replace H50 or to sunday in case of either TGW or TM end up being cancelled.ABC tuesdays is a dead place.Greys could probably move to 8pm thursday timeslot and Scandal moves to 9pm and launch a new drama at 10pm.NBC thursdays are so dead and buried.They should replace with new dramas or even move The Voice 1 hour edition.They should try comedies at mondays to face CBS comedies which are dropping this season.

  • Fake Me Out

    The chart does not match your predictions or, it isn’t clear to me anyways. You have H50 & Revolution as likely canceled in the chart but the write up makes it seems otherwise. Put me down as someone who’d like to see the old categories brought back … makes it clearer plus it generates some teeth gnashing and belly aching which can sometimes be fun.


    PS: 3 Simple words to end the shutdown … Call the vote … say it loud and often to the House Speaker & House Republicans … then remember who did this when you vote in November 2014 & 2016.

  • erwanfromfrance

    Sorry, but Grey’s Anatomy, a series which still can have mid 3’s in its 10th season shouldn’t move anywhere ! Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal are PERFECT together and moving even one of them would be SUICIDE !

  • CrimTV


    CrimTV I don’t think grey’s will end next season, er lasted 15 seasons!

    At the end of the day, it’ll come down to what the producers and cast want to do. The ratings will keep it on the air for a few more seasons but it wont matter if no one wants to continue!

  • omabin

    I am sorry but I really dislike your approach. You claim that you don’t know what will happen and then you predict cancellations anyway (e.g. Revolution, Hawaii Five-0). Some shows had good week 2 performances, yet you continue to predict their cancellation as if nothing happened (Nashville, Back in the Game). You also should start to have some continuity from one week to the other… if last week you were so decided to put H50 as likely to be cancelled you should somehow come back to your arguments again when you speak of it now. Of course things can change on a weekly basis, especially at the beginning, but the idea should not be to change this on a weekly basis unless there is new information that could not be predicted (ex. Scandal’s surge last year, Go On’s collapse last year, etc.) Otherwise, what is the point of reading a prediction now if you can change it just because next week? It’s better to be safer and have more bubble shows, at least then I can believe when you have something predicted one way or the other. Just my opinion.

    Anyway, my predictions are:
    – Modern Family: Certain Renewal
    – Last Man Standing: Certain Renewal
    – The Middle: Certain Renewal
    – Super Fun Night: Likely Renewal (I understand having it on the bubble though)
    – The Goldbergs: Bubble
    – Back in the Game: Bubble
    – Trophy Wife: Likely Cancellation
    – The Neighbors: Likely Cancellation

    – Once Upon a Time: Certain Renewal
    – Revenge: Certain Renewal
    – Scandal: Certain Renewal
    – Grey’s Anatomy: Certain Renewal
    – Agents of Shield: Likely Renewal (although I understand certain renewal)
    – Castle: Likely Renewal, but it is more of a technicality, i think it is a certain one
    – Nashville: Bubble (it would require Shield, Wonderland and the 4th hour of comedy to come back for it to be cancelled, assumed no midseason drama survives. Are you ready to predict all this?)
    – Betrayal: Certain Cancellation
    – Lucky 7: Cancelled

    – The Big Bang Theory: Certain Renewal
    – 2 Broke Girls: Certain Renewal
    – The Millers: Likely Renewal (I understand bubble though)
    – How I Met Your Mother: Ending
    – The Crazy Ones: Likely Renewal
    – Two and a Half Men: Bubble
    – Mom: Bubble
    – We Are Men: Certain Cancellation

    – Person of Interest: Certain Renewal
    – NCIS: Certain Renewal
    – NCIS LA: Certain Renewal
    – Criminal Minds: Certain Renewal
    – CSI: Likely Renewal
    – Hawaii Five-0: Likely Renewal
    – Blue Bloods: Likely Renewal
    – Elementary: Likely Renewal
    – The Good Wife: Bubble
    – The Mentalist: Likely Cancellation
    – Hostages: Certain Cancellation

    – New Girl: Certain Renewal
    – The Mindy Project: Bubble
    – Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Bubble
    – Dads: Likely Cancellation

    – Sleepy Hollow: Renewed
    – Bones: Certain Renewal
    – Glee: Renewed

    – The Michael J. Fox Show: Likely Renewal
    – Parks and Recreation: Bubble
    – Sean Saves the World: Likely Cancellation
    – Welcome to the Family: Certain Cancellation

    – The Blacklist: Certain Renewal
    – Chicago Fire: Certain Renewal
    – Law and Order SVU: Certain Renewal
    – Parenthood: Bubble
    – Revolution: Bubble
    – Ironside: Certain Cancellation

  • Percy

    Why is blue bloods predicted to be renewed when Hawaii Five-0 did better then it?

  • Dean-W

    CBS next season:

    8:00 – The Millers
    8:30 – NEW COMEDY
    9:00 – 2 Broke Girls
    9:30 – Mike & Molly
    10:00 – Elementary

    8:00 – NCIS
    9:00 – NCIS: Los Angeles
    10:00 – NEW DRAMA

    8:00 – Survivor
    9:00 – Criminal Minds
    10:00 – CSI

    8:00 – The Big Bang Theory
    8:30 – NEW COMEDY
    9:00 – The Crazy Ones
    9:30 – NEW COMEDY
    10:00 – NEW DRAMA

    8:00 – Undercover Boss
    9:00 – Hawaii Five-0
    10:00 – Blue Bloods

    7:00 – 60 Minutes
    8:00 – The Amazing Race
    9:00 – NEW DRAMA
    10:00 – Person of Interest

  • Rollie Dethloff

    I agree with Crim TV, except it maybe shouldn’t be Grey’s. Perhaps Castle? Let something else benefit from the DWTS lead-in on Mondays.

  • Mitchell

    Ah, I knew you’d come around on Hawaii Five-0. Come on Tom, move it to renewal predicted. You know you want to.

  • Dean-W

    FOX next season:

    8:00 – NEW DRAMA
    9:00 – Sleepy Hollow / The Following

    8:00 – Brooklyn Nine-Nine
    8:30 – NEW COMEDY
    9:00 – New Girl
    9:30 – NEW COMEDY

    8:00 – The X-Factor / American Idol

    8:00 – Glee (Final Season)
    9:00 – NEW DRAMA

    8:00 – Bones
    9:00 – Raising Hope
    9:30 – NEW COMEDY or The Mindy Project (if it’s lucky)

    8:00 – The Simpsons
    8:30 – Bob’s Burgers
    9:00 – Family Guy
    9:30 – Murder Police

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