Bubble Watch: 'Wonderland,' 'Beauty And The Beast' & 'Nashville' Head For Cancellation, 'Tomorrow People' Towards Renewal

Categories: Bubble Watch

Written By

October 13th, 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.

Network Goals: The 2013-2014 Schedule Summary

At this year’s upfronts, I saw a number of articles exclaiming how the author didn’t know why Network X had the schedule they did. Personally, each network’s goals seemed clear and reasonable. My views on each network’s goal (and how various shows are doing this week) follows:


Primary Goal: Avoid more leaks.

A mountain of ink (and pixels) has been written about NBC’s struggles over the last half decade. The truth of the matter is that ABC hasn’t fared much better; roughly one success a season has given the impression they aren’t in shambles.

ABC’s situation is so shaky that their goal was simple: leave any veteran doing even adequate ratings where it was and try new shows in the holes on the schedule. The last thing the network needs is to move, say, Castle, and have it fall apart in its new timeslot and the show that replaced Castle fail as well. None of the veterans have significantly fallen apart from last year, but the rookies haven’t fared so well:

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has fallen almost 40% since its premiere; this week’s rating was still the third highest drama on TV (The Blacklist & Scandal were tied for first). In no surprise, the show was given a backorder.

The Goldbergs, even with that lead-in, has fallen below all the veteran comedies. Its survival probably depends on how many comedy hours ABC goes with next year.

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland premiered at only 75% of ABC’s scripted average for the year. Chalk up another one to the ABC Death Slot.


Primary Goal: Try new comedies.

Secondary Goal: Investigate 10pm options.

CBS has a rare problem: too many of their comedies were successes. The catch is that How I Met Your Mother is ending, Two and a Half Men is getting old and expensive, and Mike & Molly isn’t a break-out hit. How does CBS aim for multiple new comedies to replenish the ranks when they only have one or two timeslots to work with?

Answer: Expand to four comedy hours (and eat NBC’s former lunch in the process).

However, the gambit hasn’t particularly worked, so far:

We Are Men only dropped 10% in Week 2. However, it started off so low that the first two weeks’ numbers led to its cancellation, and a schedule shuffle on Monday.

Mom will now have The Big Bang Theory repeats as its lead-in for a few weeks; I am unconvinced they will goose Mom enough before the backorder decision has to be made.

The Millers only dropped 9% in Week 2; score another victory for the power of The Big Bang Theory.

The Crazy Ones still hasn’t settled, dropping another 17% this week. One single-cam already down; one more to go?

As for 10pm, people like to say that CBS is immune to how TV works nowadays. This is wrong. CBS still feels the pressures the rest of the industry faces, they just feel them roughly 5 years after NBC does. First Friday fell apart, then Sunday, and now the 10pm hour. (This sort of temporal shift isn’t uncommon; for a while ABC was running one year behind NBC).

To combat this, CBS tried everything they could this year in the hour:

Hostages, a serial with a well-known cast and high production values, continues to flounder and won’t be renewed.

Person of Interest was CBS’ newest drama hit; at 10pm, it has dropped down to numbers equivalent to what CSI and Elementary do.

CSI and Elementary continue to chug along, though no one will be shouting about their numbers.

Or to review, the expensive serial didn’t work, nor did the fresh contender break out. I think CSI and its ilk will be running for years at 10pm, as long as they can continue to cycle out expensive cast members.


Primary Goal: Avoid Singing Competitions

CW doesn’t have much real estate to work with; even worse, what little they have plays chicken with the kinds of singing competitions favored by the W18-34 the network used to target.

Hart of Dixie was thrown under The Voice bus; only down a tick or so from Tuesdays last year, it will hit its syndication lap next year, even if it ends up on Fridays.

Beauty & The Beast didn’t fare so well vs. The Voice, dropping 40% from how it ended last year. If it drops any more, it has a very real chance of being swapped out for The Carrie Diaries.

The Originals, not up against a new The Voice, did as well in its regular timeslot as Arrow did this week.

Supernatural returned as the #1 rated show of the week for The CW. Frankly, the show’s survival is one of the more interesting stories of The CW’s history.

The Tomorrow People did as well as its Arrow lead-in against The X-Factor. If it holds up as well against AI, it’ll be back next year.


Primary Goal: Grow new dramas.

Fox doesn’t have much in the way of dramas – Bones is getting older, Glee is only a hit amongst W18-34, and who knows how The Following will return. So cue a schedule that allows Fox to aim all their promotional power at one new drama at a time.

Sleepy Hollow already succeeded in getting a second season – though not a backorder, as the schedule is already overcrowded with unscheduled Glee and Gang Related episodes. Next up to bat: Almost Human.


Primary Goal: Use The Voice.

Secondary Goal: Reboot Thursdays.

The Voice and Sunday Night Football are the only real strengths of NBC’s schedule. NBC wisely decided to use The Voice to aid their dramas: to give The Blacklist a healthy start and try and bump Chicago Fire into the kind of show that anchors a night.

Chicago Fire, airing after a The Voice clip show, was up about half a point vs. its performance on Wednesdays late last year. The Voice seems to be working.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Thursdays, as the entire lineup tied or did worse than Parks & Recreation did against The Big Bang Theory. That sort of performance doesn’t make you wonder about how they schedule the night next year, it makes you wonder about who will do it.

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
We Are Men CBS Canceled
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
Once Upon a Time in Wonderland ABC Cancellation Predicted
Trophy Wife ABC Cancellation Predicted
The Good Wife CBS Cancellation Predicted
Hawaii Five-0 CBS Cancellation Predicted
Hostages CBS Cancellation Predicted
The Mentalist CBS Cancellation Predicted
Mom CBS Cancellation Predicted
Beauty & The Beast CW 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
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
Arrow CW Renewal Predicted
Hart of Dixie CW Renewal Predicted
The Originals CW Renewal Predicted
Supernatural CW Renewal Predicted
The Tomorrow People CW 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


  • Derrick

    I dont understand the logic behind cancelling Revolution. Anyone care to help me out ?

  • Dorothy5334

    Posted October 13, 2013 at 7:12 AM

    R/C Index: What Will Happen if the Season Ended Today.

    Bubble Watch: What Will Happen in May.
    Revenge and Castle: already close to Nashville.
    Once: a couple of tenths higher. Had a gigantic drop last year from Sept. to May.
    Scandal: could easily fizzle.
    Grey’s: on a downward trend.
    All this without even mentiong the 10 pm factor and the failure of nearly 8 new series (again: May. Super Fun Night, SHIELD, haven’t stabilized and the rest outright bombed).

    Although that I agree with most if what you said besides saying OUAT is a few tenths higher I believe that last wks episode it was a full point higher…

    Yeah saying that scandal & greys is or could be on a downward trend us basically saying anything.. If you think that a possible downward trend would mean that it would stay over those two you are sadly mistaken… I would even go as far to say that if Nashville and revenge had the same #s they would chose revenge over Nashville because of syndication purposes..

    I think your love for the show is prohibiting you for seeing done of these things that you want to believe.. Although I think that if it kept these same #s it’s very possible that they would renew it and not cancel it..

  • Dan

    @TVDude – I agree about Revolution, its in the same boat as Beauty and the Beast, and other second year but full season ordered dramas. Its trying to prove itself in a new timeslot. On the one hand, Revolution’s numbers are more down now then when it aired after the Voice. On the other hand NBC’s Wednesdays are low rated with Revolution then ticking up slightly with SVU then dipping with Ironside. I’m guessing Revolution will likely be cancelled come May more then renewed but we’ll see. It would be the first time in a while that NBC cancelled a drama after 2 full seasons.

    @Networkman – The rest of NBC’s comedy ratings make Parks squarely on the bubble but possible for a final season. Pit it this way a 1.2 is horrible but its even with MJF’s 1.2 and better than Sean Saves the World 1.0 and Welcome to the Family’s 0.8. Last season NBC had 10 comedies and 2 veterans were in final seasons, this season wasn’t announced as the last for Parks, though it very well could be.

    My prediction is that NBC announces a seventh and final season of Parks & Rec. Obviously if The Office returned Parks would rate lower, Parks & Rec was never a high rated show, even in its second season around this time 4 years ago the site predicted that the series would be cancelled yet being on NBC it survived.

    @Midnight – CBS could move CSI to sundays but I always thought the drama would be a better fit for 9 on Fridays. The series used to air on Fridays and I though that a UB/CSI/Blue Bloods night would be higher rated than H50 being on Fridays. And for some reason I would think H50 might work better either 9 or 10 on Sundays. I guess they didn’t do it this season because their focus was on comedy expansion, which is why they only introduced 1 drama, but I could see next season, CBS shift their focus on dramas and moving dome veterans around. (Though I expect NCIS, NCIS LA, and Criminal Minds to remain in their slots)

    Also while I can see how Hawaii 5-0 is “Cancellation Predicted” on this site, It will certainly be renewed. I know how CBS works.

    Unlike the past 3 years where at least 1 fall drama was a hit, this year their only fall drama is a flop. Assuming they don’t renew any more dramas this season and cancel The Good Wife and Mentalist. Hawaii 5-0 has to be renewed. Plus in its most recent airing it beat Blue Bloods and improved the demo.

    The series achieved syndication yet ratings aren’t horrible enough to warrant cancellation and for the series not to be renewed to get over the 100 episode threshold. The Good Wife made it over 100 episodes (a fifth season renewal before its syndication deal was announced) and so could Hawaii 5-0.

    If The Good Wife could get renewed last season (with CBS renewing more dramas last season) then Hawaii 5-0 by basic logic has to be renewed.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “Also while I can see how Hawaii 5-0 is “Cancellation Predicted” on this site,”

    While I’m sure I (and the cancellation bear) will get blow back from it (and I’m a big boy and can handle it), the Hawaii 5-0 cancellation prediction is Tom’s alone.

    I currently have Hawaii 5-0 as “likely renewed”.

  • vivien

    Honestly the show “Beauty and the Beast” is bad with actors who seem to be two mannequins, there is no chemistry between the two main actors, must be deleted!

  • M


    Trust me no matter if you ROAR louder than Katy Perry BATB will be cancelled… Remember Secret Circle? Yeah there were petitions and everything and it had way better ratings than beast… Enjoy while you can!

  • Richard

    The Good Wife is such a great show! It is one of the only truly smart legal dramas and never fails to entertain. Their problem is the terrible time slot CBS put them in. I know so many people who stopped watching because of the football games that make almost the entire season pre-empted. You can’t even DVR it effectively.

  • Chris J


    NBC likely won’t cancel any of their veteran dramas or comedies during the season. Revolution, Parenthood, and Parks will air all of their 22 episode seasons.

    The primary question is will these 3 shows be renewed for another season. The answer is probably no (especially in Revolution and Parenthood’s case).

    None of these shows are in danger of being cancelled before May though. Worse case scenario is the dramas move to Sunday and Parks moves to Friday. But the good thing for fans is they all there are enough episodes left for all to come to a pretty satisfying conclusion before the end of the season.

  • Chris J


    Your schedule is a little light on comedies. And why would NBC schedule Dateline on Wednesday 8pm?

  • badat

    revenge to be on that bubbl

  • Brad


    Thanks for a good laugh. BATB over HOD? LMAO.

  • Mad Max

    hope they don’t cancel revolution,
    it’s been pretty awesome this year. they should have cancelled to the last year. I just hope they get a really good ending

  • Ted Craig


    If they renew Revolution for a third season, it pretty much locks them into a fourth season. Second season shows (or shows with a two and a half seasons like Happy Endings) are actually in a worse position than first-year shows in some ways.

  • FRED

    Revolution seems like a high budget show. Not sure if the #s it has garnering are enough to justify the costs.
    Perhaps it needs to moved to a later timeslot. Certainly is not the kind of show that should air at 8:00 .

  • Pavelsauce

    As Ultima has said many times, you should always record an extra hour after the show’s timeslot as a rule of thumb. I wold also suggest following CBS on Twitter or subscribing to email Eye-Lert updates on their website, so you can know exactly when the show starts/ends.

  • Ember


    hahaha. it had such a low rated premiere. If the CW knows whats good for it, it’ll cancel it. Soon. Don’t let your love blind you.

  • Jacquelyn

    Parks and Recreation is as close at NBC has to a hit comedy right now and they are feeding it to The Big Bang Theory. That strategy is ridiculous. If they moved Parks back even a half hour it could get back to the 1.5 it was consistently posting last year and maybe even boast the whole night.

    Every week NBC wastes leaving their Thursday schedule as is, the more all of these shows will hurt.

  • Boiler

    I don’t think this subject is worth discussing until January for most shows. Sunday will totally change after football is over

  • Dan

    @ChrisJ – Well the best we can hope for in terms of Parenthood and Parks is that NBC gives them final seasons assuming everything else flops, it’s too early in the season to determine that. Revolution is done after this season unless it rebounds, which is unlikely.

  • AllOfHerTw!st

    H50 and Revolution shouldn’t be in the Cancellation section.

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