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

Categories: Bubble Watch

Written By

October 13th, 2013

SOPHIE LOWE

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:

ABC

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.

CBS

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.

CW

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.

FOX

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.

NBC

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
tvbythenumbers.com
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
tvbythenumbers.com
The Goldbergs ABC On The Bubble
Super Fun Night ABC On The Bubble
Two and a Half Men CBS On The Bubble
tvbythenumbers.com
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
tvbythenumbers.com
Bob's Burgers Fox Renewed
Glee Fox Renewed
The Simpsons Fox Renewed
Sleepy Hollow Fox Renewed

--

 
  • Fred

    Cont…

    Or even AFHV can air Thurs 8:00.
    Something cheap for the ABC death slot.
    NBC is suffering badly there too. I think they should cancel all those low rates sitcoms and start fresh.
    Just not sure what can compete with BBT and to a much lesser extent the X Factor. Ironically low rated CW is doing relatively well on Thursday.

  • Fred

    This might be ideal for ABC ;

    Sunday

    OUAT Wonderland – 7 ( appropriate time slot)
    OUAT- 8
    Grey’s- 9 ( will get better ratings than Revenge)
    Nashville -10 ( will improve upon Betrayal)

    Monday

    DWTS 8
    Castle10

    Tuesday

    S.H.IE.L.D.-8
    New Drama-9- give up on sitcoms here.
    New Drama-10

    Wednesday

    Middle -8
    Super Fun Night or Goldbergs – both not a great sitcoms but good for a few laughs. Prob will be replaced with something new.
    Modern
    Trophy Wife-seems to be most promising of new sitcoms
    Revenge- 10 ( back where it belongs)

    Thursday

    AFHV/ LookOut -formally Nightline Primetime- any low cost program will do.
    Scandal-9
    New Drama-10- allows the monster hit to help out something new.

    Friday

    Shark Tank- lead off the night strong
    Primetime WWYD-9
    20/20-10

    Seems like a reasonable schedule .
    Obviously if Super Fun Night , Goldbergs or Trophy Wife continue to lose viewers ,replace with new sitcoms. What a shame ABC can’t find suitable companions for Middle and MF. I miss Happy Endings and Cougar Town (on ABC) dearly . Now those 2 were far funnier than any of the new ABC sitcoms this season.
    Last chance for Nashville. If it can’t find an audience on Sun after Grey’s it should be canned. And I’m a fan.

  • queeneeuq

    8 shows in the cancellation box that are going to be renewed by May:

    Nashville
    The Neighbors
    The Good Wife
    Hawaii 5-0
    Mom
    Brooklyn Nine-Nine
    The Mindy Project
    Parenthood

    One of The Goldbergs and Super Fun Night is going to be renewed and so is Two and a Half Men for a final season. .

  • queeneeuq

    People are also ignoring the power of the Emmy. In an era where good ratings are becoming more and mpre scarce, prestige is now given more value. That alone will likely keep The Good Wife out of cancellation and buy Nashville ans The Neighbors another season.

  • Jon

    @queen……in what world did the neighbors win an emmy. I love the show but it certainly not an emmy. Winner now or ever.

  • Justin121

    @Dororhy,

    I don’t even watch Nashville.

  • duanculo

    thanks for the analysis TBTN

  • queeneeuq

    @Jon

    Who said that I said that The Neighbors won an emmy?

    They got nominated just like Nashville and by looking at The Good Wife’s chances every year this is enough to save them for another year.

  • milo

    It’s hilarious to see comments insisting that low rated shows have big/strong/excited fanbases. No they don’t. If a show had a ton of fans, it would have better ratings. And ratings are based on the sheer number of people watching, if it’s a small audience, that small audience being really excited doesn’t help.

  • Dee

    Thank you, @Jon. Sounds like michaelincmh is living under a bridge. And he’s the troll under that bridge!

  • Anthony

    I’m really surprised to see Hawaii Five-O on the list for certain cancellation since it’s had 5 smiley faces for 3 years straight. Revolution which I’m not all that crazy was the 2nd highest rated show on NBC at the end of the year behind The Voice and it’s up for certain cancellation too. I guess the sophmore jinx caught up with Revolution. I’m not happy to see Nashville on the certain cancellation list though. I think it’s good show and it had good ratings last year as well. These days it’s so hard to predict if a show you really like is going to be around for more than a few seasons even with strong ratings because people are so fickle. It’s frustrating because you get all invested in a show only to see it get cancelled.

  • queeueeq

    Bye The Goldbergs

  • Ashley

    I hope that Nashville,,Parenthood, The Mindy Project and The Neighbors aren’t cancelled next year, I really enjoy those shows.

  • Kimmie Kakes

    I know Hawaii 5-0 haven’t been putting out great episodes since mid-season last year, but they can’t cancel my show… I love that show I get comedy and action together. Also I’m a lil disappointed at the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D show, its not at all like I thought it was gonna be.

  • jess

    What about Raising Hope? It’s a really funny show.

  • Alison H.

    NBC! PLEASE DON”T CANCEL PARENTHOOD.. I WILL CRY…

  • Kevin

    The problem with the new shows suffer is that the networks dont schedual the new shows in the right time slots!!! 1st off, Mondays during football season is a terrible day for new shows!!! With Monday Night Football, WWE RAW, and The Voice all ON Mon night, they kill any new shows chances!!! Monday nights should have established shows to compete with them three!!! I do think 2 broke girls will take How I..Mothers time slot… Networks can take chances on new shows when MNF ends!!!! Now Tues and Weds, should be the days the newer shows air (Dads Agents Brooklyn MOM etc)… THe only real competition is Voice/X-Factor!!! Now i do think newer showa on Thurs night have a chance agaist Thurs night footbal because they with be more established by then… Another suggestion is networks should air comidys on one night and dramas on other nights. Also, Shield and Revolution should be moved to later time slots (because of Voice/X-Factor)!!! Also, all new shows on CW (wisconsin) should air during the summer, while other networks are airing repeats!!! Commets please…

  • troy j

    If the good wife and the mentalist didn’t have to follow football and have different airing times people would be able to watch & follow.people are tired of recordigng partial shows.

  • elie

    I can’t believe networks are taking off great shows like The Glades, Longmire,Hostages, The Mentalist. Then put any stupid reality, junk collection, tattoo Bridezilla. What are they thinking. ,Oops I forgot. They’re not!!!”

© 2014 Tribune Digital Ventures