Bubble Watch: Will 'Revolution,' 'Nashville,' 'Elementary' & 'The Mindy Project' Survive The Terrible Twos?

Categories: Bubble Watch

Written By

October 20th, 2013

Revolution-Episode-13-The-Song-Remains-The-Same-08-550x367

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.

The Terrible Twos!

For years, you have heard tvbythenumbers repeat that any show with three full seasons (roughly 66 episodes) is virtually guaranteed to get one more season for syndication.

The extension of this is that any show at two full seasons is essentially deciding on a 44 episode renewal.

The problem, especially this year, is that if those sophomore shows are doing poorly, that’s a huge – and lengthy – bet the network has to make.

How those questionable sophomores line up:

Nashville

Pro: Not doing terribly for 10pm.

Con: “Not doing terribly” equates to just 80% of ABC’s scripted average. Soaps historically aren’t that profitable in syndication. Limited number of alternate timeslots – Revenge is begging to be moved to Sunday @10 next season, which only leaves Tuesday @10 and the good old ABC Death Slot (Thursday @ 8).

Elementary

Pro: CBS looks like it will have room on Sundays next year; had been doing adequately this season for a 10pm show.

Con: This week’s drop may not have entirely been baseball related – it has dropped every week this season. What is its floor?

The Mindy Project

Pro: Fox is developing as if they will have at least two hours of comedy next season, and will need insurance. AdWeek’s annual estimates suggest the show still has value.

Con: Fox’s worst rated show of the season (just 73% of Fox’s scripted average), albeit only a tenth behind Dads’ cumulative 18-49 rating. If it is getting that worst rating even after airing behind New Girl, what happens when it moves elsewhere?

Revolution

Pro: Started off in line with how it ended last season – but without the The Voice lead-in!

Con: And then dropped every week since the premiere. A steady stream of new shows started after The Voice means more and more competition for drama space in future years on NBC.

None of these situations are great; until their freshmen fail, I’m not particularly positive on any of the sophomores’ situations.

---

This week’s premieres and other notable data points:

While The Goldbergslead-in is leveling off, The Goldbergs is not. This week it fell below all the Wednesday options, and I am moving it to cancellation.

(Note: I wouldn’t be surprised by – I even expect - a backorder for The Goldbergs! ABC only has two midseason comedies, Suburgatory and Mixology. Unless ABC kills the Tuesday comedy block – and with the hiatuses they have planned for their dramas, they don’t appear to have the backup inventory to do so – the most likely outcome is Suburgatory replaces Trophy Wife, Mixology takes over from Super Fun Night in March or April, and ABC has to ride out The Goldbergs until May.)

Back In The Game should consider making The Cancellation Bear their team’s mascot, as it is living up to the site’s adage by running faster than the rest of the freshmen comedies (after taking the Modern Family inflation into account). I am moving it to the bubble, as its survival now depends more on how many comedy hours ABC schedules next year – and who is doing the scheduling (more on that next week).

Super Fun Night has now fallen to the level where it likely implodes without the Modern Family lead-in. I am moving it to cancellation.

The Millers and The Crazy Ones have apparently leveled off above the CBS scripted average; no surprise, both were given backorders.

Mom, airing after a (admittedly worse rated than an original 2 Broke Girls) The Big Bang Theory repeat, dropped another tenth… and still was given a backorder. I don’t know if this is the power of the Chuck Lorre name, CBS’ lack of faith in its midseason comedies, or both. The backorder doesn’t sway my opinion on its chances – Mom is still CBS’ worst rated comedy at the moment. That CBS is ending How I Met Your Mother, is unlikely to use Mike & Molly for anything beyond spackle in the future, and is increasingly likely to put a fork in Two and a Half Men does begin to.

Hawaii Five-0 continues to hold up reasonably well, while Blue Bloods has dropped a bit, neither The Good Wife or The Mentalist has impressed without the late NFL game, and now even Elementary has sunk a bit. I wanted to wait until I saw numbers vs. regular competition, but after all of the above, I’ve moved Hawaii Five-0 to renewal – CBS has too many other problems to worry about that show.

Reign’s premiere tied the worst Tuesday -Thursday performer on the CW. With Star-Crossed waiting in the wings, I have to get my “Its reign will be short!” jokes in early as I don’t expect a backorder.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine has been doing the best of the three mediocrely rated Fox comedies; little surprise that Fox gave it a backorder and the second post-Super Bowl slot. I am still unconvinced which (if any!) of the three get renewed.

Ironside was canceled, with Chicago PD taking over the slot in January. No one was surprised.

Welcome to the Family rose a tenth this week (maybe Eva Longoria helped?); still doing under a 1, no one was surprised when it was cancelled and the 8pm hour turns into Community followed by Parks & Recreation in 2014.

The Michael J. Fox Show fell half a point last week. Turns out it wasn’t due to Glee, as it was flat this week. I am moving it to cancellation. I expect The Michael J. Fox Show to remain NBC’s #1 freshman comedy this year; I no longer see the ratings staying at the point where NBC has anything to lose by not going for another reboot.

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
Ironside NBC Canceled
Welcome To The Family NBC Canceled
Betrayal ABC Cancellation Predicted
The Goldbergs ABC Cancellation Predicted
Nashville ABC Cancellation Predicted
The Neighbors ABC Cancellation Predicted
Once Upon A Time in Wonderland ABC Cancellation Predicted
Super Fun Night ABC Cancellation Predicted
Trophy Wife ABC Cancellation Predicted
The Good Wife CBS Cancellation Predicted
Hostages CBS Cancellation Predicted
The Mentalist CBS Cancellation Predicted
Mom CBS Cancellation Predicted
Beauty & The Beast CW Cancellation Predicted
Reign CW Cancellation Predicted
Brooklyn Nine-Nine Fox Cancellation Predicted
Dads Fox Cancellation Predicted
The Mindy Project Fox Cancellation Predicted
The Michael J. Fox Show NBC Cancellation Predicted
Parenthood NBC Cancellation Predicted
Revolution NBC Cancellation Predicted
Sean Saves The World NBC Cancellation Predicted
Back In The Game 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
Hawaii Five-0 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
Parks & Recreation NBC Renewal Predicted
Bob's Burgers Fox Renewed
Glee Fox Renewed
The Simpsons Fox Renewed
Sleepy Hollow Fox Renewed

--

 
  • James

    CW is doing excellent so far. Tuesday night is fixed, Wednesdays and Thursdays have at least one anchors.

    NBC also does very well on Mondays & Tuesdays, and possibly Fridays. Wednesday night is bad, but Chicago PD may do as good as Chicago Fire. Thursday night is literally a wasteland, but NBC has a lot of reality shows to fill it so it’s not a problem.

    FOX is alright with its drama development. In previous seasons nearly all dramas were canceled, but Sleepy Hollow and The Following are exceptions. Tuesday comedies aren’t well-rated, but New Girl deserves a merit of beating the Goldbergs without a lead-in.

    CBS Monday is a mess, but overall it has a lot of solid sitcoms and dramas.

    ABC, on the other hand, is a mess on every night. Although it has the highest-rated network drama (Scandal) and second highest-rated comedy (Modern Family), there is a hole on every night except Monday. Tuesday lineup is particularly worrying because Agents of SHIELD has to to keep its momentum for a whole season. ABC will need quite a lot of dramas to fill their schedule next year.

  • Bryce

    I think The Good Wife should survive on CBS but will it is the question. I think it is one of the best dramas on television. It is the only show that gets any awards traction for the network along with other critical acclaim. Let’s face it, it is probably the only real educated quality series on CBS in a sea of cop shows and comedies.

  • Ted Craig

    @TVDude

    ” history has proven that almost anything else will rate below a 1.0 after just a few episodes.”

    Nonsense. History has proven that people won’t watch ill-conceived shows (Do No Harm being a blatant example). A show like Chicago Fire would probably do just fine in that time slot.

  • bluejays

    Wow you really like living dangerously Tom!! I still think HFO really IS a true bubble show. Until we see how it does against regular competition I don’t think any calls can be made.

    Having said that, I entirely agree that CBS have WAY too many other things to worry about right now and have said similar. The way things are going for them – the Friday shows – as long as they don’t absolutely tank, are likely to be off the radar while they try to fix all their other problems.

    So even if HFO and Blue Bloods drop a couple points against competition I’d remain optmistic for them, not because of their stellar performance but the other dire performances CBS has to face.

    Re the ‘terrible two’s’ – I can definitely see Revolution going. I can’t see NBC holding onto it for some reason. The other’s – I’ve no clue. CBS in particular seem to hold onto shows once they reach the second year but it depends on if Elementary drops further and how far.

    Nashville, I’ve no idea. Non at all. ABC have always been a network I find hard to predict.

  • ron

    I have to laugh at the response by those who celebrate when one of their favorites is moved to certain to be renewed. The numerous failures of By the Numbers should cause the readers to temper their celebration. This site has failed time and time again to accurately predict what will happen to new shows, second and third year shows. For three years they have been predicting the cancellation of The Good Wife, Parenthood and the Mentalist, and they have been wrong every year. They have no more ability to see into the future of a show then you or me, so quit putting their predictions as solid as gold.

  • steven

    revolution should be on bubble … this is black and white now I also think networks just have to realize people don’t watch live we aren’t in late 90’s …. oh well hope it gets picked up for a third good concept of a show :)

  • steven

    @ron I agree with you just sucks to me when a show doesn’t have a proper ending … these networks want us to invest time into all these shows and when we do they cancel and we don’t have a good ending to it they owe it people to do that at least lol

  • Fake Me Out

    @Nikita Fans

    Those hardcore fans who think that additional episodes may be ordered if the ratings are good should think again …

    Thousands flock to television prop sale on Eastern Ave.
    thestar.com/news/gta/2013/10/20/thousands_flock_to_television_prop_sale_on_eastern_ave.html

    But on the bright side if you live near Toronto you have today and tomorrow to drop by and own a piece of the series.

  • Christina

    I want you to be wrong about The Goldbergs, Mom and ESPECIALLY Brooklyn Nine Nine. I already lost the surprisingly awesome We Are Men this year!

  • gerry

    i can honestly see abc cancelling an hour of comedy and keeping nashville around. its rating higher than all (i think) of the new slew of abc comedies, so it seems like a no brainer.

    i could see the good wife pulling another season, but i would be unsurprised if it was cancelled. i think it should be on the bubble. it just depends on how many dramas cbs picks up. if it comes down to this OR mentalist, mentalist is gone. or they get rid of both.

    mindy doesn’t have great ratings but its ratings are at least stable. i don’t see fox dropping this unless they have some really fantastic new comedies up their sleeves.

  • Anthony

    I have to laugh at the response by those who celebrate when one of their favorites is moved to certain to be renewed. The numerous failures of By the Numbers should cause the readers to temper their celebration. This site has failed time and time again to accurately predict what will happen to new shows, second and third year shows. For three years they have been predicting the cancellation of The Good Wife, Parenthood and the Mentalist, and they have been wrong every year. They have no more ability to see into the future of a show then you or me, so quit putting their predictions as solid as gold.
    What are you talking about? This website has not been predicting any of those shows would be cancelled over the last few years. There have been a few times where they have had TGW and Mentalist on the bubble (which is by no means a declaration of cancellation) but they definitely have not predicted Parenthood as cancelled (in fact last year they had the show as certain renewal). They are not perfect (notable incorrect guesses would be Fringe, and Body of Proof) but those are very rare and most seasons they have a successful prediction rate of well over 90%.

  • Wright

    I think Reign will increase viewers this week. It’s a really good show.

  • queeueeq

    Elementary: gone

    Revolution: gone

    Nashville: survive

    The Mindy Project: survive

  • MARTY

    queenueeg I wouldn’t be so fast on elementary example unforgettable just renewed for another summer season cbs loves to get its shows to syndication

  • Edward

    Yikes at ABC’s ratings last night. How the once mighty have fallen.

  • mike93

    the good wife will be cancelled. the mentalist will be renewed for a final season to wrap things up. and Hawaii five-0 will be renewed.

  • AllOfHerTw!st

    Brooklyn Nine-Nine Fox Cancellation Predicted
    Revolution NBC Cancellation Predicted

    No

  • anna g

    bluejays
    Posted October 21, 2013 at 4:15 AM
    Wow you really like living dangerously Tom!! I still think HFO really IS a true bubble show. Until we see how it does against regular competition I don’t think any calls can be made.

    Having said that, I entirely agree that CBS have WAY too many other things to worry about right now and have said similar. The way things are going for them – the Friday shows – as long as they don’t absolutely tank, are likely to be off the radar while they try to fix all their other problems.

    So even if HFO and Blue Bloods drop a couple points against competition I’d remain optmistic for them, not because of their stellar performance but the other dire performances CBS has to face.
    ———————
    Agreed. As much as I like H50 I still see as “on the bubble” at least until next FRIDAY when Grimm premieres and we will better picture of the night. Also we will know if Elementary bouces back from its disastrous ratings.

  • Carol_R

    For Nashville you need to factor in revenue from the music coming out of it. It’s another source of possible revenue for the show.

  • milo

    In the case of a second year show, is renewal for a third season always for a full 22 episodes? With shows like these that are borderline it seems like in some cases it might make sense to treat it like a first season show and renew with a limited number of episodes (13 or less) and see how it does and order the rest of the season or not based on that.

© 2014 Tribune Digital Ventures