Bubble Watch: Remember, Full Season Pickups Aren't The Same Thing As Renewals

Categories: Bubble Watch

Written By

October 27th, 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.

The season is settling in and there weren't many changes from last week. So just the public service announcement in the headline this week, a few blurbs below and the list.

Dads, Fox’s #2 worst rated scripted show, was given a backorder. While some may claim this is the MacFarlane factor, I think it is the sheer lack of alternatives on Fox’s part. Us & Them was virtually pre-canceled (a creative hiatus turned into “Don’t bother making any more”), and now Surviving Jack is replacing the second half of American Idol’s results show. Without any other options, Fox is stuck riding this train until May.

Grimm returned in line with how it premiered last season. Is it inconceivable that two seasons from now, Grimm is the oldest scripted show on the network?

Dracula premiered with the same rating as Grimm. If it stays anywhere close to that, it’ll get another season. I want to see at least one more week before I make a prediction on that, given the dismal reception.

The Tomorrow People dropped another tenth (it was two tenths in the prelims). If it keeps this up, it has a good chance of losing the timeslot to The 100 and being bounced to Monday. All bets are off then.

Reign dropped 25% from its premiere, as The CW’s worst Tuesday-Thursday performer this week. To repeat: For many shows, their premiere is the highest rating they will ever have. If your premiere is already at the bottom of the rankings, the odds are very long on survival.

The Carrie Diaries premiered to the same dismal number Beauty and the Beast is doing on Mondays. The only reason I can come up with for the renewal last season was for emergency spackle if everything went wrong this fall; I can’t imagine it gets another shot next year.

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
The Carrie Diaries 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
Dracula NBC 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
Grimm 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


  • Anthony

    And why is TCD On the list, we just have the preliminary numbers for friday, and we all know, that these numbers are very inexact.

    It could be adjusted up or down. Lets hope for the first. At least one million, bc the show is so underrated

    It isn’t very likely to be adjusted and even if it was adjusted up, it would still be at a .4, which is still pretty terrible (especially this year when they have almost half their line up earning ratings at or above a 1.0.

  • r0ckmypants

    @Tom – “and almost as well as New Girl.”

    Nope, not even kind of.

    @Eelna – “And plus, reign has a season average of 1,91 million viewers and a 0,7 rating, despite airing wednesdays in canada, and being released online one day earlier.”

    This is not, never has been, and never will be a factor in ratings. First of all, shows that air in Canada one day earlier are not “released online.” They’re pirated. And the miniscule number of people who would download a torrent of an episode mere hours before its actual air date, especially when it comes to a brand new and not-too-highly-rated-or-regarded show, would have absolutely no effect on ratings.

  • Little Miss Milly

    Loads of ABC shows are predicted cancelled already! The season has just begun. Maybe they will bring Body of Proof back! Fingers crossed. :)

  • Jon

    I don’t agree when people say Cbs wont cancel both mentalist an tgw. Both are lagging in the ratings and Cbs is going to need to free up the time for new dramas.

  • Lisa M

    Why some shows fail and others sore is a total mystery to me. I’m a huge fan of Beauty and the Beast and am perplexed on why it isn’t doing better in the ratings. Perhaps it due to lack of promotion by the CW? It has won many on-line polls and a Peoples Choice Award. I hope it hangs around for many seasons to come.

  • Laura

    The CW has pretty High- Quality shows that could be doing better in the ratings but these shows lack to finds it’s audience on the cw

  • k:Alex

    The Millers will be canceled too, or at least on the bubble, other shows who hold more of it’s lead in were canceled too.

  • Valentin

    k:Alex: + in the Live+7D, it doesn’t make the list which is not that great because it supposes it won’t do better than it does actually. But I love it so.
    I hope Nashville, Mom and The Carrie Diaries will be somehow renewed :)
    YEAH for the Crazy Ones, Revenge, Hart of Dixie, 2 Broke Girls etc…

  • coonio

    I stopped watching “Under the dome” after its renewal

  • Janice

    I understand Bubble Watch has to take into account current information, but given it ” prognosticates about what will happen by May” I think it’s been a little too pessimistic.
    Last year the CW cancelled 3 shows in all: since BATB, carrie and Nikita are goners this year, predicting reign will be cancelled implies that all midseason shows will be hits for the CW (and it’s normally the other way around).
    Same goes for ABC, they cancelled 4 comedies and 4 dramas last year, and all of the latters (excludig private practice, already announced as ending) were in ABC thursady and sunday death slot. with one calnellation already made, predicting 7 more at this point of the season seems a little too much considering whatever replaces betrayal and OUATIW midseason is going to fail for sure.
    Can’t speak for NBC because the olympics could really play a major factor in the end.
    As for fox I don’t agree only on brooklyn nine-nine: the post super bowl slot should account for something IMO

  • KJ Styles

    I’m pretty sure that everyone knows that full season pickups don’t equal renewals. That being said, it’s disheartening when shows like Dads get full season pickups when something better can air in it’s place. It’s killing Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s shot at renewal…and why does Fox keep picking up shows that they have no intention of renewing (Goodwin Games, Murder Police, Us and Them, etc)? Sounds like a waste of time and money. They’re horrible!

  • Duarte

    CW could have been this at this time ???

    8pm – Hart of Dixie
    9pm – Nikita / America Next topmodel (or new show)

    8pm – The Originals
    9pm – Supernatural

    8pm – Arrow
    9pm – The Tomorrow People

    8pm – The Vampire Diaires
    9pm – Reign

    8pm – The Carrie Diaries
    9pm – Beauty and the Beast

  • John

    There’s so many things I don’t agree with here. Most of all, I think Brooklyn 99 is a sure bet for renewal. It’s performing almost as well as New Girl, is doing better than The Mindy Project was doing last year when it was renewed ( without the benefit of a good lead in), it has the post Superbowl slot which shows Fox has a lot of faith in it, and it got great reviews, and audiences seem to really like it.

    I also disagree that Mom will be canceled and The Millers renewed. The Millers has horrible retention out of Big Bang. It’s doing about the same as Rob was and that was canceled. Moms not so far behind it and has a much poorer lead in. It’s also doing about the same as Crazy Ones, which also has a better lead in. If any of these shows switched places with Mom, I think it would be doing better than they are.

    Also, Nashville should be on the bubble. It’s consistent and is doing better than Revenge. Also, with Abc questioning bringing back Body of Proof, they are obviously desperate for dramas with semi good ratings and Nashvilles ratings are better than Body of Proofs were. I also think Revolution and Parenthood should be on the bubble. They are performing decently for NBC standards and doing better than all their comedies. As long as they don’t drop, I think they have a good chance of renewal.

  • Dave

    I have to admit that I’m enjoying The CW’s Reign.

    It’s different than shows that I normally enjoy on the network(NIKITA,VD, The Originals, SPN and arrow).

    I could see The CW giving it a full season run, especially with it doing well with the young demos. I hope it gets a chance to flesh out the stories and characters.

    If there’s anything The CW should cancel after 13 episodes, it should be The Tomorrow People. The 100 should get the post Arrow slot and Star Crossed should get the Monday 9.8c slot or they could slide Dixie to 9.8c(after all it wa launched there two years ago) and Star Crossed could air at 8.7c.

    BATB should most certainly vacate to Friday where it will get eaten by the bear along with Carrie Bradshaw :D

  • Igwell

    These predictions are based solely on 18-49 ratings, so of course they won’t be, and haven’t been, 100% correct.

    Rest assured, all your favorite shows will be renewed because they deserve it, regardless of their performances.

  • Chris J

    It’s sad that so far, most of NBC’s scripted programming is in cancellation territory. If Dracula does well (which it may since it’s only 10 episodes) and then Crossbones does well in the Spring, then NBC will have Fridays figured out.

    That will only leave Wednesday and Thursday in need of fixing. Only show on either day worth saving in SVU.

    NBC needs to plug one of their failing comedy hours with reality programming, and move the Chicago franchise back to Wednesday. NBC is probably hoping some of their Spring comedies and dramas catch because at this point they may be left with having to relaunch 2 full nights of scheduling next season.

  • CBSviewer

    This is how the Bubble Watch should look like:

    – Hostages
    – The Neighbors
    – Once Upon a Time in Wonderland
    – Betrayal

    – Beauty and the Beast
    – The Carrie Diaries
    – Sean Saves the World
    – Trophy Wife

    – Mom
    – The Mentalist
    – The Good Wife
    – The Goldbergs
    – Nashville
    – Back in the Game
    – Super Fun Night
    – Two and a Half Men
    – Dracula
    – Revolution
    – Dads
    – The Mindy Project
    – Reign

    – Elementary
    – Hawaii Five-0
    – Blue Bloods
    – Bones
    – Brooklyn Nine-Nine
    – The Tommorrow People
    – Last Man Standing
    – Parenthood

    – NCIS
    – NCIS: Los Angeles
    – CSI
    – Criminal Minds
    – Person of Interest
    – The Big Bang Theory
    – The Crazy Ones
    – The Millers
    – 2 Broke Girls
    – Supernatural
    – The Vampire Diaries
    – The Originals
    – Arrow
    – Hart of Dixie
    – Castle
    – S.H.I.E.L.D.
    – The Middle
    – Modern Family
    – Grey’s Anatomy
    – Scandal
    – Once Upon a Time
    – Revenge
    – New Girl
    – Family Guy
    – The Blacklist
    – Chicago Fire
    – Law & Order: SVU
    – Grimm

  • JJ

    I really love The CW bubble series BATB and The Carrie Diaries but im not blind to there mediocre ratings. Hopefully the network renews both series but if not ill just enjoy them while they last. Im also looking forward to StarCrossed midseason. Curious to see where it lands on the schedule.

  • Kate

    Thank you for making that point about Dads. I could not for the life of me, aside from the possible Seth MacFarlane factor, figure out why the back nine was ordered.

    Happy that Grimm premiered so well. It improved greatly from seasons one to two, I hope that trend continues with season three.

  • dji

    what about ravenwood? witches of eastend ?

© 2015 Tribune Digital Ventures