Bubble Watch: With So Many ABC Failures Will Paul Lee Be Canceled, Too?
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.
Thanksgiving is here again, a time to realize, and be thankful for, all that we have.
While ABC President Paul Lee isn’t an American, he should be thankful he’s survived the occasionally treacherous November; his job should now be safe until after next season’s schedule is set. (Aside from weird cases like The CW’s delayed handoff to Mark Pedowitz and NBC’s sale to Comcast, network presidents almost never get replaced between December and May – presumably because it would make the awkward pilot/schedule process even more dysfunctional than it already is.)
Why am I viewing Lee’s future so dimly? Take a look at the decreasing success his development slates have had:
4+ Seasons: Once Upon a Time, Scandal, Last Man Standing, Revenge
2-ish Seasons: Suburgatory, Apt 23
Single Season: Pan Am, GCB, Man Up!, Work It, The River, Charlie’s Angels, Missing
4+ Seasons: None
2-ish Seasons: The Neighbors, Nashville (probably)
Single Season: 666 Park Avenue, Red Widow, Family Tools, How to Live, Last Resort, Zero Hour, Malibu Country
4+ years: None
2-ish years: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (probably)
Single Season: Betrayal, The Goldbergs*, Trophy Wife, Lucky 7, Back In The Game, Super Fun Night, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, (Likely) Every Upcoming Midseason Show
Or to summarize, Lee has gone from a fantastic freshman year – getting four shows into the syndication track, and adding desperately needed new soap blood – to having just one show a year that has any chance of syndication (and even some of those first year hits have become alarmingly soft).
Speaking of those limited successes:
Nashville has gained a tenth each of the last two weeks! On the other hand, that means the show has merely crawled back to the middling rating (1.6) it hit for the majority of this season, despite weak competition (Ironside and the probably Sunday-bound CSI). Meanwhile, Revenge’s failings mean a move to Sunday @ 10 is probably off the table, and the number of songs per episode in Nashville has dropped significantly (implying that the alternate revenue stream of song downloads isn’t worth much). Even with Lee still in charge of next season’s schedule, I still don’t think the show’s chances are good.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has gained two tenths each of the last two weeks! While it is entirely possible that the gains are illusory (from The Originals’ and NCIS’ first-run audience looking for something to watch), the larger point is that the show has stopped sliding, at a level above the network average. That’s enough to get me to move it back to “Renewal Predicted”, even if I expect to hear the dreaded “Creative Reboot” phrasing to be attached to the renewal.
(*Note that the 2011/2012 summaries would suggest that one comedy will get a renewal. Given that The Goldbergs is struggling to get out of the mid 1s as is, I’m unconvinced ABC will see any point in giving it a try on Fridays).
Note: only scripted shows that have aired at least one episode this season are in the table below.
|Back In The Game||ABC||Canceled|
|How I Met Your Mother||CBS||Final Season|
|We Are Men||CBS||Canceled|
|American Dad||Fox||Moving to TBS|
|Welcome To The Family||NBC||Canceled|
|The Goldbergs||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|
|The Mentalist||CBS||Cancellation Predicted|
|Beauty & The Beast||CW||Cancellation Predicted|
|The Carrie Diaries||CW||Cancellation Predicted|
|Brooklyn Nine-Nine||Fox||Cancellation Predicted|
|The Mindy Project||Fox||Cancellation Predicted|
|Raising Hope||Fox||Cancellation Predicted|
|The Michael J. Fox Show||NBC||Cancellation Predicted|
|Sean Saves The World||NBC||Cancellation Predicted|
|The Crazy Ones||CBS||On The Bubble|
|Two and a Half Men||CBS||On The Bubble|
|Reign||CW||On The Bubble|
|The Tomorrow People||CW||On The Bubble|
|Almost Human||Fox||On The Bubble|
|Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.||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|
|The Big Bang Theory||CBS||Renewal Predicted|
|Blue Bloods||CBS||Renewal Predicted|
|Criminal Minds||CBS||Renewal Predicted|
|Hawaii Five-0||CBS||Renewal Predicted|
|Mike & Molly||CBS||Renewal Predicted|
|The Millers||CBS||Renewal Predicted|
|NCIS: LA||CBS||Renewal Predicted|
|Person of Interest||CBS||Renewal Predicted|
|2 Broke Girls||CBS||Renewal Predicted|
|Hart of Dixie||CW||Renewal Predicted|
|The Originals||CW||Renewal Predicted|
|The Vampire Diaries||CW||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|