Bubble Watch: A Look At Fox - Could 'Mindy,' 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' and 'Dads' All Be Canceled?

Categories: Bubble Watch

Written By

December 8th, 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.

As we get deeper into December and reruns and specials dominate, I thought I would take the opportunity to review why my predictions are what they are, on a network-by-network basis. First up, Fox. But before that…

A quick comment on stability

One of the most frequent comments I see is “Why do you think Show X is so doomed? Its ratings are stable!”

I feel stability is an overrated concept. Sure, a show that keeps dropping is worrisome, but flat ratings aren’t the biggest factor. Case in point: the two most stable shows this season are… Hart of Dixie and Beauty & The Beast, which have recorded a 0.4 and a 0.3, respectively, every single airing this season. I sincerely doubt the other networks are trying to acquire those shows for their stability.

Moreover, in some cases, stability is a bad thing. If a show is up against repeats, you should expect it to grow that week. A show that is flat suggests it has no larger possible audience. For example, this week Brooklyn Nine-Nine went up against reruns of both Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. AND NCIS, and was up just a single tenth from the last time it went up against first-run episodes from both (two weeks ago). Let me reiterate: 5+ rating points were up for grabs, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine managed to get 0.1 of it (~2%)! If Brooklyn Nine-Nine can’t grow in that situation, when can it grow?

The Fox Fall Summary


Pro: Settling into Friday nicely, solid spackle option as Fox continues to try new dramas.

Con: The show is old enough where actors may want to leave and costs rise to keep them.

Odds of renewal: 85%

Almost Human

Con: The show has already dropped below Bones’ lowest Monday rating. Turns out the episodes have aired out of order, with episodes 2 and 4 still unscheduled, and episode 3 buried in mid-December (and probably explains why the premiere was delayed two weeks, as they rushed to get better launch episodes finished). Fox shuffled their schedule this week to get Almost Human away from the Sleepy Hollow finale and The Following premiere. Gang Related is waiting in the wings, and Almost Human has enough episodes ordered as is to allow Gang Related to launch after the Olympics. Forget a renewal, I’m not sure Almost Human even gets a backorder. (Not coincidentally, I’ve moved Almost Human to “Cancellation Predicted” this week.)

Odds of renewal: 10%


Pro: The Seth MacFarlane name.

Con: Tied for the worst rated Sunday-Thursday show on Fox. Fox just cut three episodes from its order. Fox also appeased MacFarlane by ordering yet another animated show from him.

Odds of renewal: 1%

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Pro: The most critically acclaimed and highest rated of the three Tuesday options.

Con: My judgment has never been about which of the three was the best rated, but if any of the three were worth Fox’s time to try another year of. Mired in the mid 1s (again, see the above bit on stability – is there any more audience left for the show?), if it doesn’t improve after New Girl (and it could drop going against The Voice full-time), what will the numbers look like next year? Not owned by Fox.

Odds of renewal: 45% (until we see post-New Girl numbers)

New Girl

Pro: Needs a 4th season for syndication.

Odds of renewal: 100%

The Mindy Project

Pro: Brooklyn Nine-Nine could do worse in its timeslot. Fox might want to keep a Friday spackle option.

Con:  Tied for the worst rated Sunday-Thursday show on Fox. Not owned by Fox.

Odds of renewal: 30% (until we see Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s post-New Girl numbers)

Raising Hope

Con: Numbers are terrible, even for Friday. Hits 88 episodes with this season’s order.

Odds of renewal: 1%

Family Guy

Pro: Ratings are fine. While older, no public chatter about excessive cast raises.

Odds of renewal: 95%

Sleepy Hollow, Glee, The Simpsons, Bob’s Burgers

Already Renewed

This week’s news:

NBC renewed The Blacklist. While the renewal should surprise no one, a cynic would wonder why NBC would announce their only freshman renewal in December. (I’m not a cynic, and think there’s a fair chance Chicago PD is renewed. I’m not sure I put anything else upcoming above “a slight chance”.)

Note: only scripted shows that have aired at least one episode this season are in the table below.


Show Network Status
Back In The Game ABC Canceled
Lucky 7 ABC Canceled
How I Met Your Mother CBS Final Season
We Are Men CBS Canceled
Nikita CW Final Season
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
Almost Human Fox Cancellation Predicted
Brooklyn Nine-Nine Fox Cancellation Predicted
Dads Fox Cancellation Predicted
The Mindy Project Fox Cancellation Predicted
Raising Hope Fox Cancellation Predicted
Dracula NBC 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
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
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
Criminal Minds CBS Renewal Predicted
CSI CBS Renewal Predicted
Elementary CBS Renewal Predicted
Hawaii Five-0 CBS Renewal Predicted
Mike & Molly 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 Vampire Diaries CW Renewal Predicted
Bones Fox Renewal Predicted
Family Guy Fox Renewal Predicted
The New Girl Fox 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
The Blacklist NBC Renewed


  • capslocke

    i highly doubt that FOX will cut Brookly 9-9, no matter what happens from here on out. i do think, however, that we may be surprised about The Mindy Project, and perhaps see that Dads is the only Tuesday night comedy to get canceled this season.

  • Jonay

    Why is Betrayal on Cancelation Predicted didn’t ABC already cancel it?

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    Now, that’s the kind of headline that will draw search visits.

    You have snatched the pebble from my hand, grasshopper.

  • TV Addict

    Brooklyn Nine Nine will be renewed. It has big name celebrities, is getting the post new girl AND post Super Bowl spot and it the second highest rated comedy. You do the math.

  • charlie

    Raising Hope

    Con: Numbers are terrible, even for Friday. Hits 88 episodes with this season’s order.

    Odds of renewal: 1%


  • Michael Scott

    When can we see the summary for other 4 networks?

  • Hugo

    If you think the odds of Brooklyn 9-9 getting renewed are 45%, why is it not on the bubble? Not logical.

    Honestly, I’m not a fan of your bubble watch. Way too many cancellations predicted, I think the Renew/Cancel index is more accurate. Nashville, Parenthood, The Good Wife, The Mentalist, Mom, Brooklyn 9-9 and maybe even The Goldbergs should be on the bubble at this point. I’m sure a few of them will be renewed by the end of the season.

    I agree with the Renewal predications but I have some doubts about Hart of Dixie and The Millers.

  • Michael Scott

    HOD will be saved by syndication god and it is doing fine in Monday.

    Same thinking about The Miller, TBBT got 4.8, Miller only got pathetic 2.4.

  • The lost

    Shame about almost human, loved the first few episodes, but the ratings never looked too good. On the other hand isn’t it time to move mom up to the bubble. It got the same rating as the crazy ones this week with an identical lead in.

  • Midnight

    I don’t understand why Mom is cancellation predicted. At this point, Mom, The Crazy Ones, and The Millers are all drawing similar ratings. Mom and The Crazy Ones got the exact same rating this week (2.1) out of the exact same lead-in (2.4 comedy), while The Millers only did 2.4, or only 0.3 better, out of TBBT’s 4.8. If the trend continues, all three are bubble shows.

    Brooklyn should probably be a bubble as well since any renewal will depend entirely on its spring performance. Revolution should be bubble too if NBC’s midseason dramas fail.

  • Simon

    Anyone know the exact amount of episodes Castle has this season? Sources I’ve read only list up to 13 episodes (untitled)

  • Toby

    Here’s the difference between Mom and Crazy Ones:

    competition Mom: ABC (1.5), FOX (0.9), NBC (3.4)
    competition TCO: ABC (2.3), FOX (1.1), NBC (4.6)

    Mom has less competition than TCO, but is only drawing the same numbers.

  • Charmed

    @Simon Wikipedia lists it as TBA. Weird. However, I expect it to be the usual 22-24.

  • switzy227

    Brooklyn Nine-Nine didn’t show much gain against repeats…but it’s in the second half-hour of those shows. Seems like an argument that would work much better for Dads, since viewers wouldn’t have had time to get caught up in a sporting event/movie/other hour-long.

    Wish this feature would use the bubble more this early. I’d love to see this level of solid predicting in March or so, but right now it seems to be leading to a very static board (and therefore, only real interest for shows mentioned in the article).

  • liliaeth

    It’s a real pity that they aired Almost Human out of order. If they hadn’t done so, the character bits wouldn’t have felt off and the ratings probably would have been higher. It was one of my fave new shows this season.

  • Midnight


    And normally, Mom is against Sleepy Hollow, which draws ~2.5 instead of 0.9, while TCO is against Sean Saves the World, which draws ~1.0 instead of 4.6. I’m not saying TCO is doing badly, because I don’t think it is, but I am saying there isn’t a huge meaningful difference in their ratings anymore compared to the beginning of the season. And the same arguably goes for The Millers unless it bounces back next week without the Sound of Music. All three are really bubble shows IMO.

  • Dan S

    If B99 was in a horse race I’d feel pretty good about its odds of winning renewal. If Fox didn’t have faith in the show why give it the post SB slot . Why move it after NG in place of Mindy ? Because I think Fox knows they have a winner & it will earn a sophomore season. The important thing to remember is it is holding up well enough against original episodes of AOS & NCIS despite a weaker lead in from Dads.

  • k:Alex

    New Girl and B-99 will be renewed, only the fact the shows get the post superbowl spot is enough.
    Fox want those 2 shows to work.

    Mindy is a real toss up, it will not be on Tuesday any more for sure, but is a Friday spot possible?
    And B-99 and Mindy are both from NBC Universal, keep one show and drop the other one, so Universal is still happy with Fox as client.

  • Gius

    TGW will be renewed.
    CBS won’t drop all their sunday dramas, also TGW has been insanely good this year, so probabily it’ll win something next year. CBS won’t axe the only broadcast critically acclaimed drama. The King said they need 7 seasons to write the all story, I seriously hope they will.

  • David

    New Girl and Brooklyn Nine-Nine will be renewed for sure.
    Dads and Raising Hope are definite cancellations.
    The Mindy Project is the only real bubble show. I could see it getting a renewal and airing on Friday nights next season so it can rack up enough episodes for syndication. Anything could happen at this point. Fox also has the Tina Fey comedy and Mulaney which may be enough to appease Universal so The Mindy Project wouldn’t get a renewal.
    Enlisted and Surviving Jack seem very unlikely to survive into next season and Us & Them has already been cancelled.

    Almost Human is a dead show airing. Out of order episode airings and preemptions spell death for this show. Add in Bones solid Friday numbers and straight-to-series orders Gotham and Hieroglyph which would pair well with Sleepy Hollow, it’s a mere formality at this point.
    Gang Related may scrape a renewal as it’s going to air in Summer according to Fox which means they’ll probably have lower standards and the pairing with 24: Live Another Day may give it some leeway.
    Rake looks to have Fox’s support and if it can post good enough numbers it will get renewed.
    As for Bones, it will almost certainly join Sleepy Hollow and Glee provided the cast agree for another season.

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