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%
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%
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)
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)
Con: Numbers are terrible, even for Friday. Hits 88 episodes with this season’s order.
Odds of renewal: 1%
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
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.
|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|
|Almost Human||Fox||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|
|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|
|Chicago Fire||NBC||Renewal Predicted|
|Law & Order: SVU||NBC||Renewal Predicted|
|Parks & Recreation||NBC||Renewal Predicted|