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


  • Duarte

    I keep seeing The Goldbergs and Broklynn Nine-Nine as renewal shows .

  • CrimTV

    Fox will renew B99 because of the Super Bowl, no doubt about it! It’s also still their highest rated comedy apart from New Girl.

  • C Dawg

    I’ll watch Brooklyn 99 on any night they put it on.
    I wouldn’t watch Almost human if it was playing on my eyelids.

  • Oliver

    B99’s ratings are okay and Fox is showing support for it (post-SB slot, timeslot upgrade). Big surprise if it gets cancelled.

    ABC has holes all over their schedule. No good reason to think Nashville isn’t coming back.

  • Ronak

    B99 has to come back. Best new show this year.

    Almost Human- I knew from watching the ads that show was going to be DOA. Karl Urban is not charismatic enough to be a male lead, and Minka Kelly is gorgeous but a terrible actress. Michael Ealy is the only good thing about that show and he’s not enough to keep watching.

  • Douglas from Brazil

    Every week I came here and I ask myself: Why on Earth Parks is still at renewal predicted?And should Revenge being at cancelled predicted too?I don’t see ABC renewing it since it’s a serialized and soapy show and no way they could sell to syndication.Can someone clarify to me?

  • Samuel

    The Mindy Project has a good chance at survival if Brooklyn Nine-Nine tanks post New Girl. Although I’d still list it as a toss up. Mindy is closer to syndication and Brooklyn will experience a further decline if renewed into next season (sophomore slump). Mindy has a 50/50 chance in my opinion.

  • were123

    FOX can’t cancel everything! Even more considering The X Factor is probably goner as it is an expensive talent show that goes below scripted avarage (except for Glee, which is also doing terrible). Should Almost Human remain in 1.7 I expect it to see renewed, if it falls it will be canceled.
    I expect Brooklyn 9-9 to be renewed, as it seems to be doing ok and stable. I know you say stability is not a good thing, but hey! Its numbers are not as terrible as other shows such as Glee, Dads, Mindy Project, Raising Hope. I see it and NG as the two sole comedies FOX renews this season.

  • sgt sharki

    I love Almost Human (I’ve been a fan since before it aired when I read an early draft of the pilot) and don’t get the hate for the show. I think Urban and Ealy have great chemistry, in fact I think the whole cast is amazing and the production design is really spectacular.

    I didn’t know they were airing the episodes out of order. That would explain why the drug syndicate and the not dead ex-girl friend have never been mentioned outside of the pilot.

    I really hope SyFy picks this show up when it gets cancelled. It deserves much better than an early grave.

  • SJ

    I can see a scenario in which B99 and Mindy occupy the 8pm hour, with New Girl leading into a new show and possibly another comedy block with all new comedies on Wednesdays. Bones will move to a workday and The X Factor is cancelled. Hell’s Kitchen will air Thursdays and Glee will move to Fri.

    So in conclusion, I can easily see B99 AND Mindy renewed. Dads and Raising Hope, along with anything else that premieres mid-season comedy-wise, are dead.

  • Carmen

    I think the chances of B99 getting a renewal are excellent. I just wish they would get rid of Andy Samberg. . .well, maybe not get rid of him, but certainly reduce his role. He is the weakest link on that show. ..except for the cop with the 1950’s butch haircut.

    Mindy, I have a hunch – possibly based on what I hope happens – that they will give it a spackle renewal for next season. 13 episodes for the spring or late fall.
    But its true that its ratings do not warrant such a move.

  • Dan S

    In addition to B99 why is Goldbergs still on cancellation predicted ? True it’s latest outing only mustered a 1.4 with absolutely no support from ABC anchoring it with a rerun of SOA preceding it. I’m still encouraged that it’ll see a sophomore season being their highest rated freshman comedy that’s been given a full season. I’d like to see a few episodes aired after The Middle before Suburgatory returns. As for Revenge if it drops any further even the syndications gods won’t save it.

  • Marc

    def agree that toms lack of use of the bubble def makes a bubble watch list extremely pointless. Hope he isn’t stubborn enough to not change his methods. Especially when in a description he says 45% chance. What is your def of a bubble show. I would say 33% chance to 66% chance.

    Sadly I bet tom will prob adjust his next posts to include no percentages that are close to 45%. If he could rewrite foxs he would put 25%. People don’t like to change.


  • Marc

    @ Carmen, if you don’t like Andy sandberg, I believe it’s safe to say bb99 is not for you.

  • Sarah

    I have a feeling Almost Human’s ratings will go up tomorrow because it’s only real competition is The Voice since HIMYM and 2BG are repeats and Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town is on ABC.

  • Katiebug

    I too think that B99 and Mindy will be coming back. Dads is gone. RH is gone. Mindy can fill a Friday slot. I can see XFactor coming back to a 1 night per week show as well.

    @were123 – you can’t compare comedies to dramas. You have to compare they against each other.

  • Contrarian

    @Marc I think it’s pretty clear his standards for the bubble are 50/50, anything above is renewal predicted and anything below is cancellation predicted. Nothing wrong with that definition imo. Your real problem, which I agree with, is that a show with a 45% chance is a very different beast from a show with 1% chance, but under this regime they’re both lumped into the same category. If I were writing this I’d bring back the lean categories, but that’s just me.

  • Sarah

    Then again, ABC’s Chicago affiliates (sp?) will be airing MNF instead and it’s 3rd largest market, so who knows what will happen.

  • Jared

    It hurts my heart to see The Good Wife as cancelation predicted.

  • Hardline_Pro

    What about Siberia on NBC? Still haven’t heard any news.

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