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


  • rob60990

    No way I see FOX cancelling all 3 comedies and premiering 3 new ones in the fall. They will likely keep Brooklyn 9-9 and maybe save Mindy for midseason. I doubt FOX is going to give up on the comedy block.

  • DenverDean

    @Toby – You’re leaving out a BIG Factor from your ratings: NFL Football

    MNF 5.4 TNF 1.7 So actually Mom faced more competition: 11.2 (w/ MNF) v. TCO 9.7 (w/ TNF)

    @Toby said:

    “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.”

  • Rollie

    FOX Next Year

    8:00 The Simpsons
    8:30 Bob’s Burgers
    9:00 Family Guy
    9:30 NEW COMEDY

    8:00 NEW DRAMA
    9:00 Sleepy Hollow

    8:00 Brooklyn Nine-Nine
    8:30 NEW COMEDY
    9:00 New Girl
    9:30 NEW COMEDY

    8:00 The X Factor

    8:00 The X Factor
    9:00 Glee

    8:00 Bones
    9:00 Junior Masterchef, then New Comedy
    9:30 NEW COMEDY

  • Brad

    There is no way Glee stays on Thursday when it can’t even pull Mindy numbers. It’s going to Friday with probably a reduced order. Fox should axe it this Season.

    Wonder if NBC might save Mindy? Two Seasons from syndication and they own it…

  • Brad

    Glee on Tuesday or Thursday, sorry. It’ll be shuffled to Friday – mid season – with a reduced order.

  • C.S.Strowbridge

    Do you really think Nashville is going to be canceled? ABC has already lost one drama and there are two other dramas earning worse ratings than Nashville is earning. (I’m not counting Revenge, which is safe due to syndication.) They have lost one sitcom and there are three more that look like they are going to be canceled. That’s not mentioning Dancing with the Stars, which is not earning good ratings anymore.

    ABC can’t afford to lose any shows that are on the bubble.

  • DuMont

    That rebounding rating for ‘The Carrie Diaries’ on Friday has scared off the bear and brightened its renewal prospects. After 6 episodes, ‘The Carrie Diaries’ in the tough-as-nails, low-HUT Friday timeslot is garnering roughly the same target demos as ‘Hart of Dixie’ is averaging in high high-HUT Monday timeslot.

    ‘Hart of Dixie’ (8 eps) 0.39 A18-34 0.58 W18-34 0.20 M18-34
    ‘The Carrie Diaries’ (6 eps) 0.36 A18-34 0.52 W18-34 0.20 M18-34

    Mr. Mark Pedowitz, and Madison Avenue, both see these numbers and because of that, we’ll see both series return when renewal papers are issued…they might very well share the same night next season!

  • Anthony C.


    Yup, I see it that way too. HOD and TCD will be paired together on the same night next season.

  • queeneeuq

    I think Nashville and The Neighbors are sefe to be renewed. Abc would like tp avoid a Body of Poof fiasco so they would keep Nashville. And the distance between The Neighbors and The Goldbergs is slowly evaporating so likely thhe sophomore show survivvse.

  • mediatvref

    @DenverDean, if you were going to include NFL Football, then you have to compare it all the sports (NBA, MLB, and Thursday college football). It’s apples and oranges, especially since TNF is not even on a broadcast network. So it’s only fair to compare the broadcast network shows, and not sports or one-time stunts (events).

    With that said, @Toby is still incredibly wrong here. He’s using the numbers from this past Thursday, which had NBC’s biggest night since ER’s series finale in 2009! NBC’s Thursday ratings are so far down this year as a whole, with The Crazy Ones’s timeslot competition, Sean Saves the World (NBC), barely getting over a 1.0 all year. Also, your comparisons for Mom (CBS)
    was against a repeat of Sleepy Hallow (FOX) and a Country Special on ABC. The previous week, Sleepy Hallow’s last new episode brought a 2.2 (a series low!), and ABC’s timeslot competitor, Dancing with the Stars, did a 2.2 (averaging higher than that for the season)! So really, your comparisons should be:

    competition Mom: ABC (2.5 approx season avg), FOX (2.6 approx season avg), NBC (3.4)
    competition TCO: ABC (2.3), FOX (1.1), NBC (1.2 approx season avg)

    So in actually, Mom has significantly more competition than TCO when comparing to an entire season against only broadcast network shows.

    With that said, it comes down to (as Bill said in the article), where can a show’s rating grow. Mom, with the most competition, has the best chance to grow long term. HIMYM ends this year AND no doubt The Blacklist (NBC) will be moved to another timeslot next year, leaving room for a new Monday drama that most likely won’t be as successful. Mom has the best potential to grow. TCO, on the other hand, won’t lure an ABC Thursday crowd from their primetime soaps and there isn’t much of an audience on FOX or NBC to steal from. TCO’s higher “Renew/Cancel” index is saved by the fact it had insane premiere numbers compared to Mom. But with softer competition, I believe TCO is more in trouble than Mom is.

  • Daley

    @Brad – I think Glee will remain on Tuesday @ 8 through the end of Season 6. Doubtful FOX will reduce the episodes. FOX has said they still believe in the show and owe a lot to it. I believe they will give it the full/final season to finish the series and stories.

    I could be wrong, but none of us really know. We need to see how it does on Tuesday @ 8 once it returns on Feb. 25th.

  • Ultima

    competition Mom: ABC (2.5 approx season avg), FOX (2.6 approx season avg), NBC (3.4)
    competition TCO: ABC (2.3), FOX (1.1), NBC (1.2 approx season avg)

    What was the point of writing a really long post if you were just going to make up numbers?

  • Brandy

    @DuMont, why post M18-34 demo for CD & HoD when they skew female and W18-34 is thier target audience?
    @Anthony C if any of Reign,TTP,SC,The 100 or BatB get renewed and I believe at least Reign will ,maybe one more they will move to fri next season.

  • brian

    My feeling is that Brooklyn 9-9 is on the Bubble. Although its ratings aren’t great, I can see them renewing it so they don’t have all new sitcoms with New Girl. Critical acclaim is solid and the fact they’re willing to spend a post-Super Bowl spot on it indicates that Fox willing to give it a fair shot, even if it turns out little more than spackle.

    Dads and Raising Hope are done. New Girl is safe. Mindy Project isn’t looking too good right now, although moving the show to Fridays perhaps is a possibility depending on how Fox sees Fridays next fall. And I need numbers for Enlisted or Surviving Jack before I say anything.

  • queeneeuq

    I wish The Neighbors would be back to Wednesday 8:30 for a Fall 2014 half season while the Spring 2015 would be Subirgatory. Both holds well with The Middle. Last Man Standing should go back to Tuesday. If The Goldbergs survives it will probably get the Friday treatment.

  • Nancy

    Who knows what FOX is going to do I just hope they renew The Mindy Project and keep it on Tuesday after New Girl and don’t ship it off to Fridays which is a death sentence and an insult.

  • SueK

    @Nancy Bones is showing that Fridays are no longer “death slots” or “insults”.

  • queeneeuq

    I don’t get why The Neighbors keeps dangling below renewal? Its even with Trophy Wife and The Goldbergs is not much better. Raising Hope proves that it’s actually getting relatively good ratings and it is likely to beat Enlisted come January. It’s fanbase clearly stuck to it.

  • Brandy

    @duMont you know the last time it rose,it was adjusted down.This site says six scripted vetran renewals usually happen at cw and will again:VD,Arrow,SPN,TO,HoD (syndication) & one more out CD,BatB,SC,Reign,TTP,The 100.that will four slots for next season,assuming HoD gets a full fourth & final season(which I think it will cause of stability in ratings) & that’s after ANTM ends is cycle,which will probably run til Nov again.Also, as I told Anthony, while I can see a CD/HoD fri night next season,you also must consider that if they renew more than freshman show, the second freshman show would Likley end up on fri .

  • HeadlessHorseman

    I’m sorry, but B99 will not be cancelled with its current ratings. So what if it didn’t grow with NCIS and S.H.I.E.L.D. off for a week? Do you honestly think those shows share that much of an audience?

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