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


  • grandpa

    Please tell me they will all 3 be cancelled. All are boring, brain numbing mush.

  • Daley

    Fox owes nothing to Glee when it’s barely pulling above a 1. Barely.

    I meant that FOX has said it owes a lot to Glee since the start and what it has done for the network. (past not present)

  • Dan S

    Regarding the debate whether Elementary will be renewed vs. GW most likely both will return. IMO I don’t think Elementary deserves renewal with its consistent lackluster ratings but being CBS owned it’ll likely get a pass. If Intelligence takes off then GW will likely get the axe in addition to Mentalist.
    In the case of Glee it’ll get its final season but will very likely head to Fri barring a ratings turnaround when it moves to Tues.

  • Anna

    The Goldburgs needs to be moved to Wed. night. It should be, The Middle, The Goldburgs, Modern Family, Suburgatory. That would be a great Wed. night. I personally like Super Fun Night also, but I know its a goner.


    dan s elementarys ratings are better than gw

  • Douglas from Brazil

    Parks and Revenge being a renewal predicted is a joke right?

    Can someone explain why?Anyone???

  • Watershed

    The idea that The Mindy Project will be “saved” by sending it to Fridays is ridiculous. Another season or two of abysmal ratings will not guarantee the show syndication. Not a chance.

    There’s a misguided idea on this board that every show is guaranteed a lucrative syndication deal if it magically makes it to four seasons. Ridiculous. To matter in syndication, you have to have good ratings to begin with.

    Case in point: THE OFFICE: which ran for many, many seasons (to low ratings) and is barely seen in syndication anymore.

  • TV Viewer

    I hope that The Good Wife will be renewed because it’s a great show, that the critics love, and, (on the East Coast at least), it’s often starts later than it’s scheduled because of football games running over time, even with the extra half hour added this year.
    There should be some place on the CBS schedule for a great programs, even when their ratings are lousy.
    I do believe there must be some people in the top management of CBS who want to keep The Good Wife on the air because they are happy to have on their network.
    Quality programs with low ratings get cancelled all the time by all the networks, but, I do think The Good Wife will be the exception in May 2014.

  • John



    watershed, im talking cbs shows. both ncis and ncis la syndicated , poi syndicated, all three csi syndicated, criminal minds syndicated, the mentalist syndicated, goodwife syndicated, Hawaii 5-0 syndicated, bluebloods will be syndicated soon. that’s just the dramas. this is the reason elementary will be renewed.

  • Isobel

    Matthew Goode has been cast in season 5 of The Good Wife, it’s not getting cancelled.

  • Jamey

    I dont think thats entirely true that to matter in syndication you have to have good ratings to begin with. “The New Adventures of Old Christine” has been off the air since 2010 and never was a huge success and its still on the air all the time. There are mroe to sitcom life out there people beyond Modern Family and that cookie cutter Big Bang Theory.

  • TWD is it

    Fox could bring back Firefly circa 1998 and get better ratings than most of their shows. They cancelled hat one too. I’m tired of investing time inot their ADHD mentality. Thank goodness SH gets another year, Man they are all nutty.

  • TWD is it

    Glee has become pitiful, and will do nothing in syndication. End it already.Without Football and the Simpons, LMAO , DOH!. FOX remains a solid joke. At least Bones was a good show. SH is a great show. B-99 is very funny, but the rest. Pitiful.

  • Dan

    Almost Human won’t get a backorder, there’s not enough room and if Sleepy Hollow wont get one, then AH even without its current numbers wont. My guess is that FOX holds Bones until Mondays in March and doesn’t return it in January, finishes Almost Human on MOndays through February, returns Bones in the slot in MArch and premieres Kitchen Nightmares Fridays in January. That might be the smart thing to do. In that instance Bones can air new episodes repeat free March-May and FOX doesnt have to waste new eps on Fridays. I think Gang Related is supposed to premiere in May although I could be wrong.

    At this point Mindy Project seems like the only real bubble comedy for FOX.

    Dads and Raising Hope are done by May. Raising Hope’s numbers are anemic even for Fridays and the show is finally entering syndication. Dads fate was sealed by not only its rapidly declining ratings but its order being cut. If FOX really wanted to renew the show for another season they would have scheduled the series remaining episodes Sundays at 7:30 or 9:30 but it seems they just want to burn through the show.

    New Girl and Brooklyn Nine-Nine are guaranteed renewals. New Girl will be entering syndication after a fourth season renewal plus its FOX’s highest rated comedy. The post Superbowl slot is a good sign for it and B99 plus if B99’s retention is better than The Mindy Project, it will have the edge. If only 2 comedies are renewed from this season, it will be those shows.

    The Mindy Project easily could go either way, its ratings are low but stable at a 1.5 average. It seems after 2 seasons and 46 episodes FOX could either scrap the NBC owned show or give it a third season. It all depends on how it does when it is retooled and returned on April 1. Although given how many times the show has been retooled and the series has shifted its focus, Its not easy to say whether it will bring higher numbers.

    My best guess is B99, Mindy Project and New Girl will all be renewed. Enlisted seems doomed on Fridays, Us & Them is already dead with its order cut, Dads & Raising Hope are done and Surviving Jack could have a chance.

    If Brooklyn 9-9, The Mindy Project and New Girl are renewed my guess is that FOX pairs B99 and Mindy Project at 8 and 8:30 which seem like compatible workplace NBC Universal produced comedies (with a definitive main character but solid ensemble) New Girl could remain at 9 and FOX could try a new comedy post New Girl.

    8:00 The Simpsons
    8:30 Bob’s Burgers
    9:00 Family Guy
    9:30 NEW COMEDY (fall) / Border Town (midseason)

    8:00 NEW DRAMA
    9:00 Sleepy Hollow

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

    8:00 X Factor

    8:00 Bones
    9:00 NEW DRAMA

    8:00 Glee
    9:00 Kitchen Nightmares

    I don’t think X Factor being cancelled or renewed will have an effect on the comedies but it may effect how many dramas FOX puts on their fall schedule. If they don’t cancel X Factor the most likely solution is to scale it back to 2 hours on Wed and air dramas on Thursdays (Bones at 8 and another drama at 9) If one of the new dramas flop then Glee could be moved off fridays but I think Fridays are FOX’s best bet for Glee unless they hold it until Midseason for its final season. If Rake or The Following is renewed again I expect those shows to air midseason again.

  • langslow

    You can bring back almost any show from 1998 and they will have better ratings than today. Entertainment is a lot more splintered than it was back then.

  • Dan

    @Douglas From Brazil – No those renewals make sense. Revenge is one full season away from syndication, while Revenge’s numbers are dropping, they are stable at 1.5 even against The low rated Good Wife and Football and Walking Dead. The thing of it is, ABC has no hit dramas to justify canceling Revenge and the reality is all dramas are down (except Scandal) and AOS is just gliding by. I doubt Killer Women, Mind Games or Resurrection will make a mark and even if any of those get renewed, ABC will still keep Revenge around somehow on the schedule. My best guess is that it will be moved to another timeslot likely off Sundays but it wont be cancelled yet.

    The most likely scenario is that ABC will renew Grey’s, Scandal, Castle, OUAT, AOS, Revenge and Nashville, and possibly scrap the rest (barring a miracle in one of their midseason dramas that could happen, but probably wont) With their veterans renewed and standard 1/7 dramas renewed, ABC will likely rework their schedule considerably and move a lot of dramas around in order to shake things up and try soemthing new next season. However ABC just isn’t doing well enough to give up on Revenge and it is a simple 1 full season away from syndication. Its getting renewed.

    As for Parks, NBC could easily cancel it with its current numbers but with its other 2 new comedies getting garbage numbers and the future of its midseason comedies in the balance, NBC could easily give Parks a final short order. However right now Parks & Community are in the same spot they were last season. Low rated but stable veteran comedies surrounded by terribly lower rated freshman comedies.

    Same with Parenthood, its numbers are low, but its entering syndication by seasons end. NBC could easily give it a nice final season like they did with Chuck but its still too early to tell. The only silver lining for Parenthood is that it does build on its MJF Show lead in (1.3 built on a 1.0) so that shows it has some audience.

    Revolution according to sources will return on January 8 for a few episodes and then come back after Olympic coverage. Its “back 13″ will determine its renewal chances. The good news is that its pretty much on par with SVU averaging a 1.5 in its timeslot and while SVU builds slightly on it, the show’s numbers are stable. The bad news is those numbers are still low even for NBC that night, and the series numbers are down considerably from last season and its an expensive series. Right now its squarely on the bubble.

    One trend seen this season not seen in a while are most shows renewed from last season for a full season, ending with around 2 season and 44 episodes are bubble series that may not get a third season and that third season renewal is important because a renewal for a third season is basically a renewal for a fourth season. These shows are The Mindy Project, The Neighbors, Beauty and The Beast, Revolution, and Nashville (Chicago Fire and Elementary are safe for more seasons and Its too early for Hannibal and The Following but syndication matters less for them) BATB and The Neighbors will be cancelled which seems odd because both shows are fully owned and produced by the network that airs them. (Neighbors is ABC’s only in house produced comedy besides Trophy Wife and BATB is the only series solely produced by CBS) (Revolution, The Mindy Project and Nashville could go either way but i’m expecting renewal for the latter 2).

  • The Crazy One

    The Crazy Ones is on the bubble. Maybe your the crazy one.

    CBS won’t give up Robin Williams unless it’s ratings are in the gutter. Plus there its CBS’s only the single camera sitcom.

    I think it’s renewed for at least one more season after this year

  • Isobel

    I’d put the CW doing two freshman shows even if one is on Friday, so we’ll have to see all the ratings of reign, ttp, starcrossed and the 100, batb and tcd both got two seasons but I don’t think either will get a third.

  • Watershed


    The New Adventures of Old Christine ranked #29 overall in its first season, #39 in its second, #42 in its third, #77 in its fourth, and #66 in its last.

    Not FRIENDS-like ratings, to be sure. But at least its first three seasons broke the Nielsen Top 50.

    The Mindy Project, on the other hand, ranked #128(!) in its first season, and is doing WORSE this year.

    There is no valid argument to be made that The Mindy Project is candidate for syndication.

© 2015 Tribune Digital Ventures