Bubble Watch: ABC Deep Dive + ‘Intelligence,’ ‘Chicago PD,’ ‘Enlisted’ & More


As the networks slowly bring their schedules back online, I am concluding my network-by-network review with ABC, whose Spring isn’t starting off any better than its Fall…

Wanted, Dead or… No, Just Dead

Killer Women must have always been considered a long shot by ABC (hence the short 8 episode order and opposite-The Olympics-scheduling); Killer Women lived down to ABC’s expectations by recording a sub-Lucky 7 premiere rating. Being replaced by Scandal reruns after the next airing is still on the table, because…

The Assets dropped another tenth in its second week and was promptly pulled off the schedule, replaced by Shark Tank reruns. Turns out you can cancel a miniseries… when your “miniseries” is a BBC series picked up on the cheap to throw under The Olympics. Whether Shark Tank reruns were used because ABC thought an all-reality night was a better plan or because they needed to keep the Scandal reruns in reserve for Tuesdays should be revealed soon.

This week’s premieres and other notable data points:

Sticking to Plan

After weeks of suspiciously timeslot-less promos for Crisis, Believe, etc., NBC finally confirmed that they were keeping the original scheduling for their midseason shows. This wasn’t an empty question – there’s still no word on what will replace Sean Saves The World in March, for example. In the end, NBC likely figured The Voice lead-in against increasingly soft Tuesday comedy competition was the safer plan to try and get some comedic success this season.

Intelligence premiered with ratings in-line with NCIS: LA’s in the timeslot. I’ve left it “On The Bubble” until I see at least one week of ratings in its regular timeslot.

Killer Women, as mentioned above, started off terribly. If it runs through all its episodes, it will only be due to The Olympics.

Chicago PD premiered with ratings equal to what the mothership did this week. While almost all shows drop from their premieres, I doubt Chicago PD drops the 30+% it would take to rival Parenthood and Revolution, so I’ve started it in “Renewal Predicted”, for now.

Parks and Recreation hit a season high in its new/old timeslot. Then again, every Thursday show on CBS and NBC rose this week, on a night free of football and singing competitions… except Parenthood. (Even then, Parenthood can’t improve.)

Enlisted premiered terribly, a tenth behind Raising Hope’s already dire ratings. While I cringe every time I see an internet commenter post “Network X wanted that show to die!” – no network head intentionally throws away millions in product – it’s difficult to imagine Fox not foreseeing these ratings, given how terribly Raising Hope has been performing. Fox could have at least swapped the two comedies. (Then again, for all we know, there are makegood triggers Fox is trying to avoid by keeping Raising Hope at 9pm.)

The ABC Fall Summary


Pro: Ratings still above the network average. Syndication money.

Con: Some doubt as to how long the leads will want to continue on the show.

Odds of renewal: 95%

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Pro: Ratings are still above average, and far too many branches of Disney are too invested not to give this another chance.

Con: The ratings are a significant disappointment, given executive hopes.

Odds of renewal: 90%

The Goldbergs

Pro: The closest thing ABC has to a successful comedy this year. Ratings aren’t that far below the network average. Moves into the pole position for Friday 8:30 comedy.

Con: The ratings are struggling to get out of the mid 1s, and the show is unlikely to get to syndication. Uncertain if ABC will keep either the Tuesday or Friday comedy hours. Not owned by ABC.

Odds of renewal: 49%

Trophy Wife

Pro: Critical acclaim.

Con: Terrible ratings.

Odds of renewal: 1%

Killer Women

Con: Terrible ratings. Short order. Scheduled opposite The Olympics.

Odds of renewal: 0%

The Middle

Pro: Above average ratings. Syndication money.

Odds of renewal: 99%

Modern Family

Pro: The highest rated show on the network.

Odds of renewal: 100%

Super Fun Night

Con: Mediocre ratings. Partial backorder. Early end date.

Odds of renewal: 2%


Pro: Could be used in perennial trouble spots Tuesday and then Sunday at 10pm until it reaches syndication numbers. Frankly, ABC has too many other holes to fill to write off another hour on the schedule. Ratings aren’t terrible for a 10pm show.

Con: Ratings are still well below average. As a second year show, the renewal is essentially for 45 episodes. The average number of songs per episode has dropped significantly, indicating those alternate revenue streams aren’t worth much. Did not get an Olympics hiatus, so we will see just how far this can drop.

Odds of renewal: 45%

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland

Con: Fantastically bad ratings.

Odds of renewal: 0%

Grey’s Anatomy

Pro: Ratings well above the network average. Continues to swap out cast members for cheaper replacements.

Con: One of the oldest shows on network TV.

Odds of renewal: 99%


Pro: ABC’s #1 rated drama.

Odds of renewal: 100%

Last Man Standing

Pro: Needs a fourth season for syndication. Doing reasonably well for Fridays.

Con: Not owned by ABC. ABC could likely do just as well for less with reality programming.

Odds of renewal: 85% (on ABC. 100% on ABC or some Fox-owned Network.)

The Neighbors

Con: Sub-mediocre ratings.

Odds of renewal: 2%

Once Upon a Time

Pro: Needs a fourth season for syndication.

Odds of renewal: 100%


Pro: Needs a fourth season for syndication.

Con: None. And I’m serious – even Nikita got a limited fourth season. Revenge is not a Nikita-level disaster. It’s going to get a fourth season, even if it doesn’t premiere until January 2015.

Odds of renewal: 100%


Con: Terrible ratings.

Odds of renewal: 0%

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 Finished
American Dad Fox Moving to TBS
Ironside NBC Canceled
Welcome To The Family NBC Canceled
Betrayal ABC Cancellation Predicted
The Goldbergs ABC Cancellation Predicted
Killer Women 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
Beauty & The Beast CW Cancellation Predicted
The Carrie Diaries CW Cancellation Predicted
The Tomorrow People CW Cancellation Predicted
Almost Human Fox Cancellation Predicted
Brooklyn Nine-Nine Fox Cancellation Predicted
Dads Fox Cancellation Predicted
Enlisted Fox Cancellation Predicted
The Mindy Project Fox Cancellation Predicted
Raising Hope Fox Cancellation Predicted
Community NBC 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
Intelligence CBS On The Bubble
Mom CBS On The Bubble
Two and a Half Men CBS 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
Reign 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
Chicago PD 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

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