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

Categories: Bubble Watch

Written By

January 12th, 2014


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


  • greysfan

    ABC are in deep deep trouble right now. Everything new bar Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is tanking. They need to find something to fix the problems they have. They never should have axed Body of Proof. 10m viewers is still enough imo to say its a hit. Its like 2013/14 for ABC didn’t exist because they have no shows to back them up. They need to find some good ideas pronto and stop approving crappy premise shows. The biggest disappointment for me has been Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. I expected it to do better than it has. Its not that bad compared to some shows that might survive the new season.

  • Wright

    Revolution and Almost Human should be listed as On The Bubble.

  • queeneeuq

    The neighbors are getting renewed no chance ABC cancels older shows with the body of poof fiasco

  • abc

    Again this “Nikita got a 4th season for stripped syndication” argument, which makes no sense, since Nikita (despite the 6 episodes of season 4) got nowhere close to the “magic” 88-100 episodes and therefore the renewal had nothing to do with stripped syndication and was just to give it a conclusion since the value of the series would have been significantly less in its streaming future without having an actual ending.

  • queeneeuq

    how can super fun night have a higher chance of renewal than trophy wife and a equal chance with the neighbors when its pretty much a zombie show?

  • alin

    As a total viewers number Castle is first from ABC acording nielsen ratings and this season has the highest ratings of the show from the beginning.And even if are some rumors about the leads,Nathan fillion and Stana Katic seam willing to continue the show for at least 2-3 seasons if ABC wants it

  • Samunto

    Revolution is going to get another season not unless NBC has some very red hot pilots for next season. NBC hasn’t had a decent hit Wednesdays at 8 and Revolution ain’t doing badly.

    I fear for Trophy Wife going the Happy Endingy/Cougar Town route. ABC is a lost cause. What actually made them think that Super fun night was better-off after MF than Trophy Wife?! That programmer who left the net for NBC must be missed.

  • Lily

    Truth be told, lost faith in ABC long time ago. It’s turned into Shondaland and as much as one Shonda show can be fun-to turn a whole netwrok to something like it is boring, annoying and disrespectful for the audience.

    The only ABC show that I love (beside Castle which is fun but still getting a bit tired) is Nashville. It’s very underrated and it’s sad cause it’s a really good show, original for once and not a pathetic copy of something else, smart and fun.

    Do hope it will be renewed. Will not watch another ABC show if the current direction of the network will continue.

  • queeneeuq

    I don’t get why shield and the goldbergs have high chances of renewal. Once the voice and the nbc tuesday comedies air they are takin a hit

  • Simon

    I still think Revolution should be On The Bubble as it returned higher/ on par with most of the first halves ratings average. It will have 42 episode by the end of the season meaning another two seasons with 22 episodes to reach 100. Has NBC ever cancelled a show with more than 40 episode by the end of a second season?

  • FX


  • Hugo

    I don’t get it, if the odds of renewal are 45% (Nashville) or 49% (The Goldbergs), these shows should be on the bubble instead of “Cancellation Predicted” among shows with <5% odds of renewals. You really need to fix this or the table is completely useless.

  • DTravel

    Are you sure that “critical acclaim” under Trophy Wife isn’t a con?

  • Janice

    I really don’t get why Revolution & nashville, sophomore shows on par or slightly below network average, are cancellation predicted whereas Elementary is certain renewal?
    CBS average should be slightly above 2 (correct me if i’m wrong) elementary average is somewhere around 1.8. NBC Average (bar the voice) should be somewhere around 1.5 correct? so why is revolution considered doomed?
    Same goes for Nashville abc is such a mess right now they can’t afford to cancel a decently performing drama considering next year will be revenge (and probably Grey’s) last. If the argument “renewal is a long-shot because it effectively commits the network to a two-season renewal” applies to ABC and NBC why not CBS?

  • Rob3008

    Is Trophy Wife really getting critical acclaim? I’ve watched all the episodes of the show up until Christmas and am struggling to believe this.

  • k:Alex

    I think ABC isn’t in that much trouble, NBC is worse.
    With some small changes they can for it again.

    8:00 Once Upon A Time
    9:00 New Drama or Comedy (for women)
    10:00 Castle

    8:00 Agents of Shield
    9:00 New Drama
    10:00 Nashville

    8:00 The Middle
    8:30 The Goldbergs
    9:00 Modern Family
    9:30 New Comedy
    10:00 New Drama

    8:00 Some reality/game show
    9:00 Grey’s Anatomy
    10:00 Scandal

    (Never chance a winning team)

    8:00 Dancing With the Stars
    10:00 Drama

  • Owlman

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

    So a Nathan Fillion show that might be cancelled only because Nathan Fillion gets tired of it? Now that’s a possibility I never thought I’d see…

  • JJF

    ABC needs to try The Goldbergs on Wednesdays. The reruns did reasonably well there, much better than the reruns on Tuesday did. Heck, they were borderline rivaling the original episodes at times. This IS the closest thing to a comedy hit they have this out of the new crop and so they need to work to save it.

    SHIELD will get renewed if only so ABC doesn’t have a total wash this season of dramas. (Or any show, for that matter.) Beyond that, I think it’s got an uphill battle. Getting it to syndication won’t be easy if it’s already fallen as far as it has so fast.

    What the failures of the current crop does prove is that the ABC vet dramas are pretty safe. Shows like Nashville and Revenge would probably be cancelled even a few seasons ago. But right now, pulling a consistent 1.5 makes them one of the stronger performers on the network. So they aren’t going to cancel them when they have bigger holes to fill.

    I think this also gives the remaining midseason shows a shot. While they are unlikely to be a hit, if they can manage to not be a complete disaster, they might squeak out a second season. If they can hover in the mid 1.0’s for the season, they might get a renewal at this point seeing as most of ABC’s new dramas fell below 1.0.

    As for Intelligence on CBS, the older skew was pretty intense as usual for the network. I could see it settling out to numbers comparable to other dramas at that hour on CBS. But the problem is that the Monday lead-in won’t be as good. IMO, they should’ve definitely kept it on Tuesdays and moved NCIS:LA. That show is old enough to be able to stand apart from the parent show.

  • Fred

    ABC most likely will not cancel Nashville or Goldbergs.
    They have potential to become hits.
    With so many new shows on ABC tanking this season , why would ABC cancel decent performing ( today’s low standards eapecially for a 10:00 PM drama) or a new sitcom that actually has some buzz.

  • Fred


    You canceled Revenge?
    With the amount of new show disasters ABC suffered with this season, you think Revenge is axed?

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