Bubble Watch: Will Broncos Fans Celebrate Like 'Bones' Fans?; Should 'Following' Fans Fret?

Categories: Bubble Watch

Written By

February 1st, 2014


This week’s notable data points:

Last week, I said The Following‘s strong showing after the NFC Championship game had me reconsidering the Smash-esque ratings arc I had predicted for the second season. Then the show dropped to a series low this week – and that’s before The Voice rumbles back into the picture. Given all the strangeness at Fox (we’ve already had the first hiccup with Fox’s new process, as there are issues with The Middle Man), I’m not downgrading the show yet – but the situation bears watching.

The larger point, that we don’t have any history on how to judge broadcast limited series, bears emphasizing. It’s unlikely many, possibly any, shows putting out ~15 episodes a year will hit the “standard” syndication number (88) before they are cancelled. Will that lead to limited series having a shorter leash than usual, as the networks need to cut their losses as quickly as possible, or will greater international sales buy them extra time?

Bones was renewed, and will move back to Mondays at 8 once Almost Human ends its run in March. It is ironic that after years of Fox threatening to move Bones to Fridays, they finally go through with it, only to announce the move back after half a dozen episodes. I think the move this year was legitimate – Fox both thought Almost Human might succeed and wanted to see how Bones would do on Fridays, and I would not be surprised in the least if Bones starts off the year on Fridays next season.

Almost Human, in no surprise, did not receive a backorder. While it has done better in recent weeks, that’s a ‘better’ that’s only against weaker competition. I’m not going to declare it “de facto canceled” due to the previously mentioned weirdness at Fox, but as previously covered, the odds of Fall shows that end early surviving are extremely low.

Sean Saves The World was canceled this week. The show’s been a dead show walking since episode two or so, and NBC replacing it after The Olympics are over makes perfect sense. Frankly, I hadn’t been watching the episode count that carefully – I had assumed the backorder was just to get it to this week to begin with, and I’m not sure why NBC ordered more than that.


Tom’s NFL Round-Up

I’ll be honest, I’ve been pretty terrible when it comes to responding to comments for these posts. The reason is simple – these articles post on Sundays, and Sundays for me have long been reserved for watching NFL games. So forgive me for this week’s NFL-flavored bits:

Location, Location, Location – Except in the NFL

One of the most interesting aspects to this NFL season was watching the historically weak Western divisions continue their resurgence. Not only did the NFC and AFC West end up with the first playoff seeds, (Seattle and Denver, who both advanced to the Super Bowl), but the two divisions also picked up 3 out of the 4 Wild Card slots (the Arizona Cardinals were the runner up for that fourth Wild Card, as well).

Those worried that such a geographically limited Super Bowl would affect ratings shouldn’t be – in recent years the Super Bowl has been essentially match-up proof, on a generally upward trend regardless of the teams involved. The 2011 Super Bowl, for instance, featuring demographically small Pittsburgh and Green Bay/Milwaukee, was still the second most watched Super Bowl. This year’s matchup between the #1 offense in Denver and the #1 defense in Seattle should well be in the running for most watched program ever.

Expanding – or Watering Down – The Field?

Speaking of the Arizona Cardinals missing the playoffs, there’s been increased talk (up to near acknowledgment) that the NFL is considering expanding the playoff field, adding an additional Wild Card team and game to each conference. Whether that expansion is good in any sense other than financial is another story. Taking a look at the records those additional Wild Card teams would have had since the current eight division organization was established in 2002, 25% of the time those games would have featured an 8-8 team, 46% a 9-7 team, 25% a 10-6 team, and 4% an 11-5 team. It’s tough to argue that many of those 8-8 or 9-7 teams “deserved” a shot at the playoffs - some of those Wild Cards would have been decided on tiebreakers between three or even four teams with identical overall records to begin with.

On the other hand, as I just said, some of those Wild Cards were decided on tiebreakers between three or four teams. The final few games for those teams, and more, would have suddenly become much more relevant (and likely viewed). Much more importantly, there would be two more playoff games in that first playoff weekend. If those extra games end up being scheduled on Monday or Friday in primetime, that could be a huge bonus to their networks. (My personal opinion is to have back-to-back-to-back games on Saturday and Sunday, starting at 1 PM Eastern, and have ~35 hours of pure football madness.)

Tom Fixes the NFL

Frankly, the NFL could improve in a number of areas by making one tweak: Adding a second bye week. Eliminate the fourth pre-season game, and start the regular season one week earlier. Schedule the second bye before each team’s Thursday Night Football game so that every team playing in them has ~10 days of preparation on each side of the game to create a premiere matchup.

The end result? Players get an extra week of rest in the season, the networks get an extra week of ad revenue, and the NFL gets Thursday Night Games that aren’t complete afterthoughts. The only “downside” is that the owners get half a game less of pre-season football they charge season ticket holders full price for. I think that’s a fair trade-off.


There’s a lot of ways the Seattle Seahawks could win. The weather could be windier than expected, favoring their run game; their stout defense could hold the Denver Broncos to field goals in the red zone while a couple bombs to Percy Harvin result in touchdowns; the referees could be lax on calling pass interference, allowing them to mug Manning’s receivers. But I don’t think any of those cases are likely, so I am going with Denver 27 – Seattle 21.


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
Sean Saves The World NBC Canceled
Welcome To The Family NBC Canceled
Betrayal 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
Suburgatory ABC Cancellation Predicted
Super Fun Night ABC Cancellation Predicted
Trophy Wife ABC Cancellation Predicted
The Good Wife CBS Cancellation Predicted
Hostages CBS Cancellation Predicted
Intellignce 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
Dads Fox Cancellation Predicted
Enlisted Fox Cancellation Predicted
The Mindy Project Fox Cancellation Predicted
Raising Hope Fox Cancellation Predicted
Rake 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
The Crazy Ones CBS On The Bubble
Mom CBS On The Bubble
Two and a Half Men CBS On The Bubble
Brooklyn Nine-Nine Fox On The Bubble
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ABC Renewal Predicted
Castle ABC Renewal Predicted
The Goldbergs 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
Family Guy Fox Renewal Predicted
The Following 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
Bones Fox Renewed
Glee Fox Renewed
The Simpsons Fox Renewed
Sleepy Hollow Fox Renewed
The Blacklist NBC Renewed


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  • elie

    i have to say, i don’t get the way you’re doing the tables this year. How can you slump together shows that do still have a fighting chance, the likes Revolution, with shows that are clearly dead, like, say, Killer Women or Once Upon a Time in Wonderland? It makes no sense to me.

    (and i’m not saying that was a crazy Revolution fan. I mean, i watch it, but i wouldn’t shed a tear if it was gone. as a matter of fact, i also enjoy Killer Women, so it’s not show-hate either.)

  • SerferTJ

    Glad you’re not jumping on the “de facto cancelled” band-wagon with Almost Human. Fox has so many varriables going on with their new pilots schedule, year-round programming, and the whole X-Factor situation, that you can’t really compare it to descisions made by other networks this year.

  • Lisa

    Not gonna lie I will be devasted if the Good Wife is canceled. :(

  • JakeWisconsin

    Brooklyn Nine-Nine has too many things going for it to be on the bubble, for me. FOX’s second highest rated comedy, critically successful, a hopefully x-Factorless-FOX with more free time on the schedule. I also agree that Almost Human still has a chance, so maybe move that up to On The Bubble???

  • Hugo

    I think those shows will be renewed:
    – Nashville
    – Suburgatory
    – The Good Wife
    – The Mindy Project
    – Community
    – Parenthood

  • Flame

    “The situation BEARs watching.” -> pun intended? :-)

  • Dan S

    There are a number of shows on cancellation predicted that should at least be on the bubble. Among them is Suburgatory, Revolution & yes Almost Human. The show sitting on the bubble that will without a doubt be back is B99. And for the record Seahawks will win. DEFENSE.

  • PRW

    BEAR down!

  • DC

    The NFL has tried starting before Labour Day before and it was not successful, so I don’t see them going back to that model. It’s far more likely the NFL moves to a 17 or 18 game schedule, and scraps two preseason games as a concession to the NFLPA.


    tom the nfl did have a season with 2 byes a few yrs ago, nobody liked it

  • Chris J



  • JSG

    While I agree that the Super Bowl is probably small-market proof, your citation of Pittsburgh and Green Bay isn’t a great example. Yes, those are two small markets. But those are also two of the four most storied franchises (along with the Cowboys and 49ers) in the NFL, and both have massive national fan bases. It would be interesting to see what the ratings would be for, say, a Jacksonville vs. Carolina Super Bowl. I’m sure they would still be huge, but they might be noticeably less enormous than normal.

  • eelna

    Move TTP to the bubble.

  • Sonic

    Yeah TTP ratings are now higher than Reign so time to rethink this and just put both on the bubble.

  • CreacK

    When it comes to predicting the Super Bowl, I have to disagree with you, but for your show predictions, I agree, for the most part. On the subject of expanding the NFL season, I like your idea. They could also add another preseason game to the start of preseason. Another way they could improve the NFL? Leave Buffalo and Jacksonville, lol.

    GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Anthony

    i have to say, i don’t get the way you’re doing the tables this year. How can you slump together shows that do still have a fighting chance, the likes Revolution, with shows that are clearly dead, like, say, Killer Women or Once Upon a Time in Wonderland? It makes no sense to me.

    (and i’m not saying that was a crazy Revolution fan. I mean, i watch it, but i wouldn’t shed a tear if it was gone. as a matter of fact, i also enjoy Killer Women, so it’s not show-hate either.)

    This is the same way that the categories were set up last season as well. Either predicting cancelled, renewed or on the bubble. More importantly, I (and clearly Tom as well) don’t believe Revolution has a fighting chance. It is dead. At this point it is last on the totem pole of NBC drama renewals. Blacklist, Chicago Fire, SVU, Chicago PD, and Grimm (on a Friday!) all out rate Revolution. Parenthood is garnering equal ratings to Revolution, plus it has the benefit of airing on a dead night (and growing from it’s super weak lead ins) and being owned by NBC, plus a few more episodes could help it’s case for syndication, in addition to NBC wanting to be be in business with Jason Katims. To me that puts Parenthood ahead of Revolution. Revolutions ONLY shot is if NBC decides to renew all of it’s dramas from this season, and I really don’t see that happening, as they will certainly be premiering some new ones next season.

  • Ron

    TTP will crash and burn on Monday,so your prediction is right.It’s ratings don’t matter until it moves into monday’s time slot.Reign and The 100 will be renewed so it doesn’t matter :)

  • Garth, formerly of Izar

    Almost Human is a pretty good show and one of the few I watch each week. Oh well.

  • StevenD


    Too soon, too soon…

  • Brandy

    @Elna,@Sonic, TTP ratings are better than Reigns for ONE WeEK!the increases are usually very brief/temporary.TTP will have to do better than Reign for more than ONE WEK again to be moved from cancellation predicted.THe true test will be how TTP does on Mon,away from Arrows leadin and during spring with DST.CWs happier with Reign creatively and supports Reign more.Plus, Reign does better online & has steadier ratings overall and does better in A18-34& W 18-34.TTP started out doing better than better than Reign but then it declined more and more quickly so since late Oct Reign has been doing better.I don’t have hope or expectations of TTP surging on Mon, the move -shows viewers when moved-,no solid leadin,up against male skewing Blacklist ,Following ect.

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