Bubble Watch: Fox Renews 'New Girl,' 'The Following,' Brooklyn Nine-Nine,' and Uh, 'The Mindy Project'

Categories: Bubble Watch

Written By

March 9th, 2014

Min_116_3 Bubble Watch Did Not Correctly Forecast 'The Mindy Project's' Renewal

Save yourself from hibernating bears! Direct your criticisms to @tvtomshaw instead!

 The New Bubble Watch Diet: Crow

This week, Fox renewed New Girl, The Following, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and The Mindy Project. To say I was surprised by The Mindy Project is putting it lightly – not only have I had it in “Cancellation Predicted” every week, my first article of the season wondered if it could be canceled mid-season. Instead, the show received a third season – and thus a fourth season is virtually guaranteed to boot!

So how could I have been so wrong on the show? To be clear, The Mindy Project’s ratings are not good – the 18-49 average this season is a mere 1.4, just 77% of Fox’s scripted average for the year. It’s just that everything else on Fox isn’t doing much better:

Brooklyn Nine-Nine continues to do less than what The Mindy Project averaged in the timeslot – and The Mindy Project was up against The Voice for most of its airings. New Girl isn’t helping, as this week it rose to merely a tenth above The Mindy Project‘s average.

The X-Factor has already been canceled; this week’s Thursday edition of American Idol rated a mere 2.2. While that is nearly 40% higher than the next highest Fox show this week, it is unclear if American Idol will be profitable (and thus renewable) at those ratings next season without significant cost reductions. While shows like Utopia will cover some of the schedule, Fox will likely have a reduction in the total number of reality hours on the schedule next season.

The Fox schedule as a whole continues to flounder. A (single) 1.6 is again this week’s top scripted result. To put that in perspective, six shows airing in ABC’s 8 and 9 pm hours alone topped Fox’s best result this week.

Fox is adopting their new development strategy. So far, that has mostly amounted to picking through the other networks’ failed pilots from last May, and undoubtedly grabbing actors from the failed pilots and canceled shows of this development season for Fox’s scripts. Something has to air in that gap before those shows get running.

The Mindy Project may just go down as Fox’s Community or Chuck, a show that happened to fill in a crack at the right time for long enough to get to syndication. Then again…

When The World Is Running Down, You Make The Best Of What’s Still Around

Now that the networks are finalizing which pilot scripts will actually be filmed, it’s worth pointing out just which freshmen will likely survive. The summary isn’t encouraging: it’s mostly lead-ins (The Blacklist, About a Boy, possibly Growing Up Fisher, The Millers, Reign) and spinoffs (The Originals, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Chicago PD ), with just a few outliers (Sleepy Hollow, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, probably The Goldbergs, possibly Mom). While you could (and should) argue that lead-ins and spinoffs are just intelligent scheduling, it points out just how difficult it is to get a survival, much less a hit, outside of the best of circumstances nowadays.

The situation isn’t much better for veterans, either: the only shows in the same timeslot that are even flat from last March are The Big Bang Theory and Scandal, with a number of shows dropping towards the average (NCIS, NCIS:LA, Castle).

Flat is indeed the new up, and will continue to be the case as long as new entertainment providers (Netflix, Amazon, cable networks, a million app developers) keep slicing the ratings pie ever thinner.

The alternative is that The Mindy Project is just the start of a series of bubble renewals (Nashville, Revolution, The Good Wife, etc.) as networks figure it is better to get to syndication / pad the syndication numbers on a minor loser than to throw three shows at a timeslot with nothing to show for it.

Canary in a Coalmine?

So is The Mindy Project just the not-completely-wrong show at the right time, or is it the start of a larger trend of the survival line dropping to, say, 80% (or less) of the network average when syndication is involved? We will find out soon.

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This week’s notable data points and events:

About a Boy and Growing Up Fisher remain well above the NBC average – no surprise following The Voice. It’s the trend that matters – About a Boy was actually up over both the Olympics airing and the repeat last week (I promptly moved it to “Renewal Predicted”), while Growing Up Fisher was down just slightly from last week’s airings (I’ve left it “On the Bubble” for another week, though it is holding up better than I expected).

Mind Games promptly fell to a 0.6 in week two, a number Lucky 7 never saw and Killer Women only saw once opposite the Olympics. It’ll be interesting to see how much leash ABC gives the show this late in the year before they break out the news specials.

Mixology bucked the usual trend and was flat from its premiere in week two. Then again, that’s a flat that was tied for worst rated ABC comedy on the night, despite the Modern Family lead-in. Mixology may actually get to air most or even all of its episodes in that timeslot.

Rake is being moved to Fridays starting this week, effectively replaced by Hell’s Kitchen. With the sub-1 ratings Rake has been getting, this comes as no surprise, but the side effects are interesting: Fox is still keeping Rake on the air (margins are being squeezed to the point where networks can’t let inventory go to waste), and Kitchen Nightmares was put on hold (Fox has been pretty firm in having only one Gordon Ramsey show on the air at a time in the regular season – don’t expect multiple Ramsey hours to replace a night of The X-Factor or American Idol next season).

Tom Shaw is a computer programmer from Milwaukee, WI. Bereft of Lost theories to argue about, he's spent too much time attempting to figure out the TV industry.

Save yourself from hibernating bears! Direct your criticisms to @tvtomshaw instead!

Note: only scripted shows that have aired at least one episode this season are in the table below

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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
The Michael J. Fox Show NBC Canceled
Sean Saves The World NBC Canceled
Welcome To The Family NBC Canceled
Betrayal ABC Cancellation Predicted
Killer Women ABC Cancellation Predicted
Mind Games ABC Cancellation Predicted
Mixology 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 Crazy Ones CBS Cancellation Predicted
The Good Wife CBS Cancellation Predicted
Hostages CBS Cancellation Predicted
Intelligence CBS Cancellation Predicted
The Mentalist CBS Cancellation Predicted
Beauty & The Beast CW Cancellation Predicted
The Carrie Diaries CW Cancellation Predicted
Star-Crossed CW Cancellation Predicted
The Tomorrow People CW Cancellation Predicted
Almost Human Fox Cancellation Predicted
Dads Fox Cancellation Predicted
Enlisted Fox Cancellation Predicted
Raising Hope Fox Cancellation Predicted
Rake Fox Cancellation Predicted
Community NBC Cancellation Predicted
Dracula NBC Cancellation Predicted
Parenthood NBC Cancellation Predicted
Revolution NBC Cancellation Predicted
Mom CBS On The Bubble
Two and a Half Men CBS On The Bubble
Growing Up Fisher NBC On The Bubble
Hannibal NBC 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
Hart Of Dixie CW Renewal Predicted
Family Guy Fox Renewal Predicted
About a Boy NBC 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
Arrow CW Renewed
The Originals CW Renewed
Reign CW Renewed
Supernatural CW Renewed
The Vampire Diaries CW Renewed
Bob's Burgers Fox Renewed
Bones Fox Renewed
Brooklyn Nine-Nine Fox Renewed
The Following Fox Renewed
Glee Fox Renewed
The Mindy Project Fox Renewed
New Girl Fox Renewed
The Simpsons Fox Renewed
Sleepy Hollow Fox Renewed
The Blacklist NBC Renewed
tvbythenumbers.com

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