Bubble Watch: 'Friends with Better Lives,' 'Parenthood On The Bubble; 'Community,' 'Hannibal' Likely Renewed + Pilots At CW & NBC

Categories: Bubble Watch

Written By

April 6th, 2014

 Community -- Season 5

This week’s premieres:

Friends with Better Lives premiered to a The Millers-esque rating, after the How I Met Your Mother finale delivered The Big Bang Theory-esque numbers. Friends with Better Lives won’t have that level of lead-in in the future, and I’m leaving it “On the Bubble” until I see at least a week of regular scheduling. (And another reminder: the last CBS midseason scripted freshman, drama or comedy, that was renewed was the CBS-owned Rules of Engagement, back in the 06-07 season.)

Unforgettable returned to a rating in-line with what it was seeing in September, well under what Hawaii Five-0 and Blue Bloods have been getting this Spring. The economics of Summer shows are too fuzzy for our standard evaluations, and all I can do is label it “On The Bubble” and wash my hands of it as far as predicting additional seasons (though it has already been renewed for a 3rd season slated for this summer).

Rake was moved to Saturday nights. I’ve moved it to “Canceled”.

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The broadcast networks have finished casting the overwhelming majority of their pilots for the year. Can we derive any clues on their scheduling from the number and types of pilots they’re shooting for next season?

(One quick disclaimer – don’t take any of the specific past numbers as gospel, as the history of failed shows gets cloudy fast. The following numbers do not include international co-productions and only include regular season entries.)

NBC

2014 Pilots: 8 Dramas +2 to Series +1 Mini-Series, 14 Comedies +2 to Series

2013 Pickups: 5/10 Drama Pilots (50%) + 1 Backdoor Pilot, 5/12 Comedy Pilots (42%) +1 to Series, 4.5 New Fall Hours (3 Dramas, 3 Comedies)

2012 Pickups: 4/9 Drama Pilots (44%), 6/14 Comedy Pilots (43%), 4 New Fall Hours (2 Dramas, 4 Comedies)

2011 Pickups: 5/10 Drama Pilots (50%), 6/12 Comedy Pilots (50%), 4.5 New Fall Hours (3 Dramas, 3 Comedies)

2010 Pickups: 8/10 Drama Pilots (80%), 4/11 Comedy Pilots (36%), 4.5 New Fall Hours (4 Dramas, 1 Comedy)

2009 Pickups: 3/6 Drama Pilots (50%), 5/14 Comedy Pilots (36%), 2.5 New Fall Hours (2 Dramas, 1 Comedy) (Note: The Jay Leno Show effectively cut 5 hours from their Fall schedule.)

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Needs:  Th@9, Th@9:30, Sundays in Spring

Wants: T@9:30, W@8, Th@8, Th@8:30, Th@10, F@10

14 Comedy pilots - plus two comedies already ordered to series! While NBC could still cut down the number of comedy hours next season, that number of comedy pilots makes it clear that they haven’t committed to doing so yet. And the more comedy hours are on the schedule, the better the chances for the likes of Community. Then again, Community hit a new series low this week, likely hurt by one of the most impenetrable (to the mass audience) openings in recent TV history. (And why is Destro always the one getting it?)  Still, I’m moving it to “Renewal Predicted”, as at least two comedy hours in Fall now seems likely.

Meanwhile on Tuesdays, the existing comedies continue to diverge, with About a Boy levelling off while Growing Up Fisher still settles, now at just 75% of its leadin. With NBC almost certain to try new shows after The Voice in Fall, there is little reason to think Growing Up Fisher would survive a move to a new night, and I’m moving it to “Cancellation Predicted”.

On the drama front, while just eight pilots is low, that roster is bolstered by the two series and a mini-series already ordered. Though Revolution and Parenthood have both averaged a mere 1.2ish since the Olympics, it is worth repeating that Parenthood could remain profitable with just a 13 (or less) episode final season, while Revolution still needs two full seasons to hit 88 episodes. There is potentially space on the Spring schedule (Sundays look like a complete reboot). There is no space on the Fall schedule. As such, I’ve moved Parenthood to “On The Bubble”.

And in the international co-production slot, Hannibal tied its season low this week. Even with that low, Hannibal’s 2014 average is still higher than Dracula’s 2014 average. If the domestic rights to Hannibal are anywhere near as low as rumored, another late Spring/early Summer run makes a lot of sense. I’ve moved it to “Renewal Predicted”.

The CW

2014 Pilots: 6 Dramas

2013 Pickups: 5/8 Drama Pilots (63%), 3 New Fall Hours (3 Dramas)

2012 Pickups: 5/8 Drama Pilots (63%), 3 New Fall Hours (3 Dramas)

2011 Pickups: 3/7 Drama Pilots (43%), 4 New Fall Hours (3 Dramas, 1 Reality)

2010 Pickups: 2/6 Drama Pilots (33%), 2 New Fall Hours (2 Dramas)

2009 Pickups: 4/6 Drama Pilots (67%), 3 New Fall Hours (3 Dramas)

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Needs:  M@8

Wants: M@9, W@9

Your first impression at only seeing six pilots may be to assume The CW considers the spinoffs (The Flash and Supernatural: Bloodlines) as locks. However, six pilots have resulted in as little as two and as many as four new shows in the Pedowitz era. The CW will pick up as many shows as it needs, regardless of how many pilots they have to work with.

The reality is The CW is overwhelmingly likely to have new shows at W@9 and Th@9 next season. So the real question boils down to “What does The CW do opposite The Voice on Mondays?”

Do they repeat this year’s strategy of throwing low-future shows under The Voice (likely Reign and one of The Tomorrow People or The 100) with one more new show (whether reality or scripted) in reserve for Mondays, for a total of just three new shows for the season?

Do they attempt to go bold and move Supernatural to lead off the night, with another new show following @9, for three new Fall shows and a new midseason or two for Spring?

Of course, the decision may be out of The CW’s hands, as it relies on The CW having two low hope (but not DOA) options to start with. And that is still up in the air – The 100 continues to settle (who knows what its floor will be), while The Tomorrow People bounces around in its new timeslot, unsurprisingly lower than its Wednesday Spring average.  If they are both unsalvageable, then The CW may have no choice but to move Supernatural.

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
Killer Women ABC Canceled
Lucky 7 ABC Canceled
Mind Games ABC Canceled
Once Upon A Time in Wonderland 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
Raising Hope Fox Canceled
Rake Fox Canceled
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
Mixology ABC Cancellation Predicted
The Neighbors ABC Cancellation Predicted
Super Fun Night ABC Cancellation Predicted
Trophy Wife ABC Cancellation Predicted
The Crazy Ones 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
Surviving Jack Fox Cancellation Predicted
Believe NBC Cancellation Predicted
Crisis NBC Cancellation Predicted
Dracula NBC Cancellation Predicted
Growing Up Fisher NBC Cancellation Predicted
Revolution NBC Cancellation Predicted
Friends with Better Lives CBS On The Bubble
Unforgettable CBS Already renewed for a 3rd "summer" season
The 100 CW On The Bubble
Parenthood 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
Nashville ABC Renewal Predicted
Once Upon A Time ABC Renewal Predicted
Resurrection ABC Renewal Predicted
Revenge ABC Renewal Predicted
Scandal ABC Renewal Predicted
Suburgatory ABC Renewal Predicted
Hart Of Dixie CW Renewal Predicted
Family Guy Fox Renewal Predicted
About a Boy NBC Renewal Predicted
Community NBC Renewal Predicted
Hannibal NBC Renewal Predicted
Law & Order: SVU NBC Renewal Predicted
The Big Bang Theory CBS Renewed
Blue Bloods CBS Renewed
Criminal Minds CBS Renewed
CSI CBS Renewed
Elementary CBS Renewed
The Good Wife CBS Renewed
Hawaii Five-0 CBS Renewed
Mike & Molly CBS Renewed
The Millers CBS Renewed
Mom CBS Renewed
NCIS CBS Renewed
NCIS: LA CBS Renewed
Person Of Interest CBS Renewed
Two and a Half Men CBS Renewed
2 Broke Girls CBS Renewed
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
Chicago Fire NBC Renewed
Chicago P.D. NBC Renewed
Grimm NBC Renewed
Parks and Recreation NBC Renewed

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