When it comes to bubble status, like the Renew/Cancel Index we’re focusing on the likelihood that a show will be renewed **for next season** (2012-13).  Certain shows are toss-ups where based on the ratings, the renewal decisions could go either way and not be surprising.

Here, “canceled” is used interchangeably with “won’t be renewed with next season” and is not meant to imply a show will be yanked off the schedule in the current season though obviously the two outcomes are not mutually exclusive. The semantics police and lawyers should feel free to break out the handcuffs and plead their cases in the comments. Besides, no matter what anyone at ABC says, reasonable people know with certainty that Pan Am isn’t coming back next season.

This Isn’t The Renew/Cancel Index

Though the basic methodology is the same (intra-network relative ranking of shows by adults 18-49 rating), unlike the Renew/Cancel Index which predicts what would happen if the season ended now, Bubble Watch prognosticates about what will happen by May.  The two are still usually closely aligned, and almost certainly very closely aligned towards the end of the season.

Every CW Show but The Vampire Diaries Now “on the bubble!”

In the first Bubble Watch of this season I wrote:

I was tempted to put every show on the CW other than The Vampire Diarieson the bubble, I didn’t, but may get there before the season is over!

I’m there now. The question is will an index that is based on relative ranking work when you have one show that has “OK” ratings (Vampire Diaries) and a bunch of shows with really crappy ratings in the absolute. Yes, it’s true Hart of Dixie’s ratings don’t suck as badly as Gossip Girl’s and Nikita’s, but the ratings still suck. “Sucking less” than other shows often is a good way to get your renewal ticket punched, but with the CW it’s not clear that will be the case.

No, I don’t think every show besides The Vampire Diaries will be canceled. Excluding One Tree Hill (its fate is known) and The Vampire Diaries (certain renewal), the index is currently predicting no cancellations, two toss ups (Gossip Girl & Nikita), and five likely renewals.

Particularly with Dawn Ostroff being completely out of the picture this renewal season and  The CW reportedly eyeballing a record number of pilots, it seems more likely than not that there will be more purging of current shows than a relative ranking process alone can forecast.

I don’t think there’s any flaw in the methodology of the index in general, more that the CW is in such a woeful state that it’s more likely than not the methodology won’t work as well for predicting CW ‘s renewals (and yes, I know, NBC seems to be headed  in the same direction). Our methodology basically says “if you’re average, you’re fine.”  But what happens when the average stinks to high heaven? I definitely don’t think it’s “likely” that five shows besides The Vampire Diaries will be renewed.

My guess is that excluding The Vampire Diaries 2-4 shows will be renewed, so I’ll aim for the middle of that range and guess three. But with the ratings so tiny and so many factors outside of ratings coming into play, figuring out which three is tough. I’d guess 90210 and Supernatural will migrate back to “likely renewal” in the table below before the season is over, but beyond that the crystal ball is too hazy.

You can play along at home…

Other Stuff

  • I moved Private Practice back to “on the bubble”. I’m going to wait and see how it does in its Tuesday night run, but if I had to guess it’s more likely to be canceled than renewed and ABC will give Shonda Rhimes a new show or two to play with.
  • I moved Bones back to “Likely to be Renewed” since at least currently I can’t see Fox cancelling both The Finder AND Bones and barring an impressive ratings turnaround, The Finder is on its way to finding itself canceled.
  • Based on a very small sample shows like Rob and Alcatraz are likely to be renewed. They’re on the bubble only because the sample is so small.

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


Show Network Status
Charlie’s Angels ABC Canceled
Man Up ABC Canceled
Pan Am ABC Canceled
Work It ABC Canceled
How To Be a Gentleman CBS Canceled
Allen Gregory Fox Canceled
Free Agents NBC Canceled
Prime Suspect NBC Canceled
The Playboy Club NBC Canceled
A Gifted Man CBS Certain Cancellation
Harry’s Law NBC Certain Cancellation
The Firm NBC Certain Cancellation
Body of Proof ABC Likely Cancellation
Fringe Fox Likely Cancellation
CSI: NY CBS Likely Cancellation
Unforgettable CBS Likely Cancellation
I Hate My Teenage Daughter Fox Likely Cancellation
The Finder Fox Likely Cancellation
Private Practice ABC On The Bubble
Rob CBS On The Bubble
Rules of Engagement CBS On The Bubble
90210′ CW On The Bubble
Gossip Girl CW On The Bubble
Hart of Dixie CW On The Bubble
Nikita CW On The Bubble
Ringer CW On The Bubble
Supernatural CW On The Bubble
The Secret Circle CW On The Bubble
Alcatraz Fox On The Bubble
House Fox On The Bubble
Napoleon Dynamite Fox On The Bubble
Raising Hope Fox On The Bubble
Terra Nova Fox On The Bubble
30 Rock NBC On The Bubble
Are You There, Chelsea? NBC On The Bubble
Community NBC On The Bubble
Up All Night NBC On The Bubble
Whitney NBC On The Bubble
Happy Endings ABC Likely Renewal
Last Man Standing ABC Likely Renewal
Revenge ABC Likely Renewal
Suburgatory ABC Likely Renewal
Blue Bloods CBS Likely Renewal
CSI CBS Likely Renewal
CSI: Miami CBS Likely Renewal
Person of Interest CBS Likely Renewal
The Good Wife CBS Likely Renewal
The Mentalist CBS Likely Renewal
Bones Fox Likely Renewal
Grimm NBC Likely Renewal
Castle ABC Certain Renewal
Grey’s Anatomy ABC Certain Renewal
Modern Family ABC Certain Renewal
Once Upon a Time ABC Certain Renewal
The Middle ABC Certain Renewal
2 Broke Girls CBS Certain Renewal
Criminal Minds CBS Certain Renewal
Hawaii Five-0 CBS Certain Renewal
Mike & Molly CBS Certain Renewal
NCIS CBS Certain Renewal
NCIS: Los Angeles CBS Certain Renewal
Two and a Half Men CBS Certain Renewal
Vampire Diaries CW Certain Renewal
Glee Fox Certain Renewal
New Girl Fox Certain Renewal
Law & Order: SVU NBC Certain Renewal
Parenthood NBC Certain Renewal
Parks & Recreation NBC Certain Renewal
The Office NBC Certain Renewal
How I Met Your Mother CBS Renewed
The Big Bang Theory CBS Renewed
American Dad Fox Renewed
Family Guy Fox Renewed
The Cleveland Show Fox Renewed
The Simpsons Fox Renewed
Desperate Housewives ABC Final Season
One Tree Hill CW Final Season
Chuck NBC Final Season
Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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