|Manhattan Love Story||ABC||Canceled|
|The Mentalist||CBS||Final Season Complete|
|Two and a Half Men||CBS||Final Season Complete|
|Glee||Fox||Final Season Complete|
|Red Band Society||Fox||Canceled|
|A to Z||NBC||Canceled|
|Parenthood||NBC||Final Season Complete|
|Parks & Recreation||NBC||Final Season Complete|
|Agent Carter||ABC||Cancellation Predicted|
|American Crime||ABC||Cancellation Predicted|
|Battle Creek||CBS||Cancellation Predicted|
|Hawaii Five-0||CBS||Cancellation Predicted|
|The McCarthys||CBS||Cancellation Predicted|
|Hart of Dixie||CW||Cancellation Predicted|
|The Messengers||CW||Cancellation Predicted|
|The Following||Fox||Cancellation Predicted|
|Weird Loners||Fox||Cancellation Predicted|
|About a Boy||NBC||Cancellation Predicted|
|American Odyssey||NBC||Cancellation Predicted|
|Marry Me||NBC||Cancellation Predicted|
|Mysteries of Laura||NBC||Cancellation Predicted|
|One Big Happy||NBC||Cancellation Predicted|
|State of Affairs||NBC||Cancellation Predicted|
|Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.||ABC||Renewal Predicted|
|Fresh Off the Boat||ABC||Renewal Predicted|
|The Goldbergs||ABC||Renewal Predicted|
|Grey’s Anatomy||ABC||Renewal Predicted|
|How To Get Away With Murder||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|
|Secrets & Lies||ABC||Renewal Predicted|
|Blue Bloods||CBS||Renewal Predicted|
|Criminal Minds||CBS||Renewal Predicted|
|CSI: Cyber||CBS||Renewal Predicted|
|The Good Wife||CBS||Renewal Predicted|
|NCIS: Los Angeles||CBS||Renewal Predicted|
|The Odd Couple||CBS||Renewal Predicted|
|Person of Interest||CBS||Renewal Predicted|
|The Mindy Project||Fox||Renewal Predicted|
|AD: The Bible Continues||NBC||Renewal Predicted|
|The Night Shift||NBC||Renewal Predicted|
|The Big Bang Theory||CBS||Renewed|
|Mike & Molly||CBS||Renewed|
|NCIS: New Orleans||CBS||Renewed|
|2 Broke Girls||CBS||Renewed|
|Beauty & the Beast||CW||Renewed|
|Jane The Virgin||CW||Renewed|
|The Last Man on Earth||Fox||Renewed|
|The Simpsons||Fox||Episodes Exist for Next Season|
|Law & Order: SVU||NBC||Renewed|
Bubble Watch: 2015 Edition
As nearly every media outlet has been posting a “Shows on the Bubble” gallery recently, I figured it was long past time for Bubble Watch to return. In too many cases though, the fate of a bubble show depends on the network’s overall schedule, so I want to start with a view of each network as a whole…
Pilots: 13 Dramas, 12 Comedies
Biggest question: What are the anchors for their comedy hours?
Second question: Will any bubble dramas survive?
With 12 comedy pilots, it is extremely likely ABC sticks with 4 comedy hours on the schedule. That’s good news for the existing shows that will start out those hours (The Middle, Last Man Standing). That’s less good news for the shows that would end those hours (Fresh Off the Boat, Cristela), that are now fighting with all those pilots to survive.
In a season where The Astronauts Wives Club and The Whispers never made it to the regular season schedule, ABC still felt the need to shoot twelve drama pilots. (It’s likely the proposed Mockingbird spin-off simply replaces Agent Carter as the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. bridge.) Recent history would suggest ABC picks up at least 5 of those dramas, which should be the final nail in the coffins of Forever, American Crime, & Revenge.
Pilots: 8 Dramas (1 Series Order), 9 Comedies
Biggest question: Just what are the syndication deals for the CBS veterans?
The Good Wife. CSI. Hawaii Five-0. Blue Bloods. Frankly, ANY combination of renewals & cancellations for those four wouldn’t surprise me, as we have very little information on just what each of them actually costs CBS per episode, after their syndication and international sales deals are subtracted out.
Note that I said combination– someone will surely say “Why does CBS need to cancel any of them? Why can’t one or more just end up as next season’s The Mentalist?” To which I reply, look at how CSI ran out the string: with double episodes, during the late December holiday specials deadzone, and even once on a Tuesday. If that’s how CBS is treating a regular cost show, why on Earth would they spend money on a spackle show?
Pilots: 5 Dramas (3 WB, 2 CBS)
Biggest question: How do you fit new shows in with no room on the schedule?
With so many of their shows renewed, The CW has very little room to work with. If they launch just one new show Tuesdays@9 after The Flash, and move iZombie to, say, Thursdays at 9, then both Reign AND The 100 have to be moved off to Fridays/Spring/Summer (and Fridays already have ANTM for most of Fall). With that little space, I’d be surprised if The CW orders more than 2 of their pilots for next season, and launches more than one show in Fall.
Pilots: 6 Dramas (1 Series Order), 7 Comedies
Biggest question: Where and when does Empire return?
Second question: What does Fox do about Thursdays?
Empire wasn’t just the hit of the year – it arguably became the biggest premiere of the last half-decade over its run. It’s almost certain Fox will move the show to 8pm, and give a boost to some rookie afterward. The question is, how quickly can Fox get Empire back on the air (due to the musical numbers) – can they get a batch of episodes ready for Fall?
Meanwhile, Fox is now under a 1.0 average on Thursdays, the night with the highest ad rates of the week (due to movie and other weekend activity ads). Despite The Blacklist showing the perils of the idea, you really have to wonder if Fox won’t try to kill two birds with one stone and schedule Empire / Scream Queens for Thursday nights. That would actually be a positive for Bones’ chances – something has to air during the likely lengthy Winter hiatus of Empire… but that something could just be the audition rounds of American Idol, should it return.
Pilots: 9 Dramas (3 Series Orders), 10 Comedies (2 Series Orders), 1 Variety Series Order
Biggest question: With such a deluge of new shows, will any of them be any good?
For all of NBC’s troubles this year, they don’t have that many holes. Out of the 15 hours they need to fill before the NFL season ends, they already have 3 hours of The Voice, 5 renewed dramas, and at least 1 reality hour (Dateline). So for 6 hours (or less, if The Biggest Loser airs in Fall), NBC already has Heroes Reborn and the Neil Patrick Harris variety hour, whatever pilots they like, and Shades of Blue, Coach, & Telenovela waiting in the wings. (If the demo ratings weren’t enough, that’s not good news for The Mysteries of Lauras of the world.)
While I expect NBC to not abandon Sundays between the NFL playoffs and Easter as completely as they did this season, that still seems like an overabundance of product. Frankly, that’s to be expected: between the length remaining on his contract and his network’s performance, NBC Chairman Robert Greenblatt clearly has the hottest seat out of the five broadcast networks, and execs in those situations usually order in quantity, hoping to find a hit by pure numbers alone. Dividing their focus between that many new prospects may well result in the result they’re trying to avoid though…
Next Week: Deeper analysis on all the bubble candidates.
Note: The chart only lists “Official” Renewals & Cancellations, not (truthful) mentions in promos, social media, and talk shows.
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!