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 ),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.

More on the CW:

Last week I focused on the issue with CW and all its low-rated shows bunched up together. Our prediction methodology is mostly (often entirely) based on a show’s average versus the average for the network on which the show airs.  This is really effective in most cases, but what happens when a networks average stinks?  That’s the case with the CW, and it’s also somewhat the case with NBC (more on that in a bit).

I put all of CW’s scripted shows other than The Vampire Diaries on the bubble. They definitely won’t all be canceled, but they won’t all be renewed either. I know folks think The Secret Circle is more of a lock for renewal because of its ratings, but its ratings aren’t great and I’m discounting for it having the best lead-in the CW has to offer. A lot of Supernatural fans think it shouldn’t be on the bubble either, and while my guess is they’re right, it’s not clear to me that is more likely than not it will be renewed simply because of the age of the show (and the higher costs that go along with that). That Supernatural has a syndication deal in place with TNT doesn’t sway me much because TNT and Warner Bros (the studio that makes Supernatural) are both owned by the same company (Time Warner).

As noted earlier in the week, positive comments regarding renewal from Gossip Girl’s producers didn’t move me to change its status here.

All NBC Comedies on the Bubble Except the Office?

Are NBC’s comedies in the same situation as CW’s dramas? Similar yes, but not exactly the same and I’m a little more willing (for now) to make guesses with NBC’s comedies than with CW’s dramas.  There are a couple of reasonable assumptions:

  • The Office won’t be canceled (and even if there’s a spinoff, there seems no chance that they wouldn’t keep The Office around to launch it.)
  • There’s absolutely no chance NBC will cancel all of its sitcoms besides The Office

But I’m pretty sure NBC won’t renew all its sitcoms besides The Office either. That could be wrong, but if that’s right then like the CW,  general NBC suckage breaks a pure renew/cancel methodology based on ratings averages. Granted, and in its defense, the most recent index didn’t have the benefit of the latest week of woeful numbers (particularly for Whitney & Are You There Chelsea?) but it currently has none of the comedies in any danger. In fact, all comedies are certain to be renewed, other than Community (which is likely to be renewed) and the already canceled Free Agents.

I now have Whitney and Are You There, Chelsea? as more likely to be canceled than renewed. I have Community “on the bubble” and 30 Rock, Parks & Recreation and Up All Night as “likely to be renewed” with only The Office as a certain renewal.  Average (or even better than average!) ratings or not, I’m pretty sure it won’t be all of them.

Of the six NBC comedies that have aired* not named The Office (and excluding the already canceled Free Agents, how many do you think NBC will renew? My guess is 4.

*I know NBC has a couple of sitcoms —  Best Friends Forever and Bent — on the bench, but unless/until  they air in season they don’t factor into my thinking.

Other Stuff:

  • Touch got off to a decent start. It’s on the bubble only because its only had its one special preview. It will stay on the bubble until at least late March (official premiere is on 3/19). I’d give it a leg up over both Terra Nova and Alcatraz though.
  • Speaking of Alcatraz while its second week performed better than the later episodes of Terra Nova, in its second week Terra Nova was actually a tenth better with adults 18-49. Alcatraz remains on the bubble for now.
  • I’ve bumped Rob up to likely renewal. I’m sure that will rankle some, particularly those already rankled that Rob did more than 100% better with adults 18-49 than Parks & Recreation on Thursday and  had more than twice as many viewers.
  • The Finder had an impressive recovery last week but it aired against repeats on ABC & CBS so I haven’t bumped its status up from likely to be canceled. But if it doesn’t fall back too far this week, it’ll be on the bubble next week.

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
CSI: NY CBS Likely Cancellation
Unforgettable CBS Likely Cancellation
Fringe Fox Likely Cancellation
I Hate My Teenage Daughter Fox Likely Cancellation
The Finder Fox Likely Cancellation
Are You There, Chelsea? NBC Likely Cancellation
Whitney NBC Likely Cancellation
Private Practice ABC 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
Touch Fox On The Bubble
Community 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
Rob CBS Likely Renewal
The Good Wife CBS Likely Renewal
The Mentalist CBS Likely Renewal
Bones Fox Likely Renewal
30 Rock NBC Likely Renewal
Parks & Recreation NBC Likely Renewal
Up All Night 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
Grimm NBC Certain Renewal
Law & Order: SVU NBC Certain Renewal
Parenthood 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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