TV Cancellation Watch: Renewal Odds for Remaining Bubble Shows

  • Publish Date: April 21, 2015
  • Comments: ↓ 8 user comments

Updated predictions from industry followers

She's dead, but her show isn't

In less than a month, the broadcast networks will announce their fall schedules and reveal the fates of all remaining 2014-15 shows not yet renewed. Which of these bubble shows are likely to return for another season? To answer that question, we have compiled recent renew/cancel predictions from the following sources (all published within the last month):

Network shows still on the bubble

The scripted broadcast shows listed below have yet to be canceled or renewed. Reality and news shows are omitted—as are all cable series—since the experts do not offer predictions for such programs. Series not listed below have already been renewed or canceled (with the exception of CW's The Messengers, which is too new to have any predictions yet).

Key to predictions:
5 Likely renewal   4 Possible renewal   3 Could go either way   2 Possible cancellation   1 Likely cancellation

About a Boy (NBC)
DL 2 EW 4 HIT 2 RCI 1 SP 1 TVL 2 UP 1 VUL 2

Without a hit in sight, will NBC cancel all of its current comedies? While that seems unlikely, About a Boy seems even less likely to be among the survivors, as its ratings are below even those of the doomed Marry Me.

A.D.: The Bible Continues (NBC)
DL 4 EW n/a HIT n/a RCI 3 SP 5 TVL n/a UP n/a VUL n/a

NBC's miniseries follow-up to the History Channel miniseries The Bible may not be so "mini" after all, as ratings are decent enough to merit a renewal.

American Crime (ABC)
DL 3 EW 3 HIT 2 RCI 1 SP 2 TVL n/a UP 2 VUL n/a

Critical acclaim is probably the only thing keeping John Ridley's first-year drama out of the "certain cancellation" category, as the show has lost almost half of its viewers since its March debut. But those lousy numbers still suggest that renewal is unlikely, and a recent report that Ridley is working on a new show for the network (more on that in a moment) probably isn't a good sign for the future of Crime.

American Odyssey (NBC)
DL n/a EW n/a HIT 1 RCI 1 SP 2 TVL n/a UP 2 VUL n/a

Experts think that NBC's new thriller—which has been shedding viewers at a rapid clip over the three weeks it has aired—will have a hard time even staying on the air until its season finale, and thus give it no chance to return next year.

Backstrom (Fox)
DL 1 EW 2 HIT 2 RCI 1 SP 1 TVL 2 UP 1 VUL 3

Vulture's Adalian thinks that Fox's relationship with producer Hart Hanson (also the creator of Fox's long-running hit Bones) could be enough to earn the Rainn Wilson crime dramedy a second season, but the other experts are much more skeptical about the show's chances, especially since the show has performed poorly with two different lead-ins.

Battle Creek (CBS)
DL 1 EW 2 HIT 1 RCI 1 SP 1 TVL 2 UP 1 VUL n/a

On another network, the presence of star producers David Shore (House) and Vince Gilligan (Breaking Bad) might be enough for executives to give the low-rated (but decently reviewed) Battle Creek a second chance. On a network like CBS, where there are few open spots available in the lineup and Battle Creek is the network's lowest-rated program, it almost certainly isn't enough.

Black-ish (ABC)
DL 5 EW 5 HIT 5 RCI 5 SP 5 TVL 4 UP n/a VUL 5

Since ABC is traditionally the only network not to announce early renewals, you'll see plenty of "sure things" from the network on this list scattered among the true bubble shows. First-year hit comedy Black-ish is one of them.

Blue Bloods (CBS)
DL 4 EW 5 HIT 4 RCI 4 SP 4 TVL 4 UP 3 VUL n/a

Though the Tom Selleck-led cop drama has very strong viewership numbers, almost all of those eyeballs are coming from the less desirable over-49 crowd. However, that hasn't stopped CBS from renewing Blue Bloods four times previously.

Bones (Fox)
DL 3 EW 5 HIT 4 RCI 4 SP 3 TVL 5 UP n/a VUL 5

Ongoing contract negotiations with stars David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel are probably the only thing that could hold up an 11th (and likely final) season for the drama, since the network has publicly expressed interest in bringing the show back.

Castle (ABC)
DL 3 EW 5 HIT 5 RCI 5 SP 4 TVL 4 UP n/a VUL n/a

Good news for Castle fans: star Nathan Fillion has signed a deal to return for an eighth season, greatly increasing the likelihood that the drama will return. But that eighth year will likely be shorter (13 episodes) and missing current showrunner David Amann and possibly co-star Stana Katic, who has yet to re-sign.

Constantine (NBC)
DL 1 EW 1 HIT 2 RCI 1 SP 1 TVL 2 UP n/a VUL 3

NBC's venture into the comic book realm didn't really pay off in terms of quality or ratings, but a recent report on BuzzFeed that the series has already been canceled was denied by both the network and showrunner Daniel Cerone (though the latter admitted to that renewal remains "a long shot").

Criminal Minds (CBS)
DL 5 EW 5 HIT 5 RCI 4 SP 5 TVL 5 UP n/a VUL n/a

While Criminal Minds' ratings make a renewal decision easy, the cast members are not under contract past this 10th season. That shouldn't pose an obstacle to renewal, but is probably the reason one hasn't been announced yet.

Cristela (ABC)
DL 3 EW 3 HIT 3 RCI 1 SP 1 TVL 3 UP 1 VUL 3

With lower ratings even than the long-ago-canceled Selfie, this first-year comedy would seem to be a likely cancellation target. But a few experts think that if ABC's comedy pilot slate is unimpressive, Cristela—which actually draws more viewers than The Neighbors did in the same time slot last year—could be back.

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (CBS)
DL 3 EW 4 HIT 4 RCI 1 SP 3 TVL 3 UP 1 VUL 4

Has CSI finally reached the end of the line after 15 years? Experts are divided, but even some of those who admit the numbers are poor this season think that CBS won't let the show go without giving it a chance for a proper farewell (likely in the form of a very short 16th season). CSI fans could also take solace in the fact that the show's current replacement in CBS's lineup, Battle Creek, is performing even worse in the timeslot.

CSI: Cyber (CBS)
DL 4 EW 4 HIT 4 RCI 3 SP 3 TVL n/a UP 3 VUL n/a

While the latest CSI spinoff hasn't been a hit, it hasn't exactly been a failure, either. It collected better ratings than fellow freshman drama Stalker (and has even outperformed the original CSI this season). It doesn't seem likely that CBS would ax both CSI shows, but if it keeps only one, it would likely be this fresher, higher rated entry.

Elementary (CBS)
DL 4 EW 5 HIT 5 RCI 5 SP 4 TVL 3 UP n/a VUL n/a

Despite Elementary's relatively weak numbers—even CSI does better for CBS—experts seem bullish on the show's renewal odds. It doesn't hurt that the show is a money-maker (in syndication here and internationally) for CBS TV Studios, which produces the program.

Family Guy (Fox)
DL n/a EW 5 HIT n/a RCI 5 SP 5 TVL n/a UP n/a VUL n/a

Fox canceled Family Guy once; it won't do so again.

The Following (Fox)
DL 2 EW 2 HIT 3 RCI 2 SP 2 TVL 2 UP 2 VUL n/a

The Kevin Bacon drama has shed a third of its audience since last season, though it does recover a bit when DVR viewing is accounted for. While HitFix's Fienberg thinks that Fox could give the series a shortened "pity pick-up" to conclude its story, there doesn't appear to be much of a reason for it to do so.

Forever (ABC)
DL 3 EW 2 HIT 4 RCI 1 SP 1 TVL 2 UP 1 VUL 4

ABC's supernatural drama newcomer will not survive forever, and it may not even make it past this season. Its ratings are even lower than those for Resurrection (considered a lock for cancellation), and its demographics skew a bit old. But Vulture's Adalian and HitFix's Fienberg see hope in Forever's DVR numbers, suggesting that the show has room for growth, perhaps in a different timeslot.

Fresh Off the Boat (ABC)
DL 5 EW 5 HIT 5 RCI 4 SP 4 TVL 4 UP 3 VUL 5

When DVR viewing is factored in, Fresh Off the Boat is Tuesday's highest-rated comedy. Not bad for a show that just debuted in February and that (alone among network programs) features a predominantly Asian-American cast. Expect it to return for a 2nd season.

Galavant (ABC)
DL 4 EW 2 HIT 2 RCI 1 SP 2 TVL 3 UP 1 VUL 3

ABC's odd musical fantasy didn't really win over viewers and doesn't fit with much else in the network's lineup. As a result, most experts put its renewal chances at "slim" despite love for the show from ABC execs.

The Goldbergs (ABC)
DL 5 EW 5 HIT 5 RCI 5 SP 5 TVL 5 UP n/a VUL n/a

Thanks to ratings that are better than ever, this 1980s-set comedy is a lock to return for a 3rd season.

The Good Wife (CBS)
DL 4 EW 5 HIT 4 RCI 4 SP 3 TVL 5 UP 4 VUL n/a

While The Good Wife will always be on the bubble thanks to its low ratings—lower, in fact, than any show on CBS not named Battle Creek—experts are mostly unanimous in thinking that CBS won't let its most prestigious series go just yet. Many, however, think that next year's 7th season would be the show's last.

Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
DL 5 EW 5 HIT 5 RCI 5 SP 5 TVL 5 UP n/a VUL n/a

A 12th season looks like a sure thing for the Shonda Rhimes medical drama.

Hart of Dixie (CW)
DL 1 EW 2 HIT 1 RCI n/a SP n/a TVL 2 UP n/a VUL n/a

Though the CW has yet to announce an official cancellation, tweets from creator Leila Gerstein and star Scott Porter last month suggested that the fourth-year series is over.

Hawaii Five-0 (CBS)
DL 4 EW 5 HIT 4 RCI 3 SP 4 TVL 4 UP 4 VUL n/a

While most experts feel that Hawaii Five-0 is relatively safe, the show is awfully close to the bottom in ratings among current CBS series, and TV by the Numbers' Gorman feels that if CBS opts to get rid of one of its worst-performing hours, Hawaii Five-0 would get the ax before The Good Wife or Blue Bloods.

iZombie (CW)
DL 5 EW 4 HIT 5 RCI 5 SP 5 TVL n/a UP 4 VUL n/a

While the CW has already renewed the bulk of its current schedule, iZombie premiered after those renewals were announced. But its recent performance has been strong enough to lead experts to consider the Rob Thomas-produced zombie crime drama a lock for a second season.

Last Man Standing (ABC)
DL 4 EW 3 HIT 5 RCI 4 SP 3 TVL 3 UP n/a VUL n/a

While there's a decent chance that the Tim Allen comedy will return for a 5th season—especially if, like us, ABC forgets that it exists and thus also forgets to cancel it—experts seem slightly less confident about its future than in past years.

Marry Me (NBC)
DL 1 EW 4 HIT 1 RCI 1 SP n/a TVL n/a UP 1 VUL 1

Though it wasn't quite the worst of NBC's first-year comedies, Marry Me has nowhere close to good enough numbers to merit another season. Not helping matters is the fact that the show has been off the air since February and thus has no opportunity to improve its ratings.

Marvel's Agent Carter (ABC)
DL 3 EW 3 HIT 4 RCI 3 SP 3 TVL 3 UP 3 VUL 4

Billed as a limited event series, Agent Carter could wind up being just that; its numbers weren't stellar, though the show actually attracted more viewers (at least at first) than Agents of SHIELD. But ABC is currently developing two other Marvel series—including an Agents of SHIELD spinoff as well as a secretive new project from American Crime's John Ridley—which means that unless ABC wants a comic book-heavy lineup, Carter is probably done.

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC)
DL 4 EW 5 HIT 5 RCI 4 SP 4 TVL 3 UP n/a VUL n/a

While it's still not the major hit that Disney executives probably visualized when first greenlighting the project, SHIELD hasn't yet underperformed to the point where cancellation is likely. And the fact that a spinoff (likely centering on recent cast additions Adrianne Palicki and Nick Blood) is being planned suggests that SHIELD will be around a while. After all, as several experts point out, you don't cancel a show if you are planning a spinoff.

The McCarthys (CBS)
DL n/a EW 2 HIT n/a RCI n/a SP n/a TVL n/a UP n/a VUL n/a

Although CBS pulled the freshman comedy from its schedule in early February with several unaired episodes left to go, there is still an extremely slim chance it could return since the network has stressed that The McCarthys has not been officially canceled.

The Middle (ABC)
DL 5 EW 5 HIT 5 RCI 5 SP 5 TVL 4 UP n/a VUL n/a

The Middle is certain to return for a 7th season, though whether it remains in the middle of the week remains to be seen.

The Mindy Project (Fox)
DL 2 EW 3 HIT 3 RCI 5 SP 4 TVL 2 UP n/a VUL 2

The very definition of "bubble show," The Mindy Project appears to be in real danger of not surviving until its 4th season. Vulture's Adalian cites negative buzz from "inside the hallways of Fox," though he does suggest that if the network doesn't find a new comedy that pairs well with lead-in New Girl, Mindy could return. Deadline's Andreeva also feels that the show's fate depends on the success of Fox's comedy pilot slate, though both she and HitFix's Fienberg suggest that the show could find a home on another network or streaming service should Fox abandon it.

Modern Family (ABC)
DL 5 EW 5 HIT 5 RCI 5 SP 5 TVL 5 UP n/a VUL n/a

ABC's top-rated show is certain to return for a 7th season.

The Mysteries of Laura (NBC)
DL 4 EW 3 HIT 3 RCI 3 SP 3 TVL 2 UP 3 VUL 5

The poorly reviewed Debra Messing drama has actually been a hit for NBC in its first season, but only in terms of overall viewership (among the highest for any of the network's dramas). One problem: most of those viewers are older than the desired 18-49 demographic, meaning that NBC doesn't benefit a whole lot from all those eyeballs. As a result, experts consider Laura a toss-up for renewal.

Nashville (ABC)
DL 4 EW 4 HIT 4 RCI 5 SP 4 TVL 3 UP n/a VUL 4

Ratings alone aren't strong enough to guarantee a renewal for Nashville. But experts point to music sales and network executives' admiration for the show as reasons that it will survive to see another year.

DL 4 EW 5 HIT 5 RCI 5 SP 5 TVL 5 UP n/a VUL n/a

An renewal seems to be a mere formality for the network's highest-rated drama, now in its 12th season.

NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS)
DL 4 EW 5 HIT 4 RCI 5 SP 5 TVL 5 UP n/a VUL n/a

The first NCIS spinoff is not quite the lock for renewal that it usually is thanks to its recent series-low ratings in its new Monday timeslot. Still, NCIS:LA's lowest ratings are still higher than those for many other dramas on the air, so most experts feel there is little reason to worry.

The Night Shift (NBC)
DL 2 EW n/a HIT 2 RCI 3 SP 3 TVL n/a UP 3 VUL n/a

The medical drama has struggled since launching its second season this year despite having The Voice as a lead-in. The only thing in Night Shift's favor is the drama's stronger performance against lesser competition last summer, and some observers think there's a small chance that NBC will bring it back as a summer series. But with another medical drama (Chicago Med) in development at the network, those odds look slim.

The Odd Couple (CBS)
DL 4 EW 3 HIT 5 RCI 5 SP 5 TVL n/a UP n/a VUL n/a

CBS's Odd Couple revival has proved to be a major hit in its post-Big Bang Theory timeslot, and the result is that the most recent expert predictions are all but guaranteeing a renewal.

Once Upon a Time (ABC)
DL 5 EW 5 HIT 5 RCI 5 SP 5 TVL 5 UP n/a VUL n/a

Disney's fantasy series is almost certainly returning for a fifth season, and, as TV by the Numbers alertly noted, star Josh Dallas may have accidentally confirmed news of OUAT's renewal on a local morning show last week.

One Big Happy (NBC)
DL 4 EW 3 HIT 3 RCI 2 SP 4 TVL 2 UP 3 VUL n/a

One Big Happy isn't attracting much of an audience, but neither is any other NBC comedy. And experts think that this Ellen DeGeneres-produced newcomer, as the second-best-rated among current NBC sitcoms, has at least a fighting chance at returning. The show has two episodes left to make its case.

Person of Interest (CBS)
DL 5 EW 3 HIT 5 RCI 5 SP 4 TVL 4 UP n/a VUL 3

The only factor giving some experts pause is the fact that while most of CBS's dramas are produced in house, Person of Interest comes from Warner Bros. But while it is merely a middle-of-the-road series by CBS standards, viewership is high enough that those same experts think WB could move the show to another network should CBS pass on a 5th season.

Resurrection (ABC)
DL 1 EW 1 HIT 1 RCI 1 SP 1 TVL 2 UP 1 VUL 1

How quickly a show can turn from a (modest) first-year hit into a ratings dud. With viewership for its second season finale less than half of what it was for the first season's final episode, Resurrection is dead, and will stay that way.

Revenge (ABC)
DL 4 EW 2 HIT 4 RCI 1 SP 1 TVL 2 UP 2 VUL 2

While the ratings certainly point toward Revenge's cancellation—in fact, it's the network's lowest-rated drama series—the show's serialized nature leads some experts to think that ABC could bring it back for a very short concluding season.

Scandal (ABC)
DL 5 EW 5 HIT 5 RCI 5 SP 5 TVL 5 UP n/a VUL n/a

Not only are all three of Shonda Rhimes' ABC dramas sure bets to return for another season (including How to Get Away With Murder, which alone among ABC programs has already been semi-officially renewed), but they are also likely to be joined by a fourth series.

Secrets & Lies (ABC)
DL 5 EW 4 HIT 3 RCI 4 SP 3 TVL 4 UP 3 VUL n/a

With ratings that have been steady (if unspectacular, though they improve considerably when DVR viewing is taken into account), the serialized drama is looking more and more likely to return for a second season, which would feature Juliette Lewis’ detective character investigating a new crime (with a new cast surrounding her).

Stalker (CBS)
DL 3 EW 2 HIT 1 RCI 1 SP 3 TVL 2 UP 1 VUL 2

The season's worst-reviewed new series on any major network surprisingly still has a glimmer of hope for a second season. The drama has been on hiatus, but the network just advanced its return to April 27th, so it is possible that CBS executives won't decide Stalker's fate until ratings are in for those final episodes.

State of Affairs (NBC)
DL 1 EW 2 HIT 1 RCI 1 SP 3 TVL 2 UP 1 VUL 1

Plagued by poor reviews and low ratings, this first-year Katherine Heigl drama is likely done.

Undateable (NBC)
DL 4 EW 3 HIT 4 RCI 4 SP 4 TVL n/a UP n/a VUL n/a

The closest thing that NBC has to a hit comedy, this second-year series will likely survive to year 3 unless the network decides to wipe the slate clean and jettison all of its current sitcoms.

Weird Loners (Fox)
DL n/a EW 1 HIT 1 RCI 1 SP 1 TVL 2 UP 1 VUL n/a

There is virtually no chance that Fox's lowest-rated program will resurface next year.

Which shows would you save?

What bubble shows would you like to see return, and which deserve to be canceled? Let us know in the comments section below, and visit out 2014-15 Renew/Cancel Scorecard for the latest updates as well as a guide to which shows have already been canceled or renewed.

Comments (8)

  • LamontRaymond  

    That is one ROUGH group of shows. Network TV really needs an infusion of creativity and talent at the green light level.

  • HempCentPark  

    Nice .. I love it

  • KaizerAlex  

    Galavant was really nice. I hate dancing and singing and i despise Glee. However, Galavant was fun. The writing was okay, acting was quite good. There is a lot of potential.

    Person of Interest has to be continued. Even if I think that the latest season is not perfect, it is still entertaining.

  • mrhalloween1726  

    I would (certainly) renew the following series; 1)The Following - 2) Hart of Dixie - 3) The Mysteries of Laura - 4) Stalker. If I had a choice of only one it would be The Mysteries of Laura.

  • islandreams  

    I really like Forever. It continues to improve throughout the season. I think cancelling it at this point would be a huge mistake. It deserves a second season.

  • skw  

    Did anyone else notice how often the over-50 demographic is dismissed above? I think the networks would be wise to look at the demographics of the country again. Us Baby Boomers have a LOT of disposable income. So many of us are really tired of shows that are targeted to our grandchildren, with nothing for us to sink our teeth into. So networks, take note. If the show is grabbing Baby Boomer eyeballs, your advertisers may like that more than you think.

  • FrancisFan  

    I agree with skw, above. It is extremely stupid to dismiss the baby boomers. There are more of us with more money. I also think it is foolish Not to include the dr count. My thinking is if people think enough of the show to watch it later, those numbers are Just as important as the ratings for viewers on the night of airing. In addition, all of this starting a series, then suspending it, staring it again and sometimes going through the whole cycle again is very foolish. I can't tell you how many nights I had to tape four shows while watching a fifth. If you would just run the shows consecutively until the end and then start a mid winter season followed by a late spring season and a summer season, you would find you had a lot of shows with much better ratings. Hart of Dixie should be renewed along will Forever (one of the best shows on tv). Backstrom is one of those shows that was up against long running shows and never had a chance. The same with American crime. It is hard to get the viewers to stop watching after following a snow since last fall for a new series, good or not. The night Shift is another one going up against too many other shows that should have finished up in January.

  • martinex  

    Man am I out of touch. I can't sit through five minutes of any of the CSIs or NCISs CBS keep shoving up our collective keesters. The Mysteries of Laura is as embarrassingly bad as anything I've seen on TV in years. I've seen Scooby Doo Mysteries with better plots (and acting) than any Hawaii Five O episode. Secrets and Lies is a blatant (and poorly done) rip off of The Americans. Yet all of these shows are likely to be renewed. No wonder nobody watches network TV anymore. You clowns are fighting over a dwindling pie.

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