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October 13, 2015

Which Shows Are on the Bubble?

by Gary Susman, posted Feb 16th 2010 10:00AM
Which of your favorite network shows are likely to survive another season, and which are doomed? Valentine's Day seems as good a time as any to see which primetime shows are still getting some network love, which may be why the weekend provided us with three detailed breakdowns -- from Entertainment Weekly, The Wrap and The Hollywood Reporter -- of the cancellation odds for every network's primetime lineup.

Predicting which of the shows currently on the bubble are going to be spared the ax is hardly an exact science, yet what's interesting about these three lists of survival odds is how nearly unanimous they are. For instance, all three seem to think that 'Smallville''s move to TV's Friday night boneyard has all but ensured the show's survival, and that the CW is all but certain to keep the series, even though the nine-year-old show is the oldest thing on the youth-obsessed network. Conversely, everyone thinks the same network's 'Melrose Place' is doomed. Read on to see where your favorite series placed on the various bubble lists.


'Better Off Ted' is hilarious, but consensus says its low ratings spell disaster, especially since ABC now has a strong slate of new comedies on Wednesdays. No one expects the newbie lawyers on 'The Deep End' to stick around long enough to make partner either. ABC's pickup of 'Scrubs' after NBC dumped it has only postponed the inevitable. 'The Forgotten'? It will be.

The pundits part ways, however, on sci-fi epics 'V' and 'FlashForward.' EW thinks 'V' could go either way, but the Wrap and the Reporter think the alien-invasion saga has plenty of life in it yet. EW thinks 'FlashForward' has a 50/50 chance; the Wrap and the Reporter are less sanguine, believing that the show's tricky premise and similarity to 'V' don't bode well for a second season.


'The New Adventures of Old Christine'
is the very definition of a bubble show. All three lists say CBS could go either way on the comedy, whose current ratings aren't great, but which remains the network's classiest comedy. Everyone also agrees on 'Numb3rs,' the easiest call on the list; David Krumholtz's casting in a fall pilot only confirms that this drama's number is up.

Aside from those shows, however, the experts differ on the future of the CBS lineup. The Wrap gives freshman comedy 'Accidentally on Purpose' a middling chance at survival; the others say it's a goner. The Reporter thinks CBS could go either way on renewing 'Cold Case,' but the others say the veteran crime procedural is played out. EW thinks 'Gary Unmarried' is a safe bet for renewal; the others are less optimistic. Conversely, EW thinks 'Medium' has a 50/50 shot at another season, while the others think it's a safe bet.


Good news, 'Fringe' fans: Your show's successful move to Thursday seems to have ensured its renewal, the oddsmakers agree. Alas, they also agree that 'Brothers' and 'Past Life' are all but axed.

'24's' ratings drop has placed the long-running action series on the bubble; news of a '24' movie has only further muddied the waters. The Reporter thinks the show is dead, while EW and the Wrap think it could still live to see another day. 'Human Target' seems iffy to EW and the Reporter, while the Wrap thinks it's targeted for termination. EW thinks ''Til Death' still has half a chance, while the Wrap thinks it won't be long 'til the show's death.


'Chuck' seems to have spent its whole life on the bubble, but everyone thinks 'Chuck' will live to spy another day. Similarly, everyone thinks 'Community' will have a sophomore year, that 'Trauma' won't be resurrected again and that 'Law & Order' will have a 21st season (if only to give Dick Wolf bragging rights at beating 'Gunsmoke''s record as the longest-running primetime drama).

'Mercy' remains a question mark; EW thinks the nurse drama could manage to hang on, while the others think it's a long shot. Then there's 'Heroes,' a show everyone acknowledges is teetering on the precipice, yet NBC can't seem to bring itself to kill. For all its creative and ratings woes, the show seems as indestructible as Claire.


Besides 'Smallville' and 'Melrose,' the listmakers agree on 'The Vampire Diaries' (its renewal is a sure thing), 'One Tree Hill' (it could go either way) and new drama 'Life Unexpected' (chance of survival: only fair).

If you didn't see your show on this list, and it hasn't already been canceled (sorry, 'Ugly Betty'), then it's either been renewed (there'll be at least one more year of 'Friday Night Lights') or is a sure bet for renewal (you don't have to be psychic to predict another season of 'The Mentalist'). Breathe a sigh of relief.

For what it's worth, the predictions Inside TV made back in November about which shows would get canceled and which would be saved were pretty much on the money.

UPDATE: The CW has since renewed five of its shows, including 'Gossip Girl' and 'Vampire Diaries.' For more on that, click here.

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blue blood is the best show on tv we love it

May 16 2011 at 4:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I really hope Chuck survives.. along with the other shows on the bubble list I read on another article, "Better With You" and "Hellcats".

May 01 2011 at 6:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mama Kat

I hope Blue Bloods will survive. This is the only show in a long while that I go out of my way to be sure I watch. It is well done with a great cast. I really look forward to seeing it on Friday nights. PLEASE do not take this show off the air!! There are so many crappy shows on these days it almost makes one want to stop watching TV. If not for shows like Blue Bloods and NCIS, I probably would not be watching much TV.

May 01 2011 at 5:29 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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