2015 TV Season: On-the-Bubble Shows, Renewals and Cancellations (Updating)

Don’t worry about “Fresh Off the Boat” — save your fears for “State of Affairs”

Last Updated: May 7, 2015 @ 1:37 PM

Updated Thursday, May 7 at 3:41 p.m. ET

TV networks are busy taking ratings inventory on show schedules as the time approaches for May’s Upfronts, where each major broadcast network will unveil its new season schedule to advertisers in New York.

TheWrap took a close look at how TV shows across each network are performing, placing all the series that have not been renewed or canceled yet (or are total no-brainers) into one of three categories: “Close, But Safe,” “Flip a Coin” and “About to Burst.”

We used demo ratings, total viewers and insider buzz to make our predictions about what stays and what goes.

Our findings suggest that series such as CBS’s “CSI” and Fox’s “Bones” will probably get another year — but don’t hold your breath on ABC’s “Revenge” and NBC’s “About a Boy.” However, the latter two shows have a better chance of returning than others such as Fox’s “Weird Loners” and CBS’s “Battle Creek.”

All numbers below are from Nielsen’s “most current” data stream, which includes seven-day viewing lifts where available. The numbers were compiled from Sep. 22, 2014 through April 5, 2015. The shows that debuted within the last two weeks may not have delayed viewing numbers included, which by comparison makes them appear weaker than series with earlier premieres.

See TheWrap status report on Bubble Shows and below is a list of each network’s shows that have already been renewed or canceled:
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Show: 
“Fresh Off the Boat”
Network:
ABC
Demo Rating: 2.2
Total Viewers: 6.8 million
Why:
Started strong, but ratings have since come down to Earth. Constant sparring with Eddie Huang doesn’t help, but the diversity angle does. Coupled with the success of “Black-ish,” probably gets another season.

Show: “Marvel’s Agent Carter”
Network:
ABC
Demo Rating: 2.3
Total Viewers:
7.1 million
Why:
“Agent Carter” didn’t start as hot as “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD,” but its rating and audience numbers are good enough to keep it around. Plus, Disney and Marvel do excellent business together. Oddly enough, Marvel is planning a second spinoff from “SHIELD,” which could be either a good or bad sign for Carter.

Show: “America’s Funniest Home Videos”
Network:
ABC
Demo Rating:
1.3
Total Viewers:
6.2 million
Why: The demo ratings are bad, the viewers are OK, but the legacy show is embedded in ABC’s Sunday night lineup. Why cancel it now?

ABC/Brownie Harris

Secrets & Lies/ABC

Show: “Secrets & Lies”
Network:
ABC
Demo Rating:
2.2
Total Viewers:
7.8 million
Why: The Aussie adaptation actually gets a decent delayed-viewing lift, and has come up some from a slow start. Plus, the show has some star power in Ryan Phillippe and Juliette Lewis — their names alone could open the door for well-known thespians to join the fray should it get another run.

Show: “The Good Wife”
Network:
CBS
Demo Rating: 1.9
Total Viewers: 12.5 million
Why: The legal procedural has surprisingly weak demo ratings, but a good overall audience. That said, the series is beloved by fans and critics and skews upscale — that’s good enough for another season.

Show: “CSI”
Network: CBS
Demo Rating: 2.1
Total Viewers: 11.2 million
Why: The franchise’s flagship is getting a little tired, but it should groan through another campaign. Expect this one to come back as a wrap-up mini-season.

Show: “CSI: Cyber”
Network: CBS
Demo Rating: 2.3
Total Viewers: 11.7 million
Why: The latest “CSI” spinoff didn’t score such a hot start, but its more or less hung in there thanks to delayed viewing. It’s been finding footing a bit too as the initial run progresses. The show feels very “now,” but is an odd combination of old network/modern technology. Having Patricia Arquette hot off her Oscar win helps, so CBS probably won’t throw in the towel yet.

Show: “Hawaii 5-0”
Network: CBS
Demo Rating: 2.0
Total Viewers: 12.5 million
Why: “Hawaii 5-0” does quite well for a Friday show, plus it’s sold into syndication and is a proven money maker.

Show: “Blue Bloods”
Network: CBS
Demo Rating: 1.9
Total Viewers: 13.8 million
Why: See everything we said about “Hawaii 5-0,” except increase the average viewer total by another 1.3 million.

Show: “Bones”
Network: Fox
Demo Rating: 1.9
Total Viewers: 7.4 million
Why: Fox can’t cancel BOTH Hart Hanson shows, can they? (Sorry, “Backstrom” — you’re on the wrong end of this list.) “Bones” is one of the most solid shows for the network, so long as its stars don’t go into hiding, the network can always squeeze out another run of episodes.

Show: “Night Shift”
Network: NBC
Demo Rating: 1.7
Total Viewers: 6.7 million
Why: This show’s is a tough one, because it seems to rise and fall every week. Plus, almost any show with “The Voice” as a lead-in has the benefit of a boost, real or perceived. That said, “Night Shift” hasn’t done anything to deserve cancelation.

Undateable

Undateable/NBC

Show: “Undateable”
Network: NBC
Demo Rating: 2.3
Total Viewers: 5.8 million
Why: The Season 1 summer show had middling ratings, but NBC has a real shortage of comedies right now. It’s hard to predict the future of the Chris D’Elia sitcom right now as Season 2 is in a new calendar … season. NBC seems committed to giving the show a chance, though.

Show: “AD: The Bible Continues”
Network: NBC
Demo Rating: 2.3
Total Viewers: 9.7 million
Why: The show got its start on Easter, which was just smart scheduling. It’s way too early to predict, but right now, solely based on the premiere numbers, you have to presume this one is set up to continue.

mysteries of laura full season nbc

Mysteries of Laura/NBC

Show: “Mysteries of Laura”
Network: NBC
Demo Rating: 1.5
Total Viewers: 8.5 million
Why: “Laura” doesn’t score in the demo, but skews old enough to pull in 8.6 million viewers — which is pretty good for NBC primetime. Plus, NBC is pretty loyal to its Will & Grace” stars, right Sean Hayes?


bubble-show-flip
Show:
“Forever”
Network: ABC
Demo Rating: 1.7
Total Viewers: 6.9 million
Why: “Forever” seemed doomed from the get-go, but seven million viewers, an upscale audience and some internal support may be enough bring it back. We just wouldn’t bet on it because of its lousy demo performance. Plus, many people think it’s already been canceled — and that’s never a good sign.

Show: “American Crime”
Network: ABC
Demo Rating: 1.8
Total Viewers: 7.6 million
Why: “American Crime” had a disappointing start, but does OK in total viewers. Still, this is a limited series, so ABC could just let it go without technically canceling it. That said, don’t think for a second that “limited run” shows won’t get sophomore seasons if they do well freshman year.

Show: “Resurrection”
Network: ABC
Demo Rating: 2.9
Total Viewers: 6.9 million
Why: The numbers for “Resurrection” could be worse, but could be better. This show had a really hot start, but the story never paid off. It’s probably time to let this one go.

Show: “Stalker”
Network: CBS
Demo Rating: 2.5
Total Viewers: 10.7 million
Why: While other nets would salivate at 10.7 million viewers, that’s not very high for CBS. Demo rating is OK; this one might simply come down to whether or not CBS needs to open up an hour on its schedule for new programming.

Show: “The Following”
Network: Fox
Demo Rating: 1.9
Total Viewers: 5.5 million
Why: The show just hit another new low. In reality, it probably should have been canceled a year ago. That said, Kevin Bacon is still a pretty good TV get and the series had a rock solid Season 1.

Show: “One Big Happy”
Network: NBC
Demo Rating: 1.4
Total Viewers: 4.6 million
Why: While it’s admittedly early to judge its longevity, the Ellen DeGeneres-produced show does feels somewhat ripe for being wiped out like it never happened. But once again, NBC has a big need for comedies, and “One Big Happy” can be filed under “so far, so good (enough).”


bubble-show-burst
Show: “Cristela”
Network: ABC
Demo Rating: 1.2
Total Viewers: 5.8 million
Why: This is a Friday show, which forgives its low numbers, but it’s also kind of just waiting to die on that poorly-rated night. Whether it’s the fault of the show or scheduling, this is the ABC diversity play comedy that didn’t take.

Show: “Repeat After Me”
Network: ABC
Demo Rating: 1.2
Total Viewers: 3.9 million
Why: Just look at the numbers — they’re not good. It’s another DeGeneres show, but this unscripted one feels like a B-list celebrity version of “Impractical Jokers” and “Deal With It,” alongside many more. At least it’s cheap to make, right?

Show: “Galavant”
Network: ABC
Demo Rating: 1.9
Total Viewers: 6.5 million
Why: Another “limited series,” which could save it from ever technically being canceled. That said, the show performed better than many expected. It has in-house political backing, but “Galavant” came with a hefty price tag. If they can make it cheaper, they may bring it back.

Battle Creek

Battle Creek/CBS

Show: “Battle Creek”
Network: CBS
Demo Rating: 1.3
Total Viewers: 8.6 million
Why: Ratings-wise, this show was D.O.A., and has only gotten worse. CBS has so many hits, expect the Les Moonves episode to chalk this one up as an obvious “miss” and lose it.

Show: “Weird Loners”
Network: Fox
Demo Rating: 0.7
Total Viewers: 1.9 million
Why: The show had a terrible debut for a comedy that probably should never have been made. Fox has excellent comedies — high rated or not — so they don’t need this loser.

Show: “Backstrom”
Network: Fox
Demo Rating: 1.6
Total Viewers: 5.9 million
Why: “Backstrom” just never caught on, despite the best efforts of Rainn Wilson and Thomas Dekker. The show was paired with “Idol,” which never made a ton of sense. Then it was paired with “Bones,” which makes plenty of sense. It didn’t work either way.

Marry Me Ken Marino Casey Wilson

Marry Me/NBC

Show: “Marry Me”
Network: NBC
Demo Rating: 1.5
Total Viewers: 4.4 million
Why: “Marry Me” is pretty funny, but got lousy numbers. NBC just can’t buy a comedy hit, and it probably won’t buy a Season 2 of this Ken Marino-Casey Wilson comedy.

Show: “American Odyssey”
Network: NBC
Demo Rating: 1.1
Total Viewers: 5.4 million
Why: It is truly too early to make a call on “American Odyssey,” but the small sample size we have spells bad news for the show, which debuted on Easter after “A.D.” Unfortunately, it didn’t sniff “A.D.’s” numbers.

Show: “About a Boy”
Network: NBC
Demo Rating: 1.4
Total Viewers: 4.6 million
Why: This Boy isn’t doing so hot, and with Jason Katims’ other NBC Thursday night show “Parenthood” over and done with, one could certainly make a case to cut this dead weight. TheWrap handicaps this one at just a 25-percent chance of renewal, making it by definition twice as bad as the “coin-flip” category.

State of Affairs - Season Pilot

State of Affairs/NBC

Show: “State of Affairs”
Network: NBC
Demo Rating: 1.8
Total Viewers: 7.6 million
Why: The Katherine Heigl vehicle is surely no demo hit. Skewing older, it does a little better in total viewers — but not enough to make it a no-brainer. “State of Affairs” doesn’t seem to be a series that NBC is willing to continue, so hope you liked Season 1.

Renewals:
ABC_logo
“How to Get Away With Murder”

CBS-Logo-small
“Big Bang Theory”
“Mom”
“2 Broke Girls”
“Mike & Molly”
“Madam Secretary”
“NCIS: New Orleans”
“Scorpion”

cw-logo
“Jane the Virgin”
“The Originals”
“The Flash”
“Supernatural”
“Arrow”
“The 100”
“The Vampire Diaries”
“Reign”
“Beauty and the Beast”
“iZombie”

Fox_logo-small
“New Girl”
“Bob’s Burgers”
“Sleepy Hollow”
“Brooklyn Nine-Nine”
“The Last Man on Earth”
“The Simpsons” (two seasons)
“Gotham”
“Empire”

nbc-logo
“The Blacklist”
“Chicago Fire”
“Chicago PD”
“Grimm”
“Law & Order: SVU”

Cancellations:
ABC_logo
“Selfie”
“Manhattan Love Story”
“Revenge”

CBS-Logo-small
“Two and a Half Men” (finished final season)
“The Mentalist” (finished final season)
“The Millers”
“The McCarthys”

cw-logo
“Hart of Dixie”
“The Messengers”

Fox_logo-small
“Mulaney”
“Red Band Society”
“Gracepoint” (finished limited run)
“Glee” (finished final season)
“The Mindy Project” (may be revived at Hulu)

nbc-logo
“Constantine” (with a potential long-shot opportunity to come back)
“A to Z”
“The Slap” (miniseries)
“Bad Judge”
“Allegiance”
“Parks and Recreation” (finished final season)
“Parenthood” (finished final season)