Bubble Shows & Pilots - Status Update

OK, I am a bit late for my yearly bubble show status report, but to make it worth your while, this year, I will also include a few predictions on the pilot side, to see which shows are most likely to be picked up to series.

Predictions are based on various sources, which I will list at the bottom. And of course, a little bit of my own opinion is still in there.

There are fewer bubble shows than normal, since many shows have already gotten an early renewal, or cancellation, for that matter. But there are still enough left to make fans biting nails on the fate of their beloved series.

I will do this again by network.

OK then, lets delve in...


Bubble shows:

"House" has as of yet not received an official renewal, but the show will for sure return in the fall. Hugh Laurie is signed through next season. All we need is a press release. Same goes for "American Idol".
The only effective bubble shows are "Lie To Me" and "Human Target". For the former, the consensus is that FOX is likely to bring it back, with "Target" standing a lesser chance, but is not to be counted out just yet.
Showrunner Shawn Ryan has left "Lie To Me" to shepherd his new FX series "Terriers", and, if picked up, the new FOX project "Ride Along". This doesn't mean "Lie To Me" is doomed, though. It could be that FOX will wait with a decision on the show until after the upfronts, because it wants some viewer data from the new episodes in the summer.
If the network decides to count more on reality, both shows are in danger of vanishing.


Aforementioned cop drama "Ride Along", togehter with U.S Marshal drama "Breakout Kings" and con man drama "Midland" are strong contenders for a pickup at this point. "Terra Nova", the dinosaur drama series from Steven Spielberg is a pretty sure thing for a show still in the script stage, which means a pickup could come after the upfronts.
And on the comedy side, "Keep Hope Alive" and "Traffic Lights" are on their way to the fall schedule, while "Wilde Kingdom" from Will Arnett and Mitch Hurwitz is still in the mix, but is maybe a bit too smart for its own good. "Most Likely To Succeed" and "Security" starring Christian Slater created early buzz, but have lost a bit of momentum lately.


Bubble Shows:

With many of its shows already picked up for next season, the Peacock is still mulling over a 13-episode final season order for "Heroes", which is considered to be happening. Also, a fourth season return for "Chuck" in some form is very likely at this point. "Law & Order: SVU" is also in a good place to come back next year. On the reality side, "The Biggest Loser" and "Celebrity Apprentice" both are likely to return.
Medical drama "Mercy" is too early to tell, but based on the ratings, it's a tough sell for NBC to justify a renewal. But the network likes the show creatively, so we'll have to see. "Trauma" will most probably not come back.


NBC has already picked up four dramas: "Undercovers", "Love Bites", "Outsourced" and "The Event". Other strong contenders for the network, which has to re-fill the 10 PM slot after the "Jay Leno Show" debacle, are "The Rockford Files" and Jerry Bruckheimer's new drama "Chase". "Kindreds", David E. Kelley's legal drama is still in the mix, as is superhero cop drama "The Cape".


Bubble Shows:

CBS has yet to renew a lot of its lineup, as only "Two and A Half Men", "The Good Wife","NCIS: Los Angeles", "How I Met Your Mother", "The Big Bang Theory" and CBS' reality block have already gotten pickups. A few shows don't really have to worry, though. All three "CSI"s, "Criminal Minds", "The Mentalist" and "NCIS" are considered locks for next season, although a few schedule changes might loom, especially in terms of the "CSI" franchise.
The bubble show that is most likely to get a pickup for next season is "Ghost Whisperer". "Medium" is too early to tell. As for "Numb3rs" and "Cold Case", prepare for the worst.
CBS comedy "The New Adventures Of Old Christine" has a safety net. If CBS cancels it, ABC might pick it up. "Rules Of Engagement", who is in the same predicament at CBS, has no such luck. Same goes for "Accidentally On Purpose".
"Gary Unmarried", however, is considered more likely to return.


The remake of "Hawaii Five-O" is a lock. A screening received great reactions. Legal drama "Defenders", the starring Jim Belushi and Jerry O'Connell, and Brett Ratner's CIA drama "Chaos" are also strong. As for the "Criminal Minds" spinoff, that is a tougher sell, since the buzz is lukewarm at best. But a pickup for midseason is still expected.
As for comedies, "Bleep My Dad Says" is getting strong buzz based on William Shatner's performance as the titular dad. "Livin' On A Prayer" from "How I Met Your Mother" creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas is looking good as well. Multi-camera comedies "Mike and Molly" and "True Love" are not as strong, but are still under consideration.


Bubble Shows:

ABC, as CBS, has not handed out many renewals yet. But "Grey's Anatomy", "Desperate Housewives", "Private Practice", "Brothers & Sisters", as well as reality fare "Dancing With The Stars" and "The Bachelor" are locks for another season.
"V" has gotten a bit stronger in the ratings, and based on the buzz, ABC is considering a renewal. However, chances of a return of "FlashForward", "The Forgotten", "Scrubs", "The Deep End" and "Better Off Ted" are slim.
New comedy "Romantically Challenged" is hard to predict after only two airings, but the buzz leans to the positive. Mystery drama "Happy Town" tends to remain a one-season show.


Shonda Rhimes' new drama "Off The Map" and cop drama "Detroit 187" are strong contenders for a pickup for fall, as is superhero drama "No Ordinary Family", where Michael Chiklis is said to be great. Medical procedural "Body Of Proof" and docu-style drama "Generation Y" are still in the mix, but nowhere near a lock for fall.
On the comedy side, "Mr. Sunshine" starring Matthew Perry is the most likely to end up on ABC's fall schedule, while "Wright vs. Wrong," "Happy Endings," "It Takes a Village" and "Who Gets the Parents" all are rather hard to predict, because of very mixed reactions at screenings.

The CW:

Bubble Shows:

The CW has renewed most of its fare, and only "One Tree Hill" and "Life Unexpected" are very prominently on the bubble, since everyone agrees that "Melrose Place" will be closed down for sure. Initially, The CW was considering renewing one over the other because there's apparently only one slot left. But I'm now hearing that both shows might return, maybe with reduced orders and for midseason. It's hard to say. What I can say is: Don't give up hope on either show yet.
"Supernatural" might see a schedule change, and even a midseason order is being mulled by one source.


It's no secret that the "La Femme Nikita" remake, "Nikita" is a done deal for the fall at The CW. Supernatural drama "Betwixt" is considered a near-lock as well, as it might be a perfect companion to hit drama "The Vampire Diaries". Cheerleader drama "Hellcats" is also a likely contender for fall. Meanwhile, "Nomads" and "HMS" are much less likely to make it.

OK, that's about it. Now head to the comments section to discuss what you think will happen in a few days at the upfronts.


The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, TV By The Numbers, EW's Michael Ausiello, USA Today, The TV Addict


  1. Nice site, very informative. I like to read this.,it is very helpful in my part for my criminal law studies.

  2. CRIMINAL MINDS is a great show, but the spin-off pilot was awful. Hate to see it get a time slot.