2014 Bubble Shows: Which Will Survive?

As the end of the traditional television season comes closer to an end, with most network and cable shows’ wrapping up their current season mid-May, several shows have only a few final weeks to prove to networks that they are worthy of a renewal.

While dozens of shows have yet to find out their official fate, there are certain shows that seem to be a sure bet for getting a renewal (Once Upon A Time, Grey’s Anatomy). At the other end of the spectrum there are the shows that are complete lost causes (Hostages). This list only features shows that fall in the proverbial grey area, shows whose fates aren’t as crystal clear.

Are any of your favorite shows in jeopardy of being canceled this season? Click through the gallery to see which of these ten bubble shows we feel have a shot at getting a renewal and which shows will sadly get canceled.


1. The Crazy Ones (CBS)

When The Crazy Ones hit the air this fall the ratings were high enough to make the show the highest rated show of the new season, averaging around 15 million viewers. However since it’s premiere, the show’s ratings have gradually declined with the show pulling numbers under the 10 million mark. Another detractor for the show is the fact that The Crazy Ones is one of only two full-season CBS shows to not receive an early renewal.

Will It Be Back? While the show did not receive an early renewal, the comedy has two talented leads in Sarah Michelle Gellar and Robin Williams (along with the amazingly talented James Wolk, Amanda Setton, and Hamish Linklater in supporting roles). They might get shifted to a new night or time slot, but the ad agents at Roberts & Roberts should be back for more fun next season.


2. Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC)

ABC was hoping for Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to be a ratings hit. Unfortunately, the show has struggled to pull in a large amount of viewers all season, with numbers finally averaging at 7.3 million viewers. The silver lining for the show is that the series does extremely well with young, male viewers and DVR playback does give the show a slight ratings boost.

Will It Be Back? Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was thrown into a extremely tight time-slot at 8/7c on ABC, putting the show head to head with rating juggernauts NCIS and The Voice. If ABC wants the series to succeed, try shifting the series to a different time-slot where they won’t be going against some of the largest rating hits on TV. Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. still has large potential in crossover events in the future with Marvel Studios’ cinematic empire, which is the reason why they should be likely to get a second season.


3. The Mentalist (CBS)

This season, fans of The Mentalist finally saw the Red John story-line get resolved. Fans of the show have stuck around as the show did a post-Red John reboot, switching the show’s format to focus on the team solving a different crime each week. However, the change also saw two familiar faces exit as the team moved to a new town, working for a new employer, and the show was also shifted to the 10/9c time-slot on Sunday which some see as a kiss of death.

Will It Be Back? After six seasons on CBS, and reoccurring appearances on the yearly bubble list, now is as good a time as ever to bid The Mentalist farewell.


4. Nashville (ABC)

This season Nashville has failed to grow in ratings numbers and in the coveted demo. Season two of the country music themed drama, has added in an abundance of unnecessary supporting characters that take away focus from the shows two real stars, Rayna James (Connie Britton) and Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere). The show’s recent turns make Nashville seem more and more like an overproduced, expensive soap opera and less like a prime-time drama.

Will It Be Back? Nashville still has a lot of strong stories to explore and wrap up. Look for ABC to give Nashville  a third (and final?) season to bring these stories to an end and the chance to bring their numbers up.


5. Almost Human (Fox)

Fox tried to capitalize on the growing popularity of the sci-fi genre Almost Human, a futuristic crime procedural. However, the series has struggled to find it’s footing in and gain a steady following. The good news for Almost Human is that the series has an average demo rating of 1.9, which is stronger than the already renewed Bones and Glee. 

Will It Be Back? Fox has a very busy schedule already lined up for their fall line-up, including Gotham (a DC origins story of Commissioner Gordon and his rise from a rookie detective to the Police Commissioner). Almost Human may have been ahead of it’s time, but we don’t see a second season in their future.


6. Community

With Dan Harmon returning to the show as the producer, Community is back on track and producing consistently funny episodes. After the flops of new comedies such as The Michael J. Fox Show and Sean Saves the World, NBC needs a persistent performer.

Will It Be Back? While not a ratings hit, Community has a cult following and is a steady addition for NBC. It would be a shocking turn if NBC decided not to bring Community back in the fall.


7. Beauty and the Beast (The CW)

Beauty and the Beast hit a major sophomore slump this season becoming The CW’s lowest rated drama. As ratings continued slip, Beauty and the Beast was put on hiatus not returning until June to finish out the season. The show does feature a cast with incredible chemistry and there are plenty of stories still to be told.

Will It Be Back? Of all of The CW’s bubble shows, no show has as passionate and vocal fans than Beauty and the Beast (the Beasties). A passionate fan base isn’t enough of a reason to renew a show, especially with ratings hitting all time lows. It’s time The CW cuts it’s losses, and cancels Beauty and the Beast.


8. Enlisted (Fox)

Enlisted tells the story of the Hill brothers, Pete, Derek & Randy, as they navigate life on an Army reserve base. The series is only pulling in ratings slightly above 2 million viewers, with a 0.7 in the demo. The good news for the military comedy is that critics love the series.

Will it Be Back? Enlisted is a well written comedy and if given a better time-slot in the schedule, Enlisted could become a modest hit for Fox. However, it looks like Fox might have discharged the Hill brothers for good.


9. The Tomorrow People (The CW)

The Tomorrow People was given a great time-slot this season, following the breakout hit Arrow,  Wednesday at 9/8c, but the show failed to bring in successful ratings. The good news for the series is that it’s performing better in the ratings than any of the other three not-yet-renewed CW series. Another plus for the show, is that The CW has a soft spot for male lead sci-fi dramas.

Will It Be Back? The good news for the series is that The CW can’t cancel all of their lower rated series and as best of the worst, The Tomorrow People should live to fight another day.


10. Hannibal (NBC)

Season two of Hannibal  has been bolder and more compelling than season one, as the series delves deeper into the story of Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) and Dr. Hannibal Lector (Mads Mikkelsen). While critics love the series, Hannibal is averaging 4.7 million viewers a week making it NBC’s lowest-rated series. Hannibal also saves NBC a little money on the series by sharing the production cost with French producer Gaumont, making the show cheaper to produce than new original dramas.

Will It Be Back? Creator Bryan Fuller has already begun planning for a third season, which will mine Thomas Harris’ book Red Dragon, the third in his Hannibal Lector series. Fuller’s confidence in the show is a good sign for the series. Fuller has also hinted at other interested networks if NBC decides to pass on the third season. Whether on NBC or another network, expect to see more of of Dr. Lector this fall.

Tags: 2014 Bubble Shows Almost Human Beauty And The Beast Community Enlisted Marvel's Agents Of Shield Nashville The Crazy Ones The Mentalist

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