The most dangerous season of television is upon us! Across the big broadcast networks, shows are quaking in their boots over fear of getting canceled as networks prepare to make final decisions about which shows will live, and which shows will spend the rest of their days gathering dust on streaming sites. We call the shows whose fates are up in the air "bubble shows."
What makes a bubble show? A bubble show is any series that isn't a lock for renewal or essentially already canceled. Anything in between is fair game, and there are several reasons for a show to be on the bubble.
Ratings obviously play a huge part in a network's decision to renew or cancel a show. Eyeballs are huge. If you ain't performing, you ain't making money for the network, and you're probably headed for the garbage pile. Another big factor comes from which studio produces the show. A show that is produced by the same corporate family that broadcasts it (ABC and ABC Studios for example), is going to have that edge when it comes to a final decision because all the money goes to the conglomerate and not to a rival. Prestige can also keep a show around if a network can brag about award nominations, and there are other factors — like DVR stats and scheduling needs — that can contribute too.
We selected the 14 most interesting cases of bubble shows as we near the deadline for networks to finalize fall schedules, and broke down the good news and bad news for each one. Is your favorite in danger of getting canceled? Find out!