What 2018 bubble shows are in danger of being canceled?

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Photo Credit: ABC

Every year, viewers must wait to learn about the fate of their favorite bubble shows. 2018 is no different, but with the golden age of television still booming there are plenty of great series fighting for renewals. As more networks begin to account for consistent downward trend for live ratings compared to streaming, it will be interesting to see which shows come out on top.


Photo Credit: ABC

For the People

It’s actually a little disheartening to see the first Shonda Rhimes show that doesn’t feel like a soap opera already on the chopping block. Populated by a group of diverse and talented actors, the show has been an impressive addition to ABC’s late night block. Unfortunately, lack of marketing seems to have been the cause of the series’ downfall. The ratings did pick up this week due to Roseanne viewers but it’s unlikely they’ll stick around.

This season follows a group of newly minted prosecutors and public defenders who go head to head in New York City. There are no major romantic drama or over-the-top cases, For the People takes a serious look at our legal system. Sadly, it takes its place among other bubble shows that probably won’t move past its first season.

Verdict: Probably Cancelled

Photo Credit: ABC

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 

The Marvel series has always been in a tricky spot, with rumors of Disney forcing the network to keep it around. Despite low but consistent ratings, the show has thrived creatively in spite of budget cuts. While the MCU is technically connected, Agents of SHIELD is the only show to truly work alongside the movies. It makes sense that Marvel would want to keep it around as an entry point for fans to jump into.

It helps that the shows have an incredibly likable cast who happily go to fan conventions to promote the series. With Clark Gregg expected to make his film return on Captain Marvel, ABC should expect a boost in ratings next year. Channing Dungey recently spoke about how impressed they were with the writing on S.H.I.E.L.D. this season and that they hope to see it again next year. Considering Friday has become a notoriously difficult night for network television, it seems likely Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will get to live another day on ABC for at least a final season.

Verdict: Probably Renewed (for a final season)

Photo Credit: ABC

Station 19 

The Grey’s Anatomy spin-off shockingly grew in numbers this week after a lackluster premiere. Before the show debuted, there were a lot of questions whether the medical drama needed to introduce a fire department. It felt like ABC’s answer to the successful NBC Chicago series more than an actual attempt towards a spin-off. The reviews for Station 19 were mixed, but of the two new Shonda shows this does seem more likely to survive to next year.

Following a group of courageous firefighters at the Station 19 within the Seattle Fire Department, the show hits all the right dramatic notes. The rise in viewership between the two episodes hints that it’s being watched regularly by delayed viewings. If the series hits Netflix after this season, it’s probably safe to say there will be even more viewers checking it out. Even though For the People, is the better of the two new Shonda shows, Station 19 will get the renewal.

Verdict: Probably Renewed

Photo Credit: ABC

Designated Survivor 

Even Jack Bauer might not be able to save Designated Survivor from cancellation. The Kiefer Sutherland series has a few things helping it’s renewal chances: namely the fact that ABC owns the series. They take in the total profits which makes it much more appealing to renew. Sutherland is also a big star for ABC, and they’ll want to hold onto him for as long as possible.

However, the biggest draw for a third season is the delayed viewing numbers. Like most bubble shows, Designated Survivor thrives in DVR ratings where it has a massive increase every week. The series has also managed to remain pretty steady over the past three episodes in the Nielsen ratings.

What the show hasn’t managed is to craft a compelling storyline for most of season two. The only way ABC would renew it is if the showrunners were able to pitch a third season that could maintain viewers. With the nation currently suffering from political fatigue, things don’t look great for Designated Survivor. 

Verdict: Probably Cancelled

Photo Credit: ABC


ABC has been desperate to find a replacement for long-time procedural, Castle but Deception doesn’t look like the answer. Where the former is about a crime novelist who assists the NYPD with the hopes of finding inspiration for his next book, the latter is about a magician. Yes, renowned illusionist, Cameron Black has joined the FBI in Deception, making the premise about as ridiculous as it sounds.

Critics and audience members seem to agree on the mixed reviews the show has gotten throughout the three episodes to have aired. It’s been steadily dropping from week to week, with no signs of stopping anytime soon. Sorry Deception, but there’s no magic to save this series from being one and done.

Verdict: Probably Cancelled