What 2018 bubble shows are in danger of being canceled?

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Photo Credit: CBS

Criminal Minds 

Every year the renewal decision for Criminal Minds comes down to the wire. It’s not owned by CBS, so the network has to renegotiate deals with the hopes of keeping costs down. Luckily, in its fourteenth season, it’s pulling in a lot of money courtesy of syndication deals. A big decision for renewal will come down to how much CBS is looking to spend on a series with a large ensemble. They have been notoriously stingy in the past by getting rid of two of their lead female cast members for budget cuts that were met with anger by fans.

However, the show also lost three leads going into this season by outside sources. One for misconduct on set, and two others to new series. With ratings falling each season, Criminal Minds gets lumped in with the other bubble shows struggling to find new viewers. Despite hitting series lows, the serial killer procedural will probably come back while CBS tries to figure out what to replace it with.

Verdict: Probably Renewed 

Photo Credit: CBS

Superior Donuts 

CBS liked Superior Donuts enough to renew the show last year but the second time might not be the charm. It underperformed compared to other freshmen comedies that got the ax but the network was hoping it would catch on. It’s owned by CBS, which is probably a big reason it snagged a renewal in the first place.

Has Superior Donuts ever been advertised for? A big reason it seemed to fail is the lack of recognition the show gets. Without word of mouth or a Netflix boost, this comedy seemed doomed to fail this year. It is pulling higher ratings than Living Biblically and 9JKL, that gives it a slight chance next year. CBS does need a comedy block and the series could be a solid midseason slot filler. However, it’s more likely the network is just going to start fresh.

Verdict: Probably Cancelled

Photo Credit: CBS


Scorpion fans will be lucky if the series gets renewed for a final season. It’s one of CBS’ lowest-rated scripted shows and it doesn’t fare well in the Nielsen ratings. If it had a passionate online community or high ratings, there would be a stronger chance for a last minute Hail Mary. However out of all the bubble shows, this one seems like the least popular procedural.

Owned by CBS, the show about a group of geniuses will have just missed the mark for syndication.  At the end of season four, Scorpion will have ninety-three episodes out of the one hundred typically required for syndication. If they can return for a shortened final season with a tighter budget than CBS probably will go for it.

Verdict: Probably Renewed (for a final season)

Photo Credit: CBS

Kevin Can Wait 

Did Kevin James really think he could sneak a King of Queens remake onto television without viewers noticing? The second season has been suffering from the scandal of Erinn Hayes’ firing once Leah Remini was added to the cast. It’s nice to see viewers reacting to the “creative changes” in a negative way compared to supporting an unjust dismissal. CBS never did explain why they couldn’t keep both actresses on board and the ratings have suffered for it.

As obnoxious as the move was, Kevin Can Wait is still pulling in a decent amount of viewers compared to other bubble shows on the network. If it comes down to CBS taking only one of their lower rated comedies than Kevin James will probably get to continue his sitcom next fall.

Verdict: Probably Renewed 

Photo Credit: CBS

Madam Secretary 

Madam Secretary always puts CBS in a  weird position when it comes to renewals. It is the worst show on the network when it comes to performance in the Nielsen ratings. Sometimes it sinks so long during the week that The CW beats it, which is embarrassing for any of the big networks. However,  while it doesn’t seem to appeal to the 18-49 age range, Madam Secretary has managed to pull in a lot of viewers.

Every year the political drama manages to scrape by with a renewal because of this fact alone. Yet, television has entered the age of streaming where snagging younger viewers is becoming more important. Madam Secretary is unique compared to other bubble shows which probably means it will grab another renewal as long as it keeps the actual ratings up.

Verdict: Probably Renewed