What 2018 bubble shows are in danger of being canceled?

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Photo Credit: NBC

The Blacklist 

Each year The Blacklist gets lumped in with the other bubble shows only to get renewed. Yes, the Nielsen ratings have dropped quite a bit since the series premiere, but it still pulls in a lot of actual viewers. Averaging a 0.97 on the Nielsen scale and over five million viewers, that alone should make the series safe for a renewal.

The other big factor is how much the show makes for NBC internationally. Money and high ratings? That should be enough to secure a renewal for The Blacklist.

Verdict: Probably Renewed

Photo Credit: NBC


Like The Blacklist, Blindspot has lower Nielsen ratings but pretty solid viewership. It’s also a massive hit overseas that allows NBC to bring in a lot of money. If it gets renewed, it will bring even more revenue due to syndication.

However, it’s tough for NBC to renew a show if it’s not appealing to younger viewers. There’s not a big future for a series that can’t cultivate younger audiences who can remain invested over a long period of time. The show is owned by a different studio, therefore it makes it pricey to produce on top of a large ensemble. Ultimately, it will come down to how large of a syndication package the show can secure next year. Considering the series can always have a midseason or summer debut, Blindspot will probably return for at least a final season.

Verdict: Probably Renewed (for a final season)

Photo Credit: NBC

AP Bio

Unfortunately for AP Bio Glenn Howerton and Patton Oswalt are not enough to keep viewers from jumping ship. One of the steadier bubble shows, it looked like the underrated comedy might squeak by with a renewal. This week it dropped by 0.2 in the Nielsen ratings, a pretty dramatic drop-off for a show fighting for a season two. This looks like it’s going to be the nail in the coffin for the school comedy.

It’s pulling an average rating a bit higher than the recently canceled Great News. NBC will probably hold off on making a decision on AP Bio until Trial and Error debuts later this fall. Whoever gets the highest will most likely come away with the renewal. However, the latter tapped Kristen Chenoweth as their new series lead so things are looking pretty grim for AP Bio.

Verdict: Probably Cancelled 

Photo Credit: NBC


Timeless is the little show that just refuses to quit. After getting canceled and then renewed a few days later, the time-traveling show literally made history. Moved to a 10 PM time slot on Sundays, NBC definitely expected the series would return down. Despite averaging around 0.7 score in the Nielsen ratings, the show has been relatively stable. Will fans be able to pull off another last-minute miracle?

For starters, the series has an incredibly loyal fan base that tends to watch the show in delayed viewings. The late-night time slot has been notoriously difficult to draw viewers in and being steady is better than falling. Not to mention, the series has enjoyed a creative burst of energy with a fantastic season two. It is one of the few bubble shows that fans will passionately fight to save this year. Sadly, it looks like its renewal chances will come down to how well Shades of Blue performs at the same time.

Verdict: Probably Renewed 

Photo Credit: NBC


NBC was hoping to score a younger audience with their high school drama Rise but it doesn’t seem like fans are interested. Developed by Jason Katims, the whole series feels like a retread of Friday Night Lights down to the tragic backstories and shaky camera work. Watching the series is just a sad reminder about good FNL was compared to this musical drama.

It opened pretty well with a 1.23 in the Nielsen ratings and maintained a 1.1 in week two. Unfortunately, in episode 3 it dropped down to a 0.8  which doesn’t bode well for renewal chances. Rise is apparently beloved by NBC which should give fans hope as long as it doesn’t sink any lower than it’s already at.

Verdict: Probably Renewed