For the final installment of Bubble Watch 2011, we look at The CW, which by our accounting has four shows that on the bubble for renewal.
The network hasn’t really been into wholesale turnover the past couple years, but it’s not unlikely that one or two of the shows below will join the departing “Smallville” (and the already-gone “Life Unexpected”) in the history books.
Not a whole lot separates “90210,” “Hellcats,” “One Tree Hill” and “Nikita” ratings-wise, so any calls The CW does make come the May upfronts will be close ones. As always, we want to hear your opinions via the polls below and in the comments.
One note on ratings numbers: For the other networks we’ve been using the total-viewer counts and adults 18-49 ratings for our bubble determinations. But since The CW is more narrowly focused on people under 35 (and on the even smaller subset of women under 35), we’re using the adults 18-34 numbers (original episodes only) for the season as our primary barometer.
To the polls:
The case for it: Fans say the show has upped its game this season, and of the bubble shows it’s got the best 18-34 rating (1.5, tied with “One Tree Hill”) of any of the shows on this list.
The case against it: These kids can’t stay in high school forever, and copious experience tells us the transition to college doesn’t often work. Maybe it’s time to get out while the show’s on a (relative) high.
The case for it: It’s been a fairly consistent performer over the course of the season, and since moving to Tuesday it’s provided a bit of an upgrade over “Life Unexpected.”
The case against it: Its 18-34 ratings (1.3 overall, 1.8 among women that age) are on the lower end of the scale at the network.
The case for it: Among scripted series on the network, only “The Vampire Diaries” and “Smallville” draw more viewers. Critics have for the most part liked the action series.
The case against it: The core CW viewers aren’t there — “Nikita” averages a 1.2 in adults 18-34, the lowest numbers among the net’s current scripted lineup, and a 1.5 among women under 35, which is ahead of only the more male-skewing “Smallville” and “Supernatural.”
The case for it: Still steady after all these years. Its ratings are down a bit from last season (when it aired on Monday nights), but it still draws a loyal and reliable audience.
The case against it: That audience isn’t likely to get any bigger in a ninth season. Yes, we said “ninth.”