Guest Author - BJ Champagne
Bubble season, what is it and how will it affect your favorite program? Itís that time of year when the big networks start looking at their current lineup for the fall schedule. They examine which programs are bringing in the viewers and which arenít. When a sitcoms or any program has below average or low ratings then they are placed on the bubble, a place no show wants to be. It is that position on the rating chart that lets the program and fans know if it is close to getting renewed or cancelled.
For followers of hit sitcoms like Modern Family, The Office, The Big Bang Theory, and The Simpsons, the bubble is a place they donít worry about. The hits and old standards have a good fan base and their cast and crew donít lose sleep over the chance of getting cancelled. Fans of these sitcoms can sit back with confidence knowing they will see their favorite program on the fall lineup. However, fans of new sitcoms like Outsourced, Bobís burgers, Better with you, and $#*! My dad says have to worry about the monster under the bed called the bubble.
Does being on the bubble list mean impending cancelation? Not always. Many programs have skated by with low ratings. These bubble shows are often saved when the network has an open slot left vacant by a failed new sitcom. For example, the one bright spot for CBSís bubble programs will be the unanswered question of Two and a Half men. If CBS and Warner Brothers should decided not to continue with this program, the hole left in the Monday nightís lineup will leave a window open for Mad Love, and $#*! My dad says. CBS may hold on to one of these bubble shows and use it as a midseason replacement. That would allow the network enough time to debut a new show and have it fail.
As high rated programs like How I Meet your Mother, The Middle, 30 Rock, and Raising Hope announce their renewal status for the fall schedule, the bubble programs and their fans are left to agonize. Decisions generally wonít be made officially until mid May. Sadly this usually gives programs no time to wrap up story lines. The reality of television is that there is always some new pilot shows ready to fill those vacant slots.
The bubble is a place no program wants to be. As fans, we can only sit back and hope that when the fall schedule is announced our favorite bubble shows make the cut.