It's the most fearsome time of the year for television shows and fans alike: the annual TV bloodbath!
The major networks will begin swinging their scythes and canceling series as their fall schedules take shape and it's obvious that there's simply not enough room for some of your favorites to continue on. History dictates that we'll know which shows will survive and which won't when the networks hold their upfront presentations in mid-May, but we've singled out several shows -- commonly known as "bubble shows" -- that networks are currently debating whether to keep or not.
But what makes a bubble show? As the business of television changes, so do the measurements for judging which shows are in danger of cancellation. Ratings are obviously the tried-and-true standard of such examination, but the importance of overnight ratings and viewership is no longer the be-all-and-end-all.
DVR, on-demand and time-shifted viewership is now a major factor as broadcast networks accept technological advances. Shows that draw attention come awards season will also be given a longer leash. And scheduling needs -- shows that skew younger, fill a specific genre, have a loyal fan base that will follow them around the week -- can also factor in. There are also relationships with creatives behind the shows to take into account, which studio owns the show and therefore profits off of it, how close a show is to being viable for syndication and various standards for each network.