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Making a Case for Ringer, GCB, Fringe, and Other Bubble Shows

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While the future of many shows has already been determined, plenty are still waiting to hear their fate. We have a little while until the May upfronts when networks will announce their fall schedules, which shows got picked up and which ones got the ax. Usually, it's easy to tell via adults 18-49 ratings whether a show will live or die, but sometimes it's more up in the air. That generally means they are "on the bubble," because it could float or pop. There's a multitude of bubble shows, so let's get started.

Ringer

Okay, Ringer may be more inclined to be cancelled than to be renewed, but I'm including it on the bubble because the CW operates differently than the four major broadcast networks. Marking the television return of Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ringer was supposed to be a ratings juggernaut (in terms of CW ratings). However, after a promising pilot (except for an excruciating boat/green screen scene), it failed to live up to the potential it once had and viewers left. But within the weeks leading up to the season (series?) finale, the show went from 0 to 60, improving by leaps and bounds. The season ended on a major cliffhanger, making the idea of no second season rather irritating. The show is finally on its feet after weeks of crawling. Let's just do SMG -- and the rest of us -- a favor and bring Ringer back, even if it's for a final season. I need closure.

GCB

If you need a few reasons to keep GCB around for another season, here they are: Kristen Chenoweth. Miriam Shor. Annie Potts. Leslie Bibb. Although it is clearly not flawless, the show manages to succeed comically while also establishing emotional connections with the characters. GCB only received a 10-episode pick up, giving audiences less time to firmly grasp at what this show is really all about, since it's sort of delved away from the "former mean girl vs. the previously bullied" aspect in recent weeks. The season finale airs in two weeks, and its most recent episode pulled a season low adults 18-49 rating of 1.5, but this show has more heart and soul than a rich Texan churchgoer. And the fact that Bravo is doing a GCB-inspired Real Housewives-type reality show means maybe another season is in the cards after all.

Fringe

I'm biased towards a fifth season of Fringe because it is by far one of my favorite shows on the air. The show effortlessly blends incredible writing, fascinating characters and mind-bending science fiction, making it worth saving, at least for a final season. However, the fact that its most recent episode fell to an anemic series low-tying 0.9 adults 18-49 rating makes it almost certain for cancellation. FOX loves Fringe, but Warner Bros. Television, which produces the show, is not in the business of losing money whether the show is loved or not. Supposedly, the two are in negotiations for an even more cheapened final season, which would raise the total number of episodes and increase the profit from syndication. Either way, this is one of the best shows on TV right now (the Emmy love is still to be felt), and as long as its on the air, I'm happy. And you'll be happy too if you watch it. Trust me on this.

Cougar Town

I don't know if there's a more lovable show than Cougar Town. It started off strong, ratings-wise, when it first premiered behind Modern Family, but soon trailed off once it picked up speed creatively. The title is, of course, a little off-putting, but... who cares? The show is no longer about "cougars" (ok, besides when they stole the cougar statue in the most recent episode), and it makes you want a friend group exactly like the cul-de-sac crew. Who wouldn't want to sit around, drink wine, insult each other, drink more wine and laugh about how small Grayson's (Josh Hopkins) eyes are? This is really everything you could want from adulthood in one half-hour period. When it was held off until ABC made room after nixing the atrocious Man Up! and got cut short to a 15-episode season, I was nervous for its future. But I think it could prevail if it was brought on for the 2012-2013 season and moved to a less deathly time-slot.

Gossip Girl

Gossip Girl used to be the CW's shining beacon of hope. And then the characters graduated, did stupid stuff, became unlikable, etc. etc. But I think the current season has hit a high point with the Dan/Blair romance, Gossip Girl's change in identity, and the introduction of the real Charlie Rhodes. Renewing the show and marketing it as the final season will probably bring in viewers who have left the show earlier on, so I can see it heading for a renewal. Fingers crossed!

And finally...

Awake and Best Friends Forever

These two are in no way "on the bubble." Although, if continuing with the bubble metaphor, Awake and BFF are sitting on their respective bubbles, with a tack slowly making its way to each. It's really just a matter of time before their cancellations are announced, since they are both tanking in the ratings. Awake could have been a replacement for Lost (R.I.P, still). Jason Isaacs totally owns this role as a detective whose wife and son died in a car accident -- only they died in different worlds (or timelines?), and every time he goes to sleep, he wakes up in the alternative version. It's gripping stuff, you guys. Check it out. Please. As for BFF, it's just a really sweet comedy that got the short end of the stick when it came to publicity and marketing. Jessica St. Clair and Lennon Parham are both hilarious and their chemistry is undeniable. I will love it while it lasts and mourn its loss when the time comes.

What other shows are you hoping to get renewed? Or better yet, which ones do you hope bite the dust? Is there still a hole in your heart where Lost once was? Will Losties ever be truly satisfied again?