Bubble Watch: 'Almost Human' On The Bubble + A Look At The ABC and Fox Mid-Season Schedules

Categories: Bubble Watch

Written By

November 24th, 2013

Almost Human

When it comes to bubble status, like the Renew/Cancel Index we're focusing on the likelihood that a show will be renewed **for next season** (2014-15).  Certain shows are toss-ups where based on the ratings, the renewal decisions could go either way and not be surprising.

Here, “canceled” is used interchangeably with “won’t be renewed for next season” and is not meant to imply a show will be yanked off the schedule in the current season though obviously the two outcomes are not mutually exclusive. The semantics police and lawyers should feel free to break out the handcuffs and plead their cases in the comments. 

This Isn't The Renew/Cancel Index

Though the basic methodology is the same (intra-network relative ranking of shows by adults 18-49 ),unlike the Renew/Cancel Index which predicts what would happen if the season ended now, Bubble Watch prognosticates about what will happen by May. The two are still usually closely aligned, and almost certainly very closely aligned towards the end of the season.

Bubble Watch: Reading the Scheduling Tea Leaves

The midseason schedules continue to trickle out - CBS effectively already released theirs when they moved up the start date of Intelligence, their only moving piece – and as usual they offer hints as to various shows’ fates. Whether we can read those hints correctly is another story.


In general, ABC simply threw new shows into existing holes, and at this point, I don’t expect any of these new midseason shows to survive into next season. (This leaves Paul Lee’s legacy for the season as merely the underwhelming Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and (possibly) The Goldbergs  - more on that next week.)

For the most part, the new schedule confirmed the obvious – Wonderland being put on hiatus before it airs all its episodes, Back In The Game being replaced by Suburgatory, and Super Fun Night indeed just filling airtime until Mixology takes the slot.

The one actual move was Revenge already being demoted to the 10pm hour. However, Revenge is not a Nikita-level disaster, and I expect syndication to win out – whether ABC holds Revenge to January, keeps it at 10pm, or airs multiple episodes opposite the Super Bowl (or all three!) next season – I still expect Revenge to get a final 22 episode order.


Fox really only made one move – replacing the early hour of the Tuesday comedies with Glee. The schedule shuffling they have going on to make that happen seems excessive though - every Tuesday in February has a different schedule! When looked at closer, though, the usual historical pattern of comparing struggling shows appears:

Dads, on February 11th, gets the double airing. This allows Fox to verify that it is not the 8pm timeslot that is to blame. (It’s not the timeslot.)

Brooklyn Nine-Nine takes over the 9:30pm slot starting in February sweeps. While part of the move is obvious – B99 has the best chance of holding up opposite The Winter Olympics - the move allows Fox to compare how the show does vs. 8:30, how the show does vs. The Mindy Project in the timeslot, and how compatible Brooklyn Nine-Nine and New Girl are in the long run. While Brooklyn Nine-Nine is clearly in the lead of the three struggling Fox comedies, I wouldn’t rush to conclusions until Fox has seen how those comparisons shake out in February.

American Idol gets a night to itself, allowing Fox to compare how scripted vs. reality does on the night.

Note: While Fox has cut comedy down to one hour in Spring, I don’t expect it to stay that way next year – Fox already order a Tina Fey-produced comedy to series, still has Mulaney (whichever year it actually airs), and has a number of other likely survivors in development.

What day they air depends on how many hours (if any!) X-Factor airs next year, which itself depends on how American Idol holds up this year: if AI is stable, then X-Factor might just lose an hour or two (probably replaced by Hell’s Kitchen and the like), but if both singing competitions collapse, Fox will have room for all the above options, and then some.


This week’s premieres:

Almost Human started off well on Sunday; on Monday it fell to numbers a bit better than what Bones was doing in that timeslot. Unfortunately for Fox, this toss-up territory is the worst outcome for them – with the late start date (and Gang Related waiting in the wings), they need to decide on what backorder (if any) soon. I have it “On The Bubble” until we see more data or find out which way Fox is leaning on the backorder.

Nikita returned in-line with its Spring numbers. I can only assume this partial final order was done for contractual reasons, as the numbers going into the Holidays should continue to be terrible.

Note: only scripted shows that have aired at least one episode this season are in the table below.


Show Network Status
Back In The Game ABC Canceled
Lucky 7 ABC Canceled
How I Met Your Mother CBS Final Season
We Are Men CBS Canceled
Nikita CW Final Season
American Dad Fox Moving to TBS
Ironside NBC Canceled
Welcome To The Family NBC Canceled
Betrayal ABC Cancellation Predicted
The Goldbergs ABC Cancellation Predicted
Nashville ABC Cancellation Predicted
The Neighbors ABC Cancellation Predicted
Once Upon a Time in Wonderland ABC Cancellation Predicted
Super Fun Night ABC Cancellation Predicted
Trophy Wife ABC Cancellation Predicted
The Good Wife CBS Cancellation Predicted
Hostages CBS Cancellation Predicted
The Mentalist CBS Cancellation Predicted
Mom CBS Cancellation Predicted
Beauty & The Beast CW Cancellation Predicted
The Carrie Diaries CW Cancellation Predicted
Brooklyn Nine-Nine Fox Cancellation Predicted
Dads Fox Cancellation Predicted
The Mindy Project Fox Cancellation Predicted
Raising Hope Fox Cancellation Predicted
Dracula NBC Cancellation Predicted
The Michael J. Fox Show NBC Cancellation Predicted
Parenthood NBC Cancellation Predicted
Revolution NBC Cancellation Predicted
Sean Saves The World NBC Cancellation Predicted
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ABC On The Bubble
The Crazy Ones CBS On The Bubble
Two and a Half Men CBS On The Bubble
Reign CW On The Bubble
The Tomorrow People CW On The Bubble
Almost Human Fox On The Bubble
Castle ABC Renewal Predicted
Grey's Anatomy ABC Renewal Predicted
Last Man Standing ABC Renewal Predicted
The Middle ABC Renewal Predicted
Modern Family ABC Renewal Predicted
Once Upon a Time ABC Renewal Predicted
Revenge ABC Renewal Predicted
Scandal ABC Renewal Predicted
The Big Bang Theory CBS Renewal Predicted
Blue Bloods CBS Renewal Predicted
Criminal Minds CBS Renewal Predicted
CSI CBS Renewal Predicted
Elementary CBS Renewal Predicted
Hawaii Five-0 CBS Renewal Predicted
Mike & Molly CBS Renewal Predicted
The Millers CBS Renewal Predicted
NCIS CBS Renewal Predicted
NCIS: LA CBS Renewal Predicted
Person of Interest CBS Renewal Predicted
2 Broke Girls CBS Renewal Predicted
Arrow CW Renewal Predicted
Hart of Dixie CW Renewal Predicted
The Originals CW Renewal Predicted
Supernatural CW Renewal Predicted
The Vampire Diaries CW Renewal Predicted
Bones Fox Renewal Predicted
Family Guy Fox Renewal Predicted
The New Girl Fox Renewal Predicted
The Blacklist NBC Renewal Predicted
Chicago Fire NBC Renewal Predicted
Grimm NBC Renewal Predicted
Law & Order: SVU NBC Renewal Predicted
Parks & Recreation NBC Renewal Predicted
Bob's Burgers Fox Renewed
Glee Fox Renewed
The Simpsons Fox Renewed
Sleepy Hollow Fox Renewed


  • Midnight

    More or less agree. Agents of SHIELD will have to fall a lot further for ABC to swallow their pride and cancel it. I’m beginning to get worried that Parks and Rec may not even get a final season. It looks like any final season it does get will be short like 30 Rock’s.

    Mom should probably be on the bubble with the Crazy Ones and Two and a Half Men, but whatever. Nashville, Parenthood, and Revolution are all probably bubble shows too.

  • Chris J

    Brooklyn 99 will probably do even better at 9:30pm. I full expect it to be renewed for next season, and I could see it leading off the night at 8pm.

    Fox will probably keep their 2 hr comedy bloc on Tuesday next year with: Brooklyn 99, Mulaney, New Girl, and then the Tina Fey show.

    Mindy is done, and Dad’s has been effectively cancelled. Enlisted won’t survive with a 0.9 lead in.

    X-Factor may or may not even be on the fall schedule next year. Maybe a 2hr format of Hell’s kitchen will replace it on Wednesday with another reality show on Thursday at 8pm?

    American Idol probably has a few more seasons left in it though. It’s ratings are still higher than the majority of scripted and unscripted shows on Fox.

  • DC

    Looks like the end of the post got chopped off.

  • Dan S

    Again you keep Goldbergs & B99 as cancellation predicted when clearly their respective networks are giving them a chance to grow. Granted ABC did Goldbergs no favors by keeping it on Tues but I think even with their current demo it’ll get a pass & earn a 2nd season. Fox by giving B99 the post SB slot & moving it after NG demonstrates they want this show to succeed. I wish I could have your optimism regarding P&R returning but its currents numbers are dismal. Since they are now in syndication not sure they need to keep it going short of a ratings miracle.

  • Me

    Nikita crashed terribly. It’s a really good show, but I’m glad it’s already gone. Some quality shows don’t get to live that long. Can’t wait until B&B gets those numbers by Spring (or earlier). :)
    Elsewhere, I guess The CW’s schedule will look like:
    Tommorrow People
    TUESDAYS – same
    The 100 – needs a strong lead-in
    Reign – they believe in this show as they did with B&B last year
    TCD is already canceled so I guess ANTM takes over during Summer.

  • Chris J


    If Parks continues it’s ratings slide, I agree that it probably won’t get a final season order. At this rate Community might get stronger ratings in the Spring than Parks, and could be NBC’s spackle renewal (#sixseasonandamovie) for next year with Parks getting cancelled after this season.

    Both Revolution and Parenthood, may still get cancelled if any of NBC’s new midseason dramas do well.

    NBC only renewed 5 dramas and 2 comedies last season. NBC already has 4 “certain-renewal” dramas so in the Spring if Chicago PD does well and/or Olympic-boosted Believe and Crisis do well, than both Parenthood and Revolution will be cancelled.

    On the comedy side if About A Boy does well (which it will since it’s getting “The Voice boost) it’ll get renewed and placed on the fall schedule. NBC will probably only renew one veteran comedy for spackle, either Parks or Community dependent on Spring ratings.

  • tv2day

    Almost human will be fine. The sexbot episode was trending for days on social media, mentioned by many hosts on ESPN TV and ESPN radio. Its a dvr show like sleepy hollow as long as NFL Monday night football is in play.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    Looks like the end of the post got chopped off.

    Fixed, thanks.

  • Fellow Penguin Who Watches T.V.

    I don’t think parks and rec would get cancled at the end of this season. I think it will get renewed probably for its last season. NBC doesn’t have many comedies left. If any comedies failed next TV season, they could filled the failed time slot with parks and rec.

  • Chris J

    As we all know NBC’s current Thursday lineup is a laughable disaster with a 1.1 ratings average last week.

    Anyway I think NBC needs to try something drastic for midseason, after the Olympics, in order to improve ratings on the night.

    NBC midseason mock schedule:

    Parks and Recreation
    Sean Saves The World/Undateables
    Michael J Fox

    Monday – Wednesday, and Friday remain as scheduled.

    American Dream Builder

    Essentially at midseason after the Winter Olympics NBC can swap out their Thursday night failures and try their new Olympic boosted dramas on the night. A complete relaunch of the night would be risky but anything is an improvement from the 1.0 average NBC is getting on Thursdays now.

    Likewise there is less comedy competition on Sunday, and I think that the comedies and Parenthood have a chance of growing their ratings and at least matching The Celebrity Apprentice’s performance on Sunday last year (1.6 rating average).


  • Dan S

    @Chris J, I do think NBC has to do something dramatic with Thur. I don’t think moving it’s failing lineup to Sun will be of any help. I could see CA airing on Thur at 8pm to give a boost to their comedies at 9pm. Perhaps try scheduling Community and P&R on Wed & shift Revolution to Thur at 10pm. Parenthood could maybe work on Sun @ 8pm

  • Ankit Dasgupta

    Revenge should and Will Get Renewed for a Fourth And maybe the final season .The best TV Drama on ABC Network, That is Why ABC Shifted Revenge at a 10 PM Slot.ABC itself is Made up their Minds to Renew Revenge,ONCE and Scandal For Sure

  • Brad


    Thanks for such a stupid schedule. Moving the comedies to Thursday? Really?

    How about Tuesday at 3:30am?

  • David Howell

    In the medium term, I expect NBC to buy the Thursday Night Football rights the moment the NFL offers them up. That’s one way to get “must-see TV” on Thursday, and it dovetails with their existing rights for the late Thanksgiving game and the opening Thursday game. It’d come at a huge price, and leave another slot to fill in the spring, but… It could work. (And maybe Voice would go to Sunday/Monday on a spring-only cycle, meaning only Thursday needs filling for a half-season – perhaps going reality/limited drama/limited drama.)

    In the here and now, I think we see them try one new comedy after another and watch them keep tumbling. What I’d probably do, and I say this with a heavy heart (I’m an antifan), is put TBL there. If Parenthood needs cancelling, I’d look for a somewhat similar dramedy out of development to go in the slot.

  • Brandy

    @Tom Shaw, Wonderland was announced a couple months ago (when ANC announced the “spit season schedule for Scandal,Revenge,OUAT,Nashville,Greys) that it would go hiatus in the middle of its season, it was suppossedly to be replaced bt The Quest but they changed it to The Taste so the fact it’s going on hiatus before airing all 16-18 episodes is meaningless.ABC put almost all thier serialized dramas on a split season schedule this season due to scheduling complaints last season.

  • Douglas from Brazil


    Why on Earth, Parks still at renewal predicted?It hits series low last thursday at 1.0 rating.NBC Thursday lineup is dead and buried.The Bear is claiming the night to eat all.I see big changes after Olympics,Parenthood moving to 9pm and Hannibal filling the 10pm.SSTW and TMFS moving to friday at 8pm perhaps?

  • Shepherd

    I’m still not ready to call Revenge renewed just yet. The move to 10pm will complicate things come spring, but for now, Revenge is showing some very negative indicators.

  • tv fan 1986

    I seriously want ABC to put Nashville on Thursdays at 10/9c. Scandal would make the perfect lead-in for Nashville there.

  • Chris J

    @Dan S

    I don’t know if NBC would make that many small moves for midseason, but they do have the benefit of the Olympics to advertise the moves they make.


    The schedule is no more stupid than keeping everything the way it is now and letting ratings continue to slide.

    Honestly I doubt NBC’s comedies and Parenthood would do any worse on Sunday than they are doing on Thursday. The only comedy competition they’ll have is Fox’s Animation Domination lineup.

    Likewise the 2 new dramas will probably do better on Thursday than NBC’s current comedies are (the bar is set pretty low). But if NBC were to keep the new dramas on Sunday they’d have to compete with ABC and CBS’s more established dramas and The Walking Dead.

  • josh

    So we dont get to see the whole season of OUATW which meant to be one season series ? gosh only two shows on that stupid network and they both screwed I really like wonderland and the plot istn bad at all i dont want to wait till next summer they aired Last Resort why they doing this to me eghhh

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