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


  • diana

    i think that this move will help revenge because it doesn’t have to face some tough competition its obvious that revenge isn’t lead in dependent while ouat fell to a 1.9 last revenge rose and plus when competition died down a little revenge a 1.7 so its obviously competition that hurting it however i wouldn’t bet 100% that the move will help but we will see.

  • Ronak

    I started watching the Almost Human pilot and didn’t even finish it. How ironic that the least wooden character is the robot played Michael Ealy. Karl Urban and Minka Kelly were terrible. I expect this show to crater.

    ABC is having a horrific year with new shows. Problem is that nothing in mid-season looks at all like it would get the numbers to justify renewal. Hence no need to reshuffle their schedule, just plug holes and soldier on till next year.

    Revenge will be OK and will limp into syndication.

  • Claudia Collette Scarbrough

    The Good Wife and the Mentalist have had to suffer their times being changed over and over due to FOOTBALL. Now they are expected to be cancelled due to low ratings. Damn.

    Guess they think something else will do better with the Good Wife’s start time anywhere from 9-after 10 and the Mentalist after that. I have had to tape 3 half hour programs after the Mentalist to try to get it all.

    Give them a stable time and see what happens.

  • CBSviewer

    I think The Crazy Ones is more likely to be Renewed than canceled at this point. On the other hand, Two and a Half Men and Mom should end.

  • Val

    Couldn’t ABC burn off Once Upon A Time In Wonderland this winter instead of airing repeats of Sunday’s and Thursday’s shows ?! I don’t want to wait until summer. Oh and I thought there would be a crossover with OUAT.


    david howell Thursday night football is on the nfl network it isn’t going anywhere. the network of course is owned by the nfl

  • Toldyasooooo

    Goldberg apologists. When will you cease?

  • Last Words

    I will say the second episode of AH was better. Most Pilots are pretty lacking, after all. I remember first hating Urban as Bones in Star Trek, but it didn’t take long for his style to win me over. He’s still kind of wooden, but he was better in #2.

    Still not completely sold, but I’m not really on board with Sleepy Hollow or The Following either. (Great acting in the latter, terribly stupid characters.)

  • Colin

    B 9-9 is no where near beating New Girl. So it’s not leading the three struggling comedies. Only leading two.


    Claudia cbs uses 9 to 11 on sunday as a syndication farm expect elementary and either csi as a final season or poi to move there next yr

  • Brandy

    @josh abc said Wonderland will return in spring

  • Brandy

    @Val there’s going to be very few reruns on Thurs & Sun this season for them to air Wonderland in place of.Most of abcs serialized shows are on a split scdehule and being replaced for 6-8 weeks by new Midseason shows that have limited runs.Abc said Wonderland will return in spring.

  • Ultima

    Couldn’t ABC burn off Once Upon A Time In Wonderland this winter instead of airing repeats of Sunday’s and Thursday’s shows ?!

    They aren’t airing repeats on Sunday and Thursday during the winter.

    Thursdays will be The Taste (8-10pm) and The Assests.

    Sundays will be AFHV, Bachelor specials, Revenge and Betrayal in January (their February schedule hasn’t been released yet).

  • Eelna

    Hart of dixie will see a short final season

  • DC

    Regarding Thursday Night Football, there have been rumors of the NFL licensing some of the games to another network.

  • Ultima

    @David Howell
    In the medium term, I expect NBC to buy the Thursday Night Football rights the moment the NFL offers them up.

    Even if the NFL decided to sell the rights to Thursday Night Football (unlikely), I doubt that NBC would be willing or able to outbid Fox Sports 1 for them.

  • enri

    The Good Wife nor the Mentalist ever start on time and they do about the same as Blue Bloods and Hawaii 5 o that actually start on time every week. I don’t see anything going to Sunday that will do any better. I could be wrong but I think the Good Wife and the Mentalist will each get one more season…it might be a shorter season but another season regardless.

  • enri

    Also still unsure why Elementary isn’t on the bubble. It’s been pulling 1.4’s, 1.5’s and 1.6’s in a prime Thursday slot…it’s quite a ways from syndication.

  • Matt M.

    At 10PM, Revenge won’t have to face such heavy drama competition with The Walking Dead, The good Wife, Game of Thrones, etc. Therefore, as long as ABC promotes the move heavily, Revenge will probably do better than it is right now.

  • Ultima

    The Good Wife nor the Mentalist ever start on time

    Nonsense. :roll:

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