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


  • enri

    @ultima- what do you mean nonsense? This happens weekly. Even last week when it was supposed to start on time it started 8 minutes late in my area.

  • Ultima

    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…

    Elementary has had one 1.5 and one 1.6; it’s had a 1.8 for four of the past five episodes.

    it’s quite a ways from syndication.

    Two seasons and CBS has four hours on its schedule for low-rated shows trying to reach syndication.

  • Ultima

    what do you mean nonsense? This happens weekly. Even last week when it was supposed to start on time it started 8 minutes late in my area.

    CBS’ Sunday lineup starts on time roughly half of the time during the fall. They have five national doubleheaders (while original programming is airing) and the late regional games only effect a handful of (varying) markets each week.


    ultima each network is allowed 1 nfl package fox has the nfc , cbs the afc , nbc sun night. abc -espn Monday night, so I don’t know if the nfl would even consider fox 1 or even the cw

  • John


    You know there are four comedies in Fox’s lineup right? Aside from New Girl, theres Brooklyn Nine-nine, Dads, and Mindy Project. So yes, Brooklyn Nine Nine is doing the best of the three struggling comedies. Also, its not nowhere near New Girl. Its only 2 tenths behind it.

  • Douglas from Brazil


    Any thoguhts on NBC Thursday lineup?Can the Bear eat it all?Is Parks safe?

  • Ultima

    ultima each network is allowed 1 nfl package fox has the nfc , cbs the afc , nbc sun night. abc -espn Monday night, so I don’t know if the nfl would even consider fox 1

    ABC (which owns ESPN) had both Monday Night Football and Sunday Night Football at the same time for two decades.

  • Ultima

    Any thoguhts on NBC Thursday lineup?Can the Bear eat it all?Is Parks safe?

    I think that NBC will cancel all of their Thursday comedies, including Parks and Recreation. Unlike 30 Rock, which was within a tenth of a ratings point of NBC’s scripted average, P&R is doing much worse and probably doesn’t get any episodes past May.

    Parenthood could go either way, depends on what the syndication needs are.

  • Douglas from Brazil


    I don’t think syndication will save Parenthood,is not a show which brings money and has a large and expensive cast.Parks won’t get the 30 Rock treatment nor Community treatment,also the latter will be canceled.


    yes ultima they did but the nfl changed the rules to allow nbc back into broadcasting games and that meant more money for the nfl, they also could change them again

  • CreacK

    Parks and Rec should be gone. If they really want to see if Dads problems are just timeslot, they should actually test it in a different timeslot, like Brooklyn 9-9. I would watch it on TV but it conflicts with NCIS and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. I watch it and Brooklyn 9-9 weekly on Fox.com and moving B99 to 9:30 will allow me to watch it on TV, but Dads will still be a Fox.com show. I have a DVR but one tuner is being used by my roommate at that time for NCIS and Biggest Loser(goes back and forth and cant watch anything online) and I keep all of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on the DVR and im a giant MCU fan so Im not changing my tuner.

  • sofaslug

    I think if it was to come to it… The Good Wife would be saved over The Mentalist.

  • Anne

    Ummm…I think people forget and is the only cancel that has a proven track record with launching hits mid-season. I have faith in Resurrection at least, it has a proven pilot director and had marked a massive bidding waters fall. Also The Goldbergs is doing good for its timeslot and situation. Agents of SHIELD is getting better every episode, but I do not expect the negative Nancy’s o n this site to see that.

  • Anne

    ABC is the only network with proven mid season launch record (Lost, Grey’s, Castle)

  • Rob3008


    Lost wasn’t a mid season show, it begain airing September 2004.

  • Ultima

    ABC is the only network with proven mid season launch record (Lost, Grey’s, Castle)

    No. First, Lost premiered in the fall. Second, over that same period of time, NBC has had midseason success with The Office, Parks and Recreation, and Parenthood.

  • Jason

    I thought Almost Human was just awesome. It better be Renewed by Fox or I’ll have lost all further respect for that network. :/

  • Dan S

    Initially I had no interest in Resurrection. Now that I know a bit more about it & it’s coming on at 9pm I’ll give it a chance. I know this essentially is a Hail Mary by pushing Revenge back to 10pm but it just might work.

  • ENTPgal

    Ronak and Last Words, Karl Urban isn’t wooden, his character is supposed to be stoic and acerbic.

  • Ronak

    Clearly your stoic and acerbic is my all-the-charisma-of-a-plank-of-oak.

    Plenty of shows have good pilots that have captured my attention straight away (B99, Suits etc). If I get so bored off a show that I switch off the pilot 20 mins, it means I won’t enjoy the show. AH is such a show.

    No I’m not a Bones or Sleepy Hollow etc fan.

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