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


  • CC

    It seems that almost everything that ABC introduced in the fall will be cancelled.

  • Fellow Penguin Who Watches T.V.

    I personally think that NBC should renew Parks and Rec./Community, even for a short final season. They need it just in case their new comedies failed (like every damn time) in Thursday. Speaking of Thursday, NBC need to get rid of Must See TV. Nobody is watching it, it isn’t the 80s or 90s. Try comedies elsewhere.

  • dottydorothy

    CW will separate Supernatural and The Originals. The Originals is strong, one of the strongest so it doesn’t need Supernatural and then both these shows could be used to launch new shows. They have 4 strong shows and they have 4 shows that need support, so they would ideally spread them out, pairing one strong and one other. I think CW new schedule should be :
    Mondays :
    Supernatural (most flexible show)
    The Originals
    The 100
    The Tomorrow People
    The Vampire Diaries
    Hart of Dixie
    Beauty and the Beast

  • tre

    Its seems to me no one is watching tv anymore
    I think Nashville needs a good lead in like Scandal and nbc needs to get rid of all there comedies and just start over. Maybe just focus on the voice and more drama following it like they did with revolution and Chicago fire.
    The good wife and the mentalist aren’t going any where because I doubt if people would invest time for brand new shows Sunday night’s on cbs

  • Aeiouy

    I don’t think the Thursday night rights will be for sale for a long time. The NFL network survives on that and grows on that. Certainly short term they could make more money but long term it would cost them massive value in their network.

  • Liza

    Love CW’s Beauty and the Beast! Not so fond of it’s timeslot or it’s lead in show. Monday nights are brutal with America’s obsession with music reality shows and Hart of Dixie is just so different than any other show on the network (and not in a good way). Would love to see B&B teamed up with Star Crossed as these two shows seem to have a similar vibe. Time will tell…

  • Ultima

    Its seems to me no one is watching tv anymore

    Overall TV viewership has been increasing over the past two decades; there have been some slight declines in the past couple of years, but it’s still at or near an all time high.

  • Douglas from Brazil

    Scandal, The Following are the last shows has proven to be a midseason sucess.

  • Matt M.

    The Crazy Ones will be cancelled, along with MOM and Elementary. TCO and MOM continue to do around the 2.0 range which is not so good for CBS comedies. Two and a Half Men could go either way, but if it is renewed, it will be for a final 12th season. I have a feeling CBS will want to honor the show with a final season. Elementary is 2 full seasons away from syndication, and continues to be greatly beaten by an ABC 10PM drama. Pretty embarrassing for CBS. And has yet to crack above a 1.8 for a regular episode this season. Therefore, Far From Syndication + Mid 1’s Demo Average = Likely Cancellation for Elementary

  • diana

    resurrection looks like a show that most people will be interested so maybe it will help revenge if its a success.


    @ tre

    Overall TV viewership has been increasing due to all the cable channels now available as well as other means to view TV. Only the Nets have seen a decline in viewership. For instance, Tues & Weds 10:00 FX has the top-rated SOA & AHS where the viewers are there, just not on ABC/CBS/NBC. Although, one could say they’re still with FOX!

  • Douglas from Brazil

    All of CBS,FOX,NBC and ABC midseason shows will fail because no one of them looks promising.The changes recently in schedule looks like they have a big problem in their hands.All new midseason shows pilots are terrible and I have no interest to watch them.

  • thesnowleopard


    The CW is not going to put its most-violent-by-far show (SPN) on 8pm. If it does start moving the schedule around for Tuesdays and Wednesdays, it will be next fall. Besides, it has midseason shows to plug in the gaps.

  • Ashley

    I think Almost Human should be renewed. Fox doesn’t have a lot of good shows and this is one of them, IMO.

  • Chris_SAdvisor

    Almost Human is a miss-mash of ideas, which at times contradict each other at the cost of immersion. Low production values and very little science in the fiction, also detract from taking it seriously. First two episodes (only two I have seen) seemed like Fringe v2.

    As for Karl, his acerbic style is his default for most of his characters. Obviously this is what Wyman wants or else the directors would be getting orders to ask for more emotion. It looks wooden because of the writing which is probably on purpose – to show the human-robot and his partner the robot-human, and how they both grow over time. That presupposes, of course, that the show will survive that long. Where did all the Fringe-lovers go?

  • Alan

    @ Tom/Robert
    you forgot to move Betrayal to the cancelled section.

  • j

    That would be like cbs to cancel the good wife and the mentalist but not that awful race reality garbage.


    matt m the goodwife the mentalist hostages all below elementary. cbs does not cancel 2nd yr dramas they own. elementary renewed moved to sundays


    j like I said they are lower rated than those 2 and that’s who they are against not a reality show like race

  • Bran

    The Goldbergs ABC bubble leaning renewed
    Nashville ABC pure bubble
    The Good Wife CBS renewal
    Mom CBS pure bubble between this and TCO
    Brooklyn Nine-Nine Fox bubble with TMP
    The Mindy Project Fox buble with b99
    Parenthood NBC bubble leaning cancelled (based on chicago PD)
    Revolution NBC bubble leaning cancelled (based on chicago PD)
    Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ABC renewal
    Parks & Recreation NBC bubble (based on rating with move to 830 with community)

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