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


  • Hobbitual


    Are you including Community in the Thursday night bearchow, or are you reserving judgement on that until it airs? Also, if Parks starts pulling numbers like last spring, will that save it? Or is it too late?

  • HalCapone

    I thought Once Upon A Time in Wonderland was always intended as a limited run series. If it airs all its remaining episodes in the Spring, is that technically cancellation?

  • Brandy

    @DottyDorthy,CW won’t break up SPN & TO this season, they’re a strong night, one of CWs few.

  • Ankit Dasgupta

    Resurrection at 9 PM Is a Great Move. It Seems to be having a great Pilot episode and a great lead in to Revenge at 10 pm . Revenge Still be Renewed and Will be given A proper Close as the 4th and the final Season

  • C.S.Strowbridge

    I really think Nashville is safe. ABC has already canceled one drama and there are three that are doing worse than Nashville is doing. Do you really think ABC is going to cancel five dramas in one year? Unless their midseason schedule is a lot stronger, it will last one more season for sure.

    And SHIELD is safe, because ABC is owned by Disney, which owns Marvel. SHIELD remains on the air as long as it helps their other IPs.

  • Melanie

    @DottyDorothy I agree w/ Brandy. I don’t think the CW will move SPN away from the Originals at midseason. I think that HOD will be moving to Fridays to open up a spot for one of the midseason dramas on Monday. If BATB stays on Mondays, it will probably be Star Crossed since it seems thematically compatable with BATB.
    If both HOD & BATB go to Fridays, I could see the Tomorrow people moving to Monday with Star Crossed and the 100 being launched out of Arrow. The Tomorrow People has shown that it isn’t effected by Arrow’s ratings ups & downs so it may be able to stand on its own on another night.
    The CW still needs self starting shows – the midseason shows aren’t inspiring much confidence in that regard.

  • kristyn

    2 shows at least on here dont deserve to be cancelled. One the goldbergs is one of the best comedies to come on in yearshow can anyone not see that is like a modern day Wonder Years which was a great show. And two Once Upon a time in Wonderland is better than onced upon a time on sundays why wouldnt they at least try it on sundays unreal!!

  • Elementary Fan

    You people dissing Elementary need to look at the C3 numbers here:

    Elementary grows from a 1.9 L+SD average to a 2.3 in C3, which by the way is the same as POI.

    Remember, C3 is what networks care about and Elementary has one of the highest percentage increases between L+SD and C3. Elementary fans actually view the commercials after the airdate.


    As long as it keeps this up, it is in no danger. Replace the DOT in the above link for the source.

  • Jon

    @Josh…..Wonderland was what was considered a limited series…limited in the amount of episodes. They were using the cable model which runs between 10-13 episodes. Had ratings been good it would have been renewed and on the 2014 schedule.

  • Jon

    It might be a good idea if the site puts up a sticky thread to awhile explaining what a limited series means. Still seems to be a lot of confusion by some.

  • Joe

    I still have no idea why you list Brooklyn Nine Nine as predicted to be cancelled. Fox will renew at least one comedy to save face, and there’s really no other options. Add its decent-for-Fox-Tuesday ratings and its Superbowl slot…it should at least be on the bubble.

  • Ultima

    @Elementary Fan

    The most interesting take away from the article is that, on average, there’s virtually no difference in Live+SD and C+3 ratings for the top 30 shows (2.9 vs 3.0), which supports the use of Live+SD ratings as a predictor.

    Sure, Elementary looks a lot better with C+3 numbers and it’s obviously a likely renewal, but I think most reasonable people already knew that there was little chance it would be canceled.

  • Ultima

    I thought Once Upon A Time in Wonderland was always intended as a limited run series. If it airs all its remaining episodes in the Spring, is that technically cancellation?

    A limited series means that the show has a limited number of episodes per season, so yes, they can still be canceled.

  • Ultima

    Are you including Community in the Thursday night bearchow, or are you reserving judgement on that until it airs?

    I don’t expect Community to do significantly better than NBC’s other Thursday comedies and therefore will be canceled.

    Also, if Parks starts pulling numbers like last spring, will that save it?

    Probably, but it’s down ~30% year-to-year and I don’t think it’s realistic to expect that to change much.

  • Aly

    Not sure why The Crazy Ones is on the bubble when it’s holding it’s own against Grey’s and nothing else comes close in the time slot. Meanwhile The Millers is deemed safe when it loses a comparatively larger chunk of its lead-in’s audience and doesn’t pull in much better numbers. Obviously that many people aren’t changing from CBS to NBC, which means people are either turning off the TV or would rather turn in halfway through a show they don’t care to watch from the beginning.

  • Flame

    How can you actually LOSE viewers between Live + Same Day and Commercial + 3 Days ratings?

    Do people leave the room when the ads are coming on? Do Nielsen families have to press their “I’m here”-button during commercials?

  • Raykov

    IMO CW should do this for mid-season schedule

    Mon: The 100 followed by Supernatural
    Tues: The Originals followed by Star-Crossed
    Wed: Same as fall
    Thurs: Same as fall
    Fri: Hart of Dixie followed by Beauty and the Beast

    CW saw that Supernatural’s fanbase would follow them anywhere and they have problem with Mondays. It worked as a decent lead-out to both Arrow & The Originals. The 100 was the most promising CW show. And moving the low-rated shows to Fridays is just logical. If any of the two new shows fails – they could air the comedy hour there. If they succeed they could put the comedy hour in summer again.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “How can you actually LOSE viewers between Live + Same Day and Commercial + 3 Days ratings?”

    Program ratings (Live+Same Day,etc) measure program viewing and commercial ratings (C3, C+3, etc) measure commercial viewing, two different things.

    More here:


  • Ronak

    “I really think Nashville is safe. ABC has already canceled one drama and there are three that are doing worse than Nashville is doing. Do you really think ABC is going to cancel five dramas in one year? Unless their midseason schedule is a lot stronger, it will last one more season for sure.”


    Nashville’s issue is that next season is its third season, with syndication virtually demanding a fourth season. Are its ratings good enough to justify a renewal with that many more episodes in the pipeline? IMO, I don’t think so.

    ABC will cancel Betrayal, Nashville, OUATiW. Lucky 7 is already gone. Revenge will limp on into syndication.

  • TV Viewer

    I think The Good Wife is more of a bubble show than a cancellation predicted program, because in spite of low ratings, it is a show that the critics love and CBS might keep it to prove they can renew high quality programs with low ratings. There are probably quite a few CBS executives who are very proud and happy to have The Good Wife on their schedule.

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