Tuesday, December 3, 2013

First Two Weeks, Almost Human

I've kinda stopped counting out-of-slot previews as "week one" in these things, but I will still note that Almost Human previewed after a Sunday NFL game with a 3.1 demo. (Its lead-in The OT averaged a 5.7.) It then pulled a 2.3 demo in its timeslot premiere, making it a slightly better option than previous occupant Bones. The True metric says the preview and premiere performances were almost exactly equal, though I think it probably underrated the preview rating somewhat. (It likely wasn't quite as compatible with the NFL as the nearly identical skews suggested.) The 2.3 demo came against slightly less-than-usual competition as NBC had a The Voice recap special.

Week two in the regular slot saw Almost Human drop 17% to a 1.9. That's either a typical drop for a week two or a bad drop for a week three; this preview situation is somewhat in between. The competition got a little tougher with The Voice fully original in the 8:00 hour, so I will say the 1.9 was only a little bit disappointing.

Man, it seems like these have been tougher than usual this year! Last week's 1.9 put the show at a low-end Bones level, but it's not like the show is dead if it does a little worse than Bones; Bones on Monday was doing better in 18-49 than almost everything else on the network. It probably has a few more ticks of cushion; I thought at the beginning of November that the show would settle at 1.5/1.6 and be on the bubble, and that still seems like a fairly likely outcome.

I might consider deferring here, but I almost feel like counting the preview/Monday premiere as one week is a bit of a cheat anyway. So I'm gonna say a reluctant Renew for two reasons; 1) the competitive situation will lighten up a bit going forward, with Dancing with the Stars out of the picture in December and The Voice gone in January, plus sprinkle in some CBS comedy repeats. And 2) the bar is low on Fox, as low as it's been (relatively speaking) since the pre-Idol years. There seems to be at least some chance The X Factor could get cancelled outright, which could free up a lot of fall real estate. These things don't really matter if there's a lot more rejection from here, but the show seems competent enough that I'll use them as a tiebreaker.

"First Two Weeks" is an ongoing experiment to see how often a new scripted show's fate can be predicted by the very earliest data. Here are the picks and lineups for every show this season.


Spot said...

The X Factor is dead as disco, but still I can't see reality king going with less than 3 hours of reality shows. At very least, 2 hours Mon-Thu + 1 cooking show on Friday. It leaves 7 timeslots, 2 comedy blocks + 5 dramas. Sleepy Hollow, Glee, Bones, at least one new drama ... Almost Human chances are bleak. Maybe Friday 9 PM Touch-like pity renewal, and only if Fox brass feel their development slate is thin. But I' d say chances for that to happen are way bellow 50%. Cancel.

Spot said...

I don't know what to say here and I've the benefit of having already seen the ratings of the 3rd timeslot episode. I will go with a very hesitant cancel but it could go either way, it is a true tossup.

Spot said...

It feels like the scripted show in position to benefit from an XF cancellation, given its place on the network totem pole at this juncture. Silvio makes a good argument that even with an XF cancellation (and from this vantage point in the UK, with the British press talking up the prospect of Cowell returning to the UK mothership, I'm getting the impression it's all but a certainty) it's too low on the totem pole. However, FOX is as much a show rotation king as a reality king right now, perhaps appropriate for a network with baseball coverage, and I think Almost Human might wind up in the rotation as a midseason replacement.

Might depend on what they do with Gang Related - I wouldn't be shocked if they go with my pet idea of using it and 24 for filling fall Wednesdays. I could see AH fitting in a schedule like this one if so:
MON: Bones, SH/Following
TUE: 9-9/newbie, NG/(Mindy or newbie)
WED: 24/AI, Gang Related/AI
THU: AH/AI, (Rake or newbie)
FRI: Masterchef Jr, Glee

(Glee will go so low vs Voice that the final season will be screaming for a burnoff; I really don't like it on Friday if it has any remaining value whatsoever, but by the spring I don't think it'll have any. FOX airing an original on Thanksgiving (!!) suggests they don't either. Buyer's remorse on that 44-pack you bought last season, much?)

Spot said...

Besides the OT audience not matching like the skew, the very nature of a post-game show is that the ratings tumble through it. So it won't have carried anything like a 5.7 to AH, whereas something like a reality results show probably peaks right near the end and carries more than even the half-hour number into the lead-out.

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