Fox Bursts Almost Human’s Bubble

No second season for J.J. Abrams’ robocop strip

Having earned bragging rights as the season’s fifth highest-rated new drama, Almost Human would seem to be a prime candidate for a renewal. Instead, the J.J. Abrams sci-fi procedural has been shipped off to a nice farm upstate, where it can cavort and romp with the likes of Terra Nova and Alcatraz.

According to Nielsen C3 data, Almost Human over the course of its run on Fox averaged 2.39 million adults 18-49, which translates to a 1.9 rating in the dollar demo. Of the 18 freshmen dramas that were launched during the 2013-14 campaign, only a handful out-delivered the futuristic cop show: NBC’s The Blacklist (2.8), ABC’s Resurrection (2.6), Fox’s own Sleepy Hollow (2.5) and ABC's Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2.4).

Almost Human bowed in a special Sunday night preview to 9.18 million viewers and a 3.1 rating. The following night, the series opened in its time slot behind Sleepy Hollow, drawing 6.76 million viewers and a 2.3 in the demo.

While Sleepy Hollow was a formidable lead-in, its momentum was slowed by the usual run of holiday preemptions. Between Nov. 25 and Jan. 13, Fox aired five Sleepy repeats; during that same interval, Almost Human averaged a 1.8 rating. 

Ratings were not the only factor in the decision to pull the plug on Almost Human—Fox’s development slate is chockablock with promising pickups (Hieroglyph, Gotham, Gracepoint, Backstrom) and a pair of standout drama pilots in Red Band Society and Empire. Moreover, success in Season 1 no longer guarantees a ratings bounce in the sophomore year; Fox’s big hit from 2012-13, The Following, dropped 32 percent in the demo in this, its second season.

Through the first 31 weeks of the season, Fox is ranked second in the ratings race, averaging a 2.5, flat versus the year-ago period. (NBC is first with a 2.8 average, up 17 percent, while CBS is down 17 percent with a 2.4. In its target demo, CBS is in second place with a 3.3 rating among the adults 25-54 crowd.)

Almost Human starred Karl Urban (Star Trek Into Darkness), Michael Ealy (Sleeper Cell), Minka Kelly (Friday Night Lights) and Lili Taylor (Six Feet Under).

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