Well here’s a bit of bad news, if prognostications by industry insiders are correct, one of our most promising new genre shows could be on the chopping block. According to people who have made a livelihood out of predicting such things, Almost Human, Fox’s sci-fi police procedural could be facing cancellation at the end of this, its first season.
In a recent article tracking the most current ratings data, TV By the Numbers has classified the latest endeavor from creators J.J. Abrams and J.H. Wyman as “likely to be cancelled.” While the ratings haven’t been particularly awful, the show, which the network put a lot of hype behind, hasn’t lit the world on fire either.
The article also cites a number of other factors that could play into cancellation. The network ordered 13 episodes, but, at the present time, hasn’t ordered any additional installments. In addition to that, the show is getting bumped from its current time slot in favor of the more highly rated Bones, which, before being moved to make way for Almost Human, had been in the Monday night, 8 pm spot for years. While none of this is definite, moves like this have traditionally been indicators that a series is not long for this world.
If events do transpire like the article predicts, it wouldn’t be the first time a Wyman-Abrams joint has met an untimely early demise. Wyman’s last gig as showrunner of Fringe was prematurely taken away from its rabid fan base. It lasted five seasons and was given a chance to wrap things up, but there were still so many more cases to explore, and it was still gone well before its time.
As fun as Almost Human has been, the show has never really broken out of the standard episodic procedural mode. It’s fine, but even with all the futuristic world building that the series employs, you could be watching any of dozens of cops shows. Karl Urban as detective John Kennex, and Michael Ealy as his android partner Dorian, are good together, and they’ve developed a fantastic chemistry and rapport over the first 9 episodes.
Thus far, Almost Human has been made up of almost entirely self-contained episodes. While Fringe definitely started out this way, where week-to-week each episode didn’t have a huge impact on the one that followed, there was always a larger narrative. Each episode was its own story, but there was also more in play. Interpersonal relationships between characters developed over the course of multiple episodes, even seasons, and story lines played out over a number of weeks. It’s one of those shows that if you missed an episode, or watched them out of order, you skipped over something important. You could still keep pace with the show, but there was something lost.
Even though Almost Human has larger elements, like the Insyndicate, that appear in multiple episodes, it hasn’t really arrived there yet. We’re still feeling the ripple effect of the crew trying to break into the evidence locker at the police station, but aside from that, there haven’t many story lines building up over the season. You keep thinking that something will start brewing between Kennex and Detective Valerie Stahl (Minka Kelly), but that hasn’t materialized.
Basically, Almost Human hasn’t started to live up to its massive potential. I’m all for shows taking the time to ease into it, but with only four episodes left, and with the specter of cancellation now looming large, we have to hope that it doesn’t take much longer.
What do you think? Want to keep Almost Human on the air? Click here to tell Fox NOT to cancel it!