Bad Week for J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot in TV with 3 Cancellations

Bad Robot Cancellations JJ Abrams
Tommaso Boddi/WireImage

J.J. Abrams might have the most important job in entertainment right now — directing “Star Wars: Episode VII” — but the TV side of his Bad Robot production banner is having a rough week.

After a robust selling season for 2013-14 that saw pickups for freshman series “Almost Human” and “Believe” and renewals for “Revolution” and “Person of Interest,” the company’s Warner Bros. TV-based production arm has taken three hits this week with the cancellation of Fox’s “Almost Human” and the demise of “Revolution” and “Believe” at NBC.

Taking three strikes in a row isn’t easy for any producer, but Bad Robot is hardly down and out. “Person of Interest” remains a player at CBS, earning an early fourth-season renewal in March. And HBO has given a production commitment to the fantasy-western based on the cult-fave 1973 movie “Westworld.”

With so many shows on the air this season, Bad Robot deliberately pared down on broadcast TV development projects for the 2014-15 season. This fall will mark the first time since 2009 that Bad Robot has not had a new broadcast TV series to launch.

“Believe” was a high-profile property as a collaboration between Abrams and hyphenate Alfonso Cuaron, who won the directing Oscar this year for “Gravity.” But the writing was on the wall for the show when NBC opted to pull it from the schedule ahead of its May 18 airing, along with another underperforming midseason entry, “Crisis.” Both shows are skedded to return to the lineup on May 25, after the official end of the season.

“Almost Human” was an internal favorite of execs at Fox but never caught fire in its initial 13-episode run. “Revolution” had a promising start in the 2012-13 season, when it had a lead-in assist from “The Voice.” But NBC did it no favors by imposing a long winter hiatus during its first season, a mistake the Peacock did not make this year with “The Blacklist.” “Revolution” endured its creative ups and downs and never regained much of an audience after moving to the lead-off Wednesday 8 p.m. slot last fall.

Among the prospective series Bad Robot is developing in-house is an event series based on an unproduced Rod Serling  screenplay and an adaptation of Stephen King’s time-travel novel “11/22/63.”

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  1. dannielle sommers says:

    I did like almost human at first i wasnt a fan of it but the 2 main charactors grew on me. And i will be interesting for the tv adaption of the stephen king book

  2. jagmankane says:

    Revolution was too good to be given up on. NBC failed that show by moving it.

  3. ginas13 says:

    Damn, I really like where Revolution was going. It also had an amazing cast. Almost Human could have been a bit better but the rapport between the two main characters was wonderful. That is what I like most about JJ Abram’s shows. The characters are all characters. They are funny and interesting.

  4. Friday says:

    I still say “Almost Human” was the perfect name for a cop show.

  5. Gino says:

    Too Bad, I enjoyed Almost Human and was looking forward to a second season to get the characters more fleshed out.

    • F.C Moreno says:

      The characters should be fleshed out in development. By the end of the fifth episode the characters should be working together and the actors should be more than familiar and comfortable with their roles. The writers should be on point, with each of their characters, by the first episode. If it hasn’t happened by mid season it isn’t going to happen.

  6. CSR says:

    Almost Human is a show I kinda got into. It had room to grow but had enough of the pieces to be a successful show. I think the show didn’t have all of the right characters in place to hold everyone’s interest but other than that I enjoyed most of the episodes. I hope a network considers picking it up after new writers & casting is done to add more depth and variety to the show. It could be a more prominent show with the right people behind it.

    • Rena Moretti says:

      That’s the J.J. Abrams paradigm: Interesting concept – awful execution. It’s the bad writing and directing that makes him a flop-maker.

  7. Rochelle McDonald says:

    I was liking “Believe” and “Almost Human”. I thought there was some potential for both shows. They both seemed to involve some thinking. It seems, when I like a show, it will get cancelled. I am not a fan of reality TV. I want a good story, maybe with layers. Someone once commented on how shows in the 70’s seemed to have been allowed more time to mature, than their current counterparts. I know the introduction of cable probably has a lot to do with the change. It just seems very sad.

    • Rena Moretti says:

      It’s entirely false. In the 70s, the networks axed even established hits, if they showed signs of weaknesses. They never, ever kept flops on the grid for more than a few episodes.

      Today, the networks keep flops alive for years (New Girl I’m talking about you) but for some reason, there’s that legend of how shows “used to be given a chance” going around.

      It’s by not trying enough shows that the networks fail to find hits.

      • Devon says:

        That’s ridiculous. shows such as M*A*S*H and Cheers both had very subpar first seasons and were kept around. Sure executives were not “charitable” but because their strong shows could pull in twice the number of viewers that todays hits could it wasn’t a problem. They could afford keeping a flop around for a couple of years. As for axing established hits, it had a lot more to do with rising production costs. As shows get popular, the salaries rise as well production budgets until they hit a breaking point.

        Not saying that networks today are incredibly cut throat but they are more inclined to cancel shows that are struggling than keep them alive because they need shows to sell advertising. This largely has to do with the fact that people demand high production values which are expensive and make it difficult for shows.

    • Rena Moretti says:

      I don’t understand that trend of opposing bad scripted shows and reality shows and arguing for keeping flops alive because at least it’s not a reality show…

      If you can’t make a good enough show that it doesn’t beat crappy reality shows, why make more?

    • F.C Moreno says:

      I was looking forward to “Believe” because I liked the concept. However, the first episode revealed a major fatal flaw in the fundamental structure of the show. The characters and most of the casting was poor. The structure seemed to indicate that the developers weren’t certain where they were going. Back in the day developers would take a concept and pretty much knew where the story was going and wrote the journey accordingly. That is not to say that there is a fixed time period for the show to run, it only means that there was a story arch that could take years and many episodes to complete. Also, the format of the show is a must. There were several shows introduced this season that were fundamentally lacking. CBS had “Intelligence” which I knew would bomb after viewing it at ComCon. ABCs “Believe” had a great concept but poor execution and I knew it would quickly bomb after the first episode. These were only two but I could name others. The problem is individuals like JJ Abrams create good concept but lack the development skills needed to carry out that concept. I may be wrong but I believe you were hoping that “Believe” had a good concept (it did) and thought they (developers) would take that concept and make it better. Unfortunately, when a show has poor fundamentals it usually get worse as the developers look desperately for fixes. These shows were going nowhere in their current incarnation. The only way to save them would be to change the titles, restructure them and recast them.

  8. Syan Lin says:

    firefly nuff said

  9. Jenn says:

    I was truly invested in both “Believe” and ” Almost Human” and I’m EXTREMELY disappointed that they were both cut by the networks canceling them!!! When are these idiots going to learn that while it might take a little while for people to catch on to new series via word of mouth, social media, etc., they need to give new shows more than just a few episodes!!! It can’t possibly cost them more to let each show run for longer to gain momentum than it must cost for them to start up a new show with sets, writer’s, casting calls, etc. I’m about ready to give up watching new TV series all together! What’s the damn point of watching these great stories, investing your time by watching, truly being interested in these great character’s- when all they’re going to do is cancel them a few weeks in?!?! Four of my favorite shows got dumped already and now I’ll never know what happens next? These “Network Execs” should be shot!!!

    • Rena Moretti says:

      Well, network execs love those continuing storyline shows, even though they know they won’t finish the stories and the creators don’t have a clue how they’ll end, so I’ll agree with you: a lot of the blame goes to them (and their blasted notes!)

      I wouldn’t shoot them, however, just make their jobs redundant and leave creators to create.

  10. unchienne says:

    Believe never had any good chemistry. It was odd in that all the actors were good…they just didn’t play well off each other. The story was good in an objective manner. The visual effects were good. I genuinely can’t explain it, but everything from the characters to backstory just fell completely flat. As for Revolution, the writers killed that show. Great actors. This time great chemistry too. However, the characterizations were wildly inconsistent. The plots were unimaginative at times. Season Two started off strong with episodes 1-6 and then just took a nose dive. It was like the right hand didn’t know what the left hand was doing, and no one listened to fan complaints…even though they were pretty much universal in what was driving viewers away. That loss hurt the most b/c it could have been so great if it was just run properly.

    • F.C Moreno says:

      The concept was good but somehow it went wrong. How often do we say that or hear that? What happened? Simply put, they came up with a great concept and and develop a pilot and only have a general idea where it might go. Trouble is they should have had a pretty solid idea where the concept and characters will eventually go and develop accordingly. Always keep in mind that it isn’t the end it is the journey to that end that is important. Yet, we must know where we are going in order to write the stories that take us to that end. This creates consistency in the development of each storyline or feature film. We can’t just develop the story on the fly and expect the characters to be consistent in their growth. Not one of JJ Abrams’ strong points.

  11. D C says:

    I would rather watch one of the bad shows that everyone is griping about instead of “any” reality show. If the networks want to cancel something cancel them…all of them…oh wait people are watching them instead..who’s fault is that? Are you going to tell me that bad plot lines are worse than any reality show…I think not! It’s TV, just for entertainment..it’s not brain surgery…it’s not real..sit back and enjoy! These are not real people, not real situations (in most cases) it’s fantasy. JEEZ!!!

  12. Vader! says:

    All bad TV Shows! Im thinkin JJ will be AOK. Just don’t mess up Episode VII dude!

    • F.C Moreno says:

      If what he did with Star Trek is a measure he will find a way to create a different Star Wars universe so that he can leave his worthless mark.

      • Rena Moretti says:

        It’s always amazing to me to think that peole will still be excited about the next Star Wars movie and be “disappointed” or pretend it wasn’t so bad, even knowing J.J. Abrams will make it into a horridly bad movie, making Episode I look like a decently made movie…

  13. CiCi says:

    Who can i talk to about not canceling REVOLUTION….This show was outstanding I can’t believe you guys are pulling it. PLEASE don’t take it away.

  14. Nikki says:

    I loved Mom’s Night Out! Laughed so hard it hurt! I am a Mom of 3 boys and could totally relate and was inspired by the Christian reference! Any negative feed back I am guessing would be from anyone who isn’t a Mom or can not relate to Moms of any kind!

    • Sal U. Lloyd says:

      Flat comedy.

    • Rena Moretti says:

      Not sure what this has to do with anything we’re discussing here, but I sure love the way you already categorized as practically evil anyone who’d dare not share your opinion…

      • Rena Moretti says:

        Tom: Where did I ever say a word about a “conspiracy”? Why do you feel the need to put words in my mouth.

        Please refrain from it in the future.

        I merely say (and will say again) that J.J. Abrams is a horrible producer, writer and director and his track record of flops speaks for itself.

        The fact he keeps being hired has nothing to do with a “conspiracy”, it’s because he is a Son of Hollywood, with well-connected parents and great connections for himself too.

        While I’d love to give him at least one kudo for knowing how to use the facts of his birth, his product is so awful, I just won’t. ;)

      • Rena Moretti says:

        Tom: J.J. Abrams did run over my dog. His name was “good TV” and J.J. grievously injured it.

        As for ratings, are you seriously arguing that masterpieces with huge ad campaigns really flop like J.J. Abrams’ shows?

        You see, I can buy the concept of the little show with no network push being really good and yet flopping. I don’t buy the major releases flops being brilliant as a creditable idea (especially when the Pr hype is that J.J. Abrams is a hit-maker when he’s not).

      • Tom says:

        And sorry that JJ Abrams ran over your dog, apparently. That really is the only reason I can find for your hilariously over-the-top condemnation of all things Abrams. As for ratings being the great distiller of quality, you’re joking, right?

      • Tom says:

        Says the woman who basically says that anyone who likes JJ Abrams (or Joss Whedon) is a victim of a vast media conspiracy. Sheesh.

  15. Rick says:

    He’s extremely over rated. I don’t get the love affair media has with this guy. Joss Wheddon has more talent and yet we hardly hear from him.

    • Sal U. Lloyd says:

      Abrams has some great ideas: Armageddon, Joy Ride, Lost, Super 8, but he just doesn’t know how to end them.

      Whedon I seriously do not think he can write.

      • Rena Moretti says:

        Sal: Could not agree more. :) I think it says a lot of what’s wrong with Hollywood today that those two are considered “go-to guys” for big projects.

        The insane are running the asylum (and sadly I don’t think the new FOX or ABC chiefs, whoever they are will change anything as they’ll likely be drawn from the same pool of incompetent executives).

      • F.C Moreno says:

        Okay, he co-wrote Armageddon with Jonathan Hensleigh and a whole lot of input from Michael Bay. In fact, I’m surprise MichaelBay didn’t ask for co-writing credit. As for Super 8 the only redeeming thing there were the child actors particularly Joel Courtney and Elle Fanning. Like you said, J.J. Abrams has some great ideas but he doesn’t know how to execute them.

    • Abrams has the business sense to create a genuine studio. Whedon has the philanthropic sense to make media which means something to him. They’re both brilliant collaborators who’ve each seen successes and failures alike. Abrams’ failures seem more prevalent because he’s more prolific in that way.

      • Rena Moretti says:

        J.J. Abrams has “created a genuine studios”. He does not produce (ie. finance) or own his productions. Do not confuse his PR with reality.

        He is just, like Joss Whedon, very good at getting fawning comments in the press.

        What he and Whedon are terrible at is creating shows people actually want to watch.

        I don’t consider (as you may have guessed!) either of them “brilliant” (except at being connected but at least in the case of Abrams – don’t know Whedon’s career path – he was born connected as a Son of Hollywood Insiders).

        Whedon’s failures aren’t “prevalent” because the press keeps talking about his flops as hits, even more so than Abrams’…

    • Rena Moretti says:

      You’re kidding right? Joss Whedon is like another J.J. Abrams: he lines up flop after flop and has all of Hollywood and its press genuflect in the exact same reflexive manner….

  16. doatie says:

    apparently you people have never heard of “Fringe.” Its 5 year run was easily one of the best shows on television, during that time frame.

    • Rena Moretti says:

      You mean Cringe? Yeah, I heard of it. It was a horrible show and a ratings disaster (guess the majority of the people who tried to watch it are with me on that one).

      You have to give to J.J. the brilliant idea of hiring the Boss’ niece. That way the show got renewed in spite of not having an audience to speak of.

  17. wks9370 says:

    J.J.Abrams is the sum of what was once great filmmaking to what is now great visuals… Great movies have always been built on the shoulders of great filmmaking and great filmmakers. The problem is, young filmmakers like J,J. Abrams have decided that story is an unnneccesary element in a movie when their audiences only come to the theater to watch a group of visually, eye-popping nonsense. Again, anyone who thinks this way is doomed to fail. Failure is built into the dna of filmmaking for these people. At the expense of good story-telling.

    • Rena Moretti says:

      It would be interesting to find out if he is aware of it. I’d put my money on “he genuinely thinks his scripts are brilliant”.

      His approach is very similar to that of executives (perhaps why he’s so successful with them if not with audiences) in that he piles on a bunch of desirable story elements in no particular order, resulting in a horrid mess.

      Visually, since I am in, apparently, the minority that doesn’t like CGI effects, I don’t find him appealing at all (also he seems to love the shakycam which confirms that he knows nothing about actual filmmaking).

    • F.C Moreno says:

      Absolutely, and what he did to Star Trek is a perfect example. He depended on the spectacular and paid little or no attention to established Star Trek history. He never considered that most of the characters came from different generations and didn’t know each other prior to the Enterprise. Yes, some did but not most of them. He didn’t bother to research the Romulan connection before making it the center of his story. I guess he didn’t realize the nobody had ever seen a Romulan until long after Kirk graduated from the Academy. I didn’t mean to get into Star Trek history I only mention it to make a point. When caught on these and other point J.J. Abrams explains it away by saying his Star Trek occurred in an alternate Star Trek universe. Maybe the trouble is J.J. Abrams and his Bad Robot are from an alternate universe where bad is good and good is bad.

      • Rena Moretti says:

        As I like to point out, his attitude toward Star Trek was that of a lazy hack. Interestingly, these are the qualities most in demand in Hollywood today (although they’re called “easy to work with” and “in touch with young people”)…

  18. Rena Moretti says:

    What came to ind reading the comments is that at least some of us are aware of the crappiness of J.J. Abrams’ output in spite of the reflexive genuflecting by the press (and this article is essentially an umpteenth puff-piece as the gist is that J.J. Abrams is so powerful and great…)

    • Tom says:

      Do not confuse your irrational dislike of JJ Abrams as some sort of revelation. I’m sure there are shows you like that others hate. I’m fairly certain, however, that such people wouldn’t blanket an article about such shows with the conspiracy-filled lunatic rantings you have.

  19. jbeaulieu says:

    I liked Revolution but feared the cancellation.Any decent interesting show, especially from Bad Robot, is likely to be cancelled. Bad robot generally is not run of the mill tv productioon. Clearly this is one of the reasons for the large decline in network. The network is only willing to invest in reality tv (lower case) that is cheap to produce and is watched for the escapist as opposed to one that might draw from one episode to another and not because of some cheap loud or rude ‘reality’ activity. cbs, nbc, fox, cbs needs to die in the weeds of the weeks overblown and largely dinosuar of the past.

    • Alexandra Anderson says:

      While I wasn’t a great fan of Revolution, I really agree with what you’re saying. I live in South Africa and am so tired of how crass reality-tv is being churned out at an alarming rate. It’s so depressing to watch good ideas and series’ being passed over and cancelled for disgusting, phoney, mindless drivel. Even The History Channel – here in SA anyway – has been taken over by “Storage Wars”, “Pawn Stars”., “Ice Road Truckers” – this is History?!! That’s because the industry is run by money-grubbing, coke-snorting execs, who are squashing all originality and creativity out of the field. I feel like I’m watching the fall of the Roman Empire, Hurry up Netflix-style, digital distribution and bulldoze this awful 21st-century TV , practice into oblivion soon!

      • Rena Moretti says:

        So the same executives who were geniuses when they gave you a show you liked become terrible people because they’re rightfully cancelling their flops…

        You equate making money to quashing creativity, but there was little creativity to find in any J.J. Abrams show and little audience either.

        Executives today could benefit by being more money oriented and focusing on delivering hits, rather than trying to please flop-makers so they can have a fall-back job.

    • Rena Moretti says:

      You do realize All those networks are dying because they keep ordering bad shows from J.J. Abrams, right?

    • Rena Moretti says:

      Actually, I think you have it backwards. Networks TV is dying of a sustained diet of J.J. Abrams shows. His show flop one after the other and yet the networks keep genuflecting as if he were a hit-maker (while curiously refusing to order more shows from real hit-makers like Anthony Zuycker – 15 years since CSI and still waiting for his next original show).

      It’s the reliance of over-hyped flop-makers like Abrams, Seth MacFarlane, Rob Thomas, Josh Schwartz, Greg Berlanti etc… that is killing the networks.

  20. Michael says:

    Never watched Almost Human or Believe, but Revolution deserved to die; that show was awful.

    • Rena Moretti says:

      Glad to see someone who dared say it. It’s no coincidence Revolution’s ratings kept heading South…

  21. Mike says:

    I just hope that J.J. ‘Lens Flare’ Abrams doesn’t ruin the next Star Wars trilogy.

    • Rena Moretti says:

      Given how he finished off Trek, there is no doubt you can expect more bad movies from the master of shakycam, lens falres and plot holes.

      • Rena Moretti says:

        Erroll: So refreshing to see somebody else dare say it.

        J.J. Abrams was born and raised in Hollywood. He is swimming in high-power connections and his “talent” is that he knows how to use them.

        Sadly for us, he has no talent for making the movies and TV shows.

        I saw the same behind-the-scenes and seeing him be proud of having someone hit the camera repeatedly was just heart-breaking to anyone who likes movies.

        Crappy film-making is now in vogue (it reminds me of the way the New Wave destroyed European cinema in the 70s and 80s by hyping every baroquely bad mise-en-scene idea).

        Look at Modern Family which Hollywood treats as if it were a great show (probably because there’s gay characters and criticizing the show would be considered “prejudiced”) even while they shake the camera, play with the zoom, trail off their subject and generally produce camera-work that would make a six-year old blush in shame.

        The reason he is lauded, is that he is very smart in hyping himself (he is like the Ronald D. Moore of network TV) and spends a lot of money getting fawning articles written about him. Since Hollywood believes its own press, once they read the articles they have to behave as if he were brilliant and re-hire him even though his last shows flopped miserably.

        The fact no journalist ever talks about the plot-hole laden nature of his “writing” speaks volumes about how the Hollywood press is all but independent of the Hollywood PR machine.

      • Erroll says:

        Ahahahaha, finally found “my people”!

        J.J. is great at beginings, but never puts in the hard work that would be required to make all his “this would be cool” moments into an actual story. That’s why all his work falls apart.

        I can’t understand why he is so lauded. Between the shakey cam, lense flares and plot holes, his movies are unwatchable messes.

        It drove me nuts to see him beating on the camera in all the behind the scenes clips, like he was doing something cool and amazing.

  22. Rena Moretti says:

    Only in Hollywood wold people get excited about J.J. Abrams hacking to pieces the body of a creatively dead movie series…

    Then again, it was so “exciting” to see him bury Star Trek…

  23. Lisa says:

    Believe was a great show. Johnny Sequoia is a brilliant actress. I’m really bummed this one is ending. Don’t think they should give up on it yet.

  24. boomingechoes says:

    “Revolution” endured its creative ups and downs and never regained much of an audience after moving to the lead-off Wednesday 8 p.m. slot last fall.”

    I’m sure the creators are going to appreciate the sugarcoating this is being given. The reality was that this show was in danger since the early days of its run. After the first few episodes, when folks finally realized that everything wasn’t going to be the visually awesome experience (See: Chicago and New York overrun by vegetation) with the awesome post apocalyptic story we were lead to believe it had, before it devolved into a hamfisted soup of far too many characters, convoluted plot points and a terrible handling of the “it’s 15 years later” continuity (The latter being a bigger problem in the first season then the second. The second season mostly ignored that fact because it was well established by that point, even though it relied heavily on older characters using dialog that made “antiquated” pop culture references that -aggravatingly- the younger characters wouldn’t have known, but never asked “what’s that?” whenever they were in earshot)

    A long winter hiatus didn’t hurt that show: The writing did. What show coming out of it’s first season, that somehow gets a second, has it’s creator come out and issue a formal apology for how scatterbrained the first season was, having seen the mess it had become after the time he could pump the breaks had passed, with a promise to rein it in, in the second season (which, for the record, it did– but also became boring and meandering in the process).

    I generally like Kripke, Supernatural -when under his creation and watch- was one of my favorite shows. But he proved after that first season of Revolution, and confirmed it -even though he didn’t say it outright- in the post-first-season apology, that he can’t write/create for more then a few characters at a time. When the cast is smaller (even smaller then Season 2 of Revolution was) he can put together a great story, but when

    As for the rest of the Cancellations:

    I wanted Believe to go somewhere, but it didn’t seem to be (A FEW SPOLIERS BELOW, IN CASE YOU CARE). You can call it a slow boil, but every episode wasn’t procedural as much as it was a carbon copy of the one before it. I had to tell my fiance to watch it on her own, because I couldn’t keep going with the trajectory I saw the show going in. My biggest grievance being -and I may have missed a plot point having to do with this after I gave up- that the girl could see and do so many amazing things, but she couldn’t see the guy she bickered with on a daily basis was her dad? Or maybe she was just easing him into it while driving him out of his mind? Either way, it was a huge reveal made in the first episode that shouldn’t have been made till somewhere down the line -it showed it’s big card far too soon and made me fold before it could get me properly all-in invested..,.And that was a poker analogy from a guy who doesn’t play.

    It’s a shame though, because Johnny Sequoya and Luke McLaughlin had real chemistry. Even though it got annoying (because we knew he was to her who he was, but they didn’t -and the girl probably should have) over time, the bickering between them felt realistic.. Although for as smart as he actually seemed, he kept making the same stupid mistakes with her (leaving her alone when he knew she’d run off to help X-person-of-the-week)

    Almost Human, however, upsets me a little. I’m a pretty big fan of what Karl Urban does, so to see him lose a show that felt like a perfect fit for him is disappointing. The problem is, like Believe, the show felt like it was put on the same slow boil setting, while having a sort of scatterbrained -but not quite as bad, daunting to keep up with or many as Revolution ever was/had- series of arcs that didn’t feel as important as the “of the week” police procedural structure.

    Fox didn’t help it one big, doing what they do with everything and putting episodes out of order while sticking long downtime in between episodes of a show they claim to want to grow and prosper,

    Ultimately, Am I surprised at all of these cancellations? Nope, not at all. I’m not even completely bothered by most of them.. What I am bothered by is the reason why they don’t have any new shows on tap for next season. I’m sorry, but that just seems like poor planning; as if someone wasn’t watching anything that was happening with the shows talked about here, like the ship has been put on auto-pilot.

    • Rena Moretti says:

      Boomingechoes, it is refreshing to see I’m not the only one to have noticed the ratings history of Revolution. The show was dead in the ratings after 4 episodes and NBC kept the body moving for reasons that reason ignores (probably to kiss up to J.J. Abrams, because apparently that’s what you do in Hollywood these days…)

      The once accurate and informative Hollywood trades now tell s everything is a hit and every show is a masterpiece.

      Sadly executives do believe their own press and think every bad show that’s on their air is a masterpiece and the reason for failure must be looked at in weird trends that only exist in their minds (like Kevin Reilly thinking US audiences are clamoring for foreign show remakes!)

  25. Monica says:

    JJ: Bring back Fringe on CBS. There are so many more stories to tell given the show’s premise and there are millions of people who would love to see it return. Fringe was a winner and you already have a built-in audience ready and waiting to see new adventures for Walter, Olivia, Peter, Astrid, Broyles, and their counterparts in the other universe. Can Walter return after being banished to the future with Michael? Can the bridge be reopened? What is the world like without the observers? Not to mention the unanswered questions that were generated during the show’s tenure. I still watch Fringe everyday. Please consider a ‘reload.’

    • Rena Moretti says:

      Why would CBS want to bring back one of FOX’s worst flops of all time?!!!!

      Did you never look at the real ratings (meaning not the FOX PR releases and the copy-and-paste articles in the Hollywood press)?

      Fringe was a spectacular failure that FOX kept on for… well I don’t know why anyone would buy himself five years of failure when they could have cut their losses after five episodes…

      • Rena Moretti says:

        leperous: Thanks for pointing it out. I didn’t know she was Rupert’s Niece… It does explain a lot, including why this show with practically zero ratings kept being renewed. It had two glorious reasons for Kevin Reilly to renew it again and again: a potential job developing at Bad Robot once he gets fired, and making sure Rupert kept him on even though he was failing miserably…

        Knowing that, I am surprised her “huge fan following” didn’t net her another show already. And to think they were making fun of me when I wrote she had to be related to someone or someone’s GF…

        Once again, the simplest explanation is the best.

      • leperous says:

        Because Anna Torv is Rupert Murdoch’s niece. Seriously, look it up. Only reason Fringe ever ran as long as it did was because they were brilliant enough to hire the boss’ family member to be their star. And if that’s not the reason the show ran for so long, why hasn’t she done anything since it ended?

  26. Rena Moretti says:

    Now we can all hope J.J. Abrams productions will finally disappear from our TV screen to make space for anything else which might probably be a lot better!!

    Not holding my breath though. The networks have kept going to him after his many, many flops, so why would they change a losing team?

    • robRmh says:

      Loved FRINGE the teaching of science by Walter as the friendship connections, political and otherwise, I miss it. Almost a Roddenbury influence and of course J.J. Abrams fantastic.

    • Jean says:

      I regret JJ’s shows keep disappearing faster that I can keep up. I like his shows. Please give them time to catch on, if that is what is needed.

      • Rena Moretti says:

        The longer J.J. Abram’s show stay on, the more they lose their meager audience…

        Isn’t it time the press start reporting it like it is?!!!

  27. Tamahome says:

    That is a shame , specially for Revolution i really liked that show . I thought Believe had some potential to be better now we will never know how it all ends ..LOL. Oh well once again NBC will always trail behind . Hope we don’t get anymore silly reality shows , i’m so over them . !

    • F.C Moreno says:

      Because of the basic structures of these shows they could not be repair without major reconstruction. Anything that major would render them nearly unrecognizable and what audience they had would flitter away. Potential is meaningful only if the structure allows for growth and with that in mind “Believe” was dead on arrival. The concept had potential but those in control of the concept failed to deliver what was potentially a good series. Somehow or another J.J. Abram’s manages to screw up the long range value of a concept. It’s like making up new stories and concepts, for the show, on the fly without knowing where the storyline is going. Most of you know that developers have to know where the story is going to be able to create stories on a weekly basis. We also have to creatively write to format in order for the audience to gain a level of comfort and earn their willingness to add the show to their weekly viewing schedule. I have great fear that one of my favorite shows, “Person of Interest,” has strayed from that and next season could well be their last. I haven’t forgiven J.J. Abrams for what he did to Star Trek. He explains his failure to know the subject by stating that his storyline took place in an alternate Star Trek universe. Really? All of these concepts had potential in the pre-development phase but once Abrams got his hands on it they went south. Bad-Robot is just that, BAD.

      • Rena Moretti says:

        F.C.: You make a great point about the fact he is probably very good at pitches. Actually, what is making me dislike him even more than your random bad writer/producer is that I actually like the concepts for his shows… and then I watch them (well, no longer at this point there’s really no need…)

        Another one that was awful was Undercovers. Again fine concept so poorly executed watching it was like torture.

        Thanks for the kind comments. Unlike J.J. Abrams, I do strive to be entertaining. ;)

      • F.C Moreno says:

        Wow, Rena, I almost forgot about “Lost.” Wait, I did forget about “Lost” and you reminded me. Anyway, I forgive you for that, ha. Did anyone ever figure out what that monster was? After viewing three episode, throughout the season, I never heard what the thing was. Fortunately it wasn’t important enough watch it again. I can’t believe I actually put in the time viewing those three episodes. I love the comment, “concepts hurling into each other and arranging themselves into a pile of plot holes.” He must be a great talker because I believe he actually thinks he’s a great developer. Look what he did with the great concept he had with “Believe.” Talk about potential and look what he produced. The first episode had no life and was much to antiseptic. All the power the little girl displayed seemed contrived to get us believe and that was done badly. Yes, Bad Robot is bad and so is JJ Abrams.

      • Rena Moretti says:

        Glad to see a few people daring to say it: Bad Robot is just bad. Truer words were never spoken.

        And it’s not like it’s a discovery. If you look at the pilot for Alias, you see concepts hurling into each other and arranging themselves into a pile of plot holes.

        I also love the various rationales J.J. Abrams gives to justify his refusal to work hard and make a good product.

        But then again, why should he? He is a Son of Hollywood, born and raised with a belief that Hollywood owes him something and Hollywood seems to share that belief and keep genuflecting in front of his “genius” even as his shows fail to hit with the public (look at the ratings of Lost after season one in particular and you’ll be shocked!)

        Sadly, Hollywood’s little remaining budgets flop to him because “it’s well-known he’s a great filmmaker”… :(

    • Geronimo Heroa says:

      You can’t keep making the same show with a different title and expect people to keep watching. His run is over because he has no new ideas and hasn’t since 2008.

      • Rena Moretti says:

        Interesting view, Geronimo. While I dislike most of his shows, well all of them really, it’s the execution, not the basic concepts that I find awful.

        Almost Human could (and should) have been a good show were it not a J.J. Abrams production, same with Fringe (which I renamed Cringe), same with most of his shows. Most sound appealing on the basic idea level, but then he hires his plot-hole happy posse, casts bad actors and directors who won’t help them etc…

  28. wks says:

    NBC has been really quick on the draw these past two seasons and pulling the plug. Almost Human was very entertaining

    • Rena Moretti says:

      It was apparent to all who don’t take NBC’s PR releases as Gospel that Revolution was a flop after three episodes.

      NBC’s problem is that it’s NOT “quick on the draw”. It keeps flops for years and years (see Parks and Recreation in its sixth viewer-less season).

      I’m amazed so many people seem to buy the nonsense coming out of the networks’ PR, even if “trades” just print it as if they’d checked it.

      • F.C Moreno says:

        Mike S will have to endure “Heroes” again. It will be returning for a 13 episode story arch with all the old characters and some new ones. I’m not happy, dismayed or sad, just saying it will be back.

      • Mike S. says:

        Also see Heroes, which after the second season was a leaky ship that should have ended at least a season before it did. But then the excuses were surrounding the writers strike, which held up better compared to this flimsy “long winter hiatus” hogwash we’re reading here about Revolution. Revolution was a mess the entire first season, which is why it’s creator had to issue an apology for the show following it’s finale last year for it going so off rails, saying that the second season was going to rein things in (which, for the record, it did –but then it went from bat-crap crazy to being pretty boring). It’s really no secret this show was in trouble.

        Or, in a different instance that sort of circled around Heroes for a while: Chuck, which was perpetually put on the hit list as a show to be canceled only to be taken off that list at the zero hour and shuffled around NBCs deck for years. If it wasn’t full seasons worth of waiting, you could have made an entertaining drinking game out of the “are they going to can it” that this show saw.

    • wks says:

      I second that Bruce. ” Nurse… I need a blood transfusion. Stat!!

  29. David B says:

    nbc is making a big mistake by cancelling revolution. how do they expect to regain the number 1 network status by making these kind of decisions.

  30. Bruce says:

    Does JJ Abrams have ANY ideas of his own? Why is Hollywood all over this guys? Guess it’s just his turn… But maybe, just maybe, one of the big problems with why tv is so boring is because the same people are making most of the shows? Some fresh blood and creative juice is sorely needed!

    • wks says:

      I second that Bruce. ” Nurse… I need a blood transfusion. Stat!!

    • Steve KP says:

      He isn’t actually writing any of these shows, he just produces them and gets them on air. The shows are created and written by other people who are totally different from show to show, and a lot of them are fresh blood. The problem is that few people in general have any new ideas anymore.

  31. Julienne says:

    What do they all have in common? They’re all one-dimensional storylines. Boring. Lazy. Clones of other storylines.

  32. Almost Human deserves another season. I think it actually has a decent following. Every time I’ve seen something on it has been favorable. That show was/is way better than the other shows listed here. I wanted to like “Believe”, but it makes sense now why it was hard to get into and keep interest. It was doomed from the start with the guy from “Gravity”. That movie was trash. Just because people didn’t walk out of the theater doesn’t mean it was good. Those people (I was one of them) set aside a couple hours and $20 to see it, if they would have given me a remote in the theater it would be a completely different story. Same thing with these other shows. I’ve had no interest in them. I think shows are safe if they make it to CBS because people just fall asleep or go do something else with it on. Crisis wasn’t too bad. Almost Human, Believe, and Crisis all suffered from inconsistent scheduling. There were weeks where there were no episodes and weeks where there would be more than one. Almost Human’s story follows a little bit of progression (enough to still get ruined when messed with), but the other two are literally the next hour, day, etc. in the story. It’s like trying to watch 24 and not only missing hours, but not knowing which one you’re supposed to be on. For the record, I’m not watching the new 24 until it wraps up.

  33. Jamil Agard says:

    Sell Sci-Fi/Fantasy to the Big Four at your own risk. While it’s great to dream of the large budgets that they can pump into a programme, their metrics are not geared for accepting the smaller audiences and longer audience adoption times inherrent with that kind of “niche” programming.

    Their trash bins are filled with great shows (sci-fi or not) that would’ve done well on other networks. Kings, Firefly, Dollhouse, The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Each of these would probably have done well on Cable where they’d have had time to progressively nurture their fanbase.

  34. Strike Three says:

    Only JJ Abrams could make Alfonzo Cauron look like a world-class idiot. Bad Robot is actually a perfect name.

  35. liz dee says:

    I love Revolution as well! such funny, witty banter between the characters! sure it was violent, but what do you think would happen if we lost all power for 15 years?!? we’d go nuts! shame NBC cancelled this show.

    it had better ratings than most of the shows over on CW, but yet those shows are still on the air! CW should snatch this show up if they were smart!!

    agreed about moving time slots and long hiatuses! that kills shows!! wtf is WRONG with NBS and these tv execs!?!

  36. Dead In Hell says:

    Internal favorite huh? Is that why they’ve cancelled it despite strong ratings, a devoted fanbase, and highly positive critical reception? Almost Human has done everything right. Meanwhile, Fox has done everything wrong in putting it out there, including the network’s staple of airing the episodes completely out of order for no reason and wrecking the momentum and narrative/character development continuity.

  37. robRmh says:

    Prime Time fills the slots with reality shows such as cooking, weight loss, house building, talent shows with phoney singers acting like clowns telling vulnerable talent guest’s their the best ever, the publicity and promotion is endless, this has driven me to turn off the T.V. – almost. Almost Human? when was that? maybe it takes additional promotion and public appearances to get shows through the maze of
    how two..the education level is at 6th grade. Planet Earth saves my day of magic.

  38. Tree T says:

    Is anyone really surprised. He has destroyed Star Trek & is on course to do the same for Star Wars. At least some better shows can get that cash now.

  39. Sad about Almost Human – such a good show. And now Star-Crossed and The Tomorrow People also axed. My poor sci-fi heart can’t handle this…

  40. 2114 93 15 says:

    Almost Human needs to return. . If FOX had let the show air uninterrupted it would have brought in enough viewers to pay for itself, but they completely mutilated its airing then asked WB to lower the price… like… what? In a way I am mad at WB but more so FOX, because WB sold them a product that was in perfect condition and FOX couldn’t even handle it properly without their magical touch.

  41. Not a Fan of Person of Interest says:

    Person of Interest should be canceled. Just look at the decline in ratings since Nolan and Plageman, with the OK from Nina Tassler(CBS) decided to pull a bait and switch on viewers and change the direction of the show to sci-fi, cuckoo fembots and weirdo machine chasing villains. Talk about “jumping the shark!” The X-Files it will never be, in spite of the aspirations of the boy wonder, “batty men” writers, who had the audacity to laugh about the killing of a lead character. (Taraji P. Henson as Joss Carter) This Bad Robot production has morphed into a bad show and J.J. Abrams should hang his head in shame.

  42. Benn says:

    Ah, three shows “by JJ Abrams” where his biggest contribution is … selling his name to the shows. Awesome work if you can get it. Just as Steven Spielberg.

  43. Angeleno says:

    Never liked Almost Human because it was such a Hollywoodized version of the far superior BBC series, and never got into Believe because it was scheduled in a lousy time period for me, but I did really like Revolution and I’m sorry to see it go. However, I’m more-or-less resigned to the fact that if any of the Big 3 put on something unique that I really like, there’s about an 80% chance that they will ruin it with poor scheduling and it won’t be around very long. The only bright spot is that, since it was the only thing I watched on NBC, I won’t have to go there at all anymore. I’ve learned the hard way, don’t get invested in a series on the Big 3 unless there is some REALLY compelling reason to try it out, because, if it’s really interesting, they will cancel it and leave you high and dry with no resolution.

    • Angeleno says:

      Oops! My bad! I confused Almost Human with Being Human when I referred to a “far superior BBC series.” I haven’t seen Almost Human, so please ignore that part of the comment.

  44. Jean says:

    Really enjoy Believe! Please keep it on. Like JJ Abrams, and applaud Star Wars pickup, but please leave his network shows intact.

    Also, would like to see Stephe Colbert be able to use his intro on Colbert Report on Late show when he takes over. Would like a segment for his Colbert Report added to Late Show. He is Brilliant, and would like to see Late show update format to keep his entry!
    After all, David Letterman Late Show will become Stephen Colbert will it not?

  45. Daniel P says:

    ‘Revolution’ was OK… they found their voice in the 2nd season. ‘Believe’ had some really bad casting and just wasn’t good. ‘Almost Human’ from the “Fringe” team was FANTASTIC and it’s a damn shame that it didn’t get picked up for another season.

  46. Ari says:

    ‘Bad Week for J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot in TV with 3 Cancellations.’

    Finally Hollywood is realizing the emperor has no clothes…

    • Phil W says:

      Well said. Abrams is just a poor man’s Spielberg. He has made a career on imitating great directors without ever producing anything original or with any real substance. I’m bored of these dreadful 80’s Spielberg wannabes. Let some real talent have a go.

    • Liz says:

      Geez, I wonder how long you’ve been waiting to use that phrase? ::sigh::

    • Christian says:

      no clothes that can be seen on televisions sets, at least.

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