Cancellation Watch: ABC Already Has 2 and Possibly 3 Genre Shows in Trouble

By | October 8, 2012

We are officially only a couple of weeks into the Fall 2012 season, and already several genre shows are staring at the likelihood of an early cancellation.  All of the shows in trouble are currently on ABC, and really none of them are too much of a surprise.  The sci fi sitcom The Neighbors took a major tumble in the ratings–as expected–in its second week as it moved from its cushy debut slot after Modern Family for its first episode to the hour prior for its second.  It dropped from a 3.2 rating in the 18-49 demographic and 9.2 million total viewers all the way to a 1.9 rating and 6.3 million total viewers.  That’s a decline of 41% in its rating and a drop to a number that the network will not tolerate for long.  Any continued decline in the show’s number will almost certainly result in it getting yanked from the schedule or shuffled off to an outlying timeslot to burn off its run of episodes.  At this point, it looks like my early prediction from my Fall 2012 Preview that The Neighbors would be the first genre show to get cancelled is still on target.

Not dropping as much with its second episode, but still struggling, is Thursday night’s Last Resort which dipped to a 1.9 rating in the 18-49 demo and 8 million total viewers with its second episode.  The numbers this show has delivered so far are definitely not sufficient for keeping it afloat, but I previously questioned its viability in the highly competitive 8 PM EST timeslot that typically aims at more family friendly fare.  The one thing that Last Resort has going for it is warm reviews from the critics (it is a pretty good show), so ABC may try to salvage this one and move it to better timeslot to give it more of a chance to build up an audience.  If not, though, expect this one not to survive past Fall with its current numbers.  Also in trouble is ABC’s supernatural drama 666 Park Ave which debuted to tepid numbers last week.  We will see the returns for its second episode later today, and if they drop at all from the show’s debut, then throw that one in the same boat with the network’s other two new genre shows.

The CW’s venerable Supernatural returned for its Season 8 premiere last week with rather mediocre numbers, pulling a 0.8 rating in the 18-49 demo and only 1.9 million total viewers.  That’s about the numbers that the show ended its last season with, but it was airing on Fridays then and has moved to Wednesdays this season.  I’m sure that The CW wants to see something north of a 1.0 rating on a weekday night, but then Supernatural did have to contend with the debates that night, so I’m note quite certain how to gauge those numbers at this point.  Also, the fifth place network has seen its overall numbers drop each year of late, and most of its other scripted shows have not had their debuts yet.  A more complete look at the performance of their full schedule will give a better idea, so I am not raising any red flags on the show just yet.

CBS’s Person of Interest improved its numbers from its debut, rising to a 3.0 rating in the 18-49 demo and and 14.6 million total viewers for its second episode.  Continuing to hold strong for a Friday night show is NBC’s Grimm which remained steady with a 1.6 rating in the 18-49 demo, and I covered the performance of that network’s Revolution in my Wednesday column last week.  I will be posting the numbers for last night’s shows over at the Cancellation Watch Twitter Site as they become available today and will discuss those in more detail this coming Wednesday.

There are still more premieres on the way, and you can check out the full schedule of Fall 2012 genre shows at this link.  And you can see the Cancellation Alert status of all the shows currently airing plus the final results from prior seasons at my Cancellation Watch page.

Following are the ratings results for all of the genre shows from this past week. In some cases, the numbers below are based on the preliminary returns and could change slightly when the final results are tallied.

Ratings Results for the Week of Sep 30th:
Once Upon A Time (ABC Sun 8 PM) Rating: 3.9 | Trend: Up | Cancellation Alert: Low
666 Park Ave (ABC Sun 10 PM) Rating: 2.1 | Trend: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Medium
Revolution (NBC Mon 10 PM) Rating: 3.2 | Trend: Down | Cancellation Alert: Low
The Nieghbors (ABC Wed 9:30 PM) Rating: 1.9 | Trend: Down | Cancellation Alert: Elevated
Supernatural (CW Wed 9 PM) Rating: 0.8 | Trend: Steady | Cancellation Alert: Low
Last Resort (ABC Thu 8 PM) Rating: 1.9 | Trend: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Elevated
Person of Interest (CBS Thu 9 PM) Rating: 3.0 | Trend: Up | Cancellation Alert: Low
Grimm (NBC Fri 9 PM) Rating: 1.6 | Trend: Down | Cancellation Alert: Low
Fringe (FOX Fri 9 PM) Rating: 1.0 | Trend: Steady | Cancellation Alert: Final Season
Haven (Syfy Fri 10 PM) Rating: Pending | Trend: Down | Cancellation Alert: Low

Why Were They Cancelled? 
The Plight of Science Fiction and Fantasy Television in the Face of the Unforgiving Nielsens and Networks

Ever wondered why your favorite science fiction and/or fantasy show disappeared from the television schedule, never to deliver anymore new episodes? The reason why, most likely, is that it was cancelled because its ratings were low. And this book looks at those many cancelled sci fi/fantasy shows as well as the Neilsen ratings and television networks that dictate their fates. Available now for only $2.99 on Kindle from

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