Cancellation Watch: Walking Dead Still Walking Over the Broadcast Network Shows, Arrow Gets Full Season Order

By | October 24, 2012

For the second episode of its third season, AMC’s The Walking Dead came back down to Earth a bit as it posted “only” a 5.1 rating in the 18-49 demographic and 9.6 million total viewers.  That’s still higher than any non-sports show that aired on the broadcast networks last week, at least as far as the all-important 18-49 demo is concerned.  And with the strong premiere of FX’s The American Horror Story last week (more on that at this link), the cable channels are definitely staking a claim on the niche genre audiences and proving that is a much larger group than the broadcast networks give them credit for.

On Monday, word broke that The CW has picked up the “Back 9” episodes of their new superhero series Arrow, giving it a full season order.  That comes as no surprise seeing as the show had a strong debut (for the fifth place network at least) and retained its audience through its second airing.  That network’s other new genre show, Beauty and the Beast, may not be as lucky, though.  The series had a decent bow, but then dropped by over 40% for its second episode.  The good news for fans of the show is that it airs on The CW and they will likely have some patience with it.  But if it doesn’t improve its numbers in the coming weeks, they may not pick up any episodes beyond the show’s initial order (though on the positive side, that have at least ordered some more scripts for the show, so that haven’t given up on it yet).

On Sunday night, ABC’s Once Upon A Time and 666 Park Ave both rebounded a bit as the former pulled a 3.3 rating in the 18-49 demo and 9.9 million total viewers and the latter pulled a 1.7 rating and 4.8 million total viewers.  That bump for 666 Park Ave is not nearly enough to get it out of danger territory, though, and I am not lowering its current Cancellation Alert status of Elevated.  As I mentioned on Monday, ABC did order two more scripts for the show, but that’s far from a commitment for a full season order.

On Monday night, Syfy’s Alphas had its Season 2 finale and it improved its rating a bit to a 0.5 and pulled in 1.17 million total viewers.  The show definitely struggled in the Nielsens somewhat throughout its second year, but then all of Syfy’s scripted shows have suffered from that of late.  I assume that we should hear word within the next few weeks on whether Syfy will bring Alphas back for another year, so keep an eye out for breaking news.

NBC’s Revolution was preempted this week because of the Presidential Debates.  I will post the early returns for the Wednesday thru Friday genre shows at the Cancellation Watch Twitter Site, so keep an eye on that for those numbers.  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.  .

Ratings Source: TV by the Numbers


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 Amazon.com.

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