Cancellation Watch: Revolution is Still Dropping, Now It’s Time to Worry

By | November 14, 2012
“What happened to our ratings?” Billy Burke asks.

NBC’s Revolution sunk to yet another low this past Monday as it pulled only a 2.6 rating in the 18-49 demographic and just over seven million total viewers.  It’s now really close to that 2.5 threshold that I have mentioned several times and it’s officially time for fans to be concerned about the future of this show.  It’s not quite panic time, but this show has definitely taken up a similar path to what we saw previously with FlashForward, V, and The Event.  All three of those started strong and then began a steady decline (though Revolution has stayed higher longer than those shows).  And all three then went on a long hiatus, which Revolution currently faces after the end of this month.  None of them came back strong, and two were cancelled after their first seasons while V barely got a second season renewal only to be cancelled the following year. Still, Revolution has a couple of things going for it at this point: it continues to win its Monday 10 PM EST timeslot, and it is NBC’s top-rated scripted show.  If it can continue to win its timeslot, even if it sinks closer to a 2.0 rating, and if it continues to perform as one of the network’s better rated scripted shows, then it should get a second season renewal.  And the extended hiatus, while it may be irritating to fans, it may also give the writers a chance to course correct and clean up some of the show’s loose ends that I regularly hear grumblings about.  But if this show drops below a 2.0 rating like FlashForward and The Event did toward the ends of their first seasons, then consider its future seriously in doubt.  This one probably costs the network a fair amount of money (though it’s not nearly as expensive as last year’s flop Terra Nova), and NBC is going to want it to pull in some decent numbers.  But as I said, it’s not quite panic time yet.  The show has some leeway, and if it makes the right moves it can potentially turn around the ratings declines.  If not, though, it will join FlashForward, The Event, and other similar shows that showed great promise before they premiered but then squandered their chances and suffered an early demise.

Also sinking in the ratings is ABC’s Once Upon A Time which dropped to a 2.7 rating in the 18-49 demo and 8.8 million total viewers this past Sunday.  It didn’t even win its usual honors of the top broadcast network scripted show of the evening as a Simpsons episode beat it out, though that one enjoyed a notable boost from the football overrun.  ABC’s other Sunday night genre show, 666 Park Ave, continues its struggles as it dropped to a new low of a 1.2 rating and less than four million total viewers.

The ratings struggles that the broadcast network entries are experiencing didn’t carry over to AMC’s The Walking Dead as that show shot up to a 5.6 rating in the 18-49 demo this past Sunday with 10.4 million total viewers.  It had looked like its numbers might have been coming back down to Earth after drops over the past couple of weeks, but it returned to highs close to its season opening record-breaker and looks to stay strong for now.  That 5.6 rating outpaced everything the broadcast networks aired over the past week with the exception of Sunday Night Football as this show continues to thumb its nose at the more traditional television programming and set all sorts of records. 

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.  And for questions on how the ratings work and my Cancellation Alert statuses, you can see the Cancellation Watch FAQ.

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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