Cancellation Watch: Is It Time for Supernatural to Bow Out?

By | December 3, 2012

The Fall season is winding down for most of the genre shows with several in repeats or preempted for holiday specials or sports this past week.  But The CW shows, which got off to a later start this year, still have a few more weeks of new episodes, and looking at the numbers I’m wondering if the venerable series Supernatural should consider this season as its opportunity to resolve all of its major storylines and and take its bow.  Series creator Eric Kripke had actually originally planned on ending the show with its fifth season which saw Sam and Dean trying to avert the apocalypse.  But The CW felt that the ratings were strong enough (and they likely wanted to pad out the show’s syndication package), so they decided to keep the show running into a sixth season (Kripke would step down as showrunner at that point, though he has remained on as executive producer).  The series is now into its eighth season and feeling rather long in the tooth, and its ratings are sagging as well.  The show has averaged just a 0.9 rating for the season (based on the overnights), and even though that still ranks it as the networks third highest rated scripted show, those aren’t particularly strong numbers for fifth placed CW.  The network might be better off to move on to another property and give Supernatural the opportunity to go out on its own terms.  If they make the decision now, that should give the writers time to put together a decent series finale.  And the show doesn’t have too many story threads hanging at the moment, so they probably could potentially deliver a decent conclusion.  Or maybe bring it back for a shortened ninth season that would act as its swansong if this is too short notice.  It’s just that I’m reminded of The X-Files which went three to four seasons too long, and Supernatural is definitely taking on a similar vibe at this point.  So let the show have its big finale and give fans a sense of resolution, then let it have the rest it deserves.

Below are the full ratings results for last week’s shows and you can read more about the Revolution Fall finale and the Sunday shows at this link and you can see the full breakdown of last week’s numbers below.  Keep an eye on the Cancellation Watch Twitter Site for the early returns from this week’s Sunday and Monday 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.

Following are the ratings results (based on the overnights) 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 Nov 25th:

Once Upon A Time (ABC Sun 8 PM) Rating: 3.1 | Trend: Up | Cancellation Alert: Low
The Walking Dead (AMC Sun 9 PM) Rating: 5.4 | Trend: Up | Cancellation Alert: Low
666 Park Ave (ABC Sun 10 PM) Rating: 1.2 | Trend: Steady | Cancellation Alert: Cancelled
Revolution (NBC Mon 10 PM) Rating: 2.9 | Trend: Up | Cancellation Alert: Low
Arrow (CW Wed 8 PM) Rating: 1.3 | Trend: Steady | Cancellation Alert: Low
The Neighbors (ABC Wed 9:30 PM) Rating: Preempted | Trend: Down | Cancellation Alert: Moderate
Supernatural (CW Wed 9 PM) Rating: 0.8 | Trend: Down | Cancellation Alert: Moderate
American Horror Story (FX Wed 9 PM) Rating: 1.3 | Trend: Up | Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Last Resort (ABC Thu 8 PM) Rating: 1.0 | Trend: Down | Cancellation Alert: Cancelled
Vampire Diaries (CW Thu 8 PM) Rating: 1.4 | Trend: Up | Cancellation Alert: Low
Person of Interest (CBS Thu 9 PM) Rating: 2.9 | Trend: Steady | Cancellation Alert: Low
Beauty and the Beast (CW Thu 9 PM) Rating: 0.6 | Trend: Steady | Cancellation Alert: Medium
Nikita (CW Fri 9 PM) Rating: 0.4 | Trend: Up | Cancellation Alert: No Guess
Grimm (R) (NBC Fri 9 PM) Rating: 0.6 | Trend: Down | Cancellation Alert: Low
Fringe (FOX Fri 9 PM) Rating: Preempted | Trend: Steady | Cancellation Alert: Final Season
Haven (Syfy Fri 10 PM) Rating: Pending | Trend: Steady | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

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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