Stepping on Soap Box: Science fiction and fantasy television shows seem to be struggling in the ratings all the time and quite often this leads to a “Save My Show” campaign by fans pleading with the networks to keep their shows running. But we’ve never seen a “CANCEL this Show” campaign, even though I think it might be time for one with ABC’s horrid sitcom The Neighbors. That show returned from its hiatus this past week pulling some of the strongest numbers it has seen yet with a 2.1 rating in the 18-49 demographic and 6.7 million total viewers. Not that those results are spectacular, but for a half hour sitcom it may be enough to win it a renewal for a second season. But have you seen this show. It’s not only bad, it’s atrociously bad. I’ve yet to be able to sit through an entire episode because I find it so mind-numbingly god-awful that I have to turn it off after only a few minutes lest my brain shrivel up and roll out of my ear. Anybody remember Cavemen from 2007 (interestingly enough, also from ABC). That was the one that tried to extend the GEICO 60 second cavemen commercials into a weekly half hour sitcom and is often reviled as one of the worst series ever to hit television. That show is high art compared to The Neighbors. It completely baffles me how this show–which represents much of what is wrong with television in general, and most critics out there agree–is still on the air when the excellent and engaging Last Resort is in the process of airing out its last few episodes because ABC cancelled it in the Fall. So how about somebody get together a petition asking ABC to boot The Neighbors off their schedule? I’m sure they can find some late-night infomercials to fill the space that would be less offensive to the brain matter than this show. There’s actually a chance it could get cancelled anyway. It’s the lowest rated entry from ABC’s two hour Tuesday comedy block, and that could be enough to doom it. But then the networks don’t require huge ratings results from sitcoms because they are cheaper to make than full hour dramas, so there’s still a chance that they decide to keep it around. Let’s get a petition in place to convince them otherwise. Almost anything, including Cavemen, would be better than this show. Stepping off Soap Box now.
As for the other shows that had new episodes in the latter half of this past week, American Horror Story improved from its January 2nd airing, pulling a 1.5 rating in the 18-49 demo and 2.5 million total viewers. Without the competition from the bowl games that it faced at the beginning of the year, it improved its ranking to the third most watched cable series for the evening. On Thursday, the afore-mentioned Last Resort returned up a bit with a 1.2 rating and 5.8 million total viewers. That show will have its series finale on January 24th and then next month ABC will throw Zero Hour to the wolves in the same unforgiving timeslot. On CBS, Person of Interest continued its strong performance for the year even if it slipped a tick from its January 3rd episode to a 3.3 rating and 15.7 million total viewers. On Friday, Fringe returned with its penultimate episode but only scraped up a 0.8 rating and 2.4 million total viewers. The series finale for that show will air this coming Friday. And also of interest, a Star Trek: TNG themed episode of The Big Bang Theory delivered monster numbers and a series high of a 6.4 rating and twenty million (!) total viewers.
This week brings more new episodes of the Fall shows, and tonight Syfy’s Monday block returns with a new lineup of Continuum, Being Human, and Lost Girl. You can see the full schedule of mid-season genre shows at this link and my preview/predictions at this link. Keep an eye on the Cancellation Watch Twitter Site for the early returns from this week’s shows 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.
Once Upon A Time (ABC Sun 8 PM) Rating: 3.1 | Trend: Steady | Cancellation Alert: Low
The Walking Dead (AMC Sun 9 PM) Rating: On Hiatus | Trend: Steady | Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Continuum (Syfy Mon 8 PM) Rating: 41288.0 | Trend: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Low
Being Human (Syfy Mon 9 PM) Rating: 41288.0 | Trend: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Moderate
Lost Girl (Syfy Mon 10 PM) Rating: 41288.0 | Trend: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Low
Arrow (CW Wed 8 PM) Rating: On Hiatus | Trend: Down | Cancellation Alert: Low
The Neighbors (ABC Wed 9:30 PM) Rating: 2.1 | Trend: Up | Cancellation Alert: Moderate
Supernatural (CW Wed 9 PM) Rating: On Hiatus | Trend: Down | Cancellation Alert: Moderate
American Horror Story (FX Wed 9 PM) Rating: 1.5 | Trend: Up | Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Last Resort (ABC Thu 8 PM) Rating: 1.2 | Trend: Up | Cancellation Alert: Cancelled
Vampire Diaries (CW Thu 8 PM) Rating: On Hiatus | Trend: Up | Cancellation Alert: Low
Person of Interest (CBS Thu 9 PM) Rating: 3.3 | Trend: Steady | Cancellation Alert: Low
Beauty and the Beast (CW Thu 9 PM) Rating: On Hiatus | Trend: Steady | Cancellation Alert: Elevated
Nikita (CW Fri 9 PM) Rating: On Hiatus | Trend: Steady | Cancellation Alert: No Guess
Grimm (NBC Fri 9 PM) Rating: On Hiatus | Trend: Down | Cancellation Alert: Low
Fringe (FOX Fri 9 PM) Rating: 0.8 | Trend: Down | Cancellation Alert: Final Season
Haven (Syfy Fri 10 PM) Rating: On Hiatus | Trend: Steady | Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Revolution and Grimm will resume in March
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.