Cancellation Watch: Last Resort Sails Quietly to the Horizon

By | January 28, 2013

ABC’s cancelled Last Resort had its final episode this past Thursday, and while it went out a bit higher than its average so far for January, it didn’t make too many waves in the Nieslens with its finale.  The episode pulled a 1.2 rating in the 18-49 demographic (up from 1.0 the prior week) with 5.5 million viewers.  Since the producers received enough advanced notice on the cancellation, they had the chance to rewrite the finale to resolve most of the storylines (haven’t watched it yet, so I don’t know how well they succeeded).  This will give the show more of a mini-series feel, which many people felt was more appropriate to its premise.  And now, starting on February 14th, ABC throws the arc-heavy conspiracy theory series Zero Hour into the highly competitive Thursday 8 PM EST timeslot that proved brutal for Last Resort.  Currently, I’m not giving that new series good odds on succeeding based on that scheduling decision (more on that at this link and you can see the full mid-season schedule of genre shows at this link).

FX’s The American Horror Story also wrapped up its current season last week, though that one has received a renewal for a third season.  The season (and story arc) finale for the show’s sophomore year (dubbed American Horror Story: Asylum) pulled a 1.3 rating in the 18-49 demo and 2.3 million total viewers.  That was down from the show’s Season 1 finale which enjoyed a 1.7 rating, and last Wednesdays’ episode also fell behind repeats of Family Guy and The Big Bang Theory.  But it still did well for a basic cable series even if it has slipped some from its Season 1 performance.

Most of the shows on The CW remained stable in the ratings  last week with Wednesday’s Arrow and Supernatural staying on par with their prior week performances and Vampire Diaries dropping one tick to a 1.3 rating.  Beauty and the Beast returned from its hiatus on an up note, pulling a 0.7 rating and 1.8 million total viewers.  That’s better by one tick than the 0.6 the show had for its last Fall episode, but it can’t be too happy to know that a repeat of Person of Interest more than doubled those numbers (pulling a 1.9 rating).  And on Friday, Nikita had its best rating for the season as it was the only scripted show running a new episode on the broadcast networks that night.  It pulled a 0.5 rating and 1.6 million total viewers.

I covered the Sunday and Monday shows (including the debut of FOX’s The Following) in my mid-week column last week and you can see the numbers for all of last week’s shows below.  You can 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.

Ratings Results for the Week of Jan 20: 
Once Upon A Time (ABC Sun 8 PM) Rating: 2.4 | Trend: Down | Cancellation Alert: Low
The Walking Dead (AMC Sun 9 PM) Rating: On Hiatus | Trend: Steady | Cancellation Alert: Renewed
The Following (FOX Mon 9 PM) Rating: 3.2 | Trend: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Low
Being Human (Syfy Mon 9 PM) Rating: 0.5 | Trend: Steady | Cancellation Alert: Moderate
Arrow (CW Wed 8 PM) Rating: 1.1 | Trend: Steady | Cancellation Alert: Low
The Neighbors (ABC Wed 9:30 PM) Rating: 2.0 | Trend: Up | Cancellation Alert: Moderate
Supernatural (CW Wed 9 PM) Rating: 0.9 | Trend: Steady | Cancellation Alert: Low
American Horror Story (FX Wed 9 PM) Rating: 1.3 | Trend: Steady | Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Last Resort (ABC Thu 8 PM) Rating: 1.2 | Trend: Up | Cancellation Alert: Cancelled
Vampire Diaries (CW Thu 8 PM) Rating: 1.3 | Trend: Down | Cancellation Alert: Low
Person of Interest (R) (CBS Thu 9 PM) Rating: 1.9 | Trend: Steady | Cancellation Alert: Low
Beauty and the Beast (CW Thu 9 PM) Rating: 0.7 | Trend: Up | Cancellation Alert: Moderate
Nikita (CW Fri 9 PM) Rating: 0.5 | Trend: Up | Cancellation Alert: Moderate
Fringe (FOX Fri 9 PM) Rating: Ended | Trend: Up | Cancellation Alert: Final Season
Haven (Syfy Fri 10 PM) Rating: Pending | Trend: Steady | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

Revolution and Grimm will resume in March. Lost Girl and Continuum not as heavily tied to U.S. ratings

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

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