Cancellation Watch: Can GetGlue Save Once Upon A Time in Wonderland? Plus, The Walking Dead is Still Devouring the Nielsens

By | October 22, 2013

Before the season began, I predicted that ABC’s Once Upon A Time in Wonderland would struggle in the Thursday 8 PM EST timeslot, and that’s exactly what we have seen with the freshman series through its first two episodes.  This past Thursday’s airing slipped to only a 1.2 rating in the 18-49 demo with a mere 4.5 million total viewers and it ranked fifth place–behind The CW’s Vampire Diaries–in its timeslot.  Last February, mid-season replacement series Zero Hour quickly disappeared from that hour (after Last Resort sunk there earlier in the season), getting pulled after only three episodes aired.  That show started with a 1.4 rating, followed by a 1.1 score and then a 1.0 before ABC yanked it.  Wonderland started a little bit better with a 1.7 rating, but sunk considerably this past week to a 1.2.  If that trend continues, it would seem reasonable to expect ABC to kick the show from the schedule after this week.  However, Wonderland has one thing going in its favor and that is social media.  The series landed at Number 6 in the GetGlue charts with its premiere episode and still remained in the Top 10 this past week at Number 8 (I’ll post the full numbers for last week’s genre shows in a couple of days).  The GetGlue charts track activity from their site based on people “checking in” with the shows and I believe it also tracks other social media activity relating to the shows as well.  This is a relatively new tracking system, though, so it’s hard to gauge how much impact it will have.  The Nielsen Company has also started tracking social media activity this year, focusing on Twitter activity related to a show immediately before, during, and after it airs live.  Wonderland didn’t make it into the Top 10 Nielsen rankings, but two weeks in a row on GetGlue is still notable.  If ABC doesn’t yank the show if it sinks again this coming Thursday, then perhaps that additional factor could be helping to keep it afloat.  It’s also possible they could move this one to Sundays at 10 PM where the network’s not doing very well with new series Betrayal, and let it air out in that slot.  Wonderland was designed as a close-ended series that will wrap up at the end of its first season (with additional story possibilities in the can if it did do well in the ratings), and it will almost certainly just get tacked on to the parent series in any syndication package.  So ABC stands to make money on it anyway.  But with its sinking ratings, it remains to be seen if they will air out its episodes in the season or kick it to a Summer burn-off run like they did with Zero Hour.

On Sunday, AMC’s The Walking Dead had a huge ratings drop of over a full point, going from last week’s 8.2 score all the way to a 7.1 with right at 14 million total viewers . . . which only means that show is descending slightly from the stratosphere.  It was unreasonable to expect that it would stay at the same levels as its Season 4 premiere (which was the most watched non-sports airing on cable ever) and it’s still far above anything that cable or the broadcast nets have on the air that doesn’t involve some sort of ball getting tossed around.  Expect this one to level off somewhere between a 6 and 7 score in the coming weeks then shoot back up for its mid-season finale.

On Monday, FOX’s Sleepy Hollow was a repeat (already?) which seemed to be a big help to The CW’s Beauty and the Beast as that one doubled its rating to a 0.6 score with 1.7 million total viewers (the CBS comedies in that hour were in repeats as well).  Those are the best numbers for that show since April of last year.  However, those are based on the preliminaries so they could still be adjusted down.  And it will be interesting to see how that one performs when it has to compete with new episodes on the other nets next week.  If it can stay above a 0.5 score, though, it might have a chance of surviving on the fifth place network.  On Sunday over on ABC, Once Upon A Time continues to slip in the ratings, this time to a 2.1 score (based on the final numbers) with just over seven million total viewers.  Still, it was the top rated scripted show on the broadcast networks (and actually topped all non-sports programming except 60 Minutes), so it’s doing relatively well on a night when the old-school channels continue to lose the battle to cable.  Plus, Once Upon A Time continues to do well in social network tracking as it was the Number 2 broadcast net show in the GetGlue Top 10.  Over on Lifetime, The Witches of East End slipped a couple of ticks to a 0.6 rating with 1.7 million total viewers.  Still, those are decent enough numbers for that network. 

On Friday, The Neighbors improved slightly to a 1.0 rating in the 18-49 demo and 4.3 million total viewers, but that doesn’t help its prospects much as it will almost certainly not remain on the schedule past mid-season.  Over on Syfy, Haven continues to track low at a 0.4 rating with 1.5 million total viewers.  Likely the best that show can hope for at this point is a shortened fifth season renewal to wrap up its storylines similar to what the network is doing with Warehouse 13.  On Thursday, Vampire Diaries had its best outing of the season with a 1.3 rating (based on the final numbers) and 2.9 million total viewers (beating out Once Upon A Time in Wonderland in that timeslot).  That network is seeing its numbers edge up and is having a relatively strong beginning of the season.  

Here are the season to date numbers and standings through October 21st for all the shows that have bowed so far (sorted by most likely to get cancelled):

Series Network / Airs (EST) Cancel- lation Alert StD Rating StD Eps Tracking
Beauty and the Beast CW / Mon 9 PM Elevated 0.4 3 Up
Revolution NBC / Wed 8 PM Elevated 1.6 4 Down
The Neighbors ABC / Fri 8:30 PM Elevated 1.0 5 Low
Once Upon A Time in Wonderland ABC / Thu 8 PM Elevated 1.5 2 Down
Haven Syfy / Fri 9 PM Moderate 0.4 6 Low
Arrow CW / Wed 8 PM Low 1.0 2 Up
Supernatural CW / Tue 9 PM Low 1.1 2 Decent
The Tomorrow People CW / Wed 9 PM Low 0.9 2 Down
The Originals CW / Tue 8 PM Low 1.0 3 Up
Vampire Diaries CW / Thu 8 PM Low 1.2 3 Up
Witches of East End Life / Sun 9 PM Low 0.7 3 Down
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ABC / Tue 8 PM Low 3.4 4 Down
Once Upon A Time ABC / Sun 8 PM Low 2.4 4 Down
Person of Interest CBS / Tue 10 PM Low 2.2 4 Up
The Walking Dead AMC / Sun 9 PM Low 7.7 2 Down
American Horror Story: Coven FX / Wed 10 PM Low 2.8 2 Down
Sleepy Hollow FOX / Mon 9 PM Renewed 3.0 5 Down

Grimm and Dracula will have their bows on NBC on Friday, and there are still two more shows with Fall premieres after that (see the full schedule at this link).  And keep an eye on the Cancellation Watch Twitter Site for the quickest ratings updates and on this site for the latest analysis of how this season’s shows are performing.

Ratings Source: TV by the Numbers

Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2013 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.

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