Cancellation Watch: Helix has Okay Debut, Revolution Returns Up but Not by Much

By | January 14, 2014

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Unless otherwise noted, the ratings numbers below are based on the final overnights and may vary slightly from the preliminaries reported on the Cancelled Sci Fi Twitter Site.

The second half of last week brought a few more shows back from their Winter hiatus plus the much-anticipated debut of one new series:

helix-black-gooDebuting: Syfy’s Helix had its bow on Friday night, but its Nielsen numbers did not quite meet up to the early buzz that has been surrounding the Ronald Moore produced series.  The double-episode premiere of the series pulled a 0.6 rating in the 18-49 demographic with 1.8 million total viewers.  Those are decent numbers for a Syfy show, but nothing to get excited about.  And they also don’t give the show much leeway for the expected downward trend that usually follows a series premiere.  I would guess that the shows to drop to at least a 0.5 score with its next episode, and at that level it is probably still okay based on the survival rate we have seen from other Syfy shows of late.  But if it trends lower to a 0.4, then it is definitely in bubble territory just like Haven which recently wrapped up its fourth season in the Friday night timeslot.  Of course the network’s spin department touted several viewership milestones for the premiere, but it seems like they were stretching a bit and this is definitely one of the lower debuts for an original, scripted Syfy show in a while (not including the import shows like Continuum or Sinbad).  As I previously mentioned, Friday is no longer a strong night for that network and scheduling the show then did it no favors.  I’m going to keep Helix at a low Cancellation Alert status for now, but that will change quickly if its numbers drop for this coming Friday’s episode, and I do expect those to drop.  As a note, the reviews for the show are somewhat mixed at this point (you can see my comments at this link), so it seems to have also fallen short quality wise.  Maybe it picks up its stride after a few more episodes, but it has to hope the audience is patient and sticks around.

On the Hot Seat: NBC’s Revolution returned from hiatus last week and managed to improve its numbers slightly, but probably not enough to make much of a difference at this point.  Last Wednesday’s episode pulled a 1.5 rating in the 18-49 demo with 5.9 million total viewers.  The network’s spin department keeps trying to claim that the show is doing well, but based on where it stands next to the other NBC dramas and its timeslot competition, it still seems pretty certain that one will get the axe come season end unless it turns around its numbers real quickly.  Also returning was ABC’s The Neighbors which pulled its best numbers in a while: a 1.1 rating with 4.8 million total viewers.  That improvement is not enough to make a difference, though, as it likely airs out its remaining episodes this January then beams back up into space for good.  Over on NBC on Friday, Dracula dropped to its lowest level yet, pulling only a 0.7 score with 2.5 million total viewers.  That show has two more episodes left and should basically be considered de facto cancelled at this point.

Other Ratings News: Also on Friday, NBC’s Grimm slipped to a 1.3 rating with 5.3 million total viewers.  If its season long trend holds, it will rise back up a couple of ticks with its next episode.  Even then, it’s still doing well enough for a Friday series and its a third season show as well, so it looks safe for a fourth year nod at this point.  And on Wednesday, FX’s American Horror Story: Coven returned, though it numbers slipped some from where it ended in Fall.  The show’s first 2014 episode pulled a 1.8 rating with 3.5 million total viewers.  Despite the drop, it won the night among cable shows (and outpaced Revolution‘s numbers from earlier in the night) and it has already been renewed for a fourth season.

The numbers for the Monday broadcast net shows should be available later this morning, so keep an eye on the Cancelled Sci Fi Twitter Site for those.  And Monday also brought the return of Syfy’s three hours of original shows for that evening, so keep an eye out for those numbers and the returns on the rest of this week’s genre entries.  You can see the current status for all this season’s genre show at this link, and for more information on the ratings numbers and how I determine the Cancellation Alert status of a show, see the Cancelled Sci Fi FAQ.

Available on DVD and Blu-Ray from January 14th:

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3 thoughts on “Cancellation Watch: Helix has Okay Debut, Revolution Returns Up but Not by Much

  1. Rudi Pittman

    Are you not tracking the show “Bitten” which recently had it’s pilot ep? Saturday in Canada and I think Monday on Syfy. Where can we go to find out about shows that are not scifi? You have most of my shows covered but I do have one or two stragglers.

    1. admin Post author

      Should be reporting the numbers for the Bitten premiere shortly, keep an eye on the Cancelled Sci Fi Twitter site for the early numbers and on this site later in the week for an analysis of those numbers. For non-sci fi / fantasy shows, got to TV by the Numbers. They are only tracking U.S. ratings, though, so for Canada shows you may need to do some searching.

    2. admin Post author

      Okay, apparently Bitten is considered a Canadian import with its home network being the Space Channel. Its Syfy premiere did not make it into the Top 100 U.S. Cable shows, but Lost Girl didn’t make it either and Continuum often falls short of that mark as well. So its performance in Canada will likely more strongly impact its fate. We will keep an eye out to see if there is word on those numbers.


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