Cancellation Watch: Intelligence and Helix Facing Uncertain Futures, Almost Human Hurt Again by FOX’s Scheduling

By | January 22, 2014

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 Nielsens had little but bad news for most the sci fi / fantasy shows that aired on Friday of last week and Monday of this week:

On the Hot Seat:  CBS spy fi series Intelligence looked like a strong contender when it debuted two weeks ago, but has fallen far since then and looks almost certainly on target for a date with the network executioner at this point.  That show slipped again with its most recent episode to a 1.1 in the 18-49 demo with 5.6 million total viewers (based on  the preliminaries).  Those are definitely not strong enough numbers to carry the show into a second season–especially on sci fi averse CBS–and I believe that only a scheduling move can help it at this point.  However, networks rarely do that, and CBS is particularly merciless when shows fall below their ratings expectations.  If it sinks any more, the show could find itself yanked and cast off to a Fridays or a Summer burn-off run.  At this point, I am moving it to an Elevated Cancellation Alert status and unless it improves notably next week–highly unlikely–I will be moving it to the highest alert status.

helix-cancelledAnother new series that is struggling is Syfy’s Helix.  That show had a somewhat unspectacular debut a couple of weeks ago and last Friday’s episode saw it sink to a 0.4 rating in the 18-49 demo with 1.4 million total viewers.  That rating number is what Haven averaged in the same timeslot for its fourth season and that show is currently awaiting word on its fate which seems very tenuous at this point (maybe Syfy needs to realize that’s not a good hour for its original, scripted programming?).  And the total viewers that Helix pulled with last Friday’s episode is somewhat tepid for that network as well.  This is another show that might benefit from a scheduling change, but that seems pretty unlikely in this case as well.  I’m only putting this show at a Moderate Cancellation Alert status at this point, as Syfy usually has a little more patience than the broadcast nets, but it needs to get those numbers up to at least a 0.5 score consistently if it wants to stick around.

And another new show got kicked by its network just as it was starting to show some life.  FOX’s Almost Human has been on a ratings upswing since returning from hiatus, pulling a 2.0 rating in the 18-49 demo last Monday which was its best score since its premiere last November.  But then they kicked it off the schedule for two weeks with Sleepy Hollow having its two hour season finale this week and The Following returning to Mondays with a two episode timeslot debut next week.  So Almost Human will not have another new episode until February 3rd and that could very well hurt the momentum the show was building with its first two episodes of the year.  If this one does end up getting cancelled–and I currently have it on the bubble–you can directly blame FOX’s poor scheduling with its late season bow and stifling preemptions.

NBC’s Dracula improved its numbers slightly on Friday, pulling a 0.9 rating in the 18-49 demo with 2.8 million total viewers for its penultimate episode.  But that is still far too low and this series will almost certainly return to the grave after next week’s finale.  ABC’s The Neighbors slipped back to a 0.9 rating with 3.7 million total viewers but somehow that one managed to get a full season order of twenty two episodes that I wasn’t aware of (maybe they did that with the initial second season renewal last May).  So it looks like it will be sticking around until it has aired out that order, but I can’t see the network committing to any more beyond that point.

Other Ratings News:  NBC’s Grimm improved its numbers on Friday as it rose to a 1.5 rating in the 18-49 demo with 5.7 million total viewers.  That show continues to go up and down in the ratings, but its average is still good for the low viewership night it airs on.  Monday’s Sleepy Hollow season finale drew a 2.3 rating with 6.9 million total viewers (based on the preliminaries).  Those are okay numbers, though I’m sure FOX would have preferred to see that show go out stronger.  We will now have to wait until next season to see if it can sustain its viewership or if its ratings attrition will continue.

Because of ratings delays from the MLK holiday, the Monday cable numbers are not available yet, so keep an eye on the Cancelled Sci Fi Twitter Site for those which should be out later today.  You can see the current status for all this season’s genre shows 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.

Ratings Source: TV by the Numbers

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

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