Cancellation Watch: Agents of SHIELD May Come Back Next Season, But It Won’t Be the Same If It Does

By | March 7, 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.

Ratings Results for the Tuesday through Thursday sci fi / fantasy shows:

agents-of-shield-cancelledOn the Hot Seat: So ABC’s Agents of SHIELD returned from a one month break this past Thursday and pulled out the big guns with fan favorite Bill Paxton only to see its ratings drop to their lowest level yet.  This week’s episode could only must a 1.8 rating in the 18-49 demographic with 5.5 million total viewers.  That sinks it below the 2.0 threshold that I thought could be its death knell and will almost certainly keep it out of this week’s Top 25 for the first time that the series has aired a new episode.  Now there are people out there claiming this show can’t get cancelled because it is a spin-off from the highly profitable Avengers franchise.  And there may be some truth in that, but when it comes down to the bottom dollar, corporations are always willing to cut out the laggers, despite the PR costs.  If Agents of SHIELD does manage to get a second season renewal, I’m pretty sure that its return will bring big changes.  And change may not be a bad thing for this series which–by general consensus–seems to have stagnated.  But it would be nice if that change would involve allowing the Whedon clan–who have been helming the show–to bring back in some of their trademark quirkiness which we saw early on.  However, it’s more likely that the corporate powers will go in the other direction and push for more action-oriented plots to bring back the audience that bowed out feeling the show was too tame.  And that still may not be a bad thing, especially if they start pulling in more characters and stories from the comics.  In any case, if this show does survive into a second season, expect some major shakeups to try and revitalize it and re-grab some of its early ratings success.  At this point, I have moved the show to bubble status in my latest Power Rankings and I have it at a Moderate Cancellation Alert.  I acknowledge that it may be bullet-proof because of the superhero franchise it stems from, but the numbers dictate that its status is tenuous at this point.

Also continuing to struggle is The CW’s Tomorrow People.  That series sunk to its lowest numbers yet on Wednesday, scraping up only a 0.4 rating in the 18-49 demo with 1.2 million total viewers.  That has the show at Syfy ratings levels (and iffy ones at that) and to pile on the bad news, The Tomorrow People moves to Mondays the week after next.  That night has been a disaster for The CW this season and will surely lead to this show continuing its ratings declines.  Also on Wednesday, Revolution continued to fly low as it pulled another 1.3 rating with 4.8 million total viewers.  Time could be running out for this show, though it does have a rather vocal fanbase that could rally for it to return for another season.  And on Thursday, ABC’s Once Upon A Time in Wonderland returned from its extended hiatus only to match its season low of a 0.8 rating with 3.1 million total viewers.  The only question for this one now is whether ABC will kick it to Fridays in short order or possibly send it to a Summer burn-off run.  Or have they just ceded the Thursday 8 PM EST timeslot and consider this the show’s burn-off run?

Other Ratings News:  The last few days were tough for most genre shows as several saw their numbers sink to season lows.  On Tuesday, The Originals pulled only a 0.8 rating with 1.8 million total viewers and Supernatural did only slightly better with a 0.9 rating and 1.9 million total viewers.  It’s not uncommon to see the numbers drop off for CW shows this time of year, though, because they tend to intersperse repeats in with new episodes, and viewers don’t seem to know when the new eps are airing.  In any case, both of those shows have already been renewed.  Also on Tuesday, Person of Interest sunk to a new ratings low of a 1.7 rating, though its total viewer numbers were still quite good at 10.6 million (a good thing on older-skewing CBS).  On Wednesday, Arrow also hit a series low of a 0.7 rating with 2.2 million total viewers.  That show has already been renewed, so not too much to worry about there.  And on Thursday, Vampire Diaries improved slightly to a 1.0 rating with 2.2 million total viewers while also beating Once Upon A Time in Wonderland in the 8 PM timeslot.

And if you think the ratings numbers have been low this week, just wait until next week.  The typical trend following the Daylight Saving Time shift is for ratings to slip off for at least a week or two.  So some of the shows hitting ratings lows this week could fall even further in the next week or two.

Keep an eye on the Cancelled Sci Fi Twitter Site for the latest ratings results as well as any updates or breaking news.  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.

Here are the season to date (StD) numbers and standings through March 6th 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 Airings Tracking
Being Human Syfy / Mon 9 PM Cancelled 0.5 8 Steady
Once Upon A Time in Wonderland ABC / Thu 8 PM High 1.1 9 Low
Dracula NBC / Fri 10 PM High 1.1 10 Up
Beauty and the Beast CW / Mon 9 PM High 0.3 14 Low
The Neighbors ABC / Fri 8:30 PM High 1.0 19 Low
Intelligence CBS / Mon 10 PM Elevated 1.4 9 Low
The Tomorrow People CW / Wed 9 PM Elevated 0.6 17 Down
Revolution NBC / Wed 8 PM Elevated 1.4 17 Low
Star-Crossed CW / Mon 8 PM Medium 0.4 3 Up
Almost Human FOX / Mon 8 PM Medium 1.8 13 Down
Helix Syfy / Fri 9 PM Moderate 0.4 8 Down
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ABC / Tue 8 PM Moderate 2.6 16 Down
Once Upon A Time ABC / Sun 8 PM Low 2.2 11 Down
Grimm NBC / Fri 9 PM Low 1.5 16 Down
Person of Interest CBS / Tue 10 PM Low 2.0 18 Down
Teen Wolf MTV / Mon 9 PM Renewed 0.9 9 Good
Witches of East End Life / Sun 9 PM Renewed 0.7 11 Down
The Walking Dead AMC / Sun 9 PM Renewed 6.7 12 Down
Sleepy Hollow FOX / Mon 9 PM Renewed 2.6 12 Up
American Horror Story: Coven FX / Wed 10 PM Renewed 2.2 13 Up
Haven Syfy / Fri 10 PM Renewed 0.4 13 Low
Arrow CW / Wed 8 PM Renewed 1.0 17 Down
Supernatural CW / Tue 9 PM Renewed 1.0 17 Down
The Originals CW / Tue 8 PM Renewed 1.0 17 Down
Vampire Diaries CW / Thu 8 PM Renewed 1.1 17 Up
Nikita CW / Fri 9 PM Final Season 0.2 5 Low

Ratings Source: TV by the Numbers and The Futon Critic

Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2014 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.


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