Cancellation Watch: Resurrection Debuts Strong and Believe Has a Decent Bow as Well

By | March 12, 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 Friday through Monday sci fi / fantasy shows:

resurrection-abc-cancelledSeries Premieres: Two supernatural oriented shows had their debuts on successive nights early this week and both pulled impressive numbers.  Most notable of these two is ABC’s Resurrection which bowed on Sunday and scored a nice 3.8 rating in the 18-49 demographic with a strong 13.9 million total viewers.  That’s quite a win for ABC and gives it the best ratings it has seen on that night I believe since early in Once Upon A Time‘s first season.  And what’s even more impressive is the fact that Resurrection pulled those numbers while airing directly against a new episode of The Walking Dead, the highest rated scripted show currently on television (Resurrection actually beat TWD in total viewers).  I would have thought that the 9 PM EST hour on Sunday would have been a tough one because ABC has struggled there since Desperate Housewives bowed out two seasons ago and because of the competition from TWD.  On top of that, Resurrection doesn’t have much in the way of star power behind it (though Brad Pitt is an executive producer) and I don’t believe the book it is based on (The Returned by Jason Mott) was that big of a bestseller.  But it does go to show you that sometime a series just manages to pique the interest of the TV audience.  I consider this a surprise hit along the line of FOX’s Sleepy Hollow which I originally did not expect to make much in the way of waves on Prime Time.  But that one is now headed to a second season, and the future looks bright for Resurrection as well.  And considering it didn’t have much in the way of a strong lead-in bolstering its numbers (Once Upon A Time returned up, but not that far up), there’s no reason to expect it to drop much next week.  It will trend down some, because that’s the usual pattern, but unless it drops off considerably (which I consider unlikely), this show is in good shape to cruise into a second season.  Don’t count it renewed just yet, but I like its chances at this point.

The other debuting series was NBC’s Believe and that one pulled decent numbers on Monday with a 2.7 rating in the 18-49 demographic and 10.7 million total viewers.  Those numbers aren’t nearly as good as what Resurrection enjoyed, but they are not bad in today’s Prime Time landscape for one of the Big Four broadcast networks.  However, Believe had the added advantage of a lead-in from ratings powerhouse The Voice to boost its debut numbers and next week it moves to the Sunday 9 PM EST timeslot where it will have stiff competition from Resurrection plus The Walking Dead.  In its favor, Believe did pretty well on Monday against strong competition from The Bachelor on ABC, but will it be able to stand up on a night that the broadcast nets have been struggling with lately?  If that show can stay above a 2.0 rating based on the overnights, I think its chances for a second season look decent.  But if it drops below that, I’m pretty sure the execs at NBC will stop Believing in it (sorry, couldn’t resist).  Its numbers for its first Sunday airing will be telling, so fans of the show should watch that closely.  Of course it does have J.J. Abrams and Academy Award winning Alfonso Cuarón attached to it as well, so that will work in the show’s favor.  But if the numbers drop too low, that will probably not be enough to save it.  It’s too early to make a call on this one right now, but by the time Sunday’s results come out we should have a clearer picture.

On the Hot Seat: And now for the struggling sci fi / fantasy shows: On Friday, Syfy’s Helix remained at a 0.4 rating in the 18-49 demo with 1.3 million total viewers.  It’s hard to say if those numbers are good enough to win it a second season, so I am keeping that one firmly as a bubble show for now.  On NBC, Hannibal dropped notably from its Season 2 premiere as it scrapped up only a 0.8 rating with 2.5 million total viewers.  That’s where the show was when it ended its first season, so maybe its good enough for its network for the Friday 10 PM EST hour (as Dracula fans scream their show did better in that timeslot).  And there are too many other intangibles influencing this show for me to try and make any reasonable prediction on its future.  Also on Friday, The Neighbors slipped to a 0.9 rating with 3.6 million total viewers as that one certainly seems to be stumbling to the end of its run.  On Monday, Intelligence actually improved its numbers a tick to a 1.3 rating with 6.5 million total viewers, and that was in the face of stiff competition from Believe and The Bachelor.  But it is still the second lowest rated scripted show on CBS, so its prospects continue to look grim.  CW Monday entries Star-Crossed and Beauty and the Beast continued to languish as the former slipped to a 0.3 rating with one million total viewers and the latter slipped to its lowest rating yet with a 0.2 score and about 800k in total viewers.  Beauty and the Beast now gets shelved until May with The Tomorrow People taking its timeslot and that latter show can’t be thrilled about moving into this underperforming hour.

Other Ratings News:  On Sunday, AMC’s The Walking Dead slipped again to a 6.3 rating in the 18-49 demo and 12.7 million total viewers.  That one is still far and above almost everything else on television ratings-wise, so it has plenty of leeway.  Once Upon A Time returned to Sundays after a long hiatus and wicked witches and flying monkeys seemed to have helped its numbers.  The show pulled a 2.4 rating with 7.7 million total viewers which gave it the best numbers it has seen since October.  On Friday, NBC’s Grimm improved to a 1.5 rating with 5.7 million total viewers as that one coasts into an almost certain fourth season renewal.  On Monday, MTV’s Teen Wolf slipped a bit to a 0.8 rating with 1.8 million total viewers.  That one is plenty safe, though, as it has already been renewed for a fourth season.  Syfy’s Being Human (which was recently cancelled) improved its numbers to a 0.5 rating with 1.1 million total viewers.  And while some might decry that it is not sci fi, FOX’s revival of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos holds much interest to many genre fans (myself included), and that ten-part series bowed on Sunday (directly against Resurrection and The Walking Dead) with a decent 2.1 rating and 8.5 million total viewers (which includes its simulcast across the many FOX cable channels).

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.

Ratings Source: TV by the Numbers and The Futon Critic

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

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