Cancellation Watch: Game of Thrones Reigns Supreme with Season 4 Debut, Gets Renewed for 2 More Seasons

By | April 9, 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:

Game-Of-Thrones-19Ratings Win/Renewal Notice: HBO’s Game of Thrones returned with its fourth season on Sunday night and pulled its best numbers yet with a 3.6 rating in the 18-49 demographic and 6.6 million total viewers.  And while those may not be at the Walking Dead level (that show’s fourth season bow earned an 8.2 score), that’s still a very impressive accomplishment.  GoT‘s 3.6 rating beat all but two shows on the broadcast networks this last week (How I Met Your Mother and Big Bang Theory, both on CBS), which is impressive in itself.  But than factor in that the people tuning in to GoT paid to watch that show whereas people can tune in to CBS for free (allegedly).  With The Walking Dead blowing away all non-sports programming on television and Game of Thrones making a strong showing as well in addition to other cable offerings like American Horror Story and non-genre entries Breaking Bad and Sons of Anarchy, the old-school broadcast networks are continuing to lose ground and the television landscape could experience some major restructuring in the coming years.  And it comes as no surprise that GoT‘s network HBO announced the show’s renewal yesterday for a fifth and sixth season.  That was pretty much just a rubberstamp and this show could well go beyond ten seasons as they are now splitting out the books across multiple years.  Game of Thrones is one hell of a good show and deserves its accolades, but cable in general is helping television take major steps forward as the broadcast nets continue to regurgitate ersatz product which has led to an ever increasing ratings attrition for those channels.

On the Hot Seat: Speaking of which, NBC’s new entry Believe (which actually isn’t half bad) slipped yet again in the ratings, this time to a 1.0 score in the 18-49 demo with 4.3 million total viewers.  Had this one stayed closer to its initial Sunday numbers (a 1.5 rating), it might have had a chance for renewal.  But at this level it seems surely a goner unless NBC gets behind the show and moves it to a timeslot where more people can find it.  That seems highly unlikely at this point, though.  On Friday, ABC’s The Neighbors slipped to a 0.9 rating with 3.9 million total viewers which puts it back into unacceptable levels even for a Friday show.  Hannibal also dropped to match its series low of a 0.8 rating with 2.2 million total viewers.  Whether NBC will tolerate those numbers in the late Friday hour remains to be seen.  On Monday, The CW’s Star-Crossed pulled another 0.3 score with right at one million total viewers as that one continues to air out it episodes before heading to sure cancellation.  And Syfy’s already cancelled Being Human pulled a 0.6 rating with 1.4 million viewers for its series finale, giving that network the best numbers it has seen in that hour for quite some time.  The Tomorrow People slipped into repeats and that one is still certain to be cancelled.

Other Ratings News: On Friday, Grimm slipped to a 1.4 rating in the 18-49 demo with 4.9 million total viewers.  It has already been renewed, though, and that’s only one tick below its season to date average.  On Sunday, ABC’s Once Upon A Time continues its late season surge (relatively speaking) as it improved to a 2.4 rating with 7.3 million total viewers.  ABC has yet to announce its renewals, but when it does expect this show to be included.  Resurrection continues to remain off the hot seat as it slipped to a 2.2 rating with 8.1 million total viewers.  Those numbers were good enough to keep it in the Top 20 for the week (just barely), but it needs to halt its slide now.  And FOX’s Cosmos reboot held steady at a 1.5 rating with right at four million total viewers.

We’ve heard quite a number of renewal announcements over the last few weeks (including Game of Thrones, Helix, Grimm, and Person of Interest), but only two cancellations: Being Human and Once Upon A Time in Wonderland.  More could come at any time, though so keep an eye on this site and the Cancelled Sci Fi Twitter Site for breaking announcements as well as the latest ratings numbers.  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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