As I tweeted over the weekend, the last two sci fi / fantasy shows that we were waiting to hear word on learned their fates and neither was a huge surprise. CBS cancelled the Josh Holloway starring series Intelligence and one season, and NBC chose not to continue the “limited run” series Dracula.
The CBS move seemed like a sure thing since early after Intelligence debuted. That series bowed to decent numbers when it had a special Tuesday premiere following NCIS, but went on a sharp decline after moving to its regular Monday 10 PM EST timeslot. That was a difficult hour for the freshman series to build an audience and it didn’t help that CBS ran new episodes of Intelligence directly against Olympics coverage when most other networks retreated to repeats and specials. The series quickly slipped to the point that it became one of the lowest rated scripted shows on its network, and going into last week there seemed little chance that it would get a renewal nod. That was in part because of its low ratings but also due to the fact that it’s network has a particular aversion to sci fi /fantasy entries, preferring instead something with CSI or NCIS in the title or Chuck Lorre attached as the producer (coming next season: How I Met Your Uncle Who Works for CSI: Pasadena). Intelligence never had the opportunity to develop much of a fanbase and seems sure to fade into the TV landscape as another promising series cut short.
The ratings for NBC’s Dracula suggested it would get cancelled as well, but part of me thought it still had a chance because its international production made it cheaper to NBC, similar to that network’s Hannibal. It didn’t produce monster numbers in its Friday 10 PM EST timeslot, but it didn’t need to (and it did average higher than Hannibal in the same hour). But apparently the deal was not lucrative enough to convince NBC to keep it going beyond the initially promised “limited run” (it was definitely set up to continue, though), and that show received the ax as well. It did develop a small fanbase, though, and its production company likely has the option to continue it on another network or a streaming service like Netflix of Amazon. And if the ten episode first season played well overseas, it may still have the chance of continuing into additional seasons. Keep an eye on this site and the Cancelled Sci Fi Twitter Site over the next few weeks for any developments on Dracula and the other cancelled shows.
Also watch in the coming weeks for the full schedule of Fall 2014 sci fi / fantasy shows that I will be compiling shortly once the networks are done unveiling their schedules this week at the upfronts as well as my recap on this last season and other thoughts on the current state of sci fi TV.