Cancellation Watch: Under The Dome Returns Down, The Leftovers Debuts Soft, Defiance and Dominion are Struggling

By | July 2, 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 sci fi / fantasy shows airing Tuesday 6/24 through Monday 6/30:

Under-the-Dome-CancelledCBS Summer series Under The Dome had its debut on Monday night, though its numbers were rather tepid compared to its first year performance.  The show pulled a 2.1 rating in the 18-49 demographic with 9.4 million total viewers for its second season bow.  Still, while that might seem like a major drop from the numbers it was pulling in its first year, that 2.1 rating will likely place it in the Top 5 shows for the broadcast networks for the week based on ratings.  Apparently the ratings decline we saw during the regular season has carried over to Summer and that had a negative impact on UtD‘s raw numbers.  I have adjusted the previous target number I assigned to this one accordingly and I believe that if it stays in the upper 1’s with its ratings for its second season, then it should be okay considering the time of year that it airs.  But should it slip down to the lower 1’s, then it may have reason to worry.

On Sunday, HBO’s The Leftovers had its debut which pulled a 0.8 rating in the 18-49 demographic and 1.8 million total viewers.  That’s considerably lower than True Blood or Game of Thrones, but then this is a less expensive entry compared to either of those two.  I think this one should be okay it is holds around this level as HBO has the luxury of being more patient with its shows.  If it trends down too much, though, they may think long and hard about greenlighting a second season.

Somehow the piece that I wrote on the debuts of Syfy’s Dominion and Defiance over a week ago disappeared into cyberspace, so I will quickly recount where they stand.  Both shows debuted with a 0.6 rating in the 18-49 demo and right at two million total viewers.  Not bad numbers for their network, but that didn’t give them much leeway and both dropped by two ticks with their second airings.  Last Thursday, each show pulled a 0.4 rating with both grabbing right at 1.4 million total viewers.  And while that 0.4 rating was enough to get Haven and Helix (the two H’s) renewal nods during the regular season, Defiance and Dominion (the two D’s, do we detect an alliterative trend?) are more expensive entries and it may not be good enough for them.  And the Summer drop-off in numbers that is more acceptable for the broadcast networks does not really apply here because Syfy and the other cable networks don’t see that same variance from the regular season and usually look at Summer as the prime time to air their original programming.  I will give it another week before I raise the cancellation alert on these two shows, but they need to get those numbers back up if they want to stick around.

Pretty much all of the sci fi / fantasy entries saw a drop in their numbers this past week.  Following are the full results with my comments and keep an eye on the Cancelled Sci Fi Twitter Site for the latest numbers and any breaking news.

The Wil Wheaton Project 6/24 Syfy Tue 10 PM
Rating: 0.2 | Tot Viewers: 0.5 | StD Rating: 0.2 | Target: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Moderate

Still slogging along at the lower end of the ratings spectrum.  I think that sci fi fans have not discovered this one yet because Wil delivers a pretty funny show.

Defiance 6/26 Syfy Thu 8 PM
Rating: 0.4 | Tot Viewers: 2.0 | StD Rating: 0.5 | Target: 0.6 | Cancellation Alert: Low

This one has now slipped below its Season 1 low point (0.5).  A third season is looking iffy.

Dominion 6/26 Syfy Thu 9 PM
Rating: 0.4 | Tot Viewers: 2.0 | StD Rating: 0.5 | Target: 0.6 | Cancellation Alert: Low

Not a good ratings level for only its second episode.  Maybe the Thursday night block was not a good move for Syfy.

True Blood 6/29 HBO Sun 9 PM
Rating: 1.6 | Tot Viewers: 3.1 | StD Rating: 1.9 | Target: 1.5 | Cancellation Alert: Final Season

That 1.6 rating is a good deal below its lowest score for last season (2.2).  But it’s in its final year anyway.

Penny Dreadful 6/29 SHOW Sun 9 PM
Rating: 0.0 | Tot Viewers: 0.9 | StD Rating: 0.3 | Target: 0.4 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

Its Sunday rating is not available yet, but it pulled 850k total viewers for its season finale which is its highest numbers since its debut.  Showtime will probably expect better numbers when it returns next year, though.

The Last Ship 6/29 TNT Sun 9 PM
Rating: 1.1 | Tot Viewers: 4.6 | StD Rating: 1.2 | Target: 1.0 | Cancellation Alert: Low

It slipped one tick in the ratings but still pulled an impressive number of total viewers.  It’s looking safe for now.

The Leftovers 6/29 HBO Sun 10 PM
Rating: 0.8 | Tot Viewers: 1.8 | StD Rating: 0.8 | Target: 1.0 | Cancellation Alert: Low

Okay numbers for a premium channel?  It’s definitely no Game of Thrones, or True Blood for that matter.

Falling Skies 6/29 TNT Sun 10 PM
Rating: 0.8 | Tot Viewers: 3.0 | StD Rating: 0.9 | Target: 1.0 | Cancellation Alert: Low

I don’t recall if this counts as a series low for the show, but it’s down from last year and definitely not feeling the love from its fans.  If it sinks much lower, its future could become murky.

Beauty and the Beast 6/30 CW Mon 9 PM
Rating: 0.3 | Tot Viewers: 0.8 | StD Rating: 0.3 | Target: 1.0 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

Another episode, another 0.3 rating.  Does The CW keep it as a Summer entry for next year?

Under The Dome 6/30 CBS Mon 10 PM
Rating: 2.1 | Tot Viewers: 9.4 | StD Rating: 2.1 | Target: 1.6 | Cancellation Alert: Low

These numbers appear low in comparison to last year, but not to the rest of the broadcast net shows airing this Summer.  The ratings attrition continues for the old school nets.

Teen Wolf 6/30 MTV Mon 10 PM
Rating: 0.7 | Tot Viewers: 1.6 | StD Rating: 0.8 | Target: 0.8 | Cancellation Alert: Low

Even Teen Wolf took a hit, dropping to its lowest level since last Summer.  Maybe we just chalk this up as a bad week?  And maybe MTV should keep TW on the late Winter / early Spring schedule where it pulled its best numbers.

*Metric Definitions:

Rating: Overnight rating in the 18-49 demographic for same day viewing based on the final numbers unless otherwise noted

Tot Viewers:  Estimated total viewers to tune in to the episode for same day viewing

StD Rating:  Season to date average for the rating metric tracked above.

Target:  The estimated average rating that the show needs to sustain to get renewed.

Cancellation Alert:  My prediction of the likelihood that a show will get cancelled.  From least to most likely the statuses are Low, Moderate, Medium, Elevated, and High.

Ratings Source: TV by the Numbers and The Futon Critic

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


3 thoughts on “Cancellation Watch: Under The Dome Returns Down, The Leftovers Debuts Soft, Defiance and Dominion are Struggling

  1. JoanneMaria

    Again, I bring Star Crossed, more creative and interesting than many of these shows and CW tosses it. Star Crossed really needs to be picked up.

  2. Martine

    I am loving Dominion. I have no interest in StarCrossed, really. We have far to many girly shows already. Thats what the CW is for.

  3. rehdwolfe

    Of course Defiance is doing poorly. Now you need to sign in via a cable provider on hulu and more and more people in the tech demographic are going with online versus cable


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