Cancellation Watch: Extant Has a Middling Debut, Defiance and Dominion Improve

By | July 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 sci fi / fantasy shows airing Tuesday 7/8 through Thursday 7/10:

extant-cbs-cancelledSeries Debut:  New CBS entry Extant–starring Halle Berry–had its bow on Wednesday and pulled a 1.6 rating in the 18-49 demographic with 9.6 million total viewers.  Not spectacular numbers, but not terrible for a Summer series.  That rating should be good enough to place it in the Top 15 shows for the week on the broadcast networks and it should also land on one of the top rungs on the total viewers chart.  Plus, Amazon is picking up part of the production cost of Extant in a deal that gives the network exclusive streaming rights for that show and also Under the Dome.   So the overnight ratings numbers will not be as important to Extant‘s success, though I’m thinking CBS will want it to not drop much further.  I have adjusted the target number for the show based on what I learned about the Amazon deal, though it may not matter too much for this show.  Amazon could have an option to continue producing the series in the case that CBS decides not to pick it up for a second season.  But in any case I believe it is safe for now and we will see how it tracks in the coming weeks.

Off the Hot Seat?  Syfy’s two Thursday entries Defiance and Dominion both improved slightly this week with each posting a 0.5 rating in the 18-49 demo with right about 1.6 million total viewers.  That’s up from the 0.4 scores that both dipped to last week, though still probably lower than what Syfy would prefer seeing as both are likely fairly costly entries.  I’m not adjusting the Cancellation Alert for them yet–currently at Moderate–but if they hold at the 0.5 level or even improve, I believe that their chances are much better.

FYI: I haven’t been tracking NBC’s Crossbones too closely because its not a sci fi / fantasy show, but it does have appeal to genre fans.  It’s numbers haven’t been too good, though, with it pulling only a 0.6 rating with its latest episode and 2.8 million total viewers.  Of course, the network has done the show no favors with scheduling, placing it in the 10 PM EST Friday timeslot and regularly preempting it.  But this series comes from the same production company as last Summer’s Siberia and they can choose to take it to another venue if NBC decides not to air a second season next Summer (which they likely will not).  Siberia is currently still alive and could land on another network or one of the streaming services in the coming year.

Following are the full ratings results* from the last few days 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 7/8 Syfy Tue 10 PM
Rating: 0.1 | Tot Viewers: 0.3 | StD Rating: 0.2 | Target: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Moderate

This fun show should be must-watch viewing for sci fi fans, but its numbers stay low.  Clips from the show regularly circulate around the internet, though, so maybe that is helping.

Extant 7/9 CBS Wed 9 PM
Rating: 1.6 | Tot Viewers: 9.6 | StD Rating: 1.6 | Target: 1.4 | Cancellation Alert: Low

Its Amazon deal (mentioned above) should keep it safe for now.  But it’s definitely no surprise hit like last Summer’s Under the Dome (which has also fallen off this year).

Defiance 7/10 Syfy Thu 8 PM
Rating: 0.5 | Tot Viewers: 1.7 | StD Rating: 0.5 | Target: 0.6 | Cancellation Alert: Moderate

The ratings improvement will help, but surely Syfy expected better numbers.

Dominion 7/10 Syfy Thu 9 PM
Rating: 0.5 | Tot Viewers: 1.6 | StD Rating: 0.5 | Target: 0.6 | Cancellation Alert: Moderate

Maybe the network should reconsider the Thursday night scheduling.  Sure hasn’t seemed to work out too well this Summer.

*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.

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