Cancellation Watch: TNT’s The Last Ship Gets Renewed and So Does Falling Skies, Though for a Final Season

By | July 20, 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 7/15 through Thursday 7/17:

the-last-ship-tnt-cancelledRenewal Announcement:  TNT announced the renewals of their new series The Last Ship as well as fourth year entry Falling Skies this last week, although the latter show will only be coming back for one more season.  The renewal announcement for the former series is not too much of a surprise, though it is not doing as well in the ratings as Falling Skies did last season.  But according to TNT it is “a blockbuster hit in its first season, not only among total viewers but also among key adult demos”.  They also claim that it is “basic cable’s #1 scripted series this summer with adults 18-49 and adults 25-54”.  I guess that’s not too much spin there, but it’s nothing along the lines of The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, or even American Horror Story, so the “blockbuster hit” designation seems like a bit of a stretch (and FX’s The Strain could give it a run for its money in the comings weeks).  And considering that The Last Ship is surely an expensive series, I know that TNT would have been much happier with higher numbers.  But it’s then their spin department’s job to make it look as good as possible for the renewal announcement.  As for Falling Skies, that show is currently at its lowest ratings level across its four seasons (averaging a 0.9 score in the 18-49 demographic season to date vs. last Summer’s 1.2), so apparently the renewal for a final season is a preemptive move.  It will only be at forty two episodes by the end of the current season and one more year will not get it that much closer to the 80 to 90 episode count that the syndication market prefers, so TNT apparently decided to give the producers the opportunity to wrap up the main storylines with a final season.  They should be applauded for doing at least doing that as opposed to leaving the fans hanging, but this effectively works as a preemptive cancellation.  Whether the show’s fans will be satisfied with only one more season remains to be seen and keep an eye on the social networks for the fallout.

Still On the Bubble:  On Thursday, Syfy’s Defiance held at a 0.5 rating in the 18-49 demo with 1.6 million total viewers and Dominion posted the same scores as well.  That’s an improvement from the 0.4 score the shows had two weeks ago, but still very marginal for what are likely two somewhat expensive entries for the network.  If pressed, I would say that they are more likely to get renewed than cancelled at this point, but I’m sure Syfy would much prefer to see them at a ratings level of at least 0.6 if not higher.  The Thursday night scheduling might be partly to blame as that is a new night for the network’s scripted programming, but I don’t know how much difference moving them to another night would make at this point.  The shows need to at least hold at their current level and any improvement would definitely be a positive.  Watch these two closely in the coming weeks to see how their numbers track.

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 7/15 Syfy Tue 10 PM
Rating: 0.2 | Tot Viewers: 0.5 | StD Rating: 0.2 | Target: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Moderate

Still hanging down at pretty low numbers, but it’s a cheap show to produce and its generating some buzz on the social networks, especially with the video clips.

Extant 7/16 CBS Wed 9 PM
Rating: 1.5 | Tot Viewers: 8.0 | StD Rating: 1.6 | Target: 1.4 | Cancellation Alert: Low

It only dropped one tick from its premiere and it has the Amazon deal to help keep it afloat as well.  Looks okay for now.

Defiance 7/17 Syfy Thu 8 PM
Rating: 0.5 | Tot Viewers: 1.6 | StD Rating: 0.5 | Target: 0.6 | Cancellation Alert: Moderate

At least is held steady, though Syfy would certainly prefer to see it trend up.

Dominion 7/17 Syfy Thu 9 PM
Rating: 0.5 | Tot Viewers: 1.6 | StD Rating: 0.5 | Target: 0.6 | Cancellation Alert: Moderate

It’s not sinking, so that’s a good thing.  But an expensive first season series needs to be pulling better numbers than this on basic cable.

*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.

4 thoughts on “Cancellation Watch: TNT’s The Last Ship Gets Renewed and So Does Falling Skies, Though for a Final Season

  1. Omar

    I just want to share the shows that I look forward to seeing from regular cable are from most loved to least are
    Walking dead, falling skies, the last ship, extant, hell on wheels, american horror story,the black list, the strain, defiance and helix.
    From special cable game of thornes, Salem, penny dreadful

  2. Necie Phillips

    I watched them all. I have a DVD so I can record and watch at my convenience. I hate to see the The Last Ship get cancelled. Everytime I like a series this will happen, it gets cancelled. I wished there were a way they could like prepare a mini series to start just to see how the public will respond and go from there. It really is a shame that so many great programing with such wonderful acting that is put into these shows has to come to an end. It is sad for us the audience, but most of all it really must be awfully terrible for the actors as well.

    1. admin Post author

      The Last Ship was not cancelled. It returns for its second season in Summer of 2015.

  3. Necie Phillips

    I have direct with there DVD so I can record and watch when I can. I am retired and like all kinds of movies and TV shows. I love Falling Skies, Last Ship, Major Crimes. Before that the Closer. I feel they should maybe do like a mini series give the audience a taste to see what they thought. Take it from there somehow then slide into a series from there. Oh well just a thought probably a stupid one.


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