Cancellation Watch: The Strain Gets the Official Renewal Announcement as Expected

By | August 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.

The-Strain-FX-CancelledSeries Renewal: FX has officially announced that their new sci fi vampire series The Strain will be returning for a second season in 2015 which will comprise thirteen episodes. This of course comes as no surprise as unofficial word of the renewal has been floating about for over a week. The series has performed decent by basic cable standards in its first year and its network has touted it as “the #1 new series on cable (broadcast or premium) in 2014 in delivery of Adults 18-49”. I’m not quite certain how they are getting at that ranking nor the “12.7 million Total Viewers” for the show’s premiere because it has averaged only a 1.1 rating in the 18-49 demographic based on the overnights thus far this season. That puts it even with TNT’s The Last Ship and that latter series typically doubles the number of total viewers that The Strain has each week, at least on its initial live broadcast. But then all of that is part of the PR spin-game, and much of it does not mean much to the advertisers that pay for the commercial time that covers the show’s productions costs. But those sponsors have been happy enough with the overnights, and the show will continue into a second season which will air next Summer. The Strain is the sixth Summer show to receive its renewal thus far, joining The Last Ship (TNT), Falling Skies (TNT), Teen Wolf (MTV), The Leftovers (HBO), and Outlander (Starz).

Following are the full ratings results* for the sci fi / fantasy shows airing Saturday 8/16 thru Monday 8/18 with my comments. And keep an eye on the Cancelled Sci Fi Twitter Site for the latest numbers and any breaking news.

Outlander Starz Sat 8/16 9 PM
Rating: 0.3 | Tot Viewers: 0.9 | StD Rating: n/a | Target: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

It missed the cable Top 100 for Saturday night again, but it improved its total viewers and has been generating some notable buzz.  Not too much of a surprise the Starz went ahead and renewed it.

True Blood HBO Sun 8/17 9 PM
Rating: 1.8 | Tot Viewers: 3.6 | StD Rating: 1.8 | Target: 1.5 | Cancellation Alert: Final Season

Its series finale is next week, and while it may not have gone out strong in its final season, True Blood still delivered a good run for HBO.

Witches of East End LIFE Sun 8/17 9 PM
Rating: 0.5 | Tot Viewers: 1.2 | StD Rating: 0.5 | Target: 0.5 | Cancellation Alert: Low

Back up to a 0.5 rating in the 18-49 demo.  It will probably be okay if it can hold here to finish out its second season.

The Last Ship TNT Sun 8/17 9 PM
Rating: 1.0 | Tot Viewers: 4.1 | StD Rating: 1.1 | Target: 1.0 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

Still holding steady at a 1.0 rating in the 18-49 demo and continues to win the night among non-sports cable shows in total viewers.

The Leftovers HBO Sun 8/17 10 PM
Rating: 0.8 | Tot Viewers: 1.6 | StD Rating: 0.8 | Target: 1.0 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

This show seems to have leveled off in the 0.8 ratings score range and that seems good enough for HBO.

The Strain FX Sun 8/17 10 PM
Rating: 1.0 | Tot Viewers: 2.3 | StD Rating: 1.1 | Target: 1.0 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

From what I have seen, The Last Ship has regularly bestedThe Strain, but FX touts their series as the Number 1 new cable entry and has somehow tallied up around a gozillion total viewers for each week’s broadcast.  Forget all the PR spin, it did well enough for renewal.

The Lottery LIFE Sun 8/17 10 PM
Rating: n/a | Tot Viewers: n/a | StD Rating: n/a | Target: 0.5 | Cancellation Alert: Medium

This one is still MIA on the cable Top 100 on Sunday nights.  Looks like it could be one season and out.

Falling Skies TNT Sun 8/17 10 PM
Rating: 0.7 | Tot Viewers: 2.5 | StD Rating: 0.8 | Target: 1.0 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

It’s up from its low point this season, but still not riding strong into its final year.

Under The Dome CBS Mon 8/18 10 PM
Rating: 1.5 | Tot Viewers: 7.3 | StD Rating: 1.7 | Target: 1.6 | Cancellation Alert: Low

It seems to have settled in at the 1.5 ratings score level and it has remained in the Top 10/15 for ratings and total viewers all season.  It should be okay for a second season, but this is sci fi averse CBS we are talking about.  Maybe if they switch the format next season to CSI: Under the Dome.

Teen Wolf MTV Mon 8/18 10 PM
Rating: 0.7 | Tot Viewers: 1.5 | StD Rating: 0.7 | Target: 0.8 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

This show is up from its low point this season and could see its number rise as it wraps up its fourth year over the next few weeks.

*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

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

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