Cancellation Watch: The Numbers for Extant, Legends, and Defiance Remain Low

By | August 23, 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.

On the Hot Seat:  On Wednesday, CBS’ Extant averaged only a 1.0 rating in the 18-49 demographic with 5.6 million total viewers across the two hours of its back-to-back episode airing.  That keeps the show at its low point and not looking good as far as its renewal prospects.  The preliminary numbers actually had the Wednesday episodes at a 0.9 average and I planned on moving the show to an Elevated Cancellation Alert status.  But the finals adjusted that up slightly, so I will keep it at Medium for now.  But it is only there because of the Amazon connection (they are picking up part of the production costs in exchange for exclusive streaming rights), and it may fall upon them to keep the show alive.  Amazon could pick up the full costs and add the show to their slate of original programming or they could seek a partnership with another broadcast or cable network.  Whether that is something they would be willing to do, though, remains uncertain.  The series has generated some notable activity on the social networks and it has received some positive buzz, but I can’t say that I have detected a strong fanbase just yet that would champion its cause should CBS elect to pass on a second season.  Keep an eye on the numbers for its remaining episodes (season finale is Sept 17th), but I don’t expect it to make a surge over the next few weeks.

Legends-tnt-cancelledOver on TNT, Legends pulled a 0.5 rating in the 18-49 demo with 1.7 million total viewers for its second episode.  The good news is that it didn’t drop from its premiere like most shows typically do.  But those numbers seem low in comparison to several other original series currently airing on the basic cable channels, so I’m still not quite certain how to gauge this one’s chances.  And it lost almost a million total viewers from its debut even though it stayed even in the demo.  It is certainly a less expensive series than TNT’s The Last Ship and Falling Skies (both of which are pulling higher ratings), but I’m thinking they would rather see something closer to a full ratings point for the overnights from Legends.  I am going to put this one at a Moderate Cancellation Alert for now and will likely leave it there unless its numbers go lower.

Following are the full ratings results* for the sci fi / fantasy shows airing Wednesday 8/20 and Thursday 8/22 with my comments. And keep an eye on the Cancelled Sci Fi Twitter Site for the latest numbers and any breaking news.

Legends TNT Wed 8/20 9 PM
Rating: 0.5 | Tot Viewers: 1.7 | StD Rating: 0.5 | Target: 1.0 | Cancellation Alert: Low

This one definitely cannot me considered a huge hit.  But maybe TNT will show some patience with it.

Extant CBS Wed 8/13 10 PM
Rating: 1.0 | Tot Viewers: 5.6 | StD Rating: 1.2 | Target: 1.4 | Cancellation Alert: Medium

This one almost dropped out of the Top 25 based on the ratings last week.  It could slip out this week.

Defiance Syfy Thu 8/14 8 PM
Rating: 0.4 | Tot Viewers: 1.4 | StD Rating: 0.5 | Target: 0.6 | Cancellation Alert: Moderate

For its back-to-back episode airing, the show slipped to a 0.4 rating.  That’s not good news. It needs to wrap up its season strong next week.

*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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