Cancellation Watch: Doctor Who and Intruders Premiere Strong for BBC America, Lost Girl to End After Season 5

By | August 27, 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.

doctor-who-series-8Series Premieres: On Saturday, Doctor Who kicked off its eighth season (since the 2005 restart) and new series Intruders launched its inaugural season with both delivering strong numbers for BBC America.  Doctor Who pulled a 0.9 rating in the 18-49 demographic with 2.2 million total viewers while Intruders had right at 800k total viewers (the ratings number was not available because it did not make it into the cable Top 100 for the night).  For the former show, its numbers set a series premiere record for BBC America and the latter series matched the Season 1 debut numbers for Orphan Black, making it a good debut for that entry.  Both shows also had good bows in their home country of Britain which are actually the primary gauge of their success.  But with the budgets for these BBC shows increasing (especially Doctor Who), the BBC America numbers play an important part as well.  I will not be tracking these two shows on a weekly basis in this column because I do not have regular access to the viewer numbers in Britain, but I will pass along any interesting ratings news relating to them in the coming weeks and months.

Final Season:  Canadian series Lost Girl–which currently airs in the States on Syfy–will end after its upcoming fifth season.  “It’s time for Bo’s journey to come to an epic conclusion” claimed series star Anna Silk.  The final season will be comprised of 16 episodes that will be split into two runs in Canada, the first starting in December and the second to air next year.  Syfy has not announced yet when they will air the final season.  This does not necessarily amount to a preemptive cancellation, though, as international productions do not strive for the 80 to 100 episode mark that U.S. shows prefer to reach an acceptable number for the syndication market.  They often allow successful shows to go out on their own terms without dragging them on beyond the reach of their original premise.  Still, by the end of the show’s final year, it will have a total of 77 episodes which could still be considered a decent amount for a syndication run.

Series Finales:  HBO’s True Blood improved to a 2.1 rating in the 18-49 demo with four million total viewers for its series finale on Sunday.  That was its best numbers of the season, but still below the 2.3 ratings average it had for its sixth season.  The show’s final year definitely saw a dip in its ratings, but it still delivered a darn good run overall for its network.  On TNT, The Last Ship wrapped up its first season holding steady on its ratings with a 1.0 score while delivering 4.4 million total viewers.  That show has not seen blockbuster ratings along the lines of cables shows like The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones (or even American Horror Story), but it has topped Sunday nights in total viewers among non-sports cable shows almost every week of its first season.  It should be riding a steady course into its second season next year.

Following are the full ratings results* for the sci fi / fantasy shows airing Saturday 8/23 thru Monday 8/25 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 8/23 9 PM
Rating: n/a | Tot Viewers: 1.0 | StD Rating: n/a | Target: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

It still has not made the cable Top 100 for the evening based on ratings, but its total viewers have grown each week.  This one counts as a hit by Starz’s standards.

Teen Wolf MTV Sun 8/24 7 PM
Rating: 0.7 | Tot Viewers: 1.4 | StD Rating: 0.7 | Target: 0.8 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

A special pre-VMA episode on Sunday did not see an improvement to the show’s numbers, but they didn’t drop either.  Not that it matters as this one has already been renewed for a fifth season.

True Blood HBO Sun 8/24 9 PM
Rating: 2.1 | Tot Viewers: 4.0 | StD Rating: 1.8 | Target: 1.5 | Cancellation Alert: Final Season

It didn’t go out with a bang (ratings-wise), but still delivered respectable numbers for its series finale.

Witches of East End LIFE Sun 8/24 9 PM
Rating: 0.5 | Tot Viewers: 1.0 | StD Rating: 0.5 | Target: 0.5 | Cancellation Alert: Low

It’s still holding in there, especially considering all the competition it had on Sunday (True Blood and The Last Ship finales plus MTV’s VMAs).

The Last Ship TNT Sun 8/24 9 PM
Rating: 1.0 | Tot Viewers: 4.4 | StD Rating: 1.1 | Target: 1.0 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

It was not the breakout hit TNT wants you to believe it was, but it still delivered solid numbers for a basic cable series in its first season.

The Leftovers HBO Sun 8/24 10 PM
Rating: 0.9 | Tot Viewers: 1.9 | StD Rating: 0.8 | Target: 1.0 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

A slight improvement in its numbers from last week and it could see an additional bump for its season finale in two weeks.

The Strain FX Sun 8/24 10 PM
Rating: 1.1 | Tot Viewers: 2.4 | StD Rating: 1.1 | Target: 1.0 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

Another mostly solid entry ratings-wise for a basic cable series.  Maybe they should consider pairing it up with American Horror Story next year to give it a boost.

The Lottery LIFE Sun 8/24 10 PM
Rating: n/a | Tot Viewers: n/a | StD Rating: n/a | Target: 0.5 | Cancellation Alert: Medium

Still MIA on the cable Top 100 on Sundays.  Unless Lifetime got this show on the cheap, it could be gone after its first season.

Falling Skies TNT Sun 8/24 10 PM
Rating: 0.7 | Tot Viewers: 2.6 | StD Rating: 0.8 | Target: 1.0 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

It has held steady the last two weeks after sinking to a season low.  It should get a boost with its season finale on Sunday unless the Labor Day holiday works against it.

Under The Dome CBS Mon 8/25 10 PM
Rating: 1.4 | Tot Viewers: 6.6 | StD Rating: 1.6 | Target: 1.6 | Cancellation Alert: Low

It dropped to a series low on Monday, though perhaps it gets a mulligan because it was up against the Emmy’s.  And those numbers will likely still keep it in the Top 15 for the week for the Summer broadcast network shows.  But it needs to not sink any lower otherwise it may find itself in Bubble status.

*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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