Cancellation Watch: Syfy’s Z Nation Has Decent Debut, Other Genre Entries Show Improvement

By | September 16, 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.

Syfy-Z-Nation-cancelledSeries Debut: Syfy’s new entry Z Nation had its bow on Friday night and pulled decent if not spectacular numbers.  The show had a 0.5 rating in the 18-49 demographic with 1.6 million total viewers and it was the top scripted series on cable for the evening (not that that’s saying much).  Those are pretty good numbers for Syfy, especially after that network saw fifth season series Haven bow to only a 0.2 rating the night before and Summer entries Dominion and Defiance pull only mediocre numbers the last few months (give up on Thursdays, Syfy).  Z Nation is definitely a cheaper entry than either of the network’s two Summer entries and likely less expensive than Haven as well and I believe that a ratings score of 0.4 or higher will be enough to keep it afloat.  It has already beat that, but we will have to see how it tracks in the coming weeks.  Just to put those numbers in perspective, though, AMC’s The Walking Dead averaged a 6.8 rating during its fourth season, so Z Nation is definitely no TWD!

Most of the other genre shows that aired on Saturday and Sunday showed some improvements which I look at below.

Following are the full ratings results* for the sci fi / fantasy shows airing Friday 9/12 thru Sunday 9/14 with my comments. And keep an eye on theCancelled Sci Fi Twitter Site for the latest numbers and any breaking news.

Z Nation Syfy Fri 9/12 10 PM
Rating: 0.5 | Tot Viewers: 1.6 | StD Rating: 0.5 | Target: 0.4 | Cancellation Alert: Low

A good enough debut for its network.  Now we see if it can sustain those numbers.

Outlander Starz Sat 9/13 9 PM
Rating: 0.2 | Tot Viewers: 1.1 | StD Rating: n/a | Target: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

This show continues to improve its total viewers number each week and is still pulling a decent enough rating score for Starz.  Perhaps by its second season it will start to rise on the charts.

Witches of East End LIFE Sun 9/14 9 PM
Rating: 0.5 | Tot Viewers: 1.2 | StD Rating: 0.5 | Target: 0.5 | Cancellation Alert: Low

A slight improvement for this show and I believe it is still doing well enough for Lifetime.  This show’s season finale is on October 5th.

The Strain FX Sun 9/14 10 PM
Rating: 1.0 | Tot Viewers: 2.2 | StD Rating: 1.0 | Target: 1.0 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

This show is back up from it the 0.9 score it had the last two weeks and it won the night among original cable shows in the face of slight competition.

The Lottery LIFE Sun 9/14 10 PM
Rating: 0.2 | Tot Viewers: 0.6 | StD Rating: n/a | Target: 0.5 | Cancellation Alert: Medium

Still low numbers for this one and still looking like it’s season final on September 28th will be its series final.

Under The Dome CBS Mon 9/15 10 PM
Rating: 1.6 | Tot Viewers: 7.0 | StD Rating: 1.6 | Target: 1.6 | Cancellation Alert: Low

(Numbers above based on the preliminaries) This show improved for a second week in a row and will likely rise even further with next week’s season finale.  That improves is chances for getting a third year, though remember that CBS has a particular dislike for sci fi shows.

*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 ShowBuzzDaily

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

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