Cancellation Watch: Once Upon A Time Returns Strong, Resurrection Debuts Good, Gotham and Sleepy Hollow Drop

By | September 30, 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 Wednesday 9/24 thru Monday 9/29:

once-upon-a-time-s4Series Debuts:  ABC’s Once Upon A Time had its fourth season debut on Sunday and the show pulled the best numbers it has seen in years as it kicked off with a 3.7 rating in the 18-49 demographic and 10.2 million total viewers.  That’s quite an impressive bow and a 42% improvement on the 2.6 rating the show had for its season debut last year and a 61% improvement on the 2.3 score it had for its Season 3 finale.  Apparently the Frozen crossover helped bolster the show’s audience, though we will have to see how many stick with it over the coming weeks.  But this one is definitely looking good going into its fourth year.  In the next hour, sophomore series Resurrection had a decent return with a 2.5 rating and 8.4 million total viewers.  That number looked much better when the finals came in for Sunday (the preliminaries had it at a 2.2 score) and that’s a 19% improvement on the show’s Season 1 finale.  This one should be okay for now and should remain safe as long as it stays above a 2.0 score.

Other Ratings Results: On Monday, two of last week’s debuting shows experienced the expected second week drop in the ratings.  FOX’s Gotham slipped to a 2.8 rating in the 18-49 demo with 7.3 million total viewers (based on the preliminaries), which is several ticks below its opening 3.2 score but still a respectable number.  The premiere likely pulled a lot of curious onlookers, some of who may have bowed out when they realized that the Caped Crusader was nowhere in sight on this “Almost Batman” show.  But struggling FOX should be perfectly happy if this one remains in the mid to even low 2’s for the season.  Not so lucky was Sleepy Hollow in the next hour on FOX.  That show continues the ratings decline that extends back into its first season and pulled a series low of a 1.7 score with 5.1 million total viewers (based on the preliminaries).  But I’m not raising the red flag on this one just yet.  With FOX’s ratings woes of late, that number may still be okay, and the fact is that The Following was renewed last season even though it fell below that level (yes, Almost Human fans, please insert your FOX directed expletives here).  I’ll need a better picture of how the network is doing overall this season to have an idea if this drop bodes poorly for Sleepy Hollow.  Check back next week and maybe I will have a clearer picture then.

Following are the full ratings results* for the Wednesday thru Monday shows with my comments. And keep an eye on the Cancelled Sci Fi Twitter Site for the latest numbers and any breaking news.  For more information on where I get these numbers and how I make my Cancellation Alert assessments, check out the Cancelled Sci Fi FAQ.

Legends TNT Wed 9/24 9 PM
Rating: 0.3 | Tot Viewers: 1.5 | StD Rating: 0.4 | Target: 1.0 | Cancellation Alert: Medium

Still low in the ratings and pretty much riding out its first season mostly off the radar.  It’s prospects don’t look good at this point.

Haven Syfy Thu 9/25 8 PM
Rating: 0.2 | Tot Viewers: 0.8 | StD Rating: 0.2 | Target: 0.4 | Cancellation Alert: Moderate

Is it the scheduling?  Has the show just grown too long in the tooth?  These are the lowest numbers I have ever seen for an original (non-import) scripted Syfy show.

Z Nation Syfy Fri 9/26 10 PM
Rating: 0.4 | Tot Viewers: 1.1 | StD Rating: 0.5 | Target: 0.4 | Cancellation Alert: Low

It slipped a tick, but it’s still doing okay for a low rent Syfy show.

Outlander Starz Sat 9/27 9 PM
Rating: 0.4 | Tot Viewers: 1.4 | StD Rating: n/a | Target: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

This continues to grow its ratings and total viewers when most shows typically trend down during the season.  It returns for the second half of its first season in April and will hope to continue its momentum them.

Witches of East End LIFE Sun 9/28 9 PM
Rating: 0.4 | Tot Viewers: 0.9 | StD Rating: 0.5 | Target: 0.5 | Cancellation Alert: Low

It’s numbers slipped, but then the competition from Fall programming and NFL Football got tougher.  Its second season finale is this coming Sunday.

The Strain FX Sun 9/28 10 PM
Rating: 0.9 | Tot Viewers: 2.0 | StD Rating: 1.0 | Target: 1.0 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

It dropped from last week but still won the night among original cable programming.  It wraps up its first season next Sunday then aims for its return in 2015.

The Lottery LIFE Sun 9/28 10 PM
Rating: 0.2 | Tot Viewers: 0.4 | StD Rating: n/a | Target: 0.5 | Cancellation Alert: Medium

Is anybody watching this show other than perhaps Lifetime network employees who have been told it is a job requirement?  Anybody?

Once Upon A Time ABC Sun 9/28 8 PM
Rating: 3.4 | Tot Viewers: 10.2 | StD Rating: 3.4 | Target: 1.8 | Cancellation Alert: Low

Frozen was a hit at the Box Office and helped bolster this show’s ratings with the crossover.  Will people stay tuned or will Once Upon A Time go on its typical in-season decline.  Still, it has plenty of leeway at this point.

Resurrection ABC Sun 9/28 9 PM
Rating: 2.5 | Tot Viewers: 8.4 | StD Rating: 2.5 | Target: 2.0 | Cancellation Alert: Low

A good Season 2 debut, especially once the finals came in (the preliminaries had it at a 2.2 score).  This one looks safe for now.

Gotham FOX Mon 9/29 8 PM
Rating: 2.8 | Tot Viewers: 7.3 | StD Rating: 3.0 | Target: 2.0 | Cancellation Alert: Low

(Numbers based on the preliminaries) The drop was expected and it was not nearly as bad as the 30% tumble Agents of SHIELD experienced last year after its debut.  Gotham still counts as a hit for struggling FOX.

Sleepy Hollow FOX Mon 9/29 9 PM
Rating: 1.7 | Tot Viewers: 5.1 | StD Rating: 1.9 | Target: 2.0 | Cancellation Alert: Low

(Numbers based on the preliminaries)  Not a good place for this show, but it may still be okay on struggling FOX.  The next few weeks will be key to gauging how it stands

*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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