Cancellation Watch: American Horror Story Gets Renewed, Gotham Gets Full Season Order, The Walking Dead Sets Another Record (Updated)

By | October 14, 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.

(Updated for Sunday and Monday finals and Monday cable ratings)

american-horror-story-freak-showRenewal/Pickup Announcements:  In the latest edition of my Power Rankings which hit on Monday, I said to expect a fifth season renewal notice for American Horror Story at anytime, and sure enough later in the day FX announced that the show would be coming back for another year.  The latest season (subtitled Freak Show), bowed to record ratings last week and the show appears to still be a strong contender for the cable network.  And even if the ratings this season were to take an unlikely turn for the worst (it usually trends down after its premiere, but not too much), the season-long anthology nature of the show means that it reboots each year, so they would just bight the bullet until it returns for its fifth season.  AHS has become a bit of a phenomenon because of its success and its unique format and I expect it to stick around for some time.  Also announced on Monday, FOX gave a full season pickup to their new Almost Batman show Gotham.  That series debuted to strong ratings a few weeks ago, and while its numbers have slid some since, it is still performing quite well for FOX and looks like a lock to get a second season renewal as well.

Season Premiere: The numbers can’t keep going up, they have to come down at some point (as the recent housing bubble proved).  But apparently The Walking Dead hasn’t gotten that memo.  The series set records yet again with its Season 5 premiere as it pulled a mind boggling 8.7 rating in the 18-49 demo with 17.3 million total viewers.  That represented highs for the show in both metrics and it beat everything on television for the night including Sunday Night Football.  Those are historically high numbers for a scripted series on either the cable or broadcast networks and TWD does not look like it will slow down anytime soon.  In addition, the discussion series The Talking Dead pulled a 3.5 rating in the lead-out hour that beat everything on the broadcast nets for the night except football.  The Walking Dead has already been renewed for a sixth season (before the Season 5 premiere aired) and looks like it will continue to remain a force on television into the near future.

Ratings Drop:  After ABC’s Once Upon A Time debuted to some of the highest numbers it has seen in years two weeks ago, its ratings tumbled with its third Season 4 episode.  On Sunday, the series pulled a 2.7 rating in the 18-49 demo with 7.8 million total viewers which was a 18% drop in its rating from the prior week and 27% drop from its season premiere.  And in the next hour, ABC’s Resurrection slipped to a series low of a 1.5 rating with 5.5 million total viewers.  That was a 25% drop from its prior week airing and a 40% drop from its season premiere.  Perhaps the season premiere of The Walking Dead impacted the shows on Sunday, though I don’t know that the more family friendly Once Upon A Time has too much audience crossover with that one.  The other thing could be the “ratings glitch” that Nielsen announced last week which I have heard will impact ABC the hardest.  The first two airings for Once Upon A Time and Resurrection may get adjusted down (we should see those numbers later this week), and the ratings from this past Sunday (which have been corrected for the glitch) may more accurately reflect the current audience for these two shows.  If that is true, then Once Upon A Time is still doing okay but Resurrection could be in some trouble.  Keep an eye out for the ratings adjustment numbers to see where these two stand once we have the cleaned up data.

Following are the full ratings results (metric definitions below) for the Friday 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.

Haven Syfy Fri 10/10 7 PM
Rating: 0.2 | Tot Viewers: 0.8 | StD Rating: 0.2 | Target: 0.4 | Cancellation Alert: Medium

The good news from Haven‘s first airing in its new Friday 7 PM EST timeslot is that it ratings did not drop.  The bad news is that they were already pretty low.  So there really isn’t any good news here.

Z Nation Syfy Fri 10/10 10 PM
Rating: 0.4 | Tot Viewers: 1.3 | StD Rating: 0.5 | Target: 0.4 | Cancellation Alert: Low

It slipped a tick from last week, but a 0.4 score should still be good enough for this low cost entry.  Expect a renewal announcement sooner rather than later.

Once Upon A Time ABC Sun 10/12 8 PM
Rating: 2.7 | Tot Viewers: 7.9 | StD Rating: 3.2 | Target: 1.8 | Cancellation Alert: Low

The numbers dropped and the previous levels may have been inflated by the glitch mentioned above.  But at this level Once Upon A Time is still looking good for ABC.

Resurrection ABC Sun 10/12 9 PM
Rating: 1.5 | Tot Viewers: 5.5 | StD Rating: 2.0 | Target: 2.0 | Cancellation Alert: Low

Is this just a blip for this show?  Did The Walking Dead cut into its audience that much?  Did the glitch inflate the numbers from the last two weeks?  All I know is that these numbers need to go back up for this show to continue on.

The Walking Dead AMC Sun 10/12 9 PM
Rating: 8.7 | Tot Viewers: 17.3 | StD Rating: 8.7 | Target: 2.0 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

Another season premiere, another record.  This show is headed to the television Hall of Fame for all its ratings records and also because it’s just that damn good!

The Originals CW Mon 10/13 8 PM
Rating: 0.7 | Tot Viewers: 1.3 | StD Rating: 0.7 | Target: 0.7 | Cancellation Alert: Low

It held its audience from last week and The CW has to be happy about that.  Despite my early trepidation, this scheduling move might have been a good one for the network.

Gotham FOX Mon 10/13 8 PM
Rating: 2.4 | Tot Viewers: 6.2 | StD Rating: 2.7 | Target: 2.0 | Cancellation Alert: Low

It slipped a tick from last week, but that’s not too bad.  Anything above a 2.0 is reason for FOX to celebrate these days.

Star Wars: Rebels DXD Mon 10/13 9 PM
Rating: n/a | Tot Viewers: 1.0 | StD Rating: 0.6 | Target: 0.5 | Cancellation Alert: Low

It came in at just over a million total viewers and it was apparently the biggest premiere for an animated series on DXD.  I didn’t see it in the cable Top 100 for Monday, though, so apparently this one is skewing heavily towards kids.

Sleepy Hollow FOX Mon 10/13 9 PM
Rating: 1.7 | Tot Viewers: 4.8 | StD Rating: 1.8 | Target: 2.0 | Cancellation Alert: Low

It at least held steady with last week.  And it’s doing okay in the relative ratings for FOX, so it’s holding on for how.

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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