Lifetime announced yesterday that they were cancelling their Summer series The Lottery after one season. What’s that you say? What was The Lottery? Well apparently quite a few people did not know it existed. It was a dystopian show with a similar premise to the movie Children of Men where women across the world have been stricken by a global fertility crisis and can not get pregnant. However, scientists have been able to fertilize one hundred embryos and the government confiscates these and holds a lottery on which women will carry them. The show slipped onto Lifetime’s schedule in the Summer with little fanfare, and not surprisingly it never developed much of an audience. It struggled to hold onto a 0.2 rating in the 18-49 demographic based on the overnights and it usually had well below a million total viewers. I considered it as a likely cancellation prospect based on its U.S. ratings, though I didn’t know if the show might have had an international production and/or distribution arrangement that might have kept it going for another year. If it did, it wasn’t enough as Lifetime decided to part ways with the show. It had the least number of votes in our Summer Sci Fi TV Pulse poll, so apparently it did little to engage the sci fi community, and there is not much chance that it will develop much support from its small fanbase to lobby for a continuation. As it is, it looks like this will be another sci fi entry to fade into television obscurity.
Lifetime has not yet announced whether their other Summer genre series Witches of East End will be coming back for a third season, though that one’s prospect look much brighter. It pulled decent numbers in the Summer on Sunday nights in the face of heavy competition from other genre shows on the same evening, and it was the top voted show in our Summer Sci Fi TV Pulse poll. As a note, The Lottery is the only Summer series that has been cancelled thus far unless you want to count the pre-cancellation of TNT’s Falling Skies (next season was announced as its last). Most all the other Summer shows received renewals, including some iffy performers like Syfy’s Defiance and Dominion as well as CBS’ Extant. Only two Summer shows are still awaiting word on their fates. As mentioned, the renewal prospects for Witches of East End look good, but I would lean more heavily toward cancellation for TNT’s Legends.