Cancellation Watch: Will the Long Hiatus Kill the Momentum Agents of SHIELD was Building? And There’s Still Hope for The 100

By | December 12, 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 Tuesday Dec 9th thru Thursday Dec 11th (analysis and metric definitions below):

The Flash CW Tue 12/9 8 PM
Rating: 1.5 | Tot Viewers (MM): 4.3 | StD Rating: 1.5 | Target: 0.9 | Cancellation Alert: Low

It dropped one tick from its cross-over episode with Arrow, but I don’t see The CW execs fretting over that.  Still looks like a lock for a second season renewal.

Agents of SHIELD ABC Tue 12/9 9 PM
Rating: 1.7 | Tot Viewers (MM): 5.3 | StD Rating: 1.7 | Target: 2.2 | Cancellation Alert: Moderate

It’s down a tick from its prior episode, but still better than when it was hitting low points a few weeks ago.  That two and a half month hiatus will be a momentum killer, though. (More on this one below)

Supernatural CW Tue 12/9 9 PM
Rating: 1.0 | Tot Viewers (MM): 2.6 | StD Rating: 0.9 | Target: 0.9 | Cancellation Alert: Low

Decent CW numbers for its Fall finale and it still has a decent chance at seeing an eleventh season.

Forever ABC Tue 12/9 10 PM
Rating: 1.1 | Tot Viewers (MM): 5.2 | StD Rating: 1.2 | Target: 2.0 | Cancellation Alert: Moderate

It was down on tick from the prior week, but then it had some pretty serious competition from almost naked ladies on the Victoria Secret Fashion Show.  If it can get its numbers up a few more ticks when it returns at mid-season, then it might have a chance for a second year renewal.

Person of Interest CBS Tue 12/9 10 PM
Rating: 1.0 | Tot Viewers (MM): 7.1 | StD Rating: 1.5 | Target: 1.8 | Cancellation Alert: Low

This one was in repeats, but delivers its final new episode of 2014 next week.

Arrow CW Wed 12/10 8 PM
Rating: 1.1 | Tot Viewers (MM): 3.1 | StD Rating: 1.0 | Target: 0.9 | Cancellation Alert: Low

Down from its cross-over with The Flash, but still a pretty strong outing by CW standards.  This is another show that is a lock for a renewal.

The 100 CW Wed 12/10 9 PM
Rating: 0.6 | Tot Viewers (MM): 1.6 | StD Rating: 0.5 | Target: 0.9 | Cancellation Alert: Medium

It keeps holding at that 0.6 level which is better than where it started the season.  There’s still some hope.  (More on this one below)

American Horror Story FX Wed 12/10 10 PM
Rating: 1.5 | Tot Viewers (MM): 3.1 | StD Rating: 2.1 | Target: 1.0 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

The good news is that it won the night among cable shows on Wednesday, but the bad news is that it hit a season low.  Has the Freak Show storyline pushed the boundaries too far?  No need to worry about cancellation, though, because it reboots next season (which has already been ordered).

Vampire Diaries CW Thu 12/11 8 PM
Rating: 0.8 | Tot Viewers (MM): 1.8 | StD Rating: 0.8 | Target: 0.9 | Cancellation Alert: Low

(Numbers based on the preliminaries)  This one was up a tick from the prior week.  I’m still betting on it getting a final season renewal for next year.

Agents-of-SHIELD-logoOn the Hot Seat: ABC’s Agents of SHIELD has definitely been in a ratings slump this season and I have had it on the bubble pretty much since Fall began, but it has seen its numbers improve the last two weeks (pulling a 1.7 rating in the 18-49 demographic with 5.3 million total viewers on Wednesday) and it actually made it into the Top 25 last week. However, that momentum the show was building will now get stifled with a two and a half month hiatus (it is scheduled to return with new episodes on March 3rd). I’m sure before the season that this scheduling made sense as the “event series” Agent Carter will take the Tuesday 9 PM EST timeslot starting in January, and that will likely attract the same audience who tuned in for Agents of SHIELD. And maybe that one can help build the anticipation for the return of AoS, though I don’t believe the two will be linked story-wise. But seeing as AoS has struggled in the ratings this season, the extended time off the schedule could actually work against it. ABC needs to frequently plug Agents of SHIELD during Agent Carter’s run and maybe come up with some sort of pre-return event (airing Captain America: The Winter Soldier followed by some of the AoS fall-out episodes might be a good idea). But these long in-season hiatuses seem to really hurt the broadcast network shows, especially those that are pulling marginal numbers to begin with. Agents of SHIELD still has good delayed viewing on its side and I’m sure the Disney brass are pulling for it because of its ties to the multi-billion dollar Avengers franchise, so its prospects don’t look too grim. But ABC better hope that long hiatus does not end up sending this one in the wrong direction.

Also still struggling but showing some hope is The CW’s The 100 which pulled another 0.6 rating in the 18-49 demo with 1.6 million total viewers on Wednesday. That’s its third week at that level which is one tick higher than what it has been averaging so far through the season. Fans of the show have been active on the social networks and perhaps that is drawing a few more viewers. But it is still losing a fair percentage of its lead-in from Arrow (45% this week) and The CW has four shows waiting in the wings that could boot this one to a lower viewership night like Monday or Friday after the Winter break. If The 100 can get its numbers to a 0.7 score (next week is its Fall finale), it’s chances would be better. But at least it has shown some improvement lately, so there is reason for fans to hope.

Be sure keep an eye on the Cancelled Sci Fi Twitter Site for the latest numbers and any breaking news throughout the week.  You can see the status of all the currently airing sci fi / fantasy shows at the Cancellation Watch page. And for more information on where I get these numbers and how I make my Cancellation Alert assessments, check out the Cancelled Sci Fi FAQ.

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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