Cancellation Watch: Ascension Does Not Soar too High with First Installment, The Librarians Drops with Second Episode

By | December 17, 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 airing Friday Dec 5th thru Monday Dec 8th (analysis and metric definitions below):

Haven Syfy Fri 12/12 7 PM
Rating: On Hiatus | Tot Viewers (MM): n/a | StD Rating: 0.2 | Target: 0.4 | Cancellation Alert: Medium

On hiatus until late Spring.

Grimm NBC Fri 12/12 9 PM
Rating: 1.3 | Tot Viewers (MM): 5.1 | StD Rating: 1.3 | Target: 1.2 | Cancellation Alert: Low

This series rebounded a little with its Fall finale.  Despite its recent drops, it is still tracking ahead of where I believe it should be so it should be okay for now.

Constantine NBC Fri 12/12 10 PM
Rating: 1.0 | Tot Viewers (MM): 3.3 | StD Rating: 1.0 | Target: 1.2 | Cancellation Alert: High

It improved for its Fall finale, but not enough to sway network execs to change their minds on its de facto cancellation.

Z Nation Syfy Fri 12/12 10 PM
Rating: Season Ended | Tot Viewers (MM): n/a | StD Rating: 0.5 | Target: 0.4 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

Returns for its second season in 2015.

Once Upon A Time ABC Sun 12/14 8 PM
Rating: 1.7 | Tot Viewers (MM): 5.7 | StD Rating: 2.6 | Target: 1.8 | Cancellation Alert: Low

After starting off the season with its highest numbers in years, this drop was unexpected.  (More on this one below)

The Librarians TNT Sun 12/14 8 PM
Rating: 0.8 | Tot Viewers (MM): 3.4 | StD Rating: 1.1 | Target: 1.0 | Cancellation Alert: Low

That was quite a drop from its premiere.  It’s not in the danger zone yet, but needs to hold around this level. (More on this one below)

Resurrection ABC Sun 12/14 9 PM
Rating: On Hiatus | Tot Viewers (MM): n/a | StD Rating: 1.5 | Target: 2.0 | Cancellation Alert: Elevated

On hiatus until January 4th.

The Walking Dead AMC Sun 12/14 9 PM
Rating: On Hiatus | Tot Viewers (MM): n/a | StD Rating: 7.5 | Target: 2.0 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

On hiatus until February 8th.

The Originals CW Mon 12/15 8 PM
Rating: On Hiatus | Tot Viewers (MM): n/a | StD Rating: 0.6 | Target: 0.7 | Cancellation Alert: Low

On hiatus until January 19th.

Gotham FOX Mon 12/15 8 PM
Rating: On Hiatus | Tot Viewers (MM): n/a | StD Rating: 2.5 | Target: 2.0 | Cancellation Alert: Low

On hiatus until January 5th.

Sleepy Hollow FOX Mon 12/15 9 PM
Rating: On Hiatus | Tot Viewers (MM): n/a | StD Rating: 1.6 | Target: 2.0 | Cancellation Alert: Low

On hiatus until January 5th.

Ascension Syfy Mon 12/15 9 PM
Rating: 0.6 | Tot Viewers (MM): 1.8 | StD Rating: 0.6 | Target: 0.7 | Cancellation Alert: Low

Not a great ratings return for the first installment in this mini-series, but if it can hold onto that score it might be good enough.  (More on this one below)

Ascension-Syfy-CancelledRatings Results:  The first episode of Syfy’s much anticipated mini-series Ascension bowed on Monday night to a 0.6 rating in the 18-49 demographic with 1.8 million total viewers.  That doesn’t count as a bad debut, but it’s not a particularly stellar ratings return either.  Syfy of course did their part to spin it into a win, pointing out that it landed in the Top 10 debuts for a cable channel this year in the 25-54 demo (where it had a 0.7 rating).  They noted that it performed similarly to Dominion and Helix on this scale, but then neither of those two have been ratings magnets for the network this year.  And the 1.8 million total viewers that Ascension pulled on its first night is less than half the four million number that Battlestar: Galactica attracted for its original mini-series bow.  Of course, Ascension was not produced on a BSG budget, so it doesn’t necessarily need to be reaching those levels, but I’m sure the Syfy execs would have like to have seen better returns.  The fact that Ascension has less BSG about it and more crime-drama-in-space (for the first installment at least) may be part of the reason that its numbers where not that high.  Fans were probably hoping for more of the space saga that BSG delivered, but the closest they got was Tricia Helfer showing up for a scenery chewing performance.  There are still two more installments to go (keep an eye on the Cancelled Sci Fi Twitter site today for last night’s numbers), so we will see how those fare with the Nielsens.  And since the early indication is that Ascension will not be an sfx-heavy show, maybe the 0.6 rating (assuming it sustains that over three nights) will be enough to convince Syfy to carry this one into an ongoing series.  But at this point, I am thinking the network is underwhelmed with the numbers thus far.

On Sunday night, TNT’s new entry The Librarians took a pretty large tumble in the ratings as that one pulled a 0.8 score in the 18-49 demo with 3.4 million total viewers.  That is a 38% drop from its 1.3 rating it had for its debut, and not necessarily a good sign for the show.  Perhaps the premiere drew in curious onlookers that had followed TNT’s TV movie series that this spun out of, but they were not impressed enough to stick around for the second episode.  Still, a 0.8 score is not too bad and the total viewer numbers was enough to get the show to the Number 13 slot in the cable Top 25 for the week.  If it can hold where it is, then it should be okay.  But if it slips much lower, then TNT may have to think long and hard about a second season.  Also on Sunday, ABC’s Once Upon A Time went out with a whimper for its Fall finale as it sunk to a series low of a 1.7 rating with 5.7 million total viewers.  Maybe Sunday was just a bad night in general and football was more of an obstacle than usual, but that was a somewhat surprising drop for the show, especially considering how it started the season.  Now the show goes on a two and a half month hiatus and we will have to wait until March to see if it rebounds.  I don’t believe this puts Once Upon A Time in trouble at the moment, but if it doesn’t improve much when it returns then it may end up getting that “final season” renewal designed to wrap up all its current storylines.

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.

2 thoughts on “Cancellation Watch: Ascension Does Not Soar too High with First Installment, The Librarians Drops with Second Episode

  1. jack

    Is Person of Interest in danger of getting cancelled? The dropping numbers are worrying. Please answer, thank you.

    1. admin Post author

      The 1.3 ratings score this week was partly due to poor scheduling by CBS (two weeks of repeats then Fall finale during a typically low viewership week). Its season to date numbers are lower than I expected, but it is still doing relatively well for a fourth season CBS show. They tend to keep shows like Person of Interest around to plug up the 10 PM EST timeslot. It’s not in danger of cancellation now, but keep an eye on the numbers when it returns from hiatus next year (first 2015 ep on Jan 6).


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