Sci Fi TV Power Rankings: The Fall Finale Edition Sees The 100 Improve its Status Slightly and Resurrection Slip to the Bottom of the List

By | December 23, 2014


the-100-cancelledWith all the Fall shows now wrapped up (except for late entry The Librarians which will run without a break), this will act at the Fall finale edition of the Sci Fi TV Power Rankings.  The ranking and status that the shows below have now indicate where they stand going into the second half of the season.  For the most part, the rankings have not change much since my last set of Power Rankings.  I did add The Librarians  and Ascension which shifted some shows down a couple of rungs.  Also, I did some shuffling at the bottom with ABC’s Resurrection now at the end of the list (NBC’s Constantine just recently got a slight bit of good news) and The 100 improving from Likely to Get Cancelled to On the Bubble..  And I have taken Teen Wolf off the list because it looks like it will not start its fifth season in January like I previously thought.  But I just slotted Starz’s Outlander in that same slot as it resumes its first season in April and has already been renewed for a second year.  In January, I will be putting up a post looking at the prospects of the mid-season entries (we are still waiting on debut dates for several of those), and they will start finding their way to the Power Rankings once they have a couple of episodes under their belt.

Note that these rankings only look at shows currently airing or those that are returning at some point this season (thus the reason none of the new mid-season entries appear here). New series that have aired one or less episodes will not make it into the rankings yet because I have to have some sort of a sampling to make a determination of their status. And import shows like Syfy’s The Almighty Johnsons or BBC America’s Atlantis which are not as heavily (or not at all) impacted by their ratings in the States are not included here either. The rankings order the shows by those least likely to get cancelled to those most likely. The number in parenthesis is the show’s prior rank. Any non-cancelled show in its final season will be addressed separately at the bottom. You can see the full schedule for the Fall shows at this link.

Cancellation Alert statuses from least likely to be cancelled to most likely: Low, Moderate, Medium, Elevated, High

Renewed or Sure to Get Renewed:

1 (1) The Walking Dead (AMC) – Another record-setting season for this series and it looks like it won’t be slowing down anytime soon.  It’s sixth season renewal has already been secured and the spin-off series will bow at some point next year.  The sci fi genre’s biggest juggernaut continues to march forward
StD Rating: 7.5 | Prior Season Rating: 6.8 | Curr Season Target: 2.0 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Strong Ratings, Ratings Increase Year over Year, Strong Social Network Presence

2 (2) Game of Thrones (HBO) – While it’s not quite at The Walking Dead levels, this series set new highs in its fourth season (surpassing The Sopranos as HBO’s most watched series ever) and also regularly beat out most programming on the broadcast networks. It  looks  poised for an extended stay in the upper rungs of this list.
Prior Season Rating: 3.7 | Curr Season Target: 2.0 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Strong Ratings, Ratings Increase Year over Year, Strong Social Network Presence

3 (3) American Horror Story (FX) – This season started strong but has since slipped to the lowest numbers it has seen since its first season.  That’s still not bad for a basic cable series, but this one may have pushed its over-the-top horror a bit too far this year.  That’s not a problem, though, because it already has its fifth season renewal in the bag and it resets at that point.
StD Rating: 2.0 | Prior Season Rating: 2.2 | Curr Season Target: 1.0 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Strong Ratings, Ratings Increase Year over Year, Strong Social Network Presence

outlander-starz-cancelled4 (n/a) Outlander (Starz) – By its network’s standards, this one counted as a major hit and started to develop a fair amount of buzz as the first half of its first season progressed.  I expect that to continue through the latter half of its first year and into its second season as well.
StD Rating: 0.3 | Prior Season Rating Avg: n/a | Curr Season Target: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Ratings Increase in Season, Relative Ratings, Strong Social Network Presence

5 (5) Star Wars: Rebels (Disney XD) – The renewal was never really in question for this one as it is more about keeping the franchise going and selling Star Wars products.  Consider it likely to stick around as long as Disney wants to keep cranking out episodes.
StD Rating: n/a | Prior Season Rating: n/a | Curr Season Target: 0.5 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Recognized Franchise, Good Debut Ratings

6 (6) Z Nation (Syfy) – The renewal for this show came as no surprise seeing as it is an inexpensive entry and has been pulling a decent ratings average for Syfy.  Meanwhile, the network has failed to see much ratings success with the more science fiction oriented entries like Defiance, Helix, or the recent Ascension.  Does this mean that Sharknado: The Series will shortly be in the works?
StD Rating: 0.5 | Prior Season Rating: n/a | Curr Season Target: 0.4 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Good Early Ratings, Low Production Costs.

7 (7) Arrow (CW) – This is the one broadcast network series almost guaranteed to get a renewal this season.  For one, it’s a third season season series meaning that a fourth year will get it to the episode count that the syndication market prefers to see.  Also, it airs on the fifth place network which has been known to renew shows even with lagging ratings.  Plus, with The Flash joining The CW’s lineup, Arrow is anchoring a DC multi-series lineup on television that could bring more spin-offs (do I see a Birds of Prey revival on the horizon?).  Even a ratings collapse (unlikely) may not doom Arrow based on The CW’s renewal of Beauty and the Beast last season.  So you can bank on it still being on the schedule for the 2015-16 season.
StD Rating: 1.0 | Prior Season Rating: 0.9 | Curr Season Target: 0.9 | Cancellation Alert: Low
Pros: Relative Ratings, Fifth Place Network Series, Third Season Series

8 (8) The Flash (CW) – This show has delivered some of the highest ratings that The CW has seen in years and quickly received a full season pickup.  Its numbers have slipped since its season premiere, but it is still the highest rated show on its network and it continues to race toward a second season renewal.
StD Rating: 1.6 | Prior Season Rating: n/a | Curr Season Target: 0.9 | Cancellation Alert: Low
Pros: Relative Ratings, Fifth Place Network Series, Full Season Pickup, Good DVR Gains

9 (9) Supernatural (CW) – This show’s numbers have not been quite as good as last season, but still good enough for the fifth place network.  Most likely it will keep going as long as the show’s creative team can continue to find new (or recycle old) stories for the Winchester brothers, and any decision to end the show will likely be a planned one.  And an eleventh season simply pads out the syndication package that much more and also gets it the record as the longest running sci fi / fantasy show in the U.S. (current record holders are Stargate: SG-1 and Smallville, both at ten seasons).
StD Rating: 1.5 | Prior Season Rating: 0.0 | Curr Season Target: 0.9 | Cancellation Alert: Low
Pros: Relative Ratings, Fifth Place Network Series, Consistent Performer, Good DVR Gains

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Likely to Get Renewed:

once-upon-a-time-abc-cancelled10 (10) Once Upon A Time (ABC) – It started the season with its ratings at two year highs but ended up going out with somewhat of a whimper.  Still, it’s in no danger of cancellation at this point.  I wouldn’t be surprised, though, if they renewed it for a fifth season and announced that as its final year.
StD Rating: 2.6 | Prior Season Rating: 2.2 | Curr Season Target: 1.8 | Cancellation Alert: Low
Pros: Top 25 Based on Ratings, Ratings Improvement Year over Year, Good DVR Gains
Cons:

11 (11) Gotham (FOX) – This show started strong for FOX but slipped some as the season progressed.  But it is still that struggling network’s highest rated non-animated series and looks to be a lock for a second year renewal short of a late-season ratings collapse.
StD Rating: 2.5 | Prior Season Rating Avg: n/a | Curr Season Target: 2.0 | Cancellation Alert: Low
Pros: Strong Early Ratings, Recognized Franchise, Top 25 Based on Ratings,  Full Season Pickup, Good DVR Gains

12 (12) From Dusk Till Dawn (El Rey) – It didn’t make a dent in the cable ratings during its first season, but it was on a new network that was more concerned about establishing its brand than waving Nielsen numbers around. This season they may expect better ratings, but I am guessing that El Rey will show some patience and prop it up for a third season run.
Prior Season Rating Avg: 0.2 | Curr Season Target: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Low
Pros: Low Ratings Expectations, New Network

13 (13) Sleepy Hollow (FOX) – This show’s numbers are down from its first year, but relatively speaking it is still doing okay for the struggling FOX.  If it drops much further, it may have reason to worry, but for now I would say that a third season renewal looks very realistic.
StD Rating: 1.6 | Prior Season Rating: 2.6 | Curr Season Target: 2.0 | Cancellation Alert: Low
Pros: Relative Ratings, Good DVR Gains
Cons: Ratings Decline Year over Year, Ratings Decline in Season

Renewal Possible:

14 (14) Vampire Diaries (CW) – This has definitely been this show’s weakest season yet ratings-wise, but it’s not at the disastrous levels yet.  At this point I’m thinking it is looking at a shortened seventh season to wrap up all its storylines because that’s the way The CW usually rolls.
StD Rating: 0.8 | Prior Season Rating: 1.0 | Curr Season Target: 0.9 | Cancellation Alert: Low
Pros: Relative Ratings, Fifth Place Network Series, Strong Social Network Presence, Good DVR Gains
Cons: Ratings Decline Year over Year, Ratings Decline in Season

15 (15) The Originals (CW) – It’s numbers may not look great this season, but it’s definitely pulling more viewers to Monday nights than The CW has seen in a while.  It slipped some toward the end of its Fall run, but I think it is still in good shape at this point.
StD Rating: 0.6 | Prior Season Rating: 0.9 | Curr Season Target: 0.7 | Cancellation Alert: Low
Pros: Relative Ratings, Fifth Place Network Series

person-of-interest-cancelled16 (16) Person of Interest (CBS) – This show is at it lowest ratings levels in four years and sunk back to a series low for its Fall finale (not in a small part driven by poor scheduling).  Still, CBS tends to keep veteran shows like this around if they sufficiently plug up a 10 PM EST hour timeslot across the week.  I’m thinking if it can hold at its current season to date average, then it should get a fifth season nod to pad out its syndication package.
StD Rating: 1.6 | Prior Season Rating: 2.0 | Curr Season Target: 1.8 | Cancellation Alert: Low
Pros: High Total Viewership, Top 25 Based on Viewership
Cons: Ratings Decline Year over Year

17 (17) Grimm (NBC) – This show is at all-time lows, but it is still performing above my estimated target of a 1.2 ratings average in the 18-49 demographic based on the overnights.  If it can hold there, then I believe that NBC will keep it around because it plugs up that difficult Friday 8 PM EST timeslot.  The timeslot swapping with Constantine in January will hurt its numbers some, but that will only be for a few weeks.
StD Rating: 1.3 | Prior Season Rating: 1.4 | Curr Season Target: 1.2 | Cancellation Alert: Low
Pros: Relative Ratings, Good DVR Gains
Cons: Ratings Decline Year over Year, Ratings Decline in Season

18 (n/a) The Librarians (TNT) – This late entry had an impressive bow with a 1.3 rating in the 18-49 demographic based on the overnights, but then it slipped to a 0.8 score for its next two episodes.  Still, its total viewership numbers have been good so far and probably high enough to help it win a second season if it does not drop much further.  I will need to see the numbers for a few more eps airing during the non-holiday season to get a better feel for it, though.
StD Rating: 1.3 | Prior Season Rating: n/a | Curr Season Target: 1.0 | Cancellation Alert: Low
Pros: Good Debut Ratings
Cons: Ratings Decline in Season

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On the Bubble:

19 (18) Agents of SHIELD (ABC) – This show started to see some improvement as it wrapped up its Fall run, but now its two and a half month hiatus will almost certainly be a momentum killer.  Still, it has good delayed viewing numbers and the Disney brass is likely pulling for it.  And if ABC decides not to bring it back for a third season, there’s always a chance that Netflix could take a flyer on it.
StD Rating: 1.7 | Prior Season Rating: 2.4 | Curr Season Target: 2.2 | Cancellation Alert: Moderate
Pros: Recognized Franchise, Good DVR Gains
Cons: Ratings Decline Year over Year, Decline in Season, High Production Costs

20 (19) Helix (Syfy, Returning for a 2nd Season) – It got the second season renewal last year, but that was far from a sure thing. The fact that it fits in with Syfy’s move back to more science fiction oriented scripted programming probably helped it, and its ratings average was about the same as what Haven had in the Fall of 2013 before that one got renewed. But I am thinking that Helix will have to build on its current numbers when it returns if it hopes to live beyond its second year.
Prior Season Rating Avg: 0.4 | Curr Season Target: 0.4 | Cancellation Alert: Moderate
Pros: Strong Early Buzz
Cons: Mediocre Ratings, Ratings Decline in Season

forever-abc-cancelled21 (20) Forever (ABC) – This one is still hanging in there and showed some slight improvements in its overnights late in Fall.  I’m pulling for it getting a renewal because that would mean that the networks truly are looking beyond the overnights to determine if a show if performing well.  But in the meantime it is a waiting game.
StD Rating: 1.2 | Prior Season Rating: n/a | Curr Season Target: 2.0 | Cancellation Alert: Moderate
Pros: Decent Debut Ratings, Full Season Pickup, Good DVR Gains
Cons: Low Ratings, Ratings Decline in Season

22 (22) The 100 (CW) – The numbers are still low for this show, but it saw same slight improvements late in Fall.  The fans are definitely active on the social networks, so maybe they can continue to draw attention to it and get its numbers to improve further.  If it can average a 0.7 score across the rest of its Season 2 episodes, it might have a chance. For those reasons I am moving it out of the Likely to Get Cancelled category for the moment, but it will slip back if its numbers fall when it returns in January.
StD Rating: 0.5 | Prior Season Rating Avg: 0.6 | Curr Season Target: 0.9 | Cancellation Alert: Medium
Pros: Decent Debut Ratings, Relative Ratings, Fifth Place Network Series
Cons: Ratings Declines in Season

23 (n/a) Ascension (Syfy) – For all the hype, this one pulled some pretty tepid numbers. And I’m not hearing much in the way of positive buzz across the social networks. This one may have been a still-born series anyway, and it doesn’t seem likely that we will ever get a resolution to that cliffhanger. But then it is always hard to say which direction Syfy will go.
Prior Season Rating Avg: 0.5 | Curr Season Target: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Medium
Cons: Mediocre Ratings

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Likely to Get Cancelled:

24 (21) Haven (Syfy) – The numbers for this show remained low throughout the first half of its fifth season, but the second half is still happening and they are bringing in a big name with William Shatner stopping by for a multiple episode arc.  If he can help get the numbers up, maybe there is a shred of hope for a sixth season.
StD Rating: 0.2 | Prior Season Rating: 0.4 | Curr Season Target: 0.4 | Cancellation Alert: Medium
Pros: Low Production Costs, Strong Social Network Presence
Cons: Low Ratings, Ratings Decline Year over Year

25 (24) Constantine (NBC) – NBC halted production on this show, but they may not have given up on it yet.  When it returns in January, it will air one hour earlier which may help its numbers some.  That may be too little too late, but at least the network is trying something to bring in more viewers.
StD Rating: 1.0 | Prior Season Rating Avg: n/a | Curr Season Target: 1.2 | Cancellation Alert: Elevated
Pros: Relative Ratings, Good DVR Gains
Cons: Ratings Declines in Season

resurrection-abc-cancelled26 (23) Resurrection (ABC) – This show started out with decent numbers for its second season, but it has dropped fast and far.  And it hasn’t been seeing too much in the way of gains from delayed viewing.  ABC previously ordered one more episode beyond the second season’s original thirteen requested and I’m thinking they are targeting that as a series finale.
StD Rating: 1.5 | Prior Season Rating: 2.5 | Curr Season Target: 2.0 | Cancellation Alert: Elevated
Cons: Ratings Decline in Season

Unrankable:

Both of these shows were renewed last year despite a ratings performance that would have led to the cancellation of most other series (in fact, Hannibal pulled lower numbers than Dracula in the same timeslot yet the latter series was cancelled).  So other factors are apparently driving their fates and I will elect to pass on making any predictions on their renewal/cancellation prospects.

Hannibal (NBC, Returning for a 3rd Season) – It appears that NBC has made a long-term deal with this show’s studio and its international production arrangement means that it comes to the network at a lower cost. It sufficiently plugs up the difficult late Friday timeslot and the show has plenty of good buzz from the critics, so maybe it will coast through that seven year run that showrunner Bryan Fuller envisions.
Prior Season Rating Avg: 0.9 | Curr Season Target: n/a | Cancellation Alert: No Guess
Pros: Recognized Franchise, Strong Social Network Presence, Good Buzz from Critics
Cons: Poor Ratings, Ratings Decline in Season

Beauty and the Beast (CW, Returning for a 3rd Season) – Is its international audience really that good? Is it the CBS/WB balance of shows theory that the TV by the Numbers guys have theorized? Or do the execs at The CW just not give a damn and want to thumb their noses at the old-school model of renewing and cancelling television shows (if so, you have to give them props for that at least). All I know is that fans of The Tomorrow People, Star-Crossed, The Secret Circle, Cult, and other cancelled CW shows would like to have words with those network executives.
Prior Season Rating Avg: 0.3 | Curr Season Target: n/a | Cancellation Alert: No Guess
Pros: Recognized Franchise? Good International Audience?
Cons: Abysmal Ratings

Last Season’s Sci Fi / Fantasy Shows on Blu-ray and DVD:

 

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