Sci Fi TV Power Rankings: Agent Carter Has a Tenuous Entry, 12 Monkeys and Helix Start On the Bubble, and No Happy Ending for Galavant

By | January 27, 2015

agent-carter-abc-cancelledThe first Power Rankings of 2015 bring quite a number of changes from where we left off in Fall, especially after factoring in the blanket renewals of The CW shows as well as Gotham‘s recent nod for a second season.  The Network Executioner has been on the sidelines all season, but there are at least of a few shows toward the bottom of the list that he can start sharpening his ax for.  And there are three new entries in this set of rankings (Agent Carter, Galavant, 12 Monkeys), though none of them are entering on very strong footing.  I need to see a few more weeks’ worth of numbers for Agent Carter and 12 Monkeys, but Galavant has already wrapped up its short run looks to be gallivanting off to television oblivion pretty soon.  The biggest riser in the rankings this time around was The 100 which went from On the Bubble to renewed (and I previously had it as Likely to Get Cancelled).  The biggest fall was by Sleepy Hollow which went from Likely to Get Renewed to near bubble status (more on why below).  The Target numbers for many of these shows have been revised to account for the continued ratings declines the broadcast networks are experiencing, more on that at this link.

Note that these rankings only look at shows currently airing or those that are returning at some point this season. 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:

the-walking-dead-cast1 (1) The Walking Dead (AMC) – Another record-setting year for this series thus far and expect big numbers for its mid-season return.  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.  They’re still not bad for a basic cable series, but the show 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: 1.9 | Prior Season Rating: 2.2 | Curr Season Target: 1.0 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Good Ratings, Strong Social Network Presence
Cons: Ratings Declines in Season, Ratings Declines Year Over Year

4 (4) 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 (8) The Flash (CW) – This series debuted strong and has held onto its audience throughout the season.  It’s renewal has pretty much been a given since early Fall and now it will likely speed its way to a third season as well.
StD Rating: 1.5 | Prior Season Rating: n/a | Curr Season Target: 0.9 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Strong Early Ratings, Relative Ratings, Fifth Place Network Series, Good DVR Gains

7 (7) Arrow (CW) – The renewal for this show was pretty much a given going into the year seeing as 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) and because it airs on the fifth place network which has been known to renew shows even with lagging ratings.  With The Flash renewed as well and The Atom possibly on the way (plus the addition of iZombie in March), should we rename this channel to The DC?
StD Rating: 1.0 | Prior Season Rating: 0.9 | Curr Season Target: 0.9 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Relative Ratings, Fifth Place Network Series, Third Season Series

Gotham-FOX-Cancelled8 (11) Gotham (FOX) – DC shows rule on television as FOX’s entry from that comic book milieu received a renewal as well as The CW’s The Flash and Arrow.  This one comes as no surprise as it was the network’s top performing scripted series before Empire bowed this month.  Now the question is whether the somewhat limited premise of a pre-Batman story can sustain itself for multiple seasons.
StD Rating: 2.4 | Prior Season Rating: n/a | Curr Season Target: 1.8 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Strong Early Ratings, Recognized Franchise, Top 25 Based on Ratings,  Full Season Pickup, Good DVR Gains

9 (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.

10 (9) Supernatural (CW) – This show just keeps trucking along and delivering solid ratings for The CW no matter what night it airs.  And its upcoming eleventh season will make it the 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: 0.9 | Prior Season Rating: 1.0 | Curr Season Target: 0.9 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Relative Ratings, Fifth Place Network Series, Consistent Performer

11 (15) The Originals (CW) – The CW’s strategy worked.  This show performed better on Mondays than anything the network has aired on that night in quite a while.  But whether it can sustain its numbers on that evening remains to be seen.  Still, next year it will be a  third season season series, so its chances to coast into a four year look good.
StD Rating: 0.6 | Prior Season Rating: 0.9 | Curr Season Target: 0.7 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Relative Ratings, Fifth Place Network Series, Good DVR Gains

12 (14) Vampire Diaries (CW) – The renewal for this series did not surprise me, but I expected The CW to announce it as the show’s final season because of its lagging ratings.  They could still go that route, but you never know for sure with the fifth place network.
StD Rating: 0.8 | Prior Season Rating: 1.0 | Curr Season Target: 0.9 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Relative Ratings, Fifth Place Network Series, Strong Social Network Presence, Good DVR Gains
Cons: Ratings Decline Year over Year, Ratings Decline in Season

13 (22) The 100 (CW) – It’s always good to see a struggling show like this get the unexpected renewal.  Were its DVR gains the deciding factor?  Was it the strong fanbase that has been very active online?  Or did it just get lucky because the network wanted to crow about renewing all of their Fall shows.  It’s hard to say for sure, but the fans are definitely happy and the show gets an extended lease on life to build its audience.
StD Rating: 0.5 | Prior Season Rating: 0.6 | Curr Season Target: 0.7 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Relative Ratings, Fifth Place Network Series, Strong Social Network Presence, Good DVR Gains
Cons: Ratings Decline Year over Year, Ratings Declines in Season

14 (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: Ratings Decline in Season

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Likely to Get Renewed:

the-librarians-tnt-cancelled15 (18) The Librarians (TNT) – This late entry had an impressive bow based on its ratings in the 18-49 demographic in December, but then saw its numbers decline from there.  Still, it ranked in the Top 25 among cable shows based on total viewers for each week that it aired, so its chances of seeing a second season look good.
StD Rating: 0.9 | Prior Season Rating: n/a | Curr Season Target: 1.0 | Cancellation Alert: Low
Pros: Good Debut Ratings, Top 25 Show Based on Total Viewers
Cons: Ratings Decline in Season

16 (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

Renewal Possible:

17 (16) Person of Interest (CBS) – This show is at it lowest ratings levels in four years in no small part due to poor scheduling by its network.  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: 1.7 | Cancellation Alert: Low
Pros: High Total Viewership, Top 25 Based on Viewership
Cons: Ratings Decline Year over Year, Ratings Decline in Season

18 (17) Grimm (NBC) – This show is at all-time lows, but it is still performing right at 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.
StD Rating: 1.2 | 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

Sleepy-Hollow-FOX-Cancelled19 (13) Sleepy Hollow (FOX) – The relative ratings have suggested that this show has been doing well for the struggling FOX network, but their recent comments suggest that they are not completely happy with it.  Factor in that it could be an expensive series to produce and that it is a long way off from a syndication friendly count of episodes and that may have the network execs thinking long and hard about bringing it back for a third year.  I still think it is okay, but it needs to trend up for the remainder of its second season to help assure a third.
StD Rating: 1.6 | Prior Season Rating: 2.6 | Curr Season Target: 1.8 | Cancellation Alert: Low
Pros: Relative Ratings, Good DVR Gains
Cons: Ratings Decline Year over Year, Ratings Decline in Season

20 (n/a) Agent Carter (ABC) – This show has only had two airings thus far (the two-hour premiere and one additional ep), but its numbers haven’t been great.  Still, its debut had decent DVR gains and that appears to have Agents of SHIELD hanging in there, so we will have to see how it tracks over the next few weeks.  The preemptions and repeats sure aren’t helping, though.
StD Rating: 1.7 | Prior Season Rating: n/a | Curr Season Target: 1.8 | Cancellation Alert: Low
Pros: Recognized Franchise, Good DVR Gains
Cons: Mediocre Ratings, Ratings Decline in Season

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On the Bubble:

21 (19) 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

12-monkeys-syfy-cancelled22 (n/a) 12 Monkeys (Syfy) – It debuted with a 0.4 rating in the 18-48 demo based on the overnights which means that it started off at what is likely the lowest acceptable level for a Syfy show.  It dropped one tick further in its second week which is not a good thing.  It’s still early to make a solid call, but it’s not off to a strong start.
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

23 (20) Helix (Syfy) – This show entered the season on unsure footing and has started out with pretty tepid numbers across its first two episodes.  It’s hard to say for sure what direction Syfy will go with it, but it needs to get back up to a 0.4 average score to have any hope for a third season.
Prior Season Rating Avg: 0.3 | Curr Season Target: 0.4 | Cancellation Alert: Moderate
Cons: Poor Ratings, Ratings Decline Year over Year, Ratings Decline in Season

24 (21) Forever (ABC) – This one is still hanging in there, but just barely because of its DVR numbers.  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

25 (23) 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:

26 (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

27 (24) Constantine (NBC) – NBC halted production on this show, but claimed that they were not giving up on it just yet.  But then its January return in an early timeslot has seen its numbers slip further, so it seems like the chances of that second season renewal are even slimmer now.
StD Rating: 1.0 | Prior Season Rating: n/a | Curr Season Target: 1.1 | Cancellation Alert: High
Pros: Relative Ratings, Good DVR Gains
Cons: Ratings Declines in Season

galavant-abc-cancelled28 (n/a) Galavant (ABC) – It bowed to decent numbers, then dropped off pretty quickly.  But ABC gets to cancel this one (even though they will probably never officially cancel it) without admitting defeat.  They will just claim it was always intended to run for only four weeks (though they certainly built in the possibility for continuation).
StD Rating: 1.7 | Prior Season Rating: n/a | Curr Season Target: 1.8 | Cancellation Alert: High
Pros: Decent Debut Ratings, Good DVR Gains
Cons: Decline in Season

29 (23) Resurrection (ABC) – The January return for this show has seen it sink to all-time lows.  It hasn’t seen too much in the way of DVR gains and I haven’t noticed much fan activity online in support of it, so it seems highly unlikely that it will be resurrected for a third season.
StD Rating: 1.3 | Prior Season Rating: 2.5 | Curr Season Target: 1.8 | Cancellation Alert: High
Cons: Ratings Declines Year Over Year, 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

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