Cancellation Watch: A&E’s The Returned Has a Modest Debut; Agents of SHIELD Keeps Falling, Could a Sci Fi-Pocalypse be Coming to ABC?

By | March 12, 2015

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 Monday Mar 9th thru Wednesday Mar 11th (analysis and metric definitions below):

Note: The Monday broadcast network shows were covered in the previous Cancellation Watch post.

The Returned A&E Mon 3/9 10 PM
Rating: 0.6 | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): 1.5 | StD Rating: 0.8 | Target: 1.0 | Cancellation Alert: Low

Not a great debut.  If it drops from here then it could be in trouble.  (More on this one below)

The Flash (R) CW Tue 3/10 8 PM
Rating: 0.4 | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): 1.3 | StD Rating: 1.5 | Target: 0.9 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

Repeat. Resumes new episodes next week.

Agents of SHIELD ABC Tue 3/10 9 PM
Rating: 1.5 | % Chng PW: -6.3% | Tot Viewers (MM): 3.8 | StD Rating: 1.7 | Target: 2.0 | Cancellation Alert: Medium

It’s numbers are headed in the wrong direction and its future is looking bleak. (More on this one below)

Supernatural (R) CW Tue 3/10 9 PM
Rating: 0.3 | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.8 | StD Rating: 0.9 | Target: 0.9 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

Repeat. Resumes new episodes next week.

Forever (R) ABC Tue 3/10 10 PM
Rating: 0.7 | % Chng PW: -30.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 3.0 | StD Rating: 1.1 | Target: 1.6 | Cancellation Alert: Medium

Repeat. Resumes new episodes March 24th.

Person of Interest CBS Tue 3/10 10 PM
Rating: 1.5 | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): 8.7 | StD Rating: 1.6 | Target: 1.7 | Cancellation Alert: Low

Last week was a repeat, this week its numbers dropped from its last new broadcast, then next week is a repeat again. Yeah, that’s all working out good for the show’s numbers . . .

Arrow (R) CW Wed 3/11 8 PM
Rating: 0.3 | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): 1.2 | StD Rating: 1.1 | Target: 0.9 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

Repeat. Resumes new episodes next week.

The 100 CW Wed 3/11 9 PM
Rating: 0.4 | % Chng PW: -20.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 1.3 | StD Rating: 0.5 | Target: 0.7 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

(Numbers based on the Preliminaries) This show just could not build its audience this season, but reaped the benefits of airing on the fifth place network. I don’t know that it can coast on that into a fourth season, though.

TheReturned_ae_cancelledSeries Premiere: A&E’s supernatural drama The Returned had its bow on Monday and pulled a 0.6 rating in the 18-49 demographic based on the overnights with 1.5 million total viewers.  Those aren’t terrible numbers for a basic cable series, but they are on the low side and its not a great start since shows typically drop off after their premiere.  Of course one of the problems with this one may be dipping into the same well too often.  It is based on the acclaimed French series Les Revenants (translation: The Returned) which already aired on the Sundance channel with subtitles.  And ABC also did a spin on the concept with Resurrection which recently wrapped up its second season and appears certainly headed to cancellation.  Now A&E is doing their own take on the story, and interest seems to be waning.  I’m not going to raise its Cancellation Alert just yet, but unless it holds steady next week (unlikely), I almost certainly will.

On the Hot Seat:  ABC’s Agents of SHIELD slipped to a 1.5 rating in the 18-49 demo with 3.8 million total viewers on Tuesday which matches the series low it previously pulled back in November.  The show was actually seeing a bit of a surge in its numbers at the end of Fall, but the two and a half month hiatus stifled that and it’s struggling to keep its audience now that it has returned.  I already said last week that I’m pretty sure only an edict from Disney will keep it alive at this point, but if these numbers keep falling the mouse-house would be hard-pressed to make that move.  And that could mean that ABC could experience its own Sci Fi-pocalypse by the end of the season looking at the state of its genre entries for this year.  Resurrection and Galavant are almost certainly goners and Forever looks unlikely to stick around as well.  Agents of SHIELD is hanging on by a thread and Agent Carter will certainly go as well it AoS gets the ax.  And planned mid-season replacement The Whispers looks like it won’t even make the schedule or may get a late, “bridge season” start in April or May which effectively amounts to a burn-off run.  The only show that is safe at the moment is Once Upon A Time meaning that five of the network’s six current genre entries could get the ax and one may have been killed before it began.  And if that happens, I have to believe that ABC would be leery about adding many sci fi / fantasy shows to its schedule for next season.  We still have a couple of months left in the season and its not impossible that Agents of SHIELD could pick up some momentum again.  But at the moment the future is not looking great for the alphabet net’s genre shows.

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

% Chng PW: The percentage change +/- for this week’s rating vs. last week’s rating.

Tot Viewers: Estimated total viewers (age 2+) 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.

One thought on “Cancellation Watch: A&E’s The Returned Has a Modest Debut; Agents of SHIELD Keeps Falling, Could a Sci Fi-Pocalypse be Coming to ABC?

  1. Brenda Kay

    The single biggest problem with all of these shows based on deceased people coming back to life, but not as zombies, is they never give any sort of a reason or explanation for why the returned have come back. “Resurrection” strung along the viewers for two frustrating seasons, introducing all sorts of story lines, but never actually bothering to explain anything. And the French series “Les Revenants” which “The Returned” is directly fashioned on, also never explained why certain individuals were coming back to life.

    You would think by now that Hollywood television writers, producers and the networks would grasp the earth shattering concept, that viewers want resolutions to story lines, they want intelligent explanations for story plots and given the wide range of choices available, there is no loyalty to any series which continues to insult and annoy its viewers.


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