Cancellation Watch: The Flash and Other Tuesday Genre Shows are Now Suffering the Full Effects of the Ratings Slump

By | March 27, 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 23rd thru Thursday Mar 26th (analysis and metric definitions below):

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

The Returned A&E Mon 3/23 10 PM
Rating: 0.4 | % Chng PW: 0.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 1.1 | StD Rating: 0.8 | Target: 0.8 | Cancellation Alert: Low

No improvement yet on this show and it is pulling only half the ratings in the 18-49 demo as its Bates Motel lead-in.  Doesn’t look good for it.

The Flash CW Tue 3/24 8 PM
Rating: 1.2 | % Chng PW: -7.7% | Tot Viewers (MM): 3.3 | StD Rating: 1.5 | Target: 0.9 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

It sunk to a season/series low, but the preponderance of repeats will do that.  It’s still performing quite well by CW standards, though.

Agents of SHIELD ABC Tue 3/24 9 PM
Rating: 1.5 | % Chng PW: -6.3% | Tot Viewers (MM): 4.3 | StD Rating: 1.7 | Target: 2.0 | Cancellation Alert: Medium

It looked like it might be building some season-end momentum when it improved last week, but now it is back down.  I don’t believe it will survive if it stays at this level.

iZombie CW Tue 3/24 9 PM
Rating: 0.7 | % Chng PW: -12.5% | Tot Viewers (MM): 2.0 | StD Rating: 0.8 | Target: 0.7 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

It dropped from its debut, but that’s to be expected.  Now we have to see where the downward trend stops to gauge its chances for a second season (which still look pretty good at this early stage).

Forever ABC Tue 3/24 10 PM
Rating: 0.9 | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): 4.4 | StD Rating: 1.1 | Target: 1.6 | Cancellation Alert: Medium

This series has had no chance to build any momentum with its frequent repeats and preemptions.  Cancellation is still looking likely unless the network really is looking at those delayed viewing numbers.

Person of Interest CBS Tue 3/24 10 PM
Rating: 1.5 | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): 9.2 | StD Rating: 1.6 | Target: 1.7 | Cancellation Alert: Low

It dropped from its last new episode two weeks ago and then it gets preempted next week.  Sigh . . .

Arrow CW Wed 3/25 8 PM
Rating: 1.0 | % Chng PW: +11.1% | Tot Viewers (MM): 2.9 | StD Rating: 1.0 | Target: 0.9 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

It improved from last week and this one goes straight through to its season finale with no more repeats.

Supernatural CW Wed 3/25 9 PM
Rating: 0.7 | % Chng PW: +16.7% | Tot Viewers (MM): 1.7 | StD Rating: 0.9 | Target: 0.9 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

It’s up from its season low, but it’s definitely not doing as well in this hour as it did with The Flash as its lead-in.

Vampire Diaries (R) CW Thu 3/26 8 PM
Rating: 0.3 | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.7 | StD Rating: 0.8 | Target: 0.9 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

Repeat.  Resumes new episodes April 16th.

flash-the-cw-cancelledRatings Results: Since early in mid-season, we have seen the definite signs of a ratings slump impacting the broadcast networks (and several of the cable channels as well).  But in a post from mid-February I noted that the Tuesday night sci fi / fantasy shows on the broadcast nets seemed to be defying the slump up to that point.  However, since then those shows have been subjected to repeats and preemptions and Agents of SHIELD returned from its long hiatus to take over from Agent Carter.  And based on the results from this past Tuesday–which was the first time in a while that the genre shows had a full slate of new episodes–the the ratings slump is definitely taking its toll on that night’s shows.  The CW’s The Flash–one of this season’s few bonafide hits–slipped to a series low of a 1.2 rating in the 18-49 demographic based on the overnights.  And its lead-out series–new entry iZombie–slipped to a 0.7 rating.  ABC’s Agents of SHIELD dropped to a 1.5 rating after it showed signs of building some momentum last week.   And that network’s Forever matched it season low with a 0.9 rating as it continues to act as schedule fodder to pad out its hour to the end of the season.  On CBS, Person of Interest continues to alternate new episodes with repeats/preemptions and it slipped to a 1.5 rating.  I know that I keep beating on this dead horse, but the broadcast nets have to find a better way to program their schedules.  The numbers show that the late season repeats lead to ratings drops across all the shows as the television year winds down, and the old school networks continue to lose audience share to the many other viewing options out there and continue to cancel decent shows based on ratings driven by their own poor scheduling decisions.  If they keep this up, pretty soon the dinosaurs will need to make room for them in the land of extinction.

I will post the results for Dig when they are available later today or early tomorrow.  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: The Flash and Other Tuesday Genre Shows are Now Suffering the Full Effects of the Ratings Slump

  1. Brenda Kay

    I haven’t missed an episode of “The Returned”, but it isn’t what I would call a particularly engaging series at this point. Aside from the constant feeling that there won’t be any explanation for why some of the returned are back, just like on “Resurrection”; the characters themselves are rather boring, uninteresting and for a couple of them, downright unlikeable.


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