Cancellation Watch: Could the Overall Struggles of the Broadcast Networks Help Agents of SHIELD Survive? UPDATED

By | April 9, 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 Apr 6th thru Wednesday Apr 8th (analysis and metric definitions below):

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

[Updated: For Agents of SHIELD spin-off announcement, see below]

The Returned A&E Mon 4/6 10 PM
Rating: 0.4 | % Chng PW: 0.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 1.1 | StD Rating: 0.8 | Target: 0.8 | Cancellation Alert: Moderate

No improvement for this one, but it hasn’t slipped either like Dig did last week.  I still think its future looks less than promising.

The Flash (R) CW Tue 4/7 8 PM
Rating: 0.5 | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): 1.6 | StD Rating: 1.4 | Target: 0.9 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

Repeat. Resumes new episodes next week.

Agents of SHIELD ABC Tue 4/7 9 PM
Rating: 1.5 | % Chng PW: +7.1% | Tot Viewers (MM): 4.2 | StD Rating: 1.6 | Target: 2.0 | Cancellation Alert: Medium

A slight improvement.  But is it enough?  (More on this one below)

iZombie CW Tue 4/7 9 PM
Rating: 0.7 | % Chng PW: 0.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 1.8 | StD Rating: 0.7 | Target: 0.7 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

It held steady and with only a repeat of The Flash as its lead-in.  I count that as an accomplishment.

Forever ABC Tue 4/7 10 PM
Rating: 0.9 | % Chng PW: -18.2% | Tot Viewers (MM): 4.1 | StD Rating: 1.1 | Target: 1.6 | Cancellation Alert: Medium

What happened to the momentum it was building?  Its chances are slipping.  (More on this one below)

Person of Interest CBS Tue 4/7 10 PM
Rating: 1.3 | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): 8.7 | StD Rating: 1.6 | Target: 1.7 | Cancellation Alert: Low

It dropped because of its on again / off again status, but it has enough separation from the CBS shows below it that I believe it is still safe.

Arrow (R) CW Wed 4/8 8 PM
Rating: 0.3 | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): 1.2 | StD Rating: 1.0 | Target: 0.9 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

Repeat. Resumes new episodes next week.

Supernatural (R) CW Wed 4/8 9 PM
Rating: 0.3 | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): 1.0 | StD Rating: 0.8 | Target: 0.9 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

Repeat. Resumes new episodes next week.

agents-of-shield-s2-cancelledOn the Hot Seat: On Tuesday, ABC’s Agents of SHIELD saw a slight improvement to its numbers as it pulled a 1.5 rating in the 18-49 demographic based on the overnights with 4.2 million total viewers.  Those still aren’t great numbers, though, and its season to date average is only at a 1.6 score based on the overnights.  But the broadcast networks in general have continued to struggle this season with the mid-year ratings slump hitting pretty hard, so when you look at AoS based on the relative numbers it doesn’t appear as bad.  If you look at the ranking TV by the Numbers does for the ABC entries based where they stand vs. the other shows airing on that network, Agents of SHIELD is right about the middle of the pack and that site has the show pegged as likely to be renewed.  I’m not quite as optimistic because it is an expense show to produce, and I’m thinking it is likely not pulling in sufficient add revenue to counter its costs.  Plus, when the broadcast networks renews a show that has two full seasons for a third year, they are also typically rubber-stamping it for a fourth because that gets it to the 88 episode count that the syndication market prefers (and that’s where a show really starts to turn a profit).  But will the ABC really want to commit to two more years of this costly show if it is only a middling ratings performer?  Disney may push them to because AoS is part of their multi-billion dollar Avengers franchise and an extended life in syndication could help prop up that property even more.  It’s hard to say for sure at this point, but if it does get renewed then more than just the overnight numbers will certainly have played a part in that decision.  UPDATE:  Word just broke that ABC is considering an Agents of SHIELD spin-off, which likely means that the show is in better standing than I thought.  More to follow.

As for Forever, which is in the lead-out slot from AoS, I’m thinking that one’s chances are sinking.  On Tuesday, it slipped to a 0.9 rating with 4.1 million total viewers which matches its low point.  It seemed like it was making a surge last week, but with it dropping on Tuesday its chances of survival are looking slimmer now.  If you look at that same list of ABC shows mentioned above, you will see it is at the bottom and TV by the Numbers has it as certain to be cancelled.  I’m still holding out hope that its delayed viewing numbers–where it has been performing better–will help it win a second season and prove that the networks really are looking beyond the overnights.  And for that reason I am holding it at a Medium Cancellation Alert level.  But if it ends up getting the ax, the old formula definitely predicted it.

Vampire Diaries is a repeat tonight and I will post the results for Dig and Olympus when they are available later tomorrow or early Saturday.  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.

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