Sci Fi TV Power Rankings: Time to Make the Final Call on Agents of SHIELD, Agent Carter, iZombie, Helix, Constantine, and More

By | April 22, 2015

agents-of-shield-s2-cancelledThis will be the last set of Power Rankings before the upfronts in May when the broadcast networks present their schedules for the upcoming season to the advertisers and all the renewal/cancellation decisions will need to be shored up.  So for those shows that have have not received a renewal notice yet, I’m making my final call on whether they will get the ax or another season.  For those shows that have already been renewed, I will look ahead at their prospects for next season, and their place in the rankings will reflect that.  And some big changes are coming to the Sci Fi TV Power Rankings after the season wraps up, so keep an eye open for those.

Since the last set of Power Rankings, three new shows have entered the list: iZombie (CW), The Messengers (CW), and Olympus (Syfy).  Of those, iZombie is currently looking good for renewal.  The other two enter pretty low on the list and their prospects currently look grim.  And while I typically do not add a show to this list if it has only aired one episode, I’m making an exception with The Messengers because it looks like The CW gave up on that one before it aired its first episode.  Returning series Salem (WGN) also entered the list for the first time this season, and that one is looking okay at the moment.

The upfronts for the broadcast networks are next month and that is when they present their (mostly) finalized schedules for the 2015-16 season.  Most of the announcements on cancellations and renewals (and new shows) should be made by the time each network presents, though I expect plenty of news to be flying around the next couple of weeks.  Following is the schedule for when each of the networks will present:

Monday, May 11, 2015 NBC (Morning)
Monday, May 11, 2015 FOX (Afternoon)
Tuesday, May 12, 2015 ABC
Wednesday, May 13, 2015 CBS
Thursday, May 14, 2015 The CW

The rankings below only look at shows that have aired at some point during the 2014-15 season, and import shows like Syfy’s Bitten or BBC America’s Orphan Black which are not as heavily (or not at all) impacted by their ratings in the States are not included here. Also, I am not including the shows on the streaming services like Play Station Net’s Powers or Netflix’s upcoming Daredevil, because I don’t have any numbers to gauge them by.  The rankings order the shows by those least likely to get cancelled (or already renewed) 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.

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

 

Renewed or Sure to Get Renewed:

walking-dead-season-5-art1 (1) The Walking Dead (AMC) – It’s fifth season delivered the show’s highest ratings averages yet and this one looks like it will continue to dominate for the near future.  The spin-off series–Fear the Walking Dead–is set for a late Summer bow and expect that one to pull decent ratings as well.
StD Rating: 7.4 | 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) – It started its fifth season at all-time highs and had already been renewed through a sixth season last year.  Another long-timer for this list
StD Rating: 3.9 | 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) – It slipped some this season but it reboots in Fall and should likely continue to perform well for its network.
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) – It’s holding steady with decent numbers for Starz and has already been renewed for a second season.  It’s not a TWD or GoT level powerhouse but still a notable entry for the cable channels.
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) The Flash (CW) – Its numbers have slipped this last month, but largely because of The CW’s poor late-season scheduling.  I expect it to continue to take point for its network as it heads into its second season.
StD Rating: 1.4 | 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 ratings slump hit this one harder than The Flash, but I expect it to rebound when it returns for its fourth season.
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

8 (8) Gotham (FOX) – This show is at all-time lows now, but it is still one of FOX’s better rated scripted entries.  By that network’s standards it is doing okay, but I’m sure they would like the numbers to go up in its second season.
StD Rating: 2.2 | 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 (9) Z Nation (Syfy) – This entry from The Asylum is actually the highest rated series on Syfy in a while.  Does that mean they are going to ditch their plans to return to sci fi and instead get  Sharknado: The Series in the pipeline?
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

the-originals-cw-cancelled10 (11) The Originals (CW) – It’s numbers slipped the last month or so, but blame The CW for all the preemptions and repeats.  Next year it will be a third season show meaning that a fourth gets it to the episode count the syndication market prefers to see.  So expect it to coast along to at least one more season beyond its next.
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

11 (12) The Librarians (TNT) – This one performed well for TNT in low-viewership December and also attracted a devoted fanbase. It will likely become a staple for a December/January run each year for a while.
StD Rating: 0.9 | Prior Season Rating: n/a | Curr Season Target: 1.0 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Good Debut Ratings, Top 25 Show Based on Total Viewers, Recognized Franchise
Cons: Ratings Decline in Season

12 (10) Supernatural (CW) – This show has really slumped during the second half of its current season.  It’s probably time to look at its next season as its last (and if they really plan on a spin-off, do it with Charlie or Garth).
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, Consistent Performer

13 (13) Grimm (NBC) – This show is at all-time lows and its fifth season may be its last.  If they do that, though, the network should at least give them advance word so that the creative team can put together a proper wrap up.
StD Rating: 1.2 | Prior Season Rating: 1.4 | Curr Season Target: 1.2 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Relative Ratings, Good DVR Gains
Cons: Ratings Decline Year over Year, Ratings Decline in Season

14 (14) Vampire Diaries (CW) – Once the flagship of The CW, this is now one of the network’s lower rated shows. With one of the main stars departing, I’m thinking next season will be its last.
StD Rating: 0.7 | 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

15 (15) The 100 (CW) – The CW has stood behind this show thus far, but it has failed to build an audience.  And it doesn’t go into next year with that coveted third season show status because it has only aired just over two half-season’s worth of episodes thus far.  Consider it very likely that they give it thirteen more episodes and call it a day at that.
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

16 (24) 12 Monkeys (Syfy) – It got the second season renewal despite its low ratings, so give Syfy props for supporting it.  But I believe it needs to improve next season or that will be its last.
StD Rating: 0.2 | Prior Season Rating Avg: n/a | Curr Season Target: 0.4 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Strong Early Buzz
Cons: Poor Ratings, Ratings Decline in Season

17 (17) Sleepy Hollow (FOX) – Another ratings lagger that got renewed, though perhaps because FOX wants to use it as schedule filler next season due to its shorter episode run.  It’s numbers need to improve next year if it wants to survive beyond that.
StD Rating: 1.5 | Prior Season Rating: 2.6 | Curr Season Target: 1.8 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Relative Ratings, Good DVR Gains
Cons: Ratings Decline Year over Year, Ratings Decline in Season

18 (19) The Last Man on Earth (FOX) – This show started well but has dropped notably of late.  Still, sitcoms are cheaper to produce and they have to be saving money on casting.  If it doesn’t sink too far next season then it could survive for another year.
StD Rating: 1.7 | Prior Season Rating Avg: n/a | Curr Season Target: 1.6 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Good Debut Ratings, Relative Ratings

19 (18) Once Upon A Time (ABC) – It’s numbers have been pretty low of late, but not enough to raise concern.  Josh Dallas has already hinted that it is getting a fifth season which would be no surprise.  But I also wouldn’t be surprised if that is its last.  Final Call: Renewed
StD Rating: 2.3 | 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

Likely to Get Renewed:

20 (20) Person of Interest (CBS) – This show’s numbers have slipped notably, but largely because of extremely poor scheduling by CBS.  It should get renewed for a fifth season, but I’m not certain if it has much life beyond that.  Final Call: Renewed
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, Poor Scheduling

izombie-cw-cancelled21 (n/a) iZombie (CW) – This show debuted to decent ratings for The CW, but most importantly has not trended down too much like The 100 did last year.  Seeing as iZombie is currently the third highest rated show on the network based on recent numbers, I like its chances.  Final Call: Renewed
StD Rating: 0.6 | Prior Season Rating: n/a | Curr Season Target: 0.7 | Cancellation Alert: Low
Pros: Relative Ratings, Fifth Place Network Series, Steady Ratings, Good DVR Gains

22 (n/a) Salem (WGN) – This attempt by WGN to get into the original scripted series game has not pulled great ratings, but I think it is doing well enough for its network.  It was around this level last season and I’m betting it has international financing backing it, so it should be okay.  Final Call: Renewed
StD Rating: 0.2 | Prior Season Rating: 0.2 | Curr Season Target: 0.4 | Cancellation Alert: Low
Pros: International Financing? Low Ratings Expectations?
Cons: Low Ratings

Singles Vacations

On the Bubble:

23 (23) Agents of SHIELD (ABC) – The numbers have been down for this show, but apparently the support from Disney (which owns ABC) is strong.  With talks of a spin-off continuing to heat up, the chances for a third season of AoS are looking good.  Final Call: Renewed
StD Rating: 1.6 | Prior Season Rating: 2.4 | Curr Season Target: 2.0 | Cancellation Alert: Medium
Pros: Recognized Franchise, Good DVR Gains
Cons: Ratings Decline Year over Year, Decline in Season, High Production Costs

24 (24) Agent Carter (ABC) – I was thinking this one would get left behind with an Agents of SHIELD spin-off in the works and a potential fourth Marvel series head to ABC.  But Hollywood Reporter claims a second season of Agent Carter is looking good, so I’m going to run with the rumor and may pay later.  Final Call: Renewed
StD Rating: 1.4 | Prior Season Rating: n/a | Curr Season Target: 1.8 | Cancellation Alert: Moderate
Pros: Recognized Franchise, Good DVR Gains
Cons: Mediocre Ratings, Ratings Decline in Season

25 (21) Dig (USA) – The numbers for this show are pretty low, but I believe its future will hinge on how good the international financing is that’s backing it.  I would lean towards cancellation, but the intangibles make it hard to really say.  Final Call: Pass
StD Rating: 0.4 | Prior Season Rating Avg: n/a | Curr Season Target: 1.0 | Cancellation Alert: Moderate
Pros: International Financing?
Cons: Mediocre/Poor Ratings, Ratings Decline in Season

26 (22) The Returned (A&E) – Same as Dig above.  My leaning is toward cancellation, but I don’t have quite enough information to make a firm decision.  Final Call: Pass
StD Rating: 0.4 | Prior Season Rating Avg: n/a | Curr Season Target: 0.8 | Cancellation Alert: Moderate
Pros: International Financing?
Cons: Mediocre/Poor Ratings, Ratings Decline in Season

27 (n/a) Olympus (Syfy) – Like Dig and The Returned, this one may have some international financing on its side, plus its numbers are no worse than most of Syfy’s other scripted entries these days.  But the general opinion on the show seems to be overwhelmingly negative and it doesn’t fit will with the network’s (alleged) return to sci fi, so I’m thinking it gets the thumbs down.  Final Call: Cancelled
StD Rating: 0.2 | Prior Season Rating Avg: n/a | Curr Season Target: 0.4 | Cancellation Alert: Moderate
Pros: International Financing?
Cons: Poor Ratings

28 (26) Haven (Syfy) – This how gets a reprieve for now because it looks like it will not air the second half of its fifth season until late Summer or Fall.  But I’m still thinking that might be it for Haven unless it sees a ratings surge when it returns.  Final Call: Delayed until it returns
StD Rating: 0.2 | Prior Season Rating: 0.4 | Curr Season Target: 0.4 | Cancellation Alert: Elevated
Pros: Low Production Costs, Strong Social Network Presence
Cons: Low Ratings, Ratings Decline Year over Year, Ratings Decline in Season

Likely to Get Cancelled:

the-messengers-cw-cancelled29 (n/a) The Messengers (CW) – It’s only aired one episode as of this writing, but that tied for the worst debut ever for a scripted series on the broadcast networks.  That, along with the indication that The CW gave up on it before it aired due to its late start and Friday scheduling has it as almost certainly doomed.  There is a slight chance they they could be considering it as a potential Summer entry next season, but I wouldn’t bank on that.  Final Call: Cancelled
StD Rating: 0.3 | Prior Season Rating: n/a | Curr Season Target: 0.7 | Cancellation Alert: Low
Pros: Fifth Place Network Series
Cons: Poor Debut Ratings, Poor Scheduling

30 (25) Forever (ABC) – ABC basically treated this show as schedule fodder the second half of the season, delaying and preempting it at will.  I believe they have given up on it.  Final Call: Cancelled
StD Rating: 1.1 | Prior Season Rating: n/a | Curr Season Target: 1.6 | Cancellation Alert: Elevated
Pros: Decent Debut Ratings, Full Season Pickup, Good DVR Gains
Cons: Low Ratings, Ratings Decline in Season

31 (27) Helix (Syfy) – Syfy gave this show a chance after its first low-rated season and saw the numbers drop even further.  I’m thinking they cut it loose at this point (unless it has really good international backing) and will do the same with 12 Monkeys next year if that one’s numbers to not improve.  Final Call: Cancelled
StD Rating: 0.2 | Prior Season Rating Avg: 0.4 | Curr Season Target: 0.4 | Cancellation Alert: Elevated
Cons: Poor Ratings, Ratings Decline Year over Year, Ratings Decline in Season

32 (28) Constantine (NBC) – This one is definitely done on NBC.  Whether Warner Bros. fights for it to move to another network (or streaming service) remains to be seen.  Final Call: Cancelled (on NBC)
StD Rating: 0.9 | Prior Season Rating: n/a | Curr Season Target: 1.1 | Cancellation Alert: High
Pros: Relative Ratings, Good DVR Gains
Cons: Ratings Declines in Season

33 (29) Galavant (ABC) – This one will get cancelled without really getting cancelled because ABC will just claim it was always intended to run for only four weeks (though they definitely built in the possibility for continuation).  Final Call: Cancelled
StD Rating: 1.3 | Prior Season Rating: n/a | Curr Season Target: 1.8 | Cancellation Alert: High
Pros: Decent Debut Ratings, Good DVR Gains
Cons: Decline in Season

34 (30) Resurrection (ABC) – This show has been facing the ax since Fall and ABC will finally make it official when the release next season’s schedule.  Final Call: Cancelled
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

Cancelled:

Ascension (Syfy) – But this was a “limited series”, you say.  How could it get cancelled?  Ask that to all those viewers still hanging on the edge of their seats waiting for some resolution to that final cliffhanger.  It looks like it may have been a still-born series anyway, with that mini-series run as nothing more than a burn-off.  But Syfy’s return to science fiction has definitely had a rocky start.
StD Rating: 0.5 | Prior Season Rating Avg: n/a | Curr Season Target: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Medium
Cons: Mediocre Ratings

Unrankable:

Both of these shows have received renewals despite ratings numbers 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.  Note that both of these shows have been moved to Summer for their third season runs.

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 Year Over Year, Ratings Decline in Season

Beauty and the Beast (CW, Returning for a 3rd Season) – The CW continues to baffle pretty much everybody with their love for this show as the went ahead and renewed it for fourth season before its third has even aired.  I guess at this point we should consider it a lock for four more . . .
Prior Season Rating Avg: 0.3 | Curr Season Target: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Recognized Franchise? Good International Audience?
Cons: Abysmal Ratings

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