Cancellation Watch: Helix Cancelled by Syfy, The Flash Nearly Races Ahead of Agents of SHIELD

By | April 30, 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 27th thru Wednesday Apr 29th (analysis and metric definitions below):

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

Updated for Wednesday preliminary ratings results.

The Returned A&E Mon 4/27 10 PM
Rating: 0.3 | % Chng PW: 0.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.8 | StD Rating: 0.8 | Target: 0.8 | Cancellation Alert: Moderate

No improvement for this show.  The international financing will be the key to whether it returns for a second season.

The Flash CW Tue 4/28 8 PM
Rating: 1.5 | % Chng PW: +15.4% | Tot Viewers (MM): 3.9 | StD Rating: 1.4 | Target: 0.9 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

This show is rebounding nicely from its ratings slump-induced lows and looks to end its first season strong.  (More on this one below)

Agents of SHIELD ABC Tue 4/28 9 PM
Rating: 1.5 | % Chng PW: -6.3% | Tot Viewers (MM): 4.6 | StD Rating: 1.6 | Target: 2.0 | Cancellation Alert: Moderate

Running neck and neck with a fifth place network entry is not what ABC envisioned for this show.  But it looks like Disney wants them to stay the course.  (More on this one below)

iZombie CW Tue 4/28 9 PM
Rating: 0.7 | % Chng PW: +16.7% | Tot Viewers (MM): 1.7 | StD Rating: 0.7 | Target: 0.7 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

It’s up from last week’s low point and still looks likely to receive a second season renewal.

Forever ABC Tue 4/28 10 PM
Rating: Preempted | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): 4.0 | StD Rating: 1.1 | Target: 1.6 | Cancellation Alert: Elevated

Preempted (because ABC can).  Its season (and likely series) finale will be next week.

Person of Interest CBS Tue 4/28 10 PM
Rating: 1.4 | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): 8.5 | StD Rating: 1.5 | Target: 1.7 | Cancellation Alert: Low

It was preempted last week and returns down this week, imagine that!  Still its renewal prospects look good as it heads into its season finale next week.

Arrow CW Wed 4/29 8 PM
Rating: 0.8 | % Chng PW: -20.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 2.4 | StD Rating: 1.0 | Target: 0.9 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

(Numbers based on the preliminaries)  It dropped from last week but I expect it to trend up as it heads to its season finale.

Supernatural CW Wed 4/29 9 PM
Rating: 0.7 | % Chng PW: 0.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 1.9 | StD Rating: 0.8 | Target: 0.9 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

(Numbers based on the preliminaries) I held steady with last week, but at least it is up from the lows it had just a few weeks ago.

helix-syfy-cancelledCancellation Announcement:  Coming as no surprise, Syfy announced yesterday that they had cancelled Helix after two seasons.  That show only pulled tepid numbers in its first year, but the network stuck with it for a second season–possibly because they felt it fits in with their alleged return to science fiction.  Its numbers dropped even further this year, with it often pulling no more than a 0.1 rating in the 18-49 demographic based on the overnights, and there was frequent grumbling from the fans over the erratic quality of the show.  I have been predicting cancellation since early in its second season, so this has been expected for some time.  And now the clock is ticking for 12 Monkeys because that one performed poorly in its first season, but Syfy apparently gave it an escape-the-network-executioner-free card just like they did with Helix last year.  That gives 12 Monkeys–which has been receiving some good buzz–one more season to build up its audience, but if not it will likely go the way of Helix as well.

Ratings Results:  On Tuesday, there was a close race between two of the superhero shows that the fifth place network almost won.  When the preliminaries came out, it showed The Flash at a 1.5 rating and Agents of SHIELD at only a 1.4 score.  That would have been the first time that the speedster beat AoS in the ratings this season, but when the finals came up that latter series was bumped up to a 1.5 rating.  And since AoS had 4.5 million total viewers vs. The Flash‘s 3.8, it one the tie-breaker.  Still the fact that a high profile (and expensive) show on one of the big four broadcast networks is running neck and neck with a fifth place network entry is definitely telling.  Sure, The Flash is an upstart show and is the highest rated entry that its network has seen in years, but Agents of SHIELD was supposed to be a tentpole entry for Marvel on ABC and it has continued to struggle in the ratings during its second season.  It still looks good for an AoS renewal, and that could include a spin-off and a return of Agent Carter for a second season, but that certainly has more to do with the Disney brass wanting to keep the Marvel brand active on ABC.  If all of those go forward plus the possible fourth Marvel entry (allegedly centered around the Ms. Marvel character), we could have an interesting battle of superhero shows next year.  The CW already has The Flash and Arrow plus a spin-off on the way that will have the Atom and possibly Firestorm as co-leads.  Plus, there is word that the Supergirl series currently in the works could shift from CBS to The CW, and that character would likely become part of the Arrow/Flash-verse.  And with the ABC shows currently lagging in the ratings while The CW entries are surging, who’s going to win the battle of superheroes next season?

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.

2 thoughts on “Cancellation Watch: Helix Cancelled by Syfy, The Flash Nearly Races Ahead of Agents of SHIELD

  1. Brenda Kay

    While “Helix” wasn’t a particularly great series, the second season was simply abysmal and whoever green lighted the “clumsy time jumping/wacko incestuous Jonestown-like cult on the island” story line with plot holes large enough to sail carrier ships through, should never work in television again. Fans of the show had every right to be sorely disappointed in how incredibly insulting, boring and downright stupid the second season of “Helix” was. Very pertinent questions from the first season were never remotely addressed or even talked about in the second season, and worst, key characters who made the first season so enjoyable were completely and utterly wasted in the second season.

    “Helix” should stand as a cautionary tale to Hollywood writers about how NOT to screw up a decent series with a loyal following.

  2. Brenda Kay

    Thanks for the update on “Intruders”. I was rather hoping it would get a second season, but apparently it flopped big time when it aired in the UK, which pretty much spelled its demise.


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