Cancellation Watch: Dig and Olympus Still Flying Low in the Ratings as are Penny Dreadful and Salem

By | May 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 Thursday May 7th thru Monday May 11th (analysis and metric definitions below):

Updated with Sunday and Monday final numbers.

Vampire Diaries CW Thu 5/7 8 PM
Rating: 0.6 | % Chng PW: +20.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 1.3 | StD Rating: 0.7 | Target: 0.9 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

It’s numbers remain low and I still believe that next season will likely be its last.

Olympus Syfy Thu 5/7 10 PM
Rating: 0.1 | % Chng PW: -50.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.6 | StD Rating: 0.2 | Target: 0.4 | Cancellation Alert: Medium

This one slipped to a 0.1 rating in the 18-49 demo which means that it is just barely registering at the moment.  Is it worth it for Syfy to keep it around?  (More on this one below)

Dig USA Thu 5/7 10 PM
Rating: 0.3 | % Chng PW: +50.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 1.1 | StD Rating: 0.3 | Target: 1.0 | Cancellation Alert: Moderate

It improved for its season/series finale, but it hasn’t performed well overall.  Will they stretch it beyond its “limited run”?  (More on this one below)

Grimm NBC Fri 5/8 9 PM
Rating: 1.0 | % Chng PW: +11.1% | Tot Viewers (MM): 4.2 | StD Rating: 1.2 | Target: 1.2 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

It improved slightly as it heads into its season finale this coming Friday.  But will next season be the last for this one?

The Messengers CW Fri 5/8 9 PM
Rating: 0.2 | % Chng PW: 0.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.7 | StD Rating: 0.2 | Target: 0.7 | Cancellation Alert: Cancelled

Its numbers remained low, but that’s to be expected.  The CW basically gave up on this one.

Outlander Starz Sat 5/9 9 PM
Rating: 0.3 | % Chng PW: 0.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 1.1 | StD Rating: 0.3 | Target: 0.4 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

It’s holding steady and still getting good buzz, so I’m thinking Starz is happy with this one.

Once Upon A Time ABC Sun 5/10 8 PM
Rating: 1.8 | % Chng PW: +0.6% | Tot Viewers (MM): 5.5 | StD Rating: 2.2 | Target: 1.8 | Cancellation Alert: Low

It improved slightly for its two hour season finale, but only by one tick.  Is it heading into its final season?

The Last Man on Earth FOX Sun 5/10 9 PM
Rating: Season Ended | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): n/a | StD Rating: 1.6 | Target: 1.6 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

Season Ended.  Returns for its second season in Fall.

Game of Thrones HBO Sun 5/10 9 PM
Rating: 3.5 | % Chng PW: -2.8% | Tot Viewers (MM): 6.6 | StD Rating: 3.7 | Target: 2.0 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

It was down one tick from last week but still blew away everything else on television on Sunday night.

Penny Dreadful SHOW Sun 5/10 10 PM
Rating: 0.2 | % Chng PW: 0.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.5 | StD Rating: 0.2 | Target: 0.0 | Cancellation Alert: Moderate

It held steadily low, but I was thinking that Showtime would want it to build its audience in its second season.  (More on this one below)

Salem WGN Sun 5/10 10 PM
Rating: 0.1 | % Chng PW: 0.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.3 | StD Rating: 0.1 | Target: 0.4 | Cancellation Alert: Moderate

It was at similar levels last year, but does WGN want better from the show’s sophomore season?  International financing may be the key to it getting a third season.  (More on this one below)

The Originals CW Mon 5/11 8 PM
Rating: 0.5 | % Chng PW: 0.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 1.1 | StD Rating: 0.6 | Target: 0.7 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

It held at its series low for its second season finale.  The ratings slump has hit this one hard this Spring.

Gotham FOX Mon 5/11 8 PM
Rating: Season Ended | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): n/a | StD Rating: 2.2 | Target: 1.8 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

Season Ended.  Returns for its second season in Fall.

dig-usa-cancelledOn the Hot Seat: We already know the renewal/cancellation status of most the Thursday through Monday sci fi / fantasy shows, but have yet to hear word on USA’s Dig and Syfy’s Olympus.  The former series saw its numbers rise slightly to a 0.3 rating in the 18-49 demographic with 1.1 million total viewers for its season/series finale.  I didn’t watch the show, but from what I have read the final episode caps off the first season story arc without leaving it on a major cliffhanger.  But we all know that these “limited run” series have additional storylines built in so that more seasons are possible.  But with the ratings Dig has pulled thus far, that continues to seem unlikely unless it has significant international financing backing it.  And USA gets to cancel the show without having to admit to cancelling it because they will claim it was always planned for a one-season-and-out run.  As for Syfy’s Olympus, its numbers have actually not been much worse than 12 Monkeys which received a renewal nod just recently.  But then I am thinking that Syfy got Olympus on the cheap whereas they have more invested in 12 Monkeys.  But like Dig, I believe the future of Olympus is tied to its international financing and syndication deals.  So if renewals come for either of this two, we can likely point back to that as the reason.

As for the two Sunday Spring shows Penny Dreadful and Salem, both of those continue to fly low in their second seasons.  The former show is currently averaging a 0.2 rating in the 18-49 demo which is down slightly from the 0.3 it had last year.  After its first season renewal, I was thinking that Showtime would want to see the show’s numbers improve in its second year.  It has been getting good reviews from the critics so far in its second season, so maybe that will be enough to keep it going, but I am raising the Cancellation Alert on it one notch to Moderate for now.  I’ll likely keep it there until we here final word on the show, and I consider it mostly safe, but it hasn’t succeeded in building up its audience yet.  As for WGN’s Salem, that one is only averaging a 0.1 rating in its second season.  That’s close to where it was in its rookie year, but again I was thinking its network would want to see improvement.  That one I am raising to a Moderate Cancellation Alert as well, but I don’t consider either of these shows in too much danger at the moment.

I will post the results for The Returned when they are available later today or early tomorrow.  Be sure keep an eye out for that and all the latest numbers and any breaking news throughout the week at the Cancelled Sci Fi Twitter Site.  You can see the status of all the currently airing sci fi / fantasy shows at the Cancellation Watch page and also the latest Sci Fi TV Power Rankings post. 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.

8 thoughts on “Cancellation Watch: Dig and Olympus Still Flying Low in the Ratings as are Penny Dreadful and Salem

  1. Kevin

    have you even seen Penny Dreadful’s lead in its so low its not even on any list. And Penny Dreadful still manages to rise over the double if not triple its lead ins numbers. Penny Dreadful also had showtimes best demo rating of the night. Showtime also look more at weekly ratings than first time ratings. Their shows is run 2-3 times a day through the week.

    1. admin Post author

      Agreed with all of that. The main thing we are not seeing is Penny Dreadful growing its audience year over year. That’s a slight concern, especially after the good word of mouth the show received after its first season. It’s likely safe for a third season, but wouldn’t say it is guaranteed at the moment.

  2. Kevin

    i actually hear its weekly ratings is great. And i believe that is what showtime looks at since their shows air so many times in the week. So people chose to watch it when ever the best time they think for them. I really do not think this show will be cancelled. It got massive critical support. Eva Green just got nominated for a Critics Choice Award as well.

    1. Liz Smith

      PD is sooooo expensive to make. Stuff like Ray Donovan does much better ratings for at least half the production cost.

      1. admin Post author

        Would you have a source verifying the high production costs for Penny Dreadful?

        1. Liz Smith

          The BTS vidoes on YT say they spare no expense on Set decoration wardrobe locations etc. Its a expensive series to make
          Most everything is hand made or built

    2. admin Post author

      Agreed on the weekly ratings numbers, but again I don’t believe those show YOY growth. Still, I’m guessing it has a good chance of getting a 3rd season.


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