On the Hot Seat: FOX’s “limited run” series Wayward Pines (from that M. Night Shyamalan guy) had its debut last night and only pulled a 1.0 rating in the 18-49 demographic based on the overnights with 3.8 million total viewers (based on the preliminary numbers). That’s a pretty tepid bow for the show and does not bode well for its future. Sure, they call it limited run, but we’ve all learned that bait-and-switch tactic and fans of the show should hope that it resolves most of its storylines by the time it wraps up its first season. Apparently Wayward Pines was originally supposed to premiere last year, then got pushed to mid-season then got pushed again to late season/Summer. It appears to be getting the same treatment as The CW’s The Messengers (which was cancelled as predicted) as this looks to be its burn-off run. However, it has been getting good reviews (haven’t had a chance to catch the first episode myself yet) and there’s a possibility that it could have international financing backing it like CBS Summer entries Under the Dome and Extant. If the financing is there and it its numbers don’t slip too much more, there is a slight chance it could continue into another season. But those are big ifs right now and I am starting this one at a Moderate Cancellation Alert status. If the numbers sink further next week (which is likely), I will almost certainly move it to a higher Cancellation Alert level.
On Tuesday, ABC’s Agents of SHIELD slipped to a series low of a 1.3 rating in the 18-49 demo with only 3.9 million total viewers for its season finale. To make it worse, the fifth place network’s The Flash bested AoS on the night with a 1.5 rating (though it was slightly lower in total viewers at 3.7 million). ABC has already renewed Agents of SHIELD for a third season, but that’s likely because Disney told them to and I can’t imagine that the network execs are liking these numbers especially considering the production costs for the show. I don’t believe that this will change its status for next year, but I still think that could be its last (I went into that in more detail at this link). The spin-off series is (allegedly) not completely dead yet, and I have discussed the possibility that it could take the place of AoS as a leaner, meaner (and cheaper) version of the parent series if Disney insists on keeping the franchise alive on the broadcast network it owns. It does look like AoS might start bringing more superheroes on board (a move that I previously suggested), so maybe that will help get the numbers back up (The Flash and Arrow have brought in plenty of characters from the comics and they are doing great for their networks). But if the ratings don’t head northward next season, I just can’t see this one sticking around beyond that.
I will post the full ratings results for the sci fi / fantasy shows for the week of Monday May 11th thru Sunday May 17th next week in our new and improved (crunchier, tastier, with more whitening power) Sci Fi Cancellation Watch post, so keep an eye out for that. And to get the latest numbers and any breaking news throughout the week, followe 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 for more information on where I get these numbers and how I make my Cancellation Alert assessments, check out the Cancelled Sci Fi FAQ.