The final rankings for the 2014-15 broadcast network television season are in with the fully loaded delayed viewing numbers, and the final analysis does not look too good for sci fi / fantasy shows. Only one show made it into the Top 25 based on the overnight ratings for the 18-49 demo (the most important stats to the advertisers) and that was ABC’s Once Upon A Time, right at Number 25. Gotham was the next rung down at the Number 26 slot and then we have to drop quite a bit to get to the next genre show (The Last Man on Earth at Number 44). The only other series in the Top 50 was ABC’s Agents of SHIELD, at the Number 50 spot.
Last season, three sci fi / fantasy shows placed in the Top 25 based on the ratings in the 18-49 demo: Sleepy Hollow (#16), Resurrection (#18), and Agents of SHIELD (#23). There were two more rounding out the Top 50: CBS’s Person of Interest at Number 34 and FOX’s Almost Human at Number 46 (and that one got the ax, despite having a decent ranking).
Seeing the biggest drop year over year was ABC’s Resurrection which looked to be a surprise hit when it bowed at mid-season in 2014 but then saw its ratings collapse in its second season. It dropped from the Number 18 slot all the way to Number 86 (and not surprisingly it was cancelled). The next two biggest sliders were also shows that disappointed ratings-wise in their sophomore seasons: FOX’s Sleepy Hollow going from Number 16 to 57 and ABC’s Agents of SHIELD going from Number 23 to 50 (and the renewals for both of those were iffy at best).
As far as delayed viewing gains, NBC’s Grimm was the biggest winner in the increase for Live+7 viewing with a 91% lift. Of course that’s a Friday show, so you expect some additional boost in its after the fact viewing. Next among the Big 4 (the CW shows tend to show higher percentage gains because they start low) was ABC’s Forever at an 82% increase, though that didn’t help the fan-favorite series win a second season. Third among the Big 4 was NBC’s Constantine with a 78% increase, but that one was unable to secure a second season renewal either.
In total viewers, CBS’ Person of Interest took a notable drop from Number 10 last year to Number 26 this year. That helps explain (to some extant) why the network went to the eleventh hour in negotiations on a fifth season renewal and why this coming year will almost certainly be its last.
Despite the notable drops in the overall rankings, the broadcast networks still haven’t given up on the genre with quite a number of new entries included on the 2015-16 schedule (more on that at this link). But if next year’s results are similar to this, it wouldn’t surprise me to see the sci fi / fantasy selections dwindling on the Big 4 nets (especially considering that several of the 4+ season shows could be looking at wrapping up). Not to fret too much, though, because The CW has pretty much become the broadcast network Sci Fi Channel these days and the cable channels and streaming services have plenty to offer as well (you can browse through the list of active, returning, and upcoming shows at this link).
Note that the ranking data below comes from TV by the Numbers and these have the full data including delayed viewing through the end of the season and may not match to other published listings that cut-off mid-May. You can see the full listing for all the 2014-15 season broadcast network shows at this link.
Ranking (Out of 140 Shows) Based on Live+SD Rating:
|Rank Live + SD Rating||Prior Rank||Rank Live + 7 Rating||Rank Viewership||Series||Net||Adult 18-49 L+SD (Rating)||Adult 18-49 L+7 Rating)||% Rating Increase|
|25||29||18||53||ONCE UPON A TIME||ABC||2.2||3.3||50%|
|44||n/a||31||90||LAST MAN ON EARTH||FOX||1.7||2.8||65%|
|50||23||32||87||MARVEL AGENTS S.H.I.E.L.D||ABC||1.6||2.8||75%|
|51||34||47||26||PERSON OF INTEREST||CBS||1.5||2.4||60%|
|56||n/a||47||75||MARVEL’S AGENT CARTER||ABC||1.5||2.4||60%|
Ranking (Out of 140 Shows) Based on Total Viewership:
|Rank Viewership||Prior Rank||Series||Net||Viewership L+SD (000)||Viewership L+7 (000)||% Increase|
|26||10||PERSON OF INTEREST||CBS||9,416||13,111||39.2%|
|53||44||ONCE UPON A TIME||ABC||6,536||9,196||40.7%|
|75||n/a||MARVEL’S AGENT CARTER||ABC||5,017||7,614||51.8%|
|87||48||MARVEL AGENTS S.H.I.E.L.D||ABC||4,471||7,460||66.9%|
|90||n/a||LAST MAN ON EARTH||FOX||4,077||6,488||59.1%|