Sci Fi Cancellation Watch: Killjoys Brings No Ratings Joy to Syfy Fridays, The Last Ship Starts Off Slow

By | June 23, 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.

killjoys-syfy-cancelledSyfy’s new Friday block of original programming is complete now with freshman series Killjoy‘s having its debut this past week, but the ratings numbers definitely are not looking too strong for the night at the moment.  That show bowed with a 0.3 rating in the 18-49 demographic based on the overnights and just under one million total viewers.  That’s the same rating that Dark Matter pulled for its premiere the prior week, and it’s definitely not a strong bow for either show.  In the lead-in hour, Defiance had a 0.2 rating with under nine hundred thousand total viewers and Dark Matter finished the night by slipping to a 0.2 score with about 950 thousand total viewers.  And while this would seem like it should have been a powerhouse sci fi block, especially with the two space-based shows in the mix, Syfy just hasn’t succeeded in drawing the genre fans back to its scripted programming (more discussion on that at this link).  I’m going to be starting Killjoys at a Moderate Cancellation Alert status just like Dark Matter.  But the fact that both of these are joint productions with Canada’s Space channel may mean that these ratings are good enough.  Syfy’s Craig Engler made a comment in a Reddit discussion thread that “most cable nets are seeing sizable drops in viewership across the board”, so perhaps with all the competition out there ratings scores like these will become the norm.  And the fact is that we have seen no strong premieres for new genre shows on the cable channels this year (I will be looking at this in more detail in an upcoming post).  Still, it sure seemed like Killjoys and Dark Matter would have brought more viewers back to Syfy (though admittedly the network did not seem to promote them as heavily as it could have).

And to confirm ratings slump that we are seeing this Summer, TNT’s “hit” series (their words) from last year The Last Ship returned down for its second season on Sunday night.  The show pulled a 0.7 rating in the 18-49 demo based on the overnights with 2.9 million total viewers.  That’s down 36% from its ratings average last year and its total viewer numbers were previously in the four million range.  That was still enough to get it in the cable Top 10 for the week based on total viewers (at the Number 9 slot), and compared to the other numbers we are seeing of late I believe it should be okay.  But then this is an expensive show to produce, so if it drops much more in the coming weeks it may be facing some rough waters ahead.

A note on chart activity: with Game of Thrones wrapping up the prior week, no genre shows made it into the Nielsen Twitter Ratings Top 10 for the week of June 15th to 21st.  But with MTV’s Teen Wolf returning next week, that one should be making a regular appearance on that chart again.

Ratings results for the sci fi / fantasy shows airing Monday June 15th thru Sunday June 21st (metric definitions below):

(Updated for chart activity based on the ratings/total viewers for the broadcast networks and cable channels)

The Whispers ABC Mon 6/15 10 PM
Rating: 0.9 | % Chng PW: -10.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 3.9 | StD Rating: 1.1 | Cancellation Alert: Moderate

This show continues to barely hang in there, though it did see notable gains based on Live+7 viewing for its debut.

iZombie CW Tue 6/16 9 PM
Rating: Season Ended | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): n/a | StD Rating: 0.0 | Cancellation Alert: Moderate

Season ended. Returns for its second season in Fall.

Stitchers ABCF Tue 6/16 9 PM
Rating: 0.4 | % Chng PW: 0.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.9 | StD Rating: 0.0 | Cancellation Alert: Moderate

This show is still losing a fair amount of its lead in from ABC Family’s hit series Pretty Little Liars.  But then in the current cable environment, maybe a 0.4 rating is enough.

Proof TNT Tue 6/16 10 PM
Rating: 0.4 | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): 2.7 | StD Rating: 0.4 | Cancellation Alert: Low

This show had a pretty moderate debut based on its ratings, but its total viewers were impressive.  If those remain decent, then that might be enough to keep it alive these days.

Chart Activity: As expected, this one made it into the cable Top 25 for the week based on total viewers, at the Number 14 slot.  If it stays on that chart then it should be okay.

Beauty and the Beast CW Thu 6/18 8 PM
Rating: 0.3 | % Chng PW: 0.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.8 | StD Rating: 0.0 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

Still holding steady at numbers that are apparently good enough for The CW in Summer.

Wayward Pines FOX Thu 6/18 9 PM
Rating: Preempted | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): n/a | StD Rating: 1.1 | Cancellation Alert: Moderate

This show was preempted for golf.  That won’t help its ratings but it did give a boost to our hits as people typed “Is Wayward Pines cancelled?” into search engines.

Chart Activity: It didn’t chart because it was preempted, but if it falls out next week that could be a bad sign.

Hannibal NBC Thu 6/18 10 PM
Rating: 0.5 | % Chng PW: 0.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 1.7 | StD Rating: 0.0 | Cancellation Alert: Cancelled

Apparently there was a threshold that NBC considered too low for this show’s ratings as they have announced its cancellation.  More on that at this link.

Olympus Syfy Thu 6/18 11 PM
Rating: 0.1 | % Chng PW: 0.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.4 | StD Rating: 0.2 | Cancellation Alert: Moderate

Another week at a 0.1 rating and I’m continuing to think that this show’s prospects are fading.

Defiance Syfy Fri 6/19 8 PM
Rating: 0.2 | % Chng PW: 0.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.9 | StD Rating: 0.2 | Cancellation Alert: Moderate

No improvement for this show and its prospects for a fourth season are looking less than promising.

Killjoys Syfy Fri 6/19 9 PM
Rating: 0.3 | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): 1.0 | StD Rating: 0.3 | Cancellation Alert: Moderate

Another tepid debut for the new Syfy Fridays. Will the fact that Syfy has partnered with the Canadian Space channel help keep this one alive?  More on that above.

The Messengers CW Fri 6/19 9 PM
Rating: 0.2 | % Chng PW: 0.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.8 | StD Rating: 0.2 | Cancellation Alert: Cancelled

It continues to fly low as it burns off the episodes of its first and only season.

Dark Matter Syfy Fri 6/19 10 PM
Rating: 0.2 | % Chng PW: -33.3% | Tot Viewers (MM): 1.0 | StD Rating: 0.3 | Cancellation Alert: Moderate

It dropped from last week, but Syfy has been pretty patient with its new shows of late.  Is this ratings level enough to get it (and Killjoys) a second season like 12 Monkeys did?

Orphan Black BBCA Sat 6/20 9 PM
Rating: 0.2 | % Chng PW: +100.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.4 | StD Rating: 0.2 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

It improved for its season finale and is set to return in 2016 for its fourth year.

Star Wars Rebels DXD Sat 6/20 9 PM
Rating: 0.1 | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.6 | StD Rating: 0.1 | Cancellation Alert: Low

Pretty low numbers in the 18-49 demo, but this one lives and dies by the younger audience that tunes in and by its merchandising sales.  No need to worry about cancellation any time soon.

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell BBCA Sat 6/20 10 PM
Rating: 0.1 | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.3 | StD Rating: 0.1 | Cancellation Alert: Mini-Series

Decent enough numbers for a BBC mini-series airing on its American counterpart channel.

Game of Thrones HBO Sun 6/21 9 PM
Rating: Season Ended | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): n/a | StD Rating: 3.5 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

Season ended. Returns for its sixth season in 2016.

The Last Ship TNT Sun 6/21 9 PM
Rating: 0.7 | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): 2.9 | StD Rating: 0.0 | Cancellation Alert: Low

This one returned down from where it was in its first season, but is that a factor of the current ratings slump?  It is an expensive show to produce, so it might not have as much leeway, but it is okay for now.  More on this one above.

Chart Activity: This show landed in the cable Top 10 for the week based on total viewership at the Number 9 slot.

Golan the Insatiable FOX Sun 6/21 9:30 PM
Rating: Preempted | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): n/a | StD Rating: 0.5 | Cancellation Alert: Moderate

Like Wayward Pines, preempted for golf.  And thanks FOX for the lift to our hits as people Google “Is Golan the Insatiable cancelled?”

Penny Dreadful SHOW Sun 6/21 10 PM
Rating: 0.2 | % Chng PW: 0.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.5 | StD Rating: 0.2 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

This one continues to hold steady and has already been renewed for a third season.

Salem WGN Sun 6/21 10 PM
Rating: 0.1 | % Chng PW: 0.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.3 | StD Rating: 0.1 | Cancellation Alert: Moderate

No improvement to this one’s ratings, but international financing may help win it a third season.

Be sure keep an eye out for 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.

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.

5 thoughts on “Sci Fi Cancellation Watch: Killjoys Brings No Ratings Joy to Syfy Fridays, The Last Ship Starts Off Slow

  1. DNA Cowboy

    Hmm, I think you are being unfair to Killjoys, the show was the #1 hit in the ESP’s on the last 3 Fridays making SPACE the #1 network in the 25-54 demographic.
    Also, the period garnered an increase of 133% year on year for SPACE so I think you should back off Killjoys for now.

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      The ratings numbers we were referring to were specifically the results for the Syfy broadcasts. It’s good to hear that the show is doing well in Canada, and hopefully that will help its chances.

      Reply
  2. Jesi

    WoW… I was expecting that Killjoys will be at low views cause I am watching that and I dont have that hype when new episode is released… but Dark Matter is another story… interresting crew, likable actors and good looking effects. I have terrible taste or there is something wrong with ppl 😛

    Reply
  3. Mayowan

    Killjoys has gotten better and better as the season has progressed. Maybe Syfy should stop putting great shows in terrible time slots and only advertising on Syfy! Here’s hoping that Canadian viewers save us from a cancellation. What is Red 17?!?!?!

    Reply
  4. Peter

    Getting a lot of my friends into Killjoys. Hoping this will snowball over time. It’s the next Firefly (hopefully without the one season run)!

    Reply

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