Sci Fi TV Power Rankings: The Last Ship Starts Its Second Season as Likely to Get Renewed, Syfy’s Dark Matter and Killjoys are Lower on the List

By | June 26, 2015

the-last-ship-tnt-cancelledThis is the second edition of our new Power Rankings which include all the active and returning sci fi /fantasy shows and it has had quite a number of additions with the new Summer shows that debuted since the last set of rankings came out.  Also, I had not included Star Wars Rebels last time around, but I have that added as well.  Note that among the cable shows airing right now, most of these are largely just hovering around as noise on the list in the Renewal Possible or On the Bubble categories.  We are seeing the ratings slump extending to the cable networks (more on that in an upcoming post) and a lot of shows pulling ratings averages in the 0.3/0.4 range (and lower).  It’s hard to make predictions for these because other factors such as international financing and/or partnerships could be propping them up and those ratings results could be seen as sufficient.  I expect that we will be seeing more of these iffy performers over the next year or so, but that bubble will have to burst at some point (again, more on that in an upcoming post).

Biggest Movers:  There has been a lot of movement from the last list, but a fair amount of that is shows moving down because new entries entered ahead of them and/or shows shifting because others previously on the list moved around.  The biggest change was for TNT’s The Last Ship which dropped from Number 10 all the way to Number 30.  But that’s not because it is in any immediate danger, only because it is back in the game again.  It was nestled high amongst the renewed shows, but now that it is active again it no longer gets its protected status.  Still, I have it as Likely to Get Renewed even though its ratings are down year over year (more on that below).  Also dropping is CBS’ Under the Dome which just had its Season 3 premiere and experienced yet another slide in its numbers.  It has other factors keeping it aloft, though (more on that below), so it may still be okay.  Going the other way is Showtime’s Penny Dreadful which jumped from Number 31 to Number 16 because it has beat the Network Executioner for one more season and I moved it above other renewed shows that I currently believe have a less chance of winning the game when they are back in play.  Another notable mover was FOX’s Wayward Pines.  Going against my own rules, I included in the list last time even though it had aired only one episode (I’m doing it again this time with Killjoys and could pay for that as well).  I thought its mediocre debut gave a good indication of its status (which didn’t look promising), but its numbers improved (as opposed to the typical downward trend) when it didn’t have regular season finales to contend with.  Since then it has held pretty steady and appears to be doing okay for a Summer show, though I’m not ready to put it in the Likely to Get Renewed Category yet (it’s no longer On the Bubble, though).

So now on to the rankings.

Shows Included:  These rankings show all the active and returning sci fi / fantasy shows.  This is limited to ones whose renewal / cancellation decisions are more heavily influenced by their ratings in the U.S., so imports like Bitten, Orphan Black, and Doctor Who will not be included here.  Also note that the shows on the streaming services like Netlflix and Amazon will not be included here because they do not share their viewership numbers, making it hard to rank them.  The shows that will be on the list will be those airing in the current season or those from prior seasons that will be returning at some point.  New shows will typically not make it to the list until they have aired at least two episodes (because I have to have some numbers to gauge them by).

Categories:  The list is broken into the following groups (descriptions found below): Unassailable, Renewed or Sure to Get Renewed, Likely to Get Renewed, Renewal Possible, On the Bubble, and Likely to Get Cancelled (though not all of those categories will be used each time).  And then there are also the Unrankable entries at the bottom of the list and below that I have the recently cancelled or ended shows.

Renewed Shows:  Note that in most cases, renewed shows will be ranked above those that have yet to receive a renewal even if their renewal was iffy and/or they under-performed while airing.  Basically, once a show has earned a renewal, then it has won the battle against cancellation (which is what these rankings are all about), at least until the next season starts.  At that point its numbers reset and I will reassess its status.

Additional Info:  The number in parenthesis next to the show’s rank represents its prior position in the Power Rankings.  This list will come out once per month, usually during the second half of the month.  Note that there are a lot of sci fi / fantasy shows airing these days, so if I missed one or two go easy on me and just let me know in the comments so that I can make the proper adjustments.

June-2015 Sci Fi TV Power Rankings:

Unassailable: These are the shows that face no chance of cancellation (short of extenuating circumstances and/or an unprecedented ratings collapse) in their current/upcoming season and likely beyond that as well.

1 (1) The Walking Dead (AMC) Airing Status: Returning, 6th Season Airs Fall 2015
Avg Rating: 7.4 Prior Season Rating: 6.8 Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Strong Ratings, YOY Ratings Incease
Cons: n/a
Intangibles: Strong Social Net Presence

It just finished its strongest season yet ratings-wise as it continues to perform far above ALL non-sports programming on television. Even when its ratings do start to decline (they have to at some point, don’t they?), it has plenty of leeway and will almost certainly walk out on its own terms.

game-of-thrones-season-52 (2) Game of Thrones (HBO) Airing Status: Returning, 6th Season Airs Spring 2016
Avg Rating: 3.5 Prior Season Rating: 3.7 Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Strong Ratings, YOY Ratings Incease
Cons: n/a
Intangibles: Pay Cable Series, Strong Social Net Presence

It faced some controversy this season, but that didn’t hurt its numbers.  The slip dip in its average from last year was caused by the episode that aired on Memorial Day (the show took a break that weekend during its fourth season).  Despite the fracturing television audience, this show continues to pull strong viewership, and I don’t expect that to change next season.

3 (3) American Horror Story (FX) Airing Status: Returning, 5th Season Airs Fall 2015
Avg Rating: 1.9 Prior Season Rating: 2.2 Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Good Ratings
Cons: Ratings Decline in Season, Ratings Decline YOY
Intangibles: Strong Social Net Presence

Its numbers dropped in it fourth season, but not to levels of any concern.  And its story resets with its fifth year which means that the ratings can as well.

4 (4) The Flash (CW) Airing Status: Returning, 2nd Season Airs Fall 2015
Avg Rating: 1.4 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Decent Ratings, Relative Ratings
Cons: Ratings Decline in Season
Intangibles: Social Net Presence

This show delivered the biggest hit that The CW has had in years and looks to be racing into a strong second season.  Expect this to be the tentpole show for the fifth place network for a while.

5 (5) Teen Wolf (MTV) Airing Status: Returning, 5th Season Airs Summer 2015
Avg Rating: 0.7 Prior Season Rating: 0.9 Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Decent Ratings, Relative Ratings
Cons: Ratings Decline in Season, Ratings Decline YOY
Intangibles: Strong Social Net Presence

Its numbers slipped some in the second half of its fourth season, but not bad for its network.  And it still has plenty of good buzz so I expect it to stick around for a while.

6 (6) Arrow (CW) Airing Status: Returning, 4th Season Airs Fall 2015
Avg Rating: 1.0 Prior Season Rating: 0.9 Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Decent Ratings, Relative Ratings
Cons: Ratings Decline in Season
Intangibles: Social Net Presence

It did ride the coat-tails of The Flash‘s success this past season, but it still has a strong core audience of its own.  Expect at least a couple more years from this one.

Renewed or Sure to Get Renewed:  These shows have received their renewal notice or are almost guaranteed to by the end of their current season.

7 (7) Supernatural (CW) Airing Status: Returning, 11th Season Airs Fall 2015
Avg Rating: 0.8 Prior Season Rating: 1.0 Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Relative Ratings, Long Running Franchise
Cons: Ratings Declines in Season, Ratings Declines YOY
Intangibles: Social Net Presence

The CW’s president says that he believes this show could go on forever.  But its numbers have been dwindling, so let’s see where he stands when the ratings results start coming in next year.  Still, a 12th season seems like a good bet at this point.

the-originals-cw-cancelled8 (9) The Originals (CW) Airing Status: Returning, 3rd Season Airs Fall 2015
Avg Rating: 0.6 Prior Season Rating: 0.9 Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Relative Ratings, Third Season Show
Cons: Ratings Declines in Season, Ratings Declines YOY
Intangibles: Social Net Presence

The ratings slump hit this show hard in Spring, but it does have the coveted Third Season Show status on its side next year.  If the numbers stay low next season, there is the chance that The CW could cut it short and just tack it on to the syndication run for Vampire Diaries.  But I wouldn’t count that as a likelihood and consider it nearly a lock for at least one more season after next year.

9 (9) Outlander (Starz) Airing Status: Returning, 2nd Season Airs 2016
Avg Rating: 0.3 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Decent Ratings, Relative Ratings
Cons: Ratings Decline in Season
Intangibles: Pay Cable Series, Social Net Presence

This show slipped some during the second half of its first season, but it is still doing well enough for its network especially considering the current slump across the cable networks.  If it holds steady next season then it should be okay.

10 (11) Z Nation (Syfy) Airing Status: Returning, 4th Season Airs Fall 2015
Avg Rating: 0.5 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Relative Ratings, Low Production Costs
Cons: n/a
Intangibles: n/a

This is Syfy’s highest rated active show and also its cheapest.  If that continues to hold true during its second season then the network may change its mind about a heavier focus on scripted science fiction shows and order more cheesefests like this one.

11 (12) The Librarians (TNT) Airing Status: Returning, 2nd Season Airs Fall 2015
Avg Rating: 0.9 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Relative Ratings
Cons: Ratings Declines in Season
Intangibles: Recognized Franchise

I wouldn’t call it a huge hit, but it did well enough for TNT especially during typically low-viewership December.  I expect this one to become a staple at the holiday time for at least a few more years.  (And we want Bruce Campbell back each year as Santa!)

12 (13) Once Upon A Time (ABC) Airing Status: Returning, 5th Season Airs Fall 2015
Avg Rating: 2.2 Prior Season Rating: 2.2 Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Relative Ratings
Cons: Ratings Declines in Season, Ratings Declines YOY
Intangibles: Recognized Franchise

This show started its fourth season with ratings at two year highs, but then it fell notably by Spring.  Of course that can be chalked up in a large part to the ratings slump in Spring and it is still one of the top rated shows on the broadcast networks on Sunday nights.  Still, I consider it a possibility that ABC could announce its fifth season as its last, and if not I have a very hard time seeing it going beyond a sixth.

13 (14) Gotham (FOX) Airing Status: Returning, 2nd Season Airs Fall 2015
Avg Rating: 2.2 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Relative Ratings
Cons: Ratings Declines in Season
Intangibles: Recognized Franchise

This show started the season strong but was hit hard by the ratings slump in Spring.  If it rebounds in Fall, then it should be in good shape.  If not (and it will have to compete directly against Supergirl on CBS), it could be another one of those two-season-and-out shows like Revolution and Resurrection.

izombie-cw-cancelled14 (15) iZombie (CW) Airing Status: Returning, 2nd Season Airs Fall 2015
Avg Rating: 0.0 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Relative Ratings
Cons: Ratings Declines in Season
Intangibles: n/a

Its numbers in its first season have not been spectacular, but good enough for the fifth place network especially considering that its production costs are likely not too high.  Plus it has received very good buzz thus far, so if it can hold steady going into next year then it should be okay.

15 (16) The Strain (FX) Airing Status: Returning, 2nd Season Airs Summer 2015
Avg Rating: 1.0 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Relative Ratings
Cons: Ratings Declines in Season
Intangibles: n/a

Despite what FX’s spin department said, this didn’t count as a huge hit last Summer, though it did well enough for its network.  It did start to slip by the end of its first season, so we will have to see where the numbers come in when it returns this Summer, especially considering the current ratings slump among the cable shows.

16 (31) Penny Dreadful (SHOW) Airing Status: Active, 3rd Season Airs 2016
Avg Rating: 0.2 Prior Season Rating: 0.3 Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Low Ratings Expectations?
Cons: Low Ratings, Ratings Declines YOY
Intangibles: Pay Cable Series, International Financing?

This one didn’t build its audience from its first season like I was thinking Showtime would want.  But apparently they still believed in it enough to give it a third season renewal.  And I like its chances of getting another season beyond that better than the shows below in the renewed category, thus the reason it jumped up so many places.

17 (18) From Dusk Till Dawn (El Rey) Airing Status: Returning, 2nd Season Airs Summer 2015
Avg Rating: 0.1 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed
Cons: Low Ratings
Intangibles: Recognized Franchise, Low Ratings Expectations?

This show barely registered in the ratings during its first season, but the El Rey network was more concerned with establishing itself than waving around Nielsen results.  I expect that if it at least holds steady this coming season then it should be good for a third year, but that may depend on whether it has enough international financing backing it.  (And the first season is available now for streaming on Netflix for those who don’t have El Rey.)

18 (19) Galavant (ABC) Airing Status: Returning, 2nd Season Airs 2016
Avg Rating: 1.3 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed
Cons: Ratings Declines in Season
Intangibles: Low Ratings Expectations?

This was one of the surprise renewals from the past season, but apparently ABC felt like it did a good enough job keeping the Sunday 8 PM EST timeslot warm while Once Upon A Time was on hiatus.  I’m also guessing that it is not too expensive to produce (though definitely more costly than the typical sitcom), so maybe it can continue to fly under the radar of the Network Executioner for a few years.

extant-cbs-cancelled19 (20) Extant (CBS) Airing Status: Returning, 2nd Season Airs Summer 2015
Avg Rating: 1.1 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Relative Ratings, International Financing,  Amazon Partnership
Cons: Ratings Declines in Season
Intangibles: Recognized Star

This show definitely underperformed in the ratings during its first season, but it has the same Amazon streaming partnership and international financing that is keeping Under the Dome alive (see entry below).  As long as those continue to keep it profitable, maybe the ratings don’t really matter.

20 (21) Grimm (NBC) Airing Status: Returning, 5th Season Airs Fall 2015
Avg Rating: 1.2 Prior Season Rating: 1.4 Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Relative Ratings
Cons: Ratings Declines in Season, Ratings Declines YOY
Intangibles: n/a

This show was once a strong contender on low-viewership Fridays, but the ratings slump hit it hard in Spring.  If it rebounds in Fall, then maybe NBC will be happy enough to keep it around because it plugs up a difficult hour on the schedule.  But I have to think that they have told the producers to keep an eye on the end game and be ready to wrap this one up if the numbers slip any further.

21 (22) The Last Man on Earth (FOX) Airing Status: Returning, 2nd Season Airs Fall 2015
Avg Rating: 1.6 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Low Production Costs
Cons: Ratings Declines in Season
Intangibles: n/a

This show did well enough for a sitcom during its first few weeks, but then dropped notably by the end of its first season.  I’m thinking that if it doesn’t rebound when it returns in Fall, then its survival chances are low.

22 (23) The Leftovers (HBO) Airing Status: Returning, 2nd Season Airs Fall 2015
Avg Rating: 0.8 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed
Cons: Ratings Declines in Season
Intangibles: n/a

This show was well below the lofty numbers that HBO’s Game of Thrones typically pulls and it was actually one of that network’s lower performing scripted entries last year.  But since the overnight ratings are not as important to the pay channels, they saw fit to give it another season to build its audience.  If the numbers don’t improve when it returns, though, then HBO may decide it doesn’t have any additional space leftover on its schedule to keep it around.

23 (26) Agent Carter (ABC) Airing Status: Returning, 2nd Season Airs 2016
Avg Rating: 1.4 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Relative Ratings
Cons: Ratings Declines in Season
Intangibles: n/a

The ratings for this show were definitely nothing to crow about, but apparently it did well enough as a placeholder for Agents of SHIELD (which has had its own ratings struggles).  I’m sure the Disney brass had a lot to do with it coming back as it is part of there multi-billion dollar Avengers franchise, and the kind words from the critics likely helped as well.  But I believe its fate is closely tied to Agents of SHIELD, so if that one falters (see next entry) then this one will likely go as well.

24 (27) Agents of SHIELD (ABC) Airing Status: Returning, 3rd Season Airs Fall 2015
Avg Rating: 1.6 Prior Season Rating: 2.4 Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Recognized Franchise
Cons: Ratings Declines in Season, Ratings Declines YOY, High Production Costs
Intangibles: Support from Disney

This show started its second season on a low note and fell much further by the end of the year.  But the Disney brass apparently issued an edict that it would continue into a third year, though I am not giving this one the coveted Third Season Status which I go into in more detail at this link.

25 (28) The 100 (CW) Airing Status: Returning, 3rd Season Airs 2016
Avg Rating: 0.5 Prior Season Rating: 0.6 Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Relative Ratings
Cons: Low Ratings
Intangibles: Social Net Presence

This show benefited from The CW’s magnanimous wave of renewals that hit in January, but its numbers are definitely iffy even for the fifth place network.  The CW’s president has issued a call to action for the fans and if the numbers don’t improve next year then I’m thinking that will be its last.

26 (29) 12 Monkeys (Syfy) Airing Status: Returning, 2nd Season Airs 2016
Avg Rating: 0.2 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Recognized Franchise
Cons: Low Ratings, Ratings Declines in Season
Intangibles: International Financing?

This show barely registered in the ratings during its first season, but Syfy has been struggling in general of late.  I believe they gave it the second season to see if it can build its audience just like they did with low rated Helix the prior year.  But that one’s numbers dropped and it got the ax which could be the same fate facing 12 Monkeys if its rating do not rise next year.

Dominion-syfy-cancelled27 (25) Dominion (Syfy) Airing Status: Returning, 2nd Season Airs Summer 2015
Avg Rating: 0.5 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Relative Ratings
Cons: Ratings Declines in Season
Intangibles: International Financing?

Some may not appreciate me dropping this one in the rankings seeing as it hasn’t aired any of its second season episodes yet (it’s still above any non-renewed series, though), but based on the ratings declines we have seen from Defiance (which performed at about the same level as this one last year) and the poor numbers in general from Syfy of late, I’m expecting Dominion to experience a slide as well when it returns in July.  If not, I will move it back up, but I am just prepping for what I am expecting to happen (and bet against my predictions at your own risk).

28 (30) Sleepy Hollow (FOX) Airing Status: Returning, 3rd Season Airs Fall 2015
Avg Rating: 1.5 Prior Season Rating: 2.6 Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Relative Ratings
Cons: Ratings Declines in Season, Ratings Declines YOY
Intangibles: n/a

This show took a big drop in its second year, especially during the latter half of its season (which wrapped up before the ratings slump could be blamed).  It needs to get those number up or it is certainly a goner after its third season (and no, it does not get the Third Season Show status because of its limited episode runs in its first and second years).

29 (n/a) Star Wars Rebels (DXD) Airing Status: Active, Airing 2nd Season
Avg Rating: 0.1 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Low
Pros: Renewed, Good Ratings, Relative Ratings
Cons: High Production Costs
Intangibles: n/a

Its numbers for its second season debut weren’t spectacular, but this one lives and dies by the younger audience that tunes in to watch and by its merchandising sales.  No need to worry about cancellation any time soon.

Likely to Get Renewed: These shows have performed well enough so far in their current season that a renewal seems almost assured.

30 (10) The Last Ship (TNT) Airing Status: Active, Airing 2nd Season
Avg Rating: 0.7 Prior Season Rating: 1.1 Cancellation Alert: Low
Pros: Relative Ratings, Top 25 Cable Show
Cons: Ratings Declines YOY, High Production Costs
Intangibles: n/a

This one has returned down notably from where it was in its first season, but that could be a factor of the current ratings slump among the cable shows.  It is an expensive series to produce, so it might not have as much leeway, but it is okay for now.  See section Biggest Movers above for an explanation of why its ranking dropped so far.

Renewal Possible: These shows may not be top performers, but are currently doing well enough for their networks that renewal looks like a possibility.

31 (17) Under the Dome (CBS) Airing Status: Active, Airing 3rd Season
Avg Rating: 1.3 Prior Season Rating: 1.6 Cancellation Alert: Low
Pros: Relative Ratings, International Financing, Amazon Partnership
Cons: Ratings Declines YOY
Intangibles: n/a

This show was a huge hit in its first season though its numbers dropped substantially last year and it has opened its third year with even lower ratings.  However, the international financing and streaming partnership with Amazon makes it profitable to CBS on the front end, so as long as it sufficiently plugs up an hour on the Summer schedule then they may be inclined to keep it around.  If its numbers keep sinking, though, they might consider replacing it with something else that might draw higher viewership.

32 (32) Salem (WGN) Airing Status: Active, Airing 2nd Season
Avg Rating: 0.1 Prior Season Rating: 0.1 Cancellation Alert: Moderate
Pros: Low Ratings Expectations?
Cons: Low Ratings
Intangibles: International Financing?

It continues to barely register in the ratings on highly competitive Sunday nights, but it may be doing well enough as WGN continues to try and establish itself as one of the producers of original content among the cable networks.  I still believe the level of international financing backing it (if any) will be the key to its survival.

33 (38) Wayward Pines (FOX) Airing Status: Active, Airing 1st Season
Avg Rating: 1.1 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Moderate
Pros: Ratings Increase In Season, Well Known Creator?
Cons: Moderate Debut Ratings
Intangibles: Strong DVR Gains, International Financing?

That less than impressive debut seems like a long time ago and the show has managed to hold steady at a passable level for a Summer show throughout June.  If it continues at its current level, then it has a chance for getting a second season.

34 (n/a) The Whispers (ABC) Airing Status: Active, Airing 1st Season
Avg Rating: 1.1 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Moderate
Pros: Strong Debut Ratings
Cons: Ratings Declines in Season
Intangibles: Strong DVR Gains

This show had a surprisingly strong debut (the best for a Summer scripted series since Under the Dome two years ago), but its numbers dropped by a third in its second week. Still, it has held steady since then which could be good enough for a Summer series.  ABC will be forced to make a decision on this one soon (more on that at this link), and supposedly they are leaning toward renewal at this point.

35 (n/a) Proof (TNT) Airing Status: Active, Airing 1st Season
Avg Rating: 0.4 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Moderate
Pros: Top 25 Cable Show, Well Known Star?
Cons: Ratings Decline in Season
Intangibles: International Financing?

This series bowed in the cable Top 25 based on total viewers, but looks to be heading out of that chart pretty quickly, and its ratings in the 18-49 demographic are less than impressive.  As with most of these middling performing cable shows, its international financing/partnerships will be key to its survival.

36 (n/a) Dark Matter (Syfy) Airing Status: Active, Airing 1st Season
Avg Rating: 0.3 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Moderate
Pros: International Partnership
Cons: Poor Debut Ratings, Ratings Decline in Season
Intangibles: International Financing?

Sci fi fans have been clamoring for more space-based shows on television, but not many have tuned in for this one so far.  Of course that is in part a rejection of Syfy by the fans it once turned its back on and maybe also the result of a lack of promotion.  The network has partnered with the Canadian Space channel on the series, so maybe its ratings will be good enough if they don’t drop any further.  And Syfy has shown patience with its first year shows of late, renewing several that had mediocre to poor numbers for a second season (Dominion, Helix, 12 Monkeys).  At this early point it still has a chance.

killjoys-syfy-cancelled37 (n/a) Killjoys (Syfy) Airing Status: Active, Airing 1st Season
Avg Rating: 0.3 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Moderate
Pros: International Partnership
Cons: Poor Debut Ratings
Intangibles: International Financing?

I know that I am breaking my own rule of not adding new shows to the rankings if they don’t have two episodes or more under their belt, but this one has the same international partnership as Dark Matter and bowed at the same ratings level.  I predict it will follow the same trends as that one and their fates will be closely linked.

38 (n/a) Stitchers (ABC Family) Airing Status: Active, Airing 1st Season
Avg Rating: 0.4 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Moderate
Pros: n/a
Cons: Moderate Debut Ratings
Intangibles: International Financing?

Another middling genre cable entry, but particularly working against this one is the fact that it is losing a significant amount of the audience from its lead-in (ABC Family’s hit series Pretty Little Liars).  If it has international financing/partnerships backing it then it could be okay.  But that ratings gap from its lead-in hour sure is ugly and A&E’s The Returned (see below) got the ax  at this ratings level when it couldn’t hold onto the audience from Bates Motel.

On the Bubble:  These shows have delivered moderately low numbers which could put their renewal chances in jeopardy.

39 (34) Dig (USA) Airing Status: Season Ended, 1st Season Completed
Avg Rating: 0.3 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Moderate
Pros: n/a
Cons: Low Ratings, Ratings Declines in Season
Intangibles: International Financing?

This show ended its first season in early May and there is still no word on a second season.  Its numbers were pretty low, but international financing/partnerships could still keep it viable for USA.  But if not, then its network gets to cancel it without admitting defeat because they will claim it was always intended for only one season due to its “limited run” status (but we know how that works).

40 (35) Siberia (NBC) Airing Status: Season Ended, Awaiting Word on a 2nd Season
Avg Rating: 0.7 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: In Limbo
Pros: International Financing
Cons: Low Ratings, Ratings Declines in Season
Intangibles: International Syndication?

Many have considered this Summer 2013 entry long gone and it will almost certainly not return to NBC where it first aired.  But the first season has been running in international syndication and building an audience, and word is that things could still move forward for a second season.

41 (28) Defiance (Syfy) Airing Status: Active, Airing 3rd Season
Avg Rating: 0.2 Prior Season Rating: 0.5 Cancellation Alert: Moderate
Pros: n/a
Cons: Ratings Declines YOY, High Production Costs?
Intangibles: International Financing?

This show dropped notably in the ratings from its first season to its second (going from a 0.8 average to a 0.5) and it has dropped even further in its third year (currently at a 0.2 average).  Syfy once looked to this one as their next flagship series, but I’m thinking it might be on its last legs at this point.

42 (n/a) Golan the Insatiable (FOX) Airing Status: Active, Airing 1st Season
Avg Rating: 0.5 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Moderate
Pros: n/a
Cons: Poor Debut Ratings, Ratings Declines in Season
Intangibles: n/a

This show debuted to mediocre ratings and it has typically performed lower than the repeats of The Simpsons and Family Guy that act as its lead-in.  I’m pretty sure that its days on FOX are numbered, but tts one saving grace is the fact that it could move over to FXX where Animation Domination HD (where it got its start) is currently airing.

43 (36) Olympus (Syfy) Airing Status: Active, Airing 1st Season
Avg Rating: 0.2 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Moderate
Pros: Low Ratings Expectations?
Cons: Low Ratings, Ratings Declines in Season
Intangibles: International Financing?

This one has held low at the 0.1 ratings level for most of the second half of its season and its prospects look grim if it is relying on its Syfy ratings.

44 (37) Haven (Syfy) Airing Status: Returning, 2nd Half of 5th Season Airs Late 2015
Avg Rating: 0.2 Prior Season Rating: 0.4 Cancellation Alert: Medium
Pros: n/a
Cons: Low Ratings, Ratings Declines in Season, Ratings Declines YOY
Intangibles: Social Net Presence

This one returns for the second half of its fifth season in Fall and will bring William Shatner onboard in a recurring role.  If that can get the numbers up, it may get a sixth season.  If not, then fans should hope that the writers have a decent conclusion planned.

Unrankable:  These are shows that have received renewals despite ratings numbers that would have led to the cancellation of most other series.  Apparently other factors are driving their fates and I will elect to pass on making any predictions on their renewal/cancellation prospects.

Beauty and the Beast (CW) Airing Status: Active, Airing 3rd Season
Avg Rating: 0.3 Prior Season Rating: 0.3 Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: International Financing and Syndication
Cons: Low Ratings, Ratings Declines in Season, Ratings Declines YOY
Intangibles: Social Net Presence

This one has returned at the same levels as where it ended its second season and it was renewed for a fourth year before it aired a single third season episode.  I guess it will keep going until the network executives in question recover the compromising photos that the producers apparently have in their possession . . .

Recently Cancelled: Currently or recently airing shows that have already been cancelled.

hannibal-s3-nbc-cancelledHannibal (NBC) Airing Status: Cancelled, Airing 3rd Seaon
Avg Rating: 0.6 Prior Season Rating: 0.9 Cancellation Alert: Cancelled
Pros: International Financing
Cons: Low Ratings, Ratings Declines in Season, Ratings Declines YOY
Intangibles: Social Net Presence

So I guess this show was not as bullet-proof as I though and there was a ratings threshold that NBC considered unacceptable.  But from what I understand, it is being shopped around and the international financing/partnerships should make it attractive to potential buyers.  I would predict that Hannibal has not eaten his last meal on the small screen just yet.

The Messengers (CW) Airing Status: Cancelled, Airing 1st Season
Avg Rating: 0.2 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Cancelled
Pros: n/a
Cons: Low Ratings, Ratings Declines in Season, Ratings Declines YOY
Intangibles: Social Net Presence

This series appeared to be hitting the schedule DOA with its late season premiere and low-viewership Friday timeslot.  Its debut tied for the lowest ever for a broadcast network scripted show and then its numbers dropped from there.  I thought that The CW might give it a few weeks to see if its numbers might justify a slot on the Summer schedule, but they went ahead and cancelled after only three episodes had aired, proving that they had already given up on it before it debuted.

The Returned (A&E) Airing Status: Cancelled, 1st Season Completed
Avg Rating: 0.4 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Cancelled
Pros: n/a
Cons: Low Ratings, Ratings Declines in Season
Intangibles: n/a

This show never pulled high ratings, but there were rumors that Netflix was interested in jumping onboard as a partner in order to get it a second season.  Apparently nothing could not be worked out, though, and A&E decided that it was not worth keeping it around for another year.

4 thoughts on “Sci Fi TV Power Rankings: The Last Ship Starts Its Second Season as Likely to Get Renewed, Syfy’s Dark Matter and Killjoys are Lower on the List

    1. admin Post author

      I don’t see any sources cited for the cancellation announcement and I can’t find any further confirmation. Do you have any more info on this?

      Reply

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