Sci Fi TV Power Rankings: Teen Wolf Holds Steady, Humans Enters as Renewed, The Last Ship Looks Sure to Get Renewed, Dominion Slips But Is Still Okay

By | July 31, 2015

(Updated for Humans renewal announcement)

teen-wolf-mtv-cancelledWe are well into the Summer season now and all but a few late entries have had their debuts and made their way into the Power Rankings.  There’s been quite a lot of movement since the last set, though some of it has to do with new shows entering and others shuffling around (small changes of up to four slots are usually due to incidental activity).  Not moving at all from last time, despite rejoining the game for its fifth season, was MTV’s Teen Wolf.  Its numbers are down from last year, but not by too much considering the current ratings slump.  And the fact that it was renewed almost immediately and did not move since the last set of rankings is why I have it in the Unassailable category in the first place (more on the categories below).  MTV’s new series Scream also got renewed despite its mediocre numbers, so it debuts here in the upper half of the rankings because it has already won the game during its first round.  The other new entries Zoo and Humans are still in the game, but both are looking good at the moment.  Note that I discovered a glaring error on my part with the omission of Person of Interest from the last two set of rankings (probably because I was assuming its fifth season to be its last).  It is included now which caused some additional shifting in the ranks.

Biggest Movers:  The biggest change came with CBS series Extant which was still in protected renewed status when the last set of rankings came out and now it is struggling mightily in the ratings.  It dropped from twenty one slots from Number 19 to 41 (see the show’s entry below for more info).  The next biggest mover was The Strain which went from Number 15 to Number 32.  That is largely a factor of it moving back into the game after having the safety of renewed status (see section Renewed Shows below for more info), and currently it still looks like it has a decent chance of getting a third season.  Moving up notably were both Salem and Stitchers which received their renewals despite pulling some mediocre ratings.  Also dropping noticeably is USA’s Dig which is now at the bottom of the list (previously at Number 39) because I am assuming it is all but done.  Other shows with notable drops due to poor performance are Proof (going from Number 35 to 43) and The Whispers (going from Number 34 to 42).

So now on to the rankings.

What the Rankings Measure:  The shows on this list are ranked by those least likely to get cancelled to those most likely to get cancelled, and it’s all about gauging a show’s likelihood of beating the Network Executioner.

Shows Included:  These rankings show all the active and returning sci fi / fantasy shows.  Though, 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 Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc. entries will not be included here because the streaming services do not share their viewership numbers, making it hard to rank their shows.  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 and at this link): 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 ranking will typically slip down as it joins the non-renewed rabble and re-enters the battle against the Network Executioner.

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.  For more information on the rankings and some of the terms used below, go to this link.

July-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.

walking-dead-season-5-art1 (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 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.  And if spin-off series Fear the Walking Dead (which debuts in August) pulls just half the audience as TWD, it will still count as a huge hit.

2 (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 slight 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: Active, Airing 5th Season
Avg Rating: 0.5 Prior Season Rating: 0.7 Cancellation Alert: Low
Pros: Renewed, Relative Ratings
Cons: Ratings Decline in Season, Ratings Decline YOY
Intangibles: Strong Social Net Presence

There’s a reason this show is in the unassailable category, proven by the fact that it never had to mix with the un-renewed rabble below as MTV greenlit its sixth season almost immediately.  And while the show’s numbers are down this year, it is in the syndication stretch anyway.  At the end of this season it will have a decent number of episodes for the syndication market (92 total), and everything beyond that is just gravy.  Expect a likely seventh and possibly even eighth season out of this one.

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 (even though that was its spin-off), 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.

8 (8) 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 slight 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.

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 (10) Z Nation (Syfy) Airing Status: Returning, 2nd 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 (and they actually have one on order with Blood Drive).

11 (11) 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!)

humans-amc-cancelled12 (n/a) Humans (AMC) Airing Status: Active, Airing 1st Season
Avg Rating: 0.4 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Low
Pros: International Partnership, Moderate Production Costs
Cons: Mediocre Ratings, Ratings Declines in Season
Intangibles: n/a

This show has definitely not delivered The Walking Dead sized ratings, but it has apparently done well enough to get renewed.  AMC is partners with the British Channel 4 on the series and it has performed quite well over there.  It is also a relatively inexpensive show to produce, so the renewal announcement comes as no big surprise.

13 (12) 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 late season ratings slump 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.

14 (13) 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.

15 (14) 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 were not spectacular, but good enough for the fifth place network especially considering that its production costs are likely not too high.  Plus it’s received very good buzz thus far, so if it can hold steady going into next year then it should be okay.

16 (16) Penny Dreadful (SHOW) Airing Status: Returning, 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.  It may have international financing backing it as well.

17 (17) 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 (18) 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.

19 (20) 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.

20 (21) 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 early 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.

21 (22) 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: Pay Cable Series, International Financing?

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.  Though apparently the network did require some changes of its second season, and I’m thinking that if the numbers don’t improve when it returns then HBO may decide it doesn’t have any additional space leftover on its schedule to keep it around.

22 (23) 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.

23 (24) 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.

scream-mtv-cancelled24 (n/a) Scream (MTV) Airing Status: Active, Airing 1st Season
Avg Rating: 0.4 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Recognized Franchise
Cons: Ratings Declines in Season
Intangibles: n/a

The renewal for this show was not a sure thing as it started to slip into the “ratings noise” level that we are seeing across many of the cable shows these days.  But apparently it is doing well enough with MTV’s target younger demographic and they decided to stick with it for another season.

25 (32) Salem (WGN) Airing Status: Returning, 3rd Season Airs 2016
Avg Rating: 0.1 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Low Ratings Expectations?
Cons: Low Ratings
Intangibles: International Financing?

This was another, low-flying, “ratings noise” show that managed to win the game and get another season.  It apparently has international financing backing it, but at some point you would think its network would want more people tuning in on a weekly basis.

26 (25) 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.

27 (26) Person of Interest (CBS) Airing Status: Returning, 5th Season Airs 2015-16
Avg Rating: 1.5 Prior Season Rating: 2.0 Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Top 25 in Total Viewership
Cons: Ratings Declines in Season, Ratings Declines YOY
Intangibles: n/a

Apparently CBS went to the eleventh hour in negotiations over this show and the shortened thirteen episode fifth season order suggests that could be its last.  There has been no official word on that yet, but let’s hope that the writers have a good conclusion planned for the upcoming season.

28 (26) 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.

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

Yet another “ratings noise” show that earned a recent renewal which was a bit more surprising for this one.  It regularly loses over half the audience of its lead-in, though it’s not the best pairing with Pretty Little Liars.  Apparently ABC Family liked Stitchers enough to keep it around for another season, though, so we will see how long it can hang in there.

30 (28) 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).

31 (29) Star Wars Rebels (DXD) Airing Status: Returning, Airing 2nd Season
Avg Rating: 0.1 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Low
Pros: Recognized Franchise
Cons: Low Ratings in 18-49 Demo
Intangibles: n/a

Apparently the second season premiere was just a teaser because no more new episodes will air until Fall.  But this one is pretty much guaranteed a renewal anyway because it is more about keeping the franchise alive on the small screen and selling merchandise than drawing huge ratings.

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

This show’s numbers are down year over year, but the ratings slump among cable shows is probably the primary factor there.  And it continues to rank in the Top 25 cable shows each week based on total viewers, so it seems assured of a third season at this point.

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

33 (15) The Strain (FX) Airing Status: Active, 2nd Season Airs Summer 2015
Avg Rating: 0.7 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Well Known Creator?
Cons: Ratings Declines in Season, Ratings Declines YOY
Intangibles: n/a

This show’s numbers are down year over year, but not too bad and the ratings slump plays a big part of that.  It did slip to a series low of a 0.6 rating based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic just recently, so it needs to at least hold at that level.  If it sinks to the the “ratings noise” level (0.2 to 0.4 scores), then it could be in trouble.

dominion__syfy__season_234 (27) Dominion (Syfy) Airing Status: Active, Airing 2nd Season
Avg Rating: 0.3 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Low
Pros: Relative Ratings
Cons: Mediocre Ratings
Intangibles: International Financing?

Its numbers are down which is no surprise in the current slump environment, but it is performing more consistently than Syfy’s other currently airing scripted shows.  It slipped in these rankings, but not by much considering it was previously in the safe renewed status.  If it can hold at its current ratings levels, then a third season appears likely.

35 (n/a) Zoo (CBS) Airing Status: Active, Airing 1st Season
Avg Rating: 1.1 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Low
Pros: Decent Debut Ratings
Cons: Ratings Declines in Season, High Production Costs?
Intangibles: n/a

The numbers have been decent for a Summer scripted series and it appears to be on track for renewal.  However, I’m thinking this is an expensive show to produce because of the cost of working with live animals and it has received criticism for its use of those animals.  So there’s a chance that could work against it.  But if it holds at its current levels, I believe it is mostly safe.

36 (31) Under the Dome (CBS) Airing Status: Active, Airing 3rd Season
Avg Rating: 1.1 Prior Season Rating: 2.7 Cancellation Alert: Moderate
Pros: Amazon Partnership, International Financing
Cons: Ratings Declines in Season, Ratings Declines YOY
Intangibles: n/a

This show is at all-time lows, but it is still hanging in at acceptable levels for a Summer series.  Whether it gets a fourth season will likely depend on if Amazon wants to continue its partnership (they have exclusive streaming rights for the show) and whether the international financiers want to keep backing it.

37 (33) Wayward Pines (FOX) Airing Status: Active, Completed 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?

This one wrapped up its first season on a strong note ratings-wise and it performed relatively well overall for a Summer series.  The cast have been released from their contracts but the ending set up a change anyway and series executive producer M. Night Shyamalan claims that he has ideas for a second season.  With FOX’s struggles of late, they may want to consider keeping this one around.

38 (36) 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: DVR Gains, International Financing?

The numbers haven’t been great for this show and it is definitely in that low-performing, “ratings noise” category, but it’s actually doing okay for a Syfy show these days considering that network’s struggles.  And the Space Channel in Canada is partnering on this one, which should help.  Plus, Syfy has been patient with new shows of late (they recently renewed 12 Monkeys which averaged only a 0.2 rating), so I would say that chances look decent (though not a sure thing) for season two.

39 (37) Killjoys (Syfy) Airing Status: Active, Airing 1st Season
Avg Rating: 0.2 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Moderate
Pros: International Partnership
Cons: Mediocre Ratings, Ratings Declines in Season
Intangibles: International Financing?

All the same factors that are influencing Dark Matter (see above) impact this show as well.  The only difference is that this one is slightly behind in ratings performance.  But I believe that if DM is renewed then Killjoys will likely be tacked on as a rider.

 

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

Defiance_Syfy_Cancelled40 (41) Defiance (Syfy) Airing Status: Active, Airing 3rd Season
Avg Rating: 0.3 Prior Season Rating: 0.8 Cancellation Alert: Moderate
Pros: n/a
Cons: Mediocre Ratings, Ratings Declines YOY, High Production Costs?
Intangibles: DVR Gains, International Financing?

As far as its ratings average, this show is right in line with Dark Matter and Dominion, but of which I believe are on track for renewal (see entries above).  But I believe that expectations are higher for this show.  It was once looked upon as the next flagship show for Syfy, and it appeared it might be able to carry that flag based on its first season performance.  But it has dropped notably each successive year and I believe that it is an expensive series to produce.  Syfy may not be ready to give up on it yet, but I have to believe it is on a short leash.  If it can at least hold at its current level, it may still get a fourth season.

41 (19) Extant (CBS) Airing Status: Active, Airing 2nd Season
Avg Rating: 0.7 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Moderate
Pros: Amazon Partnership, International Financing
Cons: Poor Ratings, Ratings Declines in Season, Ratings Declines YOY
Intangibles: Recognized Star

After delivering tepid ratings during its first year (and going through a bit of a reboot afterwards), this show has slipped even further.  The partnership CBS has with Amazon on the show (which is the same deal they have on Under the Dome) and the international financing might be keeping it from going too far into the red, but those ratings numbers have to be an eye sore.  And shifting it an hour to get Big Brother as its lead-in did little to help its numbers.  I’m thinking time is running out for this show.

42 (34) The Whispers (ABC) Airing Status: Active, Airing 1st Season
Avg Rating: 1.0 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Medium
Pros: Strong Debut Ratings
Cons: Ratings Declines in Season
Intangibles: Strong DVR Gains

The numbers for this show have slipped below the 1.0 level and the show’s stars have been released from their contracts (because of its late start).  It would have to go through some retooling if it were to come back for a second season, and at this point ABC may not consider it worth the effort.  It’s not completely dead, though.

43 (35) Proof (TNT) Airing Status: Active, Airing 1st Season
Avg Rating: 0.3 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Moderate
Pros: Debuted as Top 25 Cable Show, Well Known Star?
Cons: Ratings Decline in Season
Intangibles: International Financing?

This show is down in that range of low-flying, “ratings noise” cable shows, but it has to be encouraged by the fact that similarly low-rated shows like Stitchers (ABC Family) and Scream (MTV) have received renewal nods.  And it has performed considerably higher than either of those two as far as total viewers.  But I believe that its fate will come down to whether the international financing is there.

44 (40) 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.

45 (42) Golan the Insatiable (FOX) Airing Status: Season Ended, 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

For its short, six episode run, this show regularly drew lower ratings that the repeats of The Simpsons and Family Guy that acted as its lead-in.  I’m pretty sure it won’t be finding its way onto FOX’s schedule anymore, but it could switch to FXX where Animation Domination HD currently airs (that is where Golan got its start).

46 (43) Olympus (Syfy) Airing Status: Season Ended, Airing 1st Season
Avg Rating: 0.1 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Medium
Pros: Low Ratings Expectations?
Cons: Low Ratings, Ratings Declines in Season
Intangibles: International Financing?

This is Syfy’s lowest performing scripted series and I have a hard time seeing it coming back for a second season unless its international financing / partnerships are enough to keep it going.

47 (44) 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.

dig-usa-cancelled48 (39) 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?

Still no word on this one and I am thinking USA did exactly what I predicted: they cancelled it without actually cancelling it.  It was supposed to be a “limited run” series, right?  I do know that there were talks of a second season, but at this point that looks very unlikely.  I’m still trying to get a confirmation, but if there is no word by the next set of power rankings we will consider it one season and done.

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, 3rd Season Airs Summer 2015
Avg Rating: 0.2 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 slipped to all-time low ratings levels, but 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 (NBC) Airing Status: Cancelled, 3rd Season Airs Summer 2015
Avg Rating: 0.4 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

After getting cancelled, this show was shuffled to Saturday nights and–as expected–its numbers dropped even further.  Series producer Bryan Fuller is still shopping it around, but Amazon and Netlfix (the two best candidates) have passed on it.  He hasn’t given up, but time is running out with the stars having been released from their contracts.

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
Intangibles: n/a

Few people were still watching when this show wrapped up its only season, and now it heads off to TV Oblivion.

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: Netflix Streaming Deal? International Financing?

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.

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