Sci Fi Cancellation Watch: Defiance and the Other Syfy Shows Drop, Are They in Trouble? Plus the Full Ratings Round Up

By | August 18, 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.

Defiance_Syfy_CancelledLast week was not a good one for Syfy’s scripted shows as all experienced drops in their ratings based on the overnights for the 18 to 49 demographic.  Defiance slipped to a 0.21 rating (down from 0.30), Dominion slipped to a season low 0.23 (down from 0.27), Dark Matter slipped to a 0.21 (down from 0.25), Killjoys slipped to a 0.20 (down from 0.26).  Of course, at these “ratings noise” levels, those variances don’t mean too much from week to week, but all of these shows would be in better shape if they were closer to at least the 0.30 level each week.  Of the four, I believe the two new entries have the least to worry about at this point.  Dark Matter has averaged a 0.3 rating season to date and Killjoys is at a 0.2, but Syfy has partnered with the Canadian Space Channel on these and I understand they are performing well up north.  And Syfy has been patient with new shows of late, typically giving them a second season despite low ratings (this last Spring’s 12 Monkeys received a renewal after averaging a 0.2 score).  Dominion I am not too worried about yet either because it has been consistently performing at the 0.3 level this season until last week, and that may just be a blip.  Defiance is the one in the most danger.  It has averaged a 0.3 rating season to date, but it has fluctuated considerably from week to week.  And it is an expensive show to produce with no international partners (that I am aware of) to help cover the cost of production.  It has also seen its audience dwindle notably since its first season and has never lived up to its once anointed status as Syfy’s next flagship show.  If it can get its numbers back up and at least hold at the 0.3 ratings level, it may still have a chance, but I wouldn’t bet too heavily on it.  Dominion also has the disadvantage that it is likely costly and does not appear to have any international partners backing it.  If it gets back up to 0.3 scores, I believe it will be okay, but I would not count it as sure to be renewed just yet.  And the fact is that Syfy has a lot of development in the pipeline at the moment in the hopes of finding the next Walking Dead or Game of Thrones.  Their tolerance of these lower performing shows will likely not be too high, and even if Dark Matter and Killjoys get renewals nods, they will not head into their seconds seasons on strong footing at these ratings levels.

Ratings results for the sci fi / fantasy shows airing Monday August 10th thru Sunday August 16th (metric definitions below):

(Updated for Chart Activity in the Top 25 for the broadcast and cable networks)

The Whispers ABC Mon 8/10 10 PM
Rating: 0.6 | % Chng PW: -14.3% | Tot Viewers (MM): 2.7 | StD Rating: 0.9 | Cancellation Alert: Elevated

It has dropped to bad numbers even for a Summer show (with the most recent episode falling even further). And with the actors already released from their contracts, its prospects look grim and I am raising it to an Elevated Cancellation Alert level.

Teen Wolf MTV Mon 8/10 10 PM
Rating: 0.4 | % Chng PW: -14.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 1.1 | StD Rating: 0.5 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

This show slipped back down again, but it continues to perform strong in the younger 12-34 demographic (where it pulled a 1.0 score last week) and looks to stick around for at least a couple more seasons.

Chart Activity: It improved by one rung on the Weekly Nielsen Twitter Ratings Top 10, moving to the Number 6 slot.

Stitchers ABCF Tue 8/11 9 PM
Rating: Season Ended | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): n/a | StD Rating: 0.3 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

Season ended, series returns next Summer for its second season.

Zoo CBS Tue 8/11 9 PM
Rating: 1.2 | % Chng PW: +20.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 6.7 | StD Rating: 1.1 | Cancellation Alert: Low

This show jumped back up last week as it continues to look like a good candidate for a second season.

Chart Activity: It jumped to the Number 13 slot (up from Number 22) in the broadcast network Top 25 based on the overnight ratings for the 18-49 demographic, and it improved to Number 7 (up from Number 13) in the Top 25 based on total viewers.

Proof TNT Tue 8/11 10 PM
Rating: 0.4 | % Chng PW: +48.1% | Tot Viewers (MM): 2.3 | StD Rating: 0.3 | Cancellation Alert: Moderate

The numbers improved notably for this show as it heads into its first season finale.  A strong finish could definitely help its case.

Scream MTV Tue 8/11 10 PM
Rating: 0.3 | % Chng PW: -9.1% | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.6 | StD Rating: 0.4 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

This one was down slightly, but it still performs decent in the target 12-34 audience where it had a 0.6 score last week.

Extant CBS Wed 8/12 9 PM
Rating: 0.7 | % Chng PW: -12.5% | Tot Viewers (MM): 4.5 | StD Rating: 0.7 | Cancellation Alert: Medium

This show is back down and continues to lose a large chunk of the audience from its Big Brother lead-in.  Despite the Amazon partnership and international financing, I think it might be on the way out.

Chart Activity: This show made it to the Number 22 spot on the broadcast network Top 25 based on total viewers.  And that marks the first time this Summer that Extant made it into the Top 25 while Under the Dome did not.

Beauty and the Beast CW Thu 8/13 8 PM
Rating: 0.3 | % Chng PW: +50.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.9 | StD Rating: 0.2 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

It improved slightly, but at these levels I’m not sure how statistically significant that is.  It’s already been renewed for a fourth season anyway.

Under the Dome CBS Thu 8/13 9 PM
Rating: 0.8 | % Chng PW: 0.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 3.7 | StD Rating: 1.0 | Cancellation Alert: Moderate

This show held at a series low for a second week and if it remains at these level then even its Amazon partnership and international financing may not be able to help it.

Chart Activity: For the second week in a row, this show failed to make the broadcast network Top 25 based on either the ratings in the 18-49 demo or total viewers.

Dominion Syfy Thu 8/13 10 PM
Rating: 0.2 | % Chng PW: -14.8% | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.9 | StD Rating: 0.3 | Cancellation Alert: Low

It slipped to a 0.2 level for the first time this season, but that may just be a blip.  We’ll see if it rebounds this week.  More on this one above.

Defiance Syfy Fri 8/14 8 PM
Rating: 0.2 | % Chng PW: -30.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 1.1 | StD Rating: 0.3 | Cancellation Alert: Moderate

This one fell back to a series low and considering its production costs and lack of international partners, I have to wonder if Syfy is not ready to cut ties with it.  More on this one above.

Killjoys Syfy Fri 8/14 9 PM
Rating: 0.2 | % Chng PW: -23.1% | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.9 | StD Rating: 0.2 | Cancellation Alert: Moderate

It slipped back down, but I still believe it is okay for a first season show with an international partner backing it.  More on this one above.

Dark Matter Syfy Fri 8/14 10 PM
Rating: 0.2 | % Chng PW: -16.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.8 | StD Rating: 0.3 | Cancellation Alert: Moderate

This show slipped for the week, but it is still doing well enough considering Syfy’s partnership with the Canadian Space Channel.  More on this one above.

Atlantis BBCA Sat 8/15 9 PM
Rating: Series Ended | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): n/a | StD Rating: 0.0 | Cancellation Alert: Cancelled

Season ended, series cancelled.

Hannibal NBC Sat 8/15 10 PM
Rating: 0.4 | % Chng PW: +33.3% | Tot Viewers (MM): 1.5 | StD Rating: 0.4 | Cancellation Alert: Cancelled

This one improved slightly, but that was mostly a lift from pre-season NFL Football preemptions.  Still no word on another network picking it up for a fourth season.

Humans AMC Sun 8/16 9 PM
Rating: 0.4 | % Chng PW: -16.7% | Tot Viewers (MM): 1.1 | StD Rating: 0.4 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

It was down for its season finale, but it has already been renewed for a second year.

The Last Ship TNT Sun 8/16 9 PM
Rating: 0.7 | % Chng PW: -9.2% | Tot Viewers (MM): 2.8 | StD Rating: 0.7 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

It was down slightly from the prior week, but still performing well for a basic cable show these days and it received its expected third season renewal last week (more on that at this link).

Chart Activity: This show improved to the Number 15 slot (up from Number 18) in the cable Top 25 based on total viewers.

The Strain FX Sun 8/16 10 PM
Rating: 0.6 | % Chng PW: +5.3% | Tot Viewers (MM): 1.4 | StD Rating: 0.6 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

This one improved slightly from the prior week and and has already been renewed for a third season.

Falling Skies TNT Sun 8/16 10 PM
Rating: 0.4 | % Chng PW: -18.5% | Tot Viewers (MM): 1.9 | StD Rating: 0.5 | Cancellation Alert: Final Season

It slipped a full tick, but expect the numbers to go up as it heads for its series finale on August 30th.

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: ©2015 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.

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