Cancellation Watch Breaking News: CBS Cancels Under the Dome, What Does This Mean for Extant and Zoo?

By | August 31, 2015

Under-the-Dome-CancelledCBS announced today that their third season Summer sci fi series Under the Dome will be coming to an end when the show wraps up next week.  The network had already mentioned during the TCAs that the dome would be coming down at the end of the season, but they stopped short of saying the show would be cancelled.  But now that pivotal event for the series will now apparently act as its final wrap up.  The announcement does not come as a huge surprise because the show’s ratings have dropped significantly this Summer and it has slipped notably down in our Power Rankings.  When Under the Dome bowed two years ago, it enjoyed huge ratings for a Summer series with a 3.3 rating based on the overnights in the 18-49 demographic for its debut and an average of a 2.7 score.  Those numbers dropped in its second season, though, to a 1.6 average and for its third season it is down further to a 1.0.  I have had it On the Bubble for several weeks even though CBS has a partnership with Amazon (they get exclusive streaming rights after an episode has aired live) and international financing backing it.  Those agreements make the show profitable out of the gate, but apparently the network did not like the fact that its viewership had dropped so low.

With Under the Dome cancelled, the obvious question is what will happen to Extant which has similar partnerships backing it but which is even more ratings challenged in its second year (it is currently averaging a 0.7 score).  I was thinking that CBS may elect to cut ties with that one as well, but Deadline Hollywood seems to think that the cancellation of the one show helps the other.  They claim that network executives are happy with Extant after rebooting the story to an extent following its first season, but those ratings have to be an eyesore.  If the network does give it another season, I’m thinking there is a good chance that will be its last.  They may decide to follow the same pattern now set by Under the Dome and let Extant come to a resolution after a third season.  Since the Amazon partnership / international financing make both shows profitable, there is not a need to set sights on a long-term run of 80 to 100 episodes in order to have a syndication run (where most broadcast network shows eventually start to turn a profit).  A shortened thirty to forty episode run is enough for international syndication (a market that does not always demand a large number of episodes), and if a show manages to resolve its storylines that likely makes it more attractive.  I believe that it is still wait and see on Extant and fans of that show should not get their hopes too high for a third season.  But if that comes, I would put good money on that being its last.

As for CBS’ third Summer sci fi series, Zoo, that one is performing better than either Under the Dome or Extant (pulling an average of a 1.1 rating) and looks like it could be on track to get a second season.  It is likely an expensive series, though, and does not have the same partnerships / financing as the other two, so the renewal is not in the bag just yet.  But unless its ratings slump notably over the next few weeks, I believe that its chances are good.

The series finale for Under the Dome will be on September 10th.  The two hour season finale for Extant will be next week as well with Zoo wrapping up its first season on September 15th.

2 thoughts on “Cancellation Watch Breaking News: CBS Cancels Under the Dome, What Does This Mean for Extant and Zoo?

  1. Brenda Kay

    Like so many other scifi series this year, “Under The Dome” went right off the rails into sheer ridiculousness with its off-the-wall story line; and the addition of Marg Helgenberger’s alien queen like character has been laughably awful.

    I continue to complain about Hollywood’s inexplicable reliability on tiresome, boring and very predictable plot tricks that fans are quite simply tired of. Why get invested in a series when you know that by the second or third episode that the story line is going to start moving in circles before ending the season on a cliff hanger that doesn’t answer any of the questions which have been raised earlier in the season.

    Decent enough series such as “The Whispers”, “Defiance”, “The Returned”, “Helix”, “Resurrection”, “Falling Skies” and “Under The Doom” to mention a few were downright awful at points and terribly boring at others.

    It is really that difficult for Hollywood to insist that every new scifi series has a definitive beginning, middle and end for the first season and if by chance the series is renewed, that there is enough of a base story to build upon that?

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  2. Clive Sims

    I don’t know whether I sit in the majority or minority when I say that while I had heard of Stephen King’s “Under The Dome” having seen it on the bookshelves, apart from reading the opening couple of pages (in reference to the plane hitting the dome)I had not read it prior to it being screened on CBS. Like so many sci-fi oriented series that end up on CBS, I really didn’t have high hopes for this one, especially with this being Stephen King material whose genre often takes a very rough passage when transitioning to the big or little screen.

    So actually I had not watched any of season 1 or 2 and really had no intention of doing so except having come across it on Netflix one day, I decided to give it a whirl. Unfortunately it was available on disc only, so had to wait the standard couple of days for disc 1 to arrive, but after watching the first few episodes I was hooked. CBS had come up with a winner and with a Stephen King title no less. It probably helped lots that he wrote the screenplay and helped direct most of season 1. I played marathon catch up as season 3 was rapidly looming and indeed had to record the first couple of episodes while I frantically caught up with the end of season 2.

    I’ve seen plenty of comments on various forums that said while Season 1 was excellent, it was already deviating from the book, maybe midway through the run and certainly by season 2, the story lines were totally away from the original. Like I say, I have not read the book, so it was all fresh to me and while season 2 did seem to me to be a little bit off the boil in comparison to season 1, I was never the less enjoying each episode.

    Now season 3 is something of an enigma. It almost seems to me that CBS wanted to renew despite waning ratings – but thought its reliance on Amazon streaming and its sale to the international syndication market warranted the release. I won’t say I have not enjoyed season 3, but each episode thus far has left me somewhat incredulous, even confused, as to what the heck was really going on, what the real reason for the dome was all about, as it really didn’t not seem to resemble the apparent reasoning revolving around season 1.

    Here we are a couple of days from the series finale and a wrench was thrown in the works last week as our local CBS affiliate decided to broadcast a Pittsburgh Steelers game as part of its NFL hookup instead of the penultimate episode of Under The Dome. There was no mention of it and I thought they were simply skipping a week, but no – they simply didn’t show it in our area which left me scrambling to find a decent enough copy that I can insert in my collection as I have recorded each episode so far. I found it yesterday evening and will watch it tonight (Sept 8th) to see how the set up for the finale will be made. I understand the finale was re-made once the decision to cancel was made. Like so many re-hashes of episodes that are in a mid-season run, I hope they do it justice this time and don’t leave any questions unanswered about the dome, that they don’t create ambiguity or fudged answers. The book (so I hear) was supposed to leave a crystal clear cut ending to the fate of the dome. I hope the series finale does the same despite its deviation from the original story line.

    Once I have watched the final episode, I will then get the book and see whether or not the series did the book justice or not as I am getting mixed reactions on that from the forums.

    Clive

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