Sci Fi Cancellation Watch Fall Predictions: Will The 100, Agents of SHIELD, Gotham, Sleepy Hollow, and More Survive the Upcoming Season?

By | September 8, 2015

the-100-cw-cancelledOur monthly Sci Fi TV Power Rankings as well as Cancellation Watch page give you a regular gauge of where the current shows stand and which ones are in trouble.  But as we head into the Fall season, it’s worth looking at the shows that will debut/return over the next few months and see what their likelihood is getting renewed or cancelled.  This post is looking at the returning Fall shows, and I have the new shows covered at this link.  All of the shows below are set to return to the schedule between now and December with the exception of two three: The 100, Person of Interest, and Sleepy Hollow.  I have included those because they were Fall entries last year and I figure that people will be wanting to know where they stand (hint: getting kicked to mid-season is definitely a demotion).  The Cancellation Alert levels assigned to each show give my estimation on their chances of avoiding the Network Executioner during the season and the five levels, from least to most likely to get cancelled, are Low, Moderate, Medium, Elevated, and High.  Feel free to chime in with your own thoughts in the comments section below and be sure to follow their progress through the season with our  Cancellation Watch column and on the Cancelled Sci Fi Twitter Site.  And you can see the full schedule of Fall sci fi / fantasy shows at this link.

(Links are to each show’s page on this site where the season to date ratings results will be posted once they begin airing new episodes.)

The 100 (CW, Returning for 3rd Season): This show has been a consistently low-performer for The CW and the network boss called it out during the upfronts last Spring and told the fans that they needed to get more people watching. Plus, it doesn’t get the protected third season show status because of the shortened episode orders for its first two years. If its numbers don’t improve this coming season, then that will likely be its last. Cancellation Alert: Medium

Agents of SHIELD (ABC, Returning for 3rd Season):  Typically a third season show on the broadcast networks that will have amassed 66 episodes by the end of its third year is pretty safe because a fourth season renewal gets it to the episode count that the syndication market wants to see (more on that at this link), but that may not apply here.  Agents of SHIELD slipped to some pretty low numbers last season and I believe the only reason it stuck around is that Disney (which owns ABC) told the network brass that they could not cancel this Avengers tie-in series (yet).  But, if they package this (after its third season is finished) with Agent Carter (also returning this year) that will get an episode count that the syndication market is happy with (over eighty eps total).  Plus, they are prepping the spin-off series Marvel’s Most Wanted as probably a less expensive Prime Time Avengers tie-in show.  So my thinking is that Agents of SHIELD needs to get its numbers up if it wants to defeat the greatest super villain it has had to face yet: the Network Executioner. Cancellation Alert: Medium

American Horror Story (FX, Returning for 5th Season): This is an easy call, no threats for this show.  It’s numbers did drop last season, but not into dangerous territory.  And its story resets this season, so the ratings should as well.  Cancellation Alert: Low

Arrow (CW, Returning for 4th Season): Another easy call. This show didn’t do quite as well as its spin-off The Flash last season, but it is still a core part of the DC Comics tentpole for The CW which helped bring the network back into relevance last year. Expect another couple of season or more from this one. Cancellation Alert: Low

Continuum (Syfy, Returning for 4th Season): This show is heading into its final season.

The Flash (CW, Returning for 2nd Season): As the biggest hit on The CW in years, where do you think it stands? Expect a minimum of four seasons out of this one if not more. Cancellation Alert: Low

gotham-fox-cancelledGotham (FOX, Returning for 2nd Season): This show heads into the season on unsure footing. It started its freshman year strong, but its numbers had tapered off considerably by Spring. That can in part be blamed on the ratings slump that hit the broadcast networks, but I also heard grumblings among fans that the show felt padded out at 22 episodes (as opposed to the lean and mean 13 eps for Netflix’s much superior Daredevil). Adding to Gotham’s woes is the fact that CBS has scheduled new series Supergirl directly against it (though that one does not premiere until November) which will play better to the family friendly 8 PM EST hour. FOX should strongly consider rescheduling Gotham to the 9 PM EST hour which would fit better with the show’s darker tone and free it from the specter of the Supergirl competition. Otherwise, I believe that if its numbers remain where they were in spring then this will be another of those two seasons and out shows like Revolution, Resurrection, and Touch. Cancellation Alert: Moderate

Grimm (NBC, Returning for 5th Season): Through its first three seasons, this show performed well enough for a Friday entry, though last year its numbers slipped notably. But from this point forward, any more episodes are just gravy for its syndication run, so perhaps NBC keeps it going to plug up that difficult Friday 8 PM EST hour. Still, I wouldn’t be surprised it the network execs have told the producers to have their eye on the end game for this show. Cancellation Alert: Moderate

iZombie (CW, Returning for 2nd Season): This show’s numbers weren’t spectacular during its first season, but good enough for the fifth place network. It’s a relatively inexpensive show to produce and it has received some good buzz thus far, so I like its chances to survive into a third season. Cancellation Alert: Low

The Last Man on Earth (FOX, Returning for 2nd Season): This show started out well for a sitcom last Spring, but saw its numbers drop notably by the end of its first season. If it doesn’t rebound this Fall, I’m thinking it is gone by mid-season. Cancellation Alert: Medium

The Leftovers (HBO, Returning for 2nd Season): This series did not count as a hit in its first season and its second season will reboot the concept to an extant which suggests that HBO was not happy with its initial performance but decided to give it one more chance to prove itself. If its viewership does not improve, though, I’m thinking the network will decide it’s time to throw out the leftoversCancellation Alert: Medium

The Librarians (TNT, Returning for 2nd Season): This one showed up in the Cable Top 25 each week based on total viewers  during its first season which was quite an accomplishment considering it started off during the typically low-viewership holiday season last year. I’m expecting it to hold onto is audience and cruise into a third season. Cancellation Alert: Low

Once Upon A Time (ABC, Returning for 5th Season): I expected ABC to announce this show’s fifth season as its last seeing as its ratings have tapered off notably and it is likely an expensive series to produce. But then everything from this point forward is just gravy for its syndication run and Disney (which owns ABC) gets to use this as a platform to promote any of a number of its characters (old and new). Expect a sixth year from this one unless the ratings take a dive. Cancellation Alert: Low

The Originals (CW, Returning for 3rd Season): The numbers for this show slipped pretty low by the end of Spring, but it still performed better than anything The CW has had on Mondays in a while. This season it switches nights and moves to the lead-out hour for Vampire Diaries. But considering how far its lead-in has slipped in the ratings, that’s not necessarily a good thing. Still, The Originals is in its third full season meaning that a fourth will get it the level the syndication market wants to see for an encore run (more on that at this link).  And if Vampire Diaries wraps up this season (a definite possibility), some of the characters from that show can shift to the spin-off series.  Consider The Originals pretty much a lock for a fourth year. Cancellation Alert: Low

Person of Interest (CBS, Returning for 5th Season): It only got a thirteen episode fifth season renewal, and I understand that negotiations went to the eleventh hour to keep it from getting cancelled. The upcoming year not been announced as the show’s final season, but I have a hard time believing that CBS will bring it back considering how far its ratings slipped (though poor scheduling had a lot to do with that). Cancellation Alert: Elevated

Sleepy-Hollow-FOX-CancelledSleepy Hollow (FOX, Returning for 3rd Season): This show’s numbers slipped to dangerous levels toward the end of its second season, and that occurred before the ratings slump could be blamed. And it doesn’t get the protected third season status because of the shortened episode counts of its first two years. In addition, FOX demanded that the producers retool the show to an extent, suggesting it may be on its last legs. If the ratings don’t rebound early on, then more than just the horseman will be losing their heads by season end. Cancellation Alert: Elevated

Star Wars Rebels (DXD, Returning for 2nd Season): No cancellation worries for this one because it is more about keeping the franchise alive on television and selling Star Wars merchandise. It will keep running as long as Disney wants it on the air. Cancellation Alert: Low

Supernatural (CW, Returning for 11th Season): The CW’s boss has said that this show can run forever as far as he is concerned, and any additional episodes are just gravy for this show’s syndication run at this point.  The ratings haven’t been great the last couple of seasons, but at least good enough to keep it on the air.  I suspect that it will keep going as long as the actors and creative team still have a desire to stick with it.    Cancellation Alert: Low

Vampire Diaries (CW, Returning for 7th Season): This show won’t be cancelled, but I do believe that they will wrap up it either this season or the next because it has grown pretty long in the tooth (and the ratings have slipped considerably). And if it goes out on its own terms, then I don’t consider it a victim of the Network Executioner. Cancellation Alert: Low

The Walking Dead (AMC, Returning for 6th Season): Even a four year old can make this call, no cancellation here. It is the highest rated scripted show on all of television and has now a record-breaking spin-off as part of its franchise. This one will walk out on its own terms. Cancellation Alert: Low

Z Nation (Syfy, Returning for 2nd Season): This is actually the highest rated ongoing series that has aired on Syfy since the Spring of 2015, so I don’t believe it’s in any danger. I wouldn’t be surprised to see its numbers drop because its network has been struggling of late, but it is an inexpensive series to produce and should have no trouble surviving to a third season. Cancellation Alert: Low

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