The Fall 2015 season kicks off next week with eight shows having their bows beginning with Doctor Who tomorrow (you can see the full schedule at this link), but as we head into the new year there are several Summer shows (and even a couple of Spring shows) that are still in limbo as to whether they will return for another season. Below is the full rundown of all the Summer entries and how they performed over the last few months. And for those that have not yet heard word on their fate (which could come possibly today), I give my assessment of their chances of surviving into another season. The Cancellation Alert statuses for those from least to most likely to get cancelled are Low, Moderate, Medium, Elevated, and High.
(Links are to the shows’ pages on this site where you can read more information about them and see their ratings numbers from this past season.)
Hannibal (NBC, Cancelled After 3rd Season): The ratings for this show apparently slipped below NBC’s tolerance levels and the international partnerships were not enough to keep it going. Showrunner Bryan Fuller is still trying to interest another network in picking it up (Amazon and Netflix have passed), but it is now looking like that is a longshot at best.
Under the Dome (CBS, Cancelled After 3rd Season): Three years ago this was a surprise Summer hit, but by the show’s third season the ratings slipped to unacceptable levels. It had a partnership with Amazon and international financing backing it, but apparently CBS wanted more people tuning in each week for the live broadcast (despite the fact that the nets keep telling us the overnights aren’t as important these days). At least the show got the chance to wrap up most of its storylines.
Falling Skies (TNT, Ended After 5th Season): Once considered a hit for TNT, this show saw its viewership erode through its five season run. But the writers were at least given the chance to wrap up the story in the show’s final season.
Dominion (Syfy, Airing 2nd Season): This show started out is second season decent for a Syfy entry these days (which has had been hit hard by the ratings slump). The numbers did slip some but then it rebounded this past week. If it can hold at its current levels, it has a shot at a third season. Cancellation Alert: Moderate
Defiance (Syfy, Completed 3rd Season): Once considered the flagship show for Syfy’s return to science fiction, this series had dropped notably in the ratings by its third year. And while its averages were as good if not better than recently renewed Dark Matter and Killjoys, those shows have the partnership with the Canadian Space Channel propping them up whereas Syfy foots the bill for Defiance, and it is a rather pricey entry. And the fact that they network has not made a renewal announcement yet and that the show wrapped up many of its storylines in the Season 3 finale is not promising for those hoping for a fourth year. Cancellation Alert: Medium
Extant (CBS, Completed 2nd Season): The numbers have not been good for this show in its second year despite having Big Brother as its lead-in. It has the Amazon partnership / international financing propping it up, but that wasn’t enough to keep Under the Dome (which has the same deals) going for a fourth year. The fact that CBS has yet to make a renewal announcement does not bode well. Cancellation Alert: Medium
Olympus (Syfy, Completed 1st Season): This show aired all the way back in Spring, but we have yet to hear word on whether it will come back for a second season. It is an inexpensive series and the Canadian Super Channel partnered with Syfy on the production, so that may help its cause. But you would think that they would have made an announcement by now if they wanted it back for another year. Cancellation Alert: Elevated
Proof (TNT, Completed 1st Season): This supernatural series started with decent numbers but then slipped into that “ratings noise” category where it was pulling numbers in the 0.2 to 0.4 range based on the Overnights for the 18-49 demographic. Still, ABC Family’s Stitchers and MTV’s Scream where renewed at those levels, so Proof has a chance. But the fact that we haven’t heard anything yet (the show wrapped in July) suggests that hope might be fading. Cancellation Alert: Medium
Wayward Pines (FOX, Completed 1st Season): This late Spring entry pulled decent enough numbers after it no longer had to compete with the regular season shows, and word was that FOX was considering bringing it back. But the actors have all been released from their contracts, and we have heard no word on a renewal since the show wrapped up in July. Maybe they are just trying to work out a deal with M. Night Shyamalan (who claims he has ideas for a second season), but it seems like they need to get the pieces in place pretty soon. Cancellation Alert: Medium
The Whispers (ABC, Completed 1st Season): This show, which originally looked like a Summer cast-off, bowed to good ratings but then saw its numbers drop to unacceptable levels. Tack on the fact that the cast have been released from their contracts (because the show was originally supposed to bow at mid-season), and you can almost certainly count this one as a goner. Cancellation Alert: Elevated
Zoo (CBS, Completed 1st Season): This show was doing decent for a Summer series during the first half of its season, but then slipped a bit and even wrapped up with a season low for its finale. CBS has a partnership with Netflix which may help keep it afloat, but as with Under the Dome and Extant (see entries aboce), they may prefer to have more viewers tuning in to the live broadcast each week. Cancellation Alert: Moderate
Beauty and the Beast (CW, Renewed for 4th Season): This show is barely registering in the Nielsens, but The CW just keeps renewing it. Supposedly it plays well internationally, so maybe that’s enough to justify keeping it on the air.
Dark Matter (Syfy, Renewed for 2nd Season): This is the highest rated new show on Syfy since Z Nation last Fall and it also has the partnership with the Canadian Space Channel backing it. Plus, it has generated some decent buzz from the sci fi community, so it looks pretty safe going into its second season.
Fear the Walking Dead (AMC, Renewed for 2nd Season): This one hasn’t achieved any where near the current ratings of its parent series, but it did set a record for highest debut ever for a cable show and it typically outperforms all non-sports programming on television. It had its second season renewal in the bag before its first even aired and it expect it to walk easily into a third year.
Humans (AMC, Renewed for 2nd Season): This show doesn’t count as a huge hit for AMC as it slipped into the “ratings noise” level by the second half of its season. But it is a relatively inexpensive series and the network is partners with the British Channel 4 on the production, so that should be sufficient to keep it afloat for another season or so.
Killjoys (Syfy, Renewed for 2nd Season): This show didn’t pull great numbers based on the Nielsens, but it did start to develop some buzz among the sci fi community and Syfy’s partnership with the Canadian Space Channel helps prop it up. That puts it on decent footing heading into its second year.
The Last Ship (TNT, Renewed for 3rd Season): The numbers slipped for this show in its second season, but that can largely be chalked up to the ratings slump and it was one of the most watched shows on cable over the Summer. Expect this one to cruise into a fourth season.
Scream (MTV, Renewed for 2nd Season): This show was definitely not the hit that MTV’s Teen Wolf was a few Summers ago, but it performed well enough in the younger demographic that the network targets and stirred up some buzz on the social nets. How much further that will carry it remains to be seen.
Stitchers (ABC Family, Renewed for 2nd Season): I was surprised that ABC Family renewed this one considering its “ratings noise” level numbers and the fact that it regularly lost over half the audience of its Pretty Little Liars lead-in. It also doesn’t seem like a good fit for that channel (or good pairing with PLL), so I wonder how much longer the network will keep it around.
The Strain (FX, Renewed for 3rd Season): The numbers have been down for this show in its second season, but the ratings slump takes part of the blame and it hasn’t slipped into the “ratings noise” level yet. But if it slips further next year, that could be its last.
Teen Wolf (MTV, Renewed for 6th Season): The numbers for this show were down in the first half of its fifth season, but the ratings slump definitely factors into that. It still performs well with MTV’s target younger audience and it stirs up plenty of buzz on the social nets. And anything beyond its fifth season is just gravy for its eventual syndication run, so expect at least a couple more years from this one.