Sci Fi TV Power Rankings: As We Head Into the Fall Season, Agents of SHIELD, Sleepy Hollow, and The Leftovers are Among the Shows Facing Doomwatch

By | September 21, 2015

140342_GROUP_01

With the Fall season kicking off this week (you can see the full schedule at this link), it’s time to put out a new set of Power Rankings to show where all the currently airing and returning shows stand as we head into the new year.  There have not been too many changes since the last set of rankings came out, but the new list does have some adjustments for activity that occurred over the past few weeks.  There have been adjustments for the CBS cancellation of Under the Dome as well as Syfy’s renewal of Dark Matter and Killjoys.  The only show that has gone back into play since the last set of rankings is Syfy’s Z Nation which just started its second season.  The next set of rankings will hit later in October and those should have plenty of adjustments with all the returning shows going back into the game and the new shows finding their way onto the list.  So this listing basically just sets up the playing field before the season begins.  My pre-season predictions for the returning Fall shows are available at this link and for the new shows at this link.

Doomwatch:  This set of rankings also highlights the shows facing Doomwatch going into the new season.  These are the  shows that are currently in the Renewed Category but that head into Fall on thin ice because on their shaky performances in the prior season. This includes Agents of SHIELD, Sleepy Hollow, The Leftovers, Person of Interest, The 100, and The Last Man on Earth (and I considered including Gotham) and you can read more about them in their individual entries below.

Biggest Movers:  With Under the Dome getting cancelled after its third season, it drops out of the rankings causing a few shows in the lower rungs to move up.  Dark Matter and Killjoys both took a nice jump up in the list as I like where they stand at the moment with the partnership Syfy has with the Canadian Space Channel to help defer costs.  And Z Nation looks like it took a dive in the rankings as it dropped twenty three slots to Number 35.  But that’s just a factor of it getting back into the game with its new season starting and I still like its chances based on its debut numbers.  And Syfy’s Dominion did slip below CBS entry Zoo because I don’t like the numbers that I have seen from the former series the past few weeks.

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 these rankings are 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).  Also, shows in their final season like Falling Skies will typically not be included because they are already on their way out.

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.

September-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.

1 (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

Will zombie burnout finally hit this show and cause the ratings to slip?  Not impossible, but then it has plenty of leeway as it has performed far and above over any non-sports programming on television over the past few years (and its spin-off Fear the Walking Dead is doing pretty well at the moment).  I’m pretty sure this show still has several more years in it.

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 in its fifth season, but that didn’t hurt its numbers.  The slight dip in its average from last year was caused by the episode that aired over low-viewership Memorial Day weekend skewing the numbers (the show took a break that weekend during its fourth season).  Despite the fracturing television audience that has lead to a ratings slump across the cable channels, 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 last season, but not to levels of any concern.  There’s plenty of anticipation for the current season, so I expect it to maintain its status as one of the top rated cable shows in the Fall (though it definitely won’t be in the same class as The Walking Dead).

flash-the-cw-cancelled4 (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 there’s been plenty of positive buzz prepping fans for its second season.  Superhero burnout will hit at some point, but I don’t believe it will impact this show yet and I expect The Flash to be the tentpole series for the fifth place network for a while.

5 (5) Teen Wolf (MTV) Airing Status: Returning, 2nd Half of 5th Season Airs 2016
Avg Rating: 0.5 Prior Season Rating: 0.7 Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Relative Ratings
Cons: Ratings Decline in Season, Ratings Decline YOY
Intangibles: Strong Social Net Presence

The show’s numbers were down during the first half of its fifth season, but the cable ratings slump is partially to blame and Teen Wolf 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.  Superhero burnout might start creeping in on this one during the upcoming season, but I still believe that Arrow has at least a couple more years in it.

7 (7) Fear the Walking Dead (AMC) Airing Status: Active, Airing 1st Season
Avg Rating: 4.2 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Strong Ratings, Recognized Franchise
Cons: n/a
Intangibles: Strong Social Net Presence

Its numbers have slipped from its record-breaking debut, but it is still one the top rated non-sports shows on television.  And I believe that it has at least two more seasons before zombie burnout will start to set in.

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.

8 (8) 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 Fall ratings results start coming in.  Still, a 12th season seems like a good bet since its all just gravy for the syndication run at this point.

9 (9) The Last Ship (TNT) Airing Status: Returning, 3rd Season Airs Summer 2016
Avg Rating: 0.7 Prior Season Rating: 1.1 Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Top 25 Cable Show
Cons: Ratings Declines YOY, High Production Costs
Intangibles: n/a

The renewal for this show was expected and I was tempted to move it up to the unassailable category.  But its ratings have dropped in its second season (though likely due to the current ratings slump environment) and it is an expensive show to produce.  Still, I would put good odds on it cruising into a fourth season.

10 (10) 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 broadcast network ratings slump hit this show hard in Spring, but it does have the coveted Third Season Show status on its side this upcoming season.  If the numbers stay low, 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 a fourth year.

11 (11) Outlander (Starz) Airing Status: Returning, 2nd Season Airs 2016
Avg Rating: 0.3 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, 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 channels.  If it holds steady next season then it should be okay.

12 (13) 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 last season, 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-cancelled13 (14) Humans (AMC) Airing Status: Returning, 2nd Season Airs 2016
Avg Rating: 0.4 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: International Partnership, Moderate Production Costs
Cons: Mediocre Ratings, Ratings Declines in Season
Intangibles: n/a

This show definitely did not deliver The Walking Dead sized ratings (which airs on the same network), but it apparently did 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 it could stick around for a few more seasons.

14 (15) 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

With the ratings dwindling, I have to believe that ABC has told the producers to start looking at the endgame for this show.  But that probably won’t be until next season at the earliest and Disney may want to keep it around beyond that because they use it as a platform to showcase many of their characters.

15 (37) Dark Matter (Syfy) Airing Status: Returning, 2nd Season Airs 2016
Avg Rating: 0.2 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: International Partnership
Cons: Poor Debut Ratings, Ratings Decline in Season
Intangibles: DVR Gains, International Financing?

The renewal for this show did not come as a big surprise because Syfy partners with the Canadian Space Channel and I hear that Dark Matter has performed quite well up north.  And the current arrangement might be enough to keep this show around for a few more years.

16 (38) Killjoys (Syfy) Airing Status: Returning, 2nd Season Airs 2016
Avg Rating: 0.2 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: International Partnership
Cons: Mediocre Ratings, Ratings Declines in Season
Intangibles: International Financing?

The ratings for this show were not quite as good as Syfy’s other new space show Dark Matter, but Syfy has the same partnership on Killjoys with the Canadian Space Channel.  So that should help both shows stick around for a few years at least.

17 (16) 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

Superhero burnout will hit at some point, and this show is a likely starting place because it just teases the superheroes/villains that people really want to see.  And its going to have to contend with Supergirl when that one debuts on CBS in November (one of the biggest schedule F*&! You’s I’ve seen in a while).  My gut currently tells me that this show will have slipped notably down in the rankings by the time that the October edition hits.  It’s not quite a Doomwatch show at the moment, but it could head there pretty quickly.

18 (17) iZombie (CW) Airing Status: Returning, 2nd Season Airs Fall 2015
Avg Rating: 0.6 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 the current season then it should be okay.

19 (18) 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.

20 (19) 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.

21 (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 this coming season, then maybe NBC will be happy enough to keep it around because it plugs up a difficult hour on the schedule and anything going forward is just gravy for its syndication run.  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.

*DOOMWATCH* 22 (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

The first of the Doomwatch entries, this show did well enough for a sitcom during its early weeks last year, but then dropped notably by the end of its first season.  I’m thinking that if it doesn’t rebound this Fall, then its survival chances are low.

the-leftovers-hbo-cancelled*DOOMWATCH* 23 (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?

Another Doomwatch show, this one 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 this Fall then HBO may decide it doesn’t have any additional space leftover on its schedule to keep it around.

24 (23) The Strain (FX) Airing Status: Active, Airing 2nd Season
Avg Rating: 0.6 Prior Season Rating: 1.0 Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Well Known Creator?
Cons: Ratings Declines in Season, Ratings Declines YOY
Intangibles: n/a

This show got the renewal nod, but its numbers are definitely down from its first season.  That can be chalked up in part to the ratings slump hitting the cable channels this past Summer, but it will at least need to hold steady next year if it wants a fourth season.

Nerd Block

25 (24) 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: Support from Disney

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 their 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.

*DOOMWATCH* 26 (25) 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

Doomwatch is definitely on for this show as its numbers slipped quite low last season, especially in Spring.  I’m sure the Disney brass are the ones that kept it around because it is part of their multi-billion dollar Avengers franchise, but they are just as focused on the bottom line as the ABC execs.  And I’m not giving Agents of SHIELD the coveted Third Season Status which I go into in more detail at this link, plus ABC is already queuing up the spin-off series Marvel’s Most Wanted as a potential replacement.  So if the numbers for AoS don’t improve, I believe this season could be its last.

27 (26) Scream (MTV) Airing Status: Returning, 2nd Season Airs 2016
Avg Rating: 0.3 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 has slipped into the “ratings noise” level that we are seeing from 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.

28 (27) 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 to the live broadcasts.

*DOOMWATCH* 29 (28) 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 is another show that is facing a Doomwatch going into the new season, though we won’t see how that plays out until it returns at mid-season.  Its numbers have been consistently low and the CW’s president has issued a call to action for the fans to get more viewers onboard.  And it doesn’t get the coveted Third Season Status because of the shortened runs of its first two years, so if the numbers do not improve it will likely be kicked to the curb by season end.

*DOOMWATCH* 30 (29) Person of Interest (CBS) Airing Status: Returning, 5th Season Airs 2016
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.  However, its creative team has been warned in advance and I understand that they are approaching its fifth season as its last.  There has been no official word on that yet, but I wouldn’t get hopes up for this one to return for a sixth year.

31 (30) 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.

32 (31) Stitchers (ABC Family) Airing Status: Returning, 2nd Season Airs 2016
Avg Rating: 0.3 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 renewal which was a bit surprising considering it regularly lost over half the audience of its lead-in (though arguably it’s not the best pairing with Pretty Little Liars).  But apparently ABC Family liked Stitchers enough to keep it around for another season, so we will see how long it can hang in there.

Sleepy-Hollow-FOX-Cancelled*DOOMWATCH* 33 (32) 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

Yet another Doomwatch show going into the current season, this one saw its numbers drop notably last year and that was before the Spring ratings slump could be blamed.  Factor in that FOX execs demanded some retooling of the show and I believe that it is on pretty thin ice going into its third year (and no, it does not get the Third Season Show status because of its limited episode runs in its first and second years).

34 (33) 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

This show is pretty much guaranteed a renewal because it is more about keeping the franchise alive on the small screen and selling merchandise than drawing huge ratings.

35 (12) Z Nation (Syfy) Airing Status: Active, Airing 2nd Season
Avg Rating: 0.4 Prior Season Rating: 0.5 Cancellation Alert: Low
Pros: Relative Ratings, Low Production Costs
Cons: Ratings Declines YOY
Intangibles: n/a

The numbers for this show slipped a bit with its second season premiere, but that’s not surprising considering the general struggles we have seen from Syfy of late.  It could definitely survive in the 0.3 ratings average range (based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic) that we have seen from the network’s other shows of late because Z Nation is an inexpensive entry.  Unless its numbers take a dive into the 0.1’s, consider it a good bet for a third season.

Singles Vacations

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

36 (34) From Dusk Till Dawn (El Rey) Airing Status: Active, Airing 2nd Season
Avg Rating: n/a Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Low
Pros: Low Ratings Expectations?
Cons: Low Ratings
Intangibles: Recognized Franchise, Low Ratings Expectations?

It has kicked off its second season, though I haven’t seen any ratings results because apparently the numbers for the El Rey network are not widely reported.  But it has generated enough good buzz that I believe it has a chance of lasting into a third year.

37 (36) Zoo (CBS) Airing Status: Active, Completed 1st Season
Avg Rating: 1.1 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Moderate
Pros: Decent Debut Ratings, Netflix Partnership
Cons: Ratings Declines in Season
Intangibles: n/a

This show wrapped up its first season with series low numbers which is definitely not a good way to go out.  But its average rating was decent for a Summer series and CBS does partner with Netflix on this one (they get exclusive streaming rights after the live broadcast), so those factors may help it survive into a second season.

38 (35) Dominion (Syfy) Airing Status: Active, Airing 2nd Season
Avg Rating: 0.3 Prior Season Rating: 0.5 Cancellation Alert: Moderate
Pros: Relative Ratings
Cons: Ratings Declines YOY, Ratings Declines in Season
Intangibles: International Financing?

Despite a pretty solid performance early in the season, this show has dropped to some pretty low numbers the last few weeks.  It will need to finish its second season strong if wants to have any chance of surviving into a third year.

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

39 (39) Wayward Pines (FOX) Airing Status: Season Ended, Completed 1st Season
Avg Rating: 1.1 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Medium
Pros: Ratings Increase In Season, Well Known Creator?
Cons: Moderate Debut Ratings
Intangibles: Strong DVR Gains, International Financing?

It was looking like this show was on its way to a second season because it pulled decent numbers for a Summer entry and word was that FOX was happy with its performance.  But it wrapped up two months ago and there has still been no word on a renewal.  Maybe the network is trying to work things out with M. Night Shyamalan’s schedule, but I’m thinking if we don’t hear something soon then its “limited run” will be all that we get.

40 (41) Defiance (Syfy) Airing Status: Season Ended, Airing 3rd Season
Avg Rating: 0.3 Prior Season Rating: 0.5 Cancellation Alert: Medium
Pros: n/a
Cons: Mediocre Ratings, Ratings Declines YOY, High Production Costs?
Intangibles: DVR Gains, International Financing?

From what I hear, this show wrapped up many of its storylines with its Season 3 finale, so is that intended as its swansong?  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 with no international partners to defer the costs.  The longer it takes Syfy to make an announcement, the slimmer its chances get.

41 (42) Extant (CBS) Airing Status: Season Ended, Completed 2nd Season
Avg Rating: 0.7 Prior Season Rating: 1.1 Cancellation Alert: Medium
Pros: Amazon Partnership, International Financing
Cons: Poor Ratings, Ratings Declines in Season, Ratings Declines YOY
Intangibles: Recognized Star

This show performed worse in the ratings than Under the Dome and that one has already been cancelled.  However, the partnership CBS has with Amazon as well as the international financing makes it profitable out of the gate, so perhaps they give it one more season to wrap up its storylines.

42 (43) 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.  Still, it has been an awful long time since that first season aired, and if I don’t hear of any substantial movement but the next set of rankings I’m going to count this one as done.

43 (44) Proof (TNT) Airing Status: Season Ended, Completed 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?

It’s been over a month since this show wrapped up its first season and still no word which is not a promising sign for a show that slipped into the “ratings noise” levels not long after it debuted.  Still, both Stitchers and Scream got second season nods with similar numbers, so there’s a chance for Proof.

44 (45) Golan the Insatiable (FOX) Airing Status: Season Ended, Comleted 1st Season
Avg Rating: 0.5 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Medium
Pros: n/a
Cons: Poor Debut Ratings, Ratings Declines in Season
Intangibles: n/a

It’s been over two months since this show wrapped up its short, six-episode run, and still not word on its fate.  That’s definitely not a good sign, though there’s still a chance that it could switch to FXX where Animation Domination HD currently airs (that is where Golan got its start).

Likely to Get Cancelled: These shows have seriously underperformed in their current season and appear surely headed to cancellation.

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

It has been two and a half months since this show wrapped up its first season and still no word on its fate.  Considering the fact that it barely registered in the Nielsens, that’s definitely not a good sign.  But it was an inexpensive series to produce, so Syfy’s partner the Canadian Super Channel could decide to produce the second season itself if the U.S. network chooses to back out.  I’d say it’s a toss-up at this point, but I doubt Syfy would be interested in another season.

The_Whispers_ABC_Cancelled46 (47) The Whispers (ABC) Airing Status: Season Ended, Completed 1st Season
Avg Rating: 0.8 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Elevated
Pros: Strong Debut Ratings
Cons: Ratings Declines in Season, Low Ratings
Intangibles: Strong DVR Gains

This series slipped to numbers that were poor even for a Summer show and the actors have already been released from their contracts (because it was originally scheduled for a mid-season bow).  It’s looking more and more like its Summer run was just intended as a burn-off (despite decent early ratings), and a second season is almost out of the question at this point.

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: Returning, 4th Season Airs Summer 2016
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 or that have ended

Dig (USA) Airing Status: Ended, Completed 1st Season
Avg Rating: 0.3 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Ended
Pros: n/a
Cons: Low Ratings, Ratings Declines in Season
Intangibles: International Financing?

There was never any official announcement on the fate of this show, but I am assuming that no more seasons will follow and will count it as ended.  I have seen unofficial announcements that it was cancelled, though nothing has been confirmed by the network.  But since USA billed it as a “limited run” series, they get to cancel it without really cancelling claiming that all along it was never intended to continue beyond its initial run (though series creator Tim Kring did tell Variety that more seasons were possible).

Hannibal (NBC) Airing Status: Cancelled, Completed 3rd Season
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 and having already picked up new gigs.

Haven (Syfy) Airing Status: Cancelled, 2nd Half of 5th Season Airs Late 2015
Avg Rating: 0.2 Prior Season Rating: 0.4 Cancellation Alert: Cancelled
Pros: n/a
Cons: Low Ratings, Ratings Declines in Season, Ratings Declines YOY
Intangibles: Social Net Presence

The cancellation announcement for this show did not come as a huge surprise because of its declining ratings and the fact that it was the last series hanging on from the early Syfy rebranding days. With all the development that the network currently has in the pipeline, apparently they decided not to funnel anymore to this show which was part of an era they are currently trying to step away from.  I thought they might have at least let it air the second half of its fifth season before making a decision, but apparently they wanted to go ahead an clean house to make way (and free up funds) for all of their new production.

Under the Dome (CBS) Airing Status: Cancelled, Completed 3rd Season
Avg Rating: 0.9 Prior Season Rating: 1.6 Cancellation Alert: Cancelled
Pros: Amazon Partnership, International Financing
Cons: Ratings Declines in Season, Ratings Declines YOY
Intangibles: n/a

Despite have a partnership with Amazon and international financing that made this show profitable out of the gate, apparently CBS decided they would rather have more viewers tuning in to their schedule each week.  Apparently the creative team was given enough advanced notice, though, and they had the chance to wrap up most of the show’s storylines.

2 thoughts on “Sci Fi TV Power Rankings: As We Head Into the Fall Season, Agents of SHIELD, Sleepy Hollow, and The Leftovers are Among the Shows Facing Doomwatch

    1. admin Post author

      As mentioned in the top section of the article, we do not include the shows from the streaming services in the power rankings because there is too little data available for them. That said, Powers has been renewed for a second season.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *