Cancellation Watch: Scream Queens Fails to Scare Up Big Ratings, Limitless Has a Decent Debut

By | September 23, 2015

scream-queens-fox-cancelledDay 2 of the new Fall season has come and gone and the FOX numbers are still not looking great.  Highly anticipated Scream Queens (from the creators of American Horror Story) bowed with a 1.7 average rating based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic for its two hour debut and 4.0 million total viewers (according to the preliminaries).  I wouldn’t quite say that it stumbled out of the gate like Monday’s Minority Report (also on FOX), but those definitely are not numbers to shout about.  Of course, for already struggling FOX those numbers may not be too bad.  The network was definitely hurting last year, especially once the Spring ratings slump hit and it will take fourth place among the Big Four networks for a second night in a row this Fall.  And if FOX’s other Fall entries remain around these levels, this is actually good news for Gotham (which I originally thought was in trouble) and for Scream Queens as well (not so much for low-performer Minority Report, though).  A show’s chances for survival are best gauged by how the ratings (the overnights) compare to other shows on the same network.  It’s too early in the season to make a call, but this may be the level that FOX is performing at this year.  We should have a better gauge of that within the next couple of weeks, so worried fans of these shows should sit tight for now.

Later on Tuesday, new CBS series Limitless actually pulled decent premiere numbers with a 1.8 rating based on the overnights and 9.8 million total viewers (according to the preliminaries).  Those are actually good numbers for the 10 PM EST hour and Limitless improved on the rating of its NCIS: New Orleans lead in.  And it will almost certainly show up in the broadcast network Top 25 for the week based on total viewers with that 9.8 million tally.  I originally thought that Limitless would be one of the first genre casualties of the season because the timeslot it is in has been a difficult one for CBS the last few years.  And it is possible that a fair number of curious onlookers tuned in because of the movie connection and the fact that Bradley Cooper appeared in the pilot (and he will have a recurring role on the show).  The numbers may drop off next week and where it stands then will be a better indicator of its long term chances.  But for now, this counts as the best debut for a sci fi show this early in the Fall season (I’m still not counting NBC’s Blindspot as a genre entry unless somebody can convince me otherwise) .

And for those interested, The Muppets had a decent debut with a 2.8 rating based on the overnights and 8.9 million total viewers (no, it’s not sci fi, but it is the Muppets).  That was by far ABC’s best performing show for the night and looks like a promising start for this modern updating of the beloved characters.  But at this point we don’t know how many of the curious onlookers will tune out of this more adult-skewing take on the Muppets next week.  But based on its debut numbers, it sure looks like a hit at the moment.

One thought on “Cancellation Watch: Scream Queens Fails to Scare Up Big Ratings, Limitless Has a Decent Debut

  1. pov

    I have zero interest in watching Scream Queens . Limitless was okay for me. We’ll see where it goes. Blindspot has been my favorite opener.


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