Cancellation Watch: The Fall Season Blues Continue as Once Upon A Time and The Last Man on Earth Have Mediocre Debuts

By | September 28, 2015

Unless otherwise noted, the ratings results below are based on the preliminaries and could get adjusted when the finals are released.

once-upon-a-time-S5The first week of the Fall season wrapped up last night, but failed to bring much good news for genre shows.  ABC’s Once Upon A Time could muster only a 1.8 rating based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic with 5.9 million total viewers for its Season 5 debut (according to the Preliminaries).  That’s down by 51% from its Season 4 debut and it is even with its finale numbers from last year.  Considering the typical downward trend that follows a show’s debut, those numbers have this one off to a moderate start at best.  And you can’t blame Sunday Night Football because it had to contend with that last year as well and yet still debuted at two year highs.  So apparently last Spring’s slump still hasn’t let up.  I wouldn’t say it is in trouble just yet, though, because I am waiting to see how the dust settles with all the Fall debuts and how much the continued ratings slump can still be blamed.

And FOX’s The Last Man on Earth didn’t receive any better news from the Nielsen Company as it pulled only a 1.4 rating based on the overnights with 3.1 million total viewers for its second season debut.  That is down by 42% from its Season 1 bow and even with its finale last spring.  I considered this show to be on notice going into the season because of the ratings drops it experienced last Spring, but it is too early to make a call at this point.  The fact is that The Last Man on Earth was off by only a 0.1 rating from its Family Guy lead-in, so it can’t be counted as under performing by itself.  It is more wait and see for both these shows as we need to get a couple of weeks worth of numbers to better assess where all of the sci fi entries currently stand.

And it’s still early in the season and there are more debuts coming (you can see the full Fall 2015 schedule at this link), so keep an eye on the Cancelled Sci Fi Twitter Site for the latest numbers and on Cancellation Watch posts on this site for my analyses.

One thought on “Cancellation Watch: The Fall Season Blues Continue as Once Upon A Time and The Last Man on Earth Have Mediocre Debuts

  1. Clive Sims

    I thought the season 2 debut for ABC’s “Once Upon A Time” was not that bad, and certainly not worth the thumbs down it appears to have got from the demographic sampling. One possible reason it might be on the downturn is down to the fact that it may be a little confusing as to which demographic its really supposed to be appealing to. Take last night’s episode – you have Rumpelstiltskin, an age old fairy tale character, vying for position with King Arthur, Camelot which is fine, but then in pops Merida a very new character, not fairy tale from the movie “Brave”. A bit of a mish mash of characters, and Merida certainly did not have the spirit of the girl from the movie, although the accent was convincing enough, despite sounding much more like Geillis Duncan of “Outlander” fame – but thats another story.

    I have not watched “last man on earth” from Fox at all since apart from seeming like a possible, albeit weak yet modernized sequel to the 1974 movie “where have all the people gone” with Peter Graves, it wasn’t giving me the usual vibes of intrigue. In all honesty I was surprised it had been signed up for another season given the appalling downturn in viewing figures it was getting during its first season, a very good indicator that it won’t be renewed. Perhaps its the tongue in cheek humor that goes with each episode (I only see the trailers advertised) – not to my liking but maybe thats what the producers think will keep this show going. Maybe it will stretch out long enough to get global syndication, I don’t know – for me jury is still out on that one.


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