There was some good news for sci fi / fantasy shows this week as several shows managed to defy the ratings slump and pull decent ratings with their season debuts. I already covered the return of The Flash at this link and on Wednesday Arrow had its Season 4 debut which pulled a 1.1 rating based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic with 2.7 million total viewers. That was one tick higher that the show’s Season 3 debut and finale and it is the best rating that Arrow has seen for a non-Flash crossover episode since February. So it looks like superhero burnout has yet to hit any of The CW’s DC-based shows yet. And in the lead-out hour, Supernatural had a 0.9 rating with 1.9 million total viewers for its Season 11 debut. Those are the best numbers that the show has seen since it moved to the Wednesday 9 PM EST hour last Spring. Also returning strong was FX’s American Horror Story which had a 3.0 rating with 5.8 million total viewers for its Season 5 bow, which may have been just a bit lower than the 3.1 score it pulled last year but much higher than the 1.5 level it slipped to by the end of its fourth season. Apparently fans are Gaga about Lady G’s appearance on the show which has generated a surge in the ratings for its premiere at least.
There was also some bad news for genre shows over the last two days and it all came on Thursday night. The CW appeared to be defying the ratings slump with its Tuesday and Wednesday premieres, but that net’s Thursday shows were not so lucky. Vampire Diaries bowed at 0.6 rating in the overnights with 1.4 million total viewers (based on the preliminaries) which was down from last year’s premiere and finale. That show has been sinking for a while, though, and with its star departing last season I’m guessing that this year or next will be its last. In the next hour, The Originals matched a series low for its Season 3 debut as it could only muster a 0.4 rating with about 930 thousand total viewers (preliminary results). Those are definitely not good numbers, but they are not too surprising considering the competition in that hour. But since The Originals is a third season show, it is almost certainly guaranteed a fourth season, especially considering the fact that it airs on the fifth place network. Expect its numbers to continue and languish throughout the season in this hour, but also expect it back for at least one more year. Also sinking on the night was NBC’s Heroes Reborn which dropped to a 1.2 rating with 4.4 million total viewers (prelims). It was already at marginal levels last week, and this further drops seems to suggest that this one will remain a “limited run” series and not return for a second round next year. Fox’s Sleepy Hollow held steady at a 1.0 rating with 3.4 million total viewers (prelims), but those numbers are already too low and I’m thinking this one will be on the way out by season end.
The early season ratings are still rolling in and the view is starting to come into focus for this Fall’s sci fi / fantasy shows. Be sure to keep an eye on the Cancelled Sci Fi Twitter Site for the latest numbers and on the Cancellation Watch posts on this site for my analyses.