Cancellation Watch: Supergirl Soars With Debut, Plus the Broadcast Network Scorecard

By | October 28, 2015

supergirl-cbs-cancelledNew CBS series Supergirl had its debut on Monday and managed to successfully fly above the superhero burnout that has been gnawing at shows like Gotham, Agents of SHIELD, and Heroes Reborn (but not The CW’s The Flash or Arrow).  The show pulled a 3.1 rating based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic with thirteen million total viewers which tied NBC’s Blindspot for the best debut of a new series this Fall.  That’s definitely a very good start, especially in the current ratings slump environment, but now it is wait and see on where the show lands with its second episode.  We previously saw superhero entries Gotham and Agents of SHIELD take significant drops with their second episodes after pulling high premiere numbers.  And Supergirl had the added boost of a lead-in from a special airing of CBS’ top rated show The Big Bang Theory.  She will fly solo next week, so I expect the numbers to drop.  How much, though, remains the question.  If the show stays above a 2.0 score, then it is gold for its networks these days.  If it starts to head into the 1’s, that may change, especially with genre-averse CBS.  But for now the show is off to a promising start and I believe it has a decent chance of leveling off at a ratings average that will get it into a second season.  And Gotham fans should know that Supergirl did not crush the dark drama as the FOX DC show’s ratings actually improved Monday to a 1.5 rating with 4.3 million total viewers.  That gets the show back up to what it has been averaging this season (after it slipped to a series low the prior week) which looks good enough to keep it alive on FOX this year as that network has had a disastrous Fall thus far.

As for the broadcast network scorecard, Supergirl obviously flew to the top of the list, and apart from that the rankings haven’t changed much since last week.  This scorecard ranks all of the broadcast network sci fi / fantasy shows ratings performance vs. their network’s average for non-sports, non-repeat programming during the week.  Shows at or above their network’s average should be okay, whereas those slipping below are getting into iffy territory.  Note that I have The CW’s iZombie moved up to a Moderate Cancellation alert status because it is losing a large part (over 60%) of its lead-in audience from The Flash.  I’m thinking the network is not too happy about that and there will likely be some scheduling changes at mid-season.

Here is the full scorecard for shows that have aired through October 26th:

Rank Prior Rank Series Network Std Avg Net Avg Variance Cancel Alert
1 n/a Supergirl CBS 3.10 1.65 1.45 Low
2 1 The Flash CW 1.40 0.62 0.78 Low
3 2 Arrow CW 1.00 0.62 0.38 Low
4 3 Supernatural CW 0.77 0.62 0.15 Low
5 4 Limitless CBS 1.66 1.65 0.01 Low
6 5 Once Upon A Time ABC 1.68 1.73 (0.05) Low
7 6 iZombie CW 0.57 0.62 (0.05) Moderate
7 7 Vampire Diaries CW 0.57 0.62 (0.05) Low
9 8 Agents of SHIELD ABC 1.55 1.73 (0.18) Low
10 9 The Originals CW 0.43 0.62 (0.18) Low
11 10 Gotham FOX 1.50 1.76 (0.26) Low
12 12 Heroes Reborn NBC 1.40 1.84 (0.44) Medium
13 11 The Last Man on Earth FOX 1.32 1.76 (0.44) Moderate
14 13 Scream Queens FOX 1.24 1.76 (0.52) Moderate
15 14 Sleepy Hollow FOX 0.90 1.76 (0.86) High
16 15 Minority Report FOX 0.77 1.76 (1.00) High

Metric Definitions

Rank: Current rank based on the variance of a show’s season to date ratings average vs. its network’s season to date ratings average (see metric definitions below).

Prior Rank: Prior week’s rank.

Std Avg:  The show’s season to date ratings average based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic.

Net Avg:  The network’s season to date ratings average based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic for non-sports, non-special, non-repeat broadcasts.

Variance:  The variance between a show’s season to date average and the network’s season to date average as defined above.  The higher the variance, the better a show is performing vs. the network mean.

Cancel Alert: My prediction of the likelihood that a show will get cancelled. From least to most likely the statuses are Low, Moderate, Medium, Elevated, and High.

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