The highly anticipated Ash vs. Evil Dead, which brings back Bruce Campbell to the iconic lead character which helped launch his career, has its first season debut on Starz this Saturday. And in advance of that, the premium cable network announced yesterday that they have already renewed the show for a second season. And while it might seem strange to guarantee a second season for a show that hasn’t aired a single episode yet, I don’t see the announcement as too much of a surprise. The pay channels are not as focused on the ratings, especially the overnights, as the broadcast and cable nets are. For them, the success of their original scripted programming hinges on how many subscribers they believe the show has brought onboard. And apparently the early results of that are quite promising for Starz. The network’s managing director Carmi Zlotnik stated: “The early fan and press support, along with the international broadcaster demand for more story have made it clear that the adventures of Ash Williams can’t end with Season 1”. So apparently they are quite happy with the initial buzz on the show (and the subscriber boost likely related), and they feel confident enough to go ahead an greenlight it for a second year. Or, they’re afraid Ash is going to kick butt on them like they were the Evil Dead if they don’t renew the show . . .
Of course, this leads to the question of where does HBO’s The Leftovers stand based on the drop in its ratings for its second season. The answer to that is how many subscribers is the show driving to the network? The low viewership suggests not too many, but the pay channel has different data it works from than just the Nielsen ratings. So its status is still unsure, but the ratings drop off is definitely a leading indicator of a diminishing audience.
And be sure to keep an eye on this site and the Cancelled Sci Fi Twitter Site for any more breaking news over the coming weeks and months because the Fall season is only a month old and there is plenty more drama to come.