Cancellation Watch: Supergirl Takes a Dive, But is Still Okay; Plus the Broadcast Network Scorecard

By | November 4, 2015

supergirl-cbs-cancelledOn Monday, the second episode of new CBS series Supergirl dropped notably from its premiere as it pulled a 2.2 rating based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic with 8.9 million viewers.  That was a 29% slip from the show’s 3.1 debut score, but the drop was expected as not all the curious onlookers stuck around for the show’s second installment.  We saw similar drops with other broadcast network superhero shows Agents of SHIELD and Gotham (though not as big for The Flash), thus the reason that I warned last week that the show would come back down to Earth.  But the 2.2 rating is still pretty darn good this year especially when you consider that CBS is currently averaging only a 1.6 score for its non-sports programming this Fall due to the ongoing ratings slump.  If Supergirl can hold above a 2.0 rating, then I believe the show is guaranteed a second season.  And if it remains above the network average it still has a decent chance, though it is likely an expensive show to produce and CBS does not own it.  But it looks safe for now and we will see how it tracks over the coming weeks to gauge its chances of renewal by season end.  And the duel of DC comic book shows has not gone badly for FOX’s Gotham as that show saw its numbers improve slightly (to a 1.6 rating) in the same timeslot this past Monday.  As FOX is in shambles right now based on its tanking Fall schedule, Gotham still looks okay even though its numbers are down year over year.

And despite the ratings drop, Supergirl remained at the top of the broadcast network scorecard for a second week in a row.  NBC’s Grimm entered the returned last week and entered the scorecard pretty low because its numbers are down year over year.  But as a Friday show, it gets a little bit of leeway, so I only have it at a Moderate Cancellation Alert status at the moment.  This scorecard ranks all of the broadcast network sci fi / fantasy shows ratings performance vs. their network’s season to date 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.

Here is the full scorecard for shows that have aired through November 2nd:

Rank Prior Rank Series Network Std Avg Net Avg Variance Cancel Alert
1 1 Supergirl CBS 2.65 1.64 1.01 Low
2 2 The Flash CW 1.40 0.61 0.79 Low
3 3 Arrow CW 0.98 0.61 0.36 Low
4 4 Supernatural CW 0.78 0.61 0.16 Low
5 5 Limitless CBS 1.62 1.64 (0.03) Low
6 6 Once Upon A Time ABC 1.65 1.69 (0.04) Low
7 7 iZombie CW 0.58 0.61 (0.04) Moderate
7 8 Vampire Diaries CW 0.58 0.61 (0.04) Low
9 9 Agents of SHIELD ABC 1.52 1.69 (0.17) Low
10 10 The Originals CW 0.43 0.61 (0.19) Low
11 11 Gotham FOX 1.51 1.71 (0.19) Low
12 13 The Last Man on Earth FOX 1.32 1.71 (0.39) Moderate
13 14 Scream Queens FOX 1.24 1.71 (0.47) Moderate
14 12 Heroes Reborn NBC 1.33 1.81 (0.47) Medium
15 n/a Grimm NBC 1.10 1.81 (0.71) Moderate
16 15 Sleepy Hollow FOX 0.94 1.71 (0.77) High
17 16 Minority Report FOX 0.74 1.71 (0.96) 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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