Cancellation Watch: Supergirl Falls But Not Grounded Yet, Plus the Broadcast Network Scorecard

By | November 11, 2015

supergirl-cbs-cancelledOn Monday, new CBS series Supergirl slipped yet again, falling to a 1.7 rating based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic with 8.1 million total viewers.  The show has now dropped by 45% from its premiere numbers a couple of weeks ago and I am sure that many are wondering if it is in trouble.  But as the show stands, it is still doing relatively well in comparison to the rest of CBS’ schedule.  Its season to date average is well above its network average for non-sports and non-repeat programming for the year (based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic).  And even its most recent score of 1.7 has it slightly above that network’s current average of a 1.6.  But it does have a few things working against it.  First, it’s likely an expensive series to produce and I am thinking that CBS would prefer it to be performed better than just average to help defer costs.  Second, it doesn’t fit in well will the older-skewing, procedural-heavy lineup on the network, though if they paired it back up with Big Bang Theory I believe they would find some synergies with the two.  Third, it is not owned by CBS and the network hasn’t been too kind to Warner Bros. shows of late, having nearly cancelled Person of Interest at the end of last season.  Some may say that the show could just shift to The CW if CBS is not happy with its performance because that is pretty much already the DC comics network (can CBS co-owns it).  But Supergirl comes with a higher price tag than The Flash or Arrow, so the economics would not work out.  For now, I still think that the show is okay, but it needs to level off at its current numbers.  If it continues to fall, I don’t believe that CBS will have too much patience with it.  Even if it holds steady, it may have some rough waters ahead, but then the networks can’t be too picky in the current ratings slump environment.  Keep a close eye on the show’s number over the coming weeks, because the results for the next few outings could be crucial to the its fate.

Supergirl did slip one notch in the broadcast network scorecard this week to Number 2 as The Flash raced back into first place.  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 (based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic).  Shows at or above their network’s average should be okay, whereas those slipping below are getting into iffy territory.  And note that I have now added the Live+7 delayed viewing numbers (where available) to the chart going forward.

Here is the full scorecard for shows that have aired through November 9th:

Rank Prior Rank Series Network Std Avg Net Avg Variance Live+7 Avg Rtg Cancel Alert
1 2 The Flash CW 1.42 0.61 0.81 2.30 Low
2 1 Supergirl CBS 2.33 1.63 0.70 0.00 Low
3 3 Arrow CW 1.00 0.61 0.39 1.50 Low
4 4 Supernatural CW 0.74 0.61 0.13 1.30 Low
5 6 Once Upon A Time ABC 1.65 1.67 (0.02) 2.76 Low
6 5 Limitless CBS 1.60 1.63 (0.03) 2.86 Low
7 7 iZombie CW 0.58 0.61 (0.03) 0.00 Moderate
7 7 Vampire Diaries CW 0.58 0.61 (0.03) 1.07 Low
9 11 Gotham FOX 1.51 1.66 (0.15) 2.72 Low
10 9 Agents of SHIELD ABC 1.50 1.67 (0.17) 2.63 Low
11 10 The Originals CW 0.42 0.61 (0.19) 0.87 Low
12 12 The Last Man on Earth FOX 1.27 1.66 (0.40) 2.03 Moderate
13 14 Heroes Reborn NBC 1.33 1.77 (0.44) 2.52 Medium
14 13 Scream Queens FOX 1.20 1.66 (0.46) 2.28 Medium
15 15 Grimm NBC 1.05 1.77 (0.72) 0.00 Moderate
16 16 Sleepy Hollow FOX 0.93 1.66 (0.73) 1.63 High
17 17 Minority Report FOX 0.74 1.66 (0.92) 1.48 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.

Live+7 Avg Rtg:  The show’s season to date ratings average based on delayed viewing up to seven days past the live broadcast.  This data is not available for all shows.

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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