Sci Fi Cancellation Watch: Into the Badlands Debuts Strong; Which Will be the Next Network to Go Into Panic Mode; Plus the Full Ratings Round Up

By | November 17, 2015

Unless otherwise noted, the ratings numbers below are based on the final overnights and may vary slightly from the preliminaries reported on the Cancelled Sci Fi Twitter Site.

into-the-badlands-amc-cancelledSeries Premiere:  On Sunday, AMC’s new post-apocalyptic martial arts show Into the Badlands had its debut and scored an impressive 3.2 rating in the overnights based on the 18-49 demo with 6.4 million total viewers.  I’m sure that puts it in the Top 10 (if not Top 5) debuts for a cable show as Fear the Walking Dead is currently Number 1 with a 4.9 score.  And of course Into the Badlands had just a little bit of help with The Walking Dead providing its lead-in for the night (that show improved on Sunday to a 6.5 rating in the overnights).  So as long as Badlands has the cushy post-TWD hour, it should be pulling good numbers.  We will see where it lands in the weeks after TWD wraps up (its Fall finale is on November 29th), but I’m pretty sure this one will be able to kick its way through to a second season.

Schedule Shenanigans: Last week, FOX announced a complete revamp for their Prime Time schedule starting at mid-season, something that I had been predicting for a while because they are suffering the most from the ratings slump impacting all of the television networks.  And also, as I predicted, it did not go well for their genre shows.  We already knew that Minority Report has been dead-man-walking since its episode count was cut from thirteen to ten.  And now the schedule revamp appears to have done the same with Sleepy Hollow and The Last Man on Earth.  The former show will get kicked to Fridays after the holiday hiatus which essentially acts as a burn-off run for the rest of its Season 3 episodes.  And the latter show is getting pulled from the schedule altogether, and it will likely eventually show up on Fridays or Saturdays to burn off the rest of its Season 2 episodes.  Plus, Scream Queens looks like it will not extend beyond its “limited run”, and I theorize it will eventually get tacked on to the American Horror Story syndication package as a bonus season (FOX owns both shows).  That leaves only Gotham hanging on right now, and it looks to be okay since it is one of FOX’s better rated shows this season despite the year over year drop in its numbers.

So now that FOX has pushed the panic button, will any of the other broadcast networks do the same in this ratings challenged year?

I’m thinking not to the same degree, but expect some scheduling shifts before mid-season rolls around.  This year has not been quite the disaster for other networks that it has been for FOX, but the ratings are down across the board and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.  ABC has already released its mid-season schedule and they appear to be holding the course, even bringing back certified disaster The Muppets (which I’m sure involved an edict from Disney), though it is going through a reboot.  NBC is currently keeping its head just above the water, so I don’t expect too many drastic moves from that network, and slumping Grimm is already on Fridays which could just end up being a burn off run for what will likely be that show’s final season.  It is possible that Heroes Reborn–which has disappointed in the ratings–could get sent to Fridays to join Grimm at mid-season to air the remaining episodes of its “limited run”.  CBS has to figure out what to do with nose-diving Supergirl which means that one could get shuffled by mid-season, but I’m thinking they give that one some rope before going into damage control mode.  The CW will likely be doing some shuffling as their non-superhero shows are slipping into rating noise levels.  I believe that iZombie will get booted out of the Tuesday 9 PM EST hour where it is currently losing around 60% of The Flash‘s lead-in audience.  Plus, that network has returning The 100 and new entries DC’s Legends of Tomorrow and Containment waiting in the wings, so they will have to do some shuffling at some point to get those on the schedule.  That could work out bad for The 100, though, if that one get shoved into a less desirable hour because it is already on the hot seat.  Apart from these potential moves, I don’t see much more in the way of panic-fueled shifts over the coming months.  But when the end of the season comes around, I’m going to expect a fair amount of carnage as the networks start up a fury of scheduling moves to grasp for the ratings scraps available to them in the 2016-17 season.

Status Updates:  As for two of the shows from this past Summer that we have yet to hear word on–FOX’s Golan the Insatiable and Wayward Pines–I’m going to make the assumption that neither will be returning to the schedule next year.  Golan barely registered in the ratings during its short, six episode run and in the too-much-TV era I’m guessing the networks have decided that cancellation announcements are no longer needed if not enough people were watching.  As for Wayward Pines, apparently the network is sticking with the “limited run” line on that one.  There were talks of a second season and it was one of the highest rated scripted shows on the broadcast nets in the Summer, but as we have yet to hear any word on it four months after it wrapped its first season I am assuming that nothing is moving forward.  Perhaps the network is still trying to work around M. Night Shyamalan’s schedule, but it seems like the window has already closed for this one.  Until I hear different, I am now counting Golan the Insatiable as cancelled and Wayward Pines as ended.

Ratings results for the sci fi / fantasy shows airing Monday November 9th thru Sunday November 15th (metric definitions below):

(Pending updates for chart activity in the Weekly Nielsen Twitter Ratings)

Gotham FOX Mon 11/9 8 PM
Rating: 1.5 | % Chng PW: -6.3% | Tot Viewers (MM): 4.1 | StD Rating: 1.5 | Net Avg: 1.6 | Cancellation Alert: Low

It slipped a little bit but is still doing okay compared to the other FOX shows. It avoided being on the wrong side of its network’s schedule panic for now (see above), but that could change by season end if its numbers slip much further.

Supergirl CBS Mon 11/9 8 PM
Rating: 1.7 | % Chng PW: -22.7% | Tot Viewers (MM): 8.1 | StD Rating: 2.3 | Net Avg: 1.6 | Cancellation Alert: Low

It dropped again, and is currently flying just above the network’s average ratings. I’m thinking that CBS is wanting better numbers for what is likely an expensive shows. But for starters, they could move it to another timeslot where it isn’t competing for much the same audience from Gotham.

Chart Activity:  This show dropped out of the broadcast network Top 25 based on the overnights for the 18-49 demo and slipped to Number 23 in the Top 25 based on total viewers (down from Number 16).

Minority Report FOX Mon 11/9 9 PM
Rating: Preempted | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): n/a | StD Rating: 0.7 | Net Avg: 1.6 | Cancellation Alert: High

This show was preempted for a repeat of Bones which pulled only slightly lower numbers (a 0.5 rating) than new episodes of Minority Report have been seeing the last few weeks. It returned to the schedule this week to air out its last three episode before heading off to the TV Wasteland.

The Flash CW Tue 11/10 8 PM
Rating: 1.5 | % Chng PW: 0.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 3.6 | StD Rating: 1.4 | Net Avg: 0.6 | Cancellation Alert: Low

This one beat ABC’s Agents of SHIELD for a second week in a row and was only two ratings ticks behind CBS’ Supergirl. It’s one of the few shows that has been able to race ahead of the ratings slump.

Agents of SHIELD ABC Tue 11/10 9 PM
Rating: 1.3 | % Chng PW: -7.1% | Tot Viewers (MM): 3.5 | StD Rating: 1.5 | Net Avg: 1.7 | Cancellation Alert: Low

This show slipped to match its series low and is officially in iffy territory now. We will see how it finishes out its Fall run, but that three month hiatus it will then go on certainly won’t help it. If it doesn’t improve, I have mapped out several possible scenarios for its fate at this link.

iZombie CW Tue 11/10 8 PM
Rating: 0.6 | % Chng PW: 0.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 1.4 | StD Rating: 0.6 | Net Avg: 0.6 | Cancellation Alert: Low

It has held steady at slightly better numbers for three weeks in a row now and it is The CW’s fourth highest rated show, so I am dropping the Cancellation Alert back down. But it is still losing a large portion of the lead-in audience from The Flash and I’m thinking it gets a schedule change at mid-season.

Scream Queens FOX Tue 11/10 9 PM
Rating: 0.9 | % Chng PW: -10.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 2.5 | StD Rating: 1.2 | Net Avg: 1.6 | Cancellation Alert: Elevated

It looks like the “limited run” will be all this show will get and then I am guessing it gets tacked on to the American Horror Story syndication package as a bonus season (FOX owns both shows).

Limitless CBS Tue 11/10 10 PM
Rating: 1.5 | % Chng PW: 0.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 7.1 | StD Rating: 1.6 | Net Avg: 1.6 | Cancellation Alert: Low

It continues to hold steady and it is the best performing CBS shows in the 10 PM EST hour this season, so it is safe for now.

Arrow CW Wed 11/11 8 PM
Rating: 0.9 | % Chng PW: -18.2% | Tot Viewers (MM): 2.3 | StD Rating: 1.0 | Net Avg: 0.6 | Cancellation Alert: Low

No Constantine cross-over and the ratings drop.  So bring him back!  And have him show up on The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow as well!

Supernatural CW Wed 11/11 9 PM
Rating: 0.7 | % Chng PW: +16.7% | Tot Viewers (MM): 1.7 | StD Rating: 0.7 | Net Avg: 0.6 | Cancellation Alert: Low

It improved slightly as this coasts along into a likely twelfth season (assuming the cast and crew are up for it).

Star Wars Rebels DXD Wed 11/11 9:30 PM
Rating: 0.2 | % Chng PW: +45.5% | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.6 | StD Rating: 0.1 | Net Avg: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Low

It improved some from the prior week as it awaits its almost certain third season renewal announcement.

American Horror Story FX Wed 11/11 10 PM
Rating: 1.4 | % Chng PW: -5.4% | Tot Viewers (MM): 2.6 | StD Rating: 1.9 | Net Avg: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

Its numbers dropped, but it got a sixth season renewal anyway.  Likely that is to pad out its syndication package and it may still have one or two more in it as well.

Chart Activity:   In the cable Top 25 based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic it was at Number 9 (down from Number 6) and it fell out of the Top 25 based on total viewers for the first time this season.

Vampire Diaries CW Thu 11/12 8 PM
Rating: 0.6 | % Chng PW: 0.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 1.3 | StD Rating: 0.6 | Net Avg: 0.6 | Cancellation Alert: Low

It held steady as this one is likely in the process of wrapping up this season or next.

Heroes Reborn NBC Thu 11/12 8 PM
Rating: 1.1 | % Chng PW: -15.4% | Tot Viewers (MM): 3.8 | StD Rating: 1.3 | Net Avg: 1.8 | Cancellation Alert: Medium

I guess the one week jump may have just been a blip. As I mention above, don’t be surprised if this show gets shuffled to Fridays on the mid-season schedule to air out the remaining episodes of its “limited run”.

The Originals CW Thu 11/12 9 PM
Rating: 0.4 | % Chng PW: 0.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 1.0 | StD Rating: 0.4 | Net Avg: 0.6 | Cancellation Alert: Low

It remains low, but it has been seeing decent DVR gains and is almost guaranteed another year because of its  third season show status.

Sleepy Hollow FOX Thu 11/12 9 PM
Rating: 0.9 | % Chng PW: 0.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 3.0 | StD Rating: 0.9 | Net Avg: 1.6 | Cancellation Alert: High

As mentioned above, this one gets shuffled off to Fridays starting at mid-season.  That will likely act as the burn-off run for its remaining Season 3 episodes and I don’t expect anything beyond that.

Haven Syfy Thu 11/12 10 PM
Rating: 0.2 | % Chng PW: -25.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.7 | StD Rating: 0.0 | Net Avg: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Final Season

This show held mostly steady as it airs out its final season.

Grimm NBC Fri 11/13 9 PM
Rating: 0.9 | % Chng PW: -10.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 3.7 | StD Rating: 1.0 | Net Avg: 1.8 | Cancellation Alert: Moderate

At these levels, this show is almost certainly in its final season.  But at five years, it still would be a pretty good run.

Z Nation Syfy Fri 11/13 10 PM
Rating: 0.2 | % Chng PW: -23.3% | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.7 | StD Rating: 0.3 | Net Avg: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

It slipped again, but it has already been renewed for a third season.  If it stays at this levels, though, that may be its last.

Doctor Who BBCA Sat 11/14 9 PM
Rating: 0.2 | % Chng PW: -31.4% | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.6 | StD Rating: 0.4 | Net Avg: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Low

Its numbers slipped, but word is that a tenth season is currently in the works.

Ash vs Evil Dead Starz Sat 11/14 9 PM
Rating: 0.2 | % Chng PW: +33.3% | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.4 | StD Rating: 0.1 | Net Avg: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

It improved slightly from the prior week and it has already been renewed for a second season.

Guardians of the Galaxy DXD Sat 11/14 9:30 PM
Rating: n/a | % Chng PW: 0.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): n/a | StD Rating: 0.1 | Net Avg: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

Ratings results pending.  Check this show’s page on this site later in the week for the updated numbers.

Once Upon A Time ABC Sun 11/15 8 PM
Rating: 1.6 | % Chng PW: 0.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 4.9 | StD Rating: 1.6 | Net Avg: 1.7 | Cancellation Alert: Low

It held steady for it two hour airing and was the top rated scripted show on the broadcast networks on Sunday.  It’s still safe for now.

The Librarians TNT Sun 11/15 8 PM
Rating: 0.5 | % Chng PW: -15.1% | Tot Viewers (MM): 1.9 | StD Rating: 0.5 | Net Avg: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Low

It slipped a little bit, but it is still looking good for TNT.

The Walking Dead AMC Sun 11/15 9 PM
Rating: 6.5 | % Chng PW: +5.2% | Tot Viewers (MM): 12.9 | StD Rating: 6.6 | Net Avg: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

Despite three weeks in a row of slow episodes, this show’s numbers improved.  Expect to see them ramp up more as it head to its Fall finale (on November 29th).

Chart Activity: In the cable Top 25 based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic, this show again ranked Number 1.  In the Top 25 based on total viewers, it slipped to Number 2.

The Leftovers HBO Sun 11/15 9 PM
Rating: 0.3 | % Chng PW: -15.2% | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.6 | StD Rating: 0.3 | Net Avg: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Moderate

It slipped slightly from the prior week and you have to ask how many new subscribers it is bringing to HBO? That’s the most important factor for the premium cable channels.

The Last Man on Earth FOX Sun 11/15 9:30 PM
Rating: 1.2 | % Chng PW: +20.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 2.8 | StD Rating: 1.3 | Net Avg: 1.6 | Cancellation Alert: Elevated

It improved on Sunday, but also got news last week that it will get yanked from the schedule at mid-season.  More on that above.

Into the Badlands AMC Sun 11/15 10 PM
Rating: 3.2 | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): 6.4 | StD Rating: 3.2 | Net Avg: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Low

Was there any doubt this show would score good numbers with television’s top-rated show as its lead-in?  But can it hold on with at least decent ratings once TWD wraps up its Fall run?

Chart Activity:  For its premiere, this show landed at Number 3 in the cable Top 25 based on the overnights for the 18-49 demo and at Number 5 in the Top 25 based on total viewers.

Be sure keep an eye out for the latest numbers and any breaking news throughout the week at theCancelled Sci Fi Twitter Site. You can see the status of all the currently airing sci fi / fantasy shows at the Cancellation Watch page and also the latest Sci Fi TV Power Rankings post. And for more information on where I get these numbers and how I make my Cancellation Alert assessments, check out the Cancelled Sci Fi FAQ.

Metric Definitions:

Rating: Overnight rating in the 18-49 demographic for same day viewing based on the final numbers unless otherwise noted

% Chng PW: The percentage change +/- for this week’s rating vs. last week’s rating.

Tot Viewers: Estimated total viewers (age 2+) to tune in to the episode for same day viewing.

StD Rating: Season to date average for the rating metric tracked above.

Net Avg:  The season to date average rating for the network for non-sports programming and non-repeats.  This data is available for the broadcast networks only.

Cancellation 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.

Ratings Source: TV by the Numbers and ShowBuzzDaily

Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2015 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.

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