Sci Fi Cancellation Watch: Is The Walking Dead Losing Its Audience? Plus the Full Ratings Round Up

By | December 2, 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.

walking-dead-S6The Walking Dead wrapped up its Fall run on Sunday with a 7.0 rating in the overnights for the 18-49 demographic and 14 million total viewers which is up from recent weeks but down from the 7.6 score the show had for its Fall finale last year.  And its numbers overall are down this year with a season to date average of a 6.7 rating vs. the show’s average of 7.5 at this time last year.  There have been rumblings across the internet that the writing this season has not been the best, and that whole is-Glen-dead-or-isn’t-he diversion definitely did not work in the show’s favor.  But then fans have grumbled about the show’s writing from time to time during its previous seasons, so that’s nothing new (and despite a few lapses, I have say that it remains first-rate).  And the fact that the show is only averaging a 6.7 rating does not in any way signal the beginning of a death spiral.  In an era where the broadcast networks are renewing shows performing in the low 2’s or high 1’s (or sometimes even lower), that 6.7 average still has TWD in the stratosphere and with plenty of leeway before it finds itself in trouble.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see the numbers continue to slip because it is rare that a show that has been around for six seasons or more can continue to perform at such high levels.  But then the writers have plenty of source material to mine from the comics and there is already word that the notorious Neegan will show up in the back half of the current season, so that could likely draw people back and boost the show’s numbers.  And AMC has never been shy about making changes behind the scenes of their prize show, so if the network feels that the creative team is getting off course I expect to see them step in and shake things up.  So while TWD‘s numbers are down just a bit at the moment, this is not a forewarning of the show’s demise.  This one has plenty more seasons ahead of it and will almost certainly walk out on its own terms.

Here’s a quick round up of the big announcements from this last week:  The CW has announced it mid-season schedule, renewal and pickup announced for Star Wars: Rebels and Supergirl respectively, CBS has announced its mid-season schedule and Person of Interest is not on it.

Ratings results for the sci fi / fantasy shows airing Monday November 23rd thru Sunday November 29th (metric definitions below):

(Updated for the broadcast network and cable Top 25)

Gotham FOX Mon 11/23 8 PM
Rating: 1.4 | % Chng PW: -6.7% | Tot Viewers (MM): 4.0 | StD Rating: 1.5 | Net Avg: 1.6 | Cancellation Alert: Low

It had the expected slip on Thanksgiving week but rebounded this last Monday to a 1.6 rating (tied with Supergirl) for its Fall finale. This show is still looking okay for now and returns from hiatus on February 29th.

Supergirl CBS Mon 11/23 8 PM
Rating: 1.5 | % Chng PW: -16.7% | Tot Viewers (MM): 7.2 | StD Rating: 2.1 | Net Avg: 1.6 | Cancellation Alert: Low

The drop over Thanksgiving week was to be expected, but it didn’t rebound too much on Monday as it only improved to a 1.6 rating (which tied Gotham). Still, CBS saw fit to give the show a full season order (likely because they were against a deadline to make a decision), so it has through May to prove that it can fly high enough to justify a second season.

Chart Activity:  This show held steady with the prior in the broadcast network Top 25 based on the overnights for the 18-49 demo at Number 24.

Minority Report FOX Mon 11/23 9 PM
Rating: 0.5 | % Chng PW: -28.6% | Tot Viewers (MM): 1.5 | StD Rating: 0.7 | Net Avg: 1.6 | Cancellation Alert: High

It dropped to a series low on Thanksgiving week, and improved a bit to a 0.7 score on Monday for its Fall finale. That will likely also act as its season finale, though fans are rallying to try and convince FOX to keep the show around.

The Flash CW Tue 11/24 8 PM
Rating: Preempted | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): n/a | StD Rating: 1.4 | Net Avg: 0.6 | Cancellation Alert: Low

Preempted for Thanksgiving week.

Agents of SHIELD ABC Tue 11/24 9 PM
Rating: Preempted | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): n/a | StD Rating: 1.5 | Net Avg: 1.7 | Cancellation Alert: Low

Preempted for Thanksgiving week.

iZombie CW Tue 11/24 8 PM
Rating: Preempted | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): n/a | StD Rating: 0.6 | Net Avg: 0.6 | Cancellation Alert: Low

Preempted for Thanksgiving week.

Scream Queens FOX Tue 11/24 9 PM
Rating: 0.8 | % Chng PW: -11.1% | Tot Viewers (MM): 2.0 | StD Rating: 1.1 | Net Avg: 1.6 | Cancellation Alert: Elevated

Apparently FOX decided not to bother with preempting this one for Thanksgiving week since its numbers are so low anyway. It still looks like limited-run-and-done for this show.

Limitless CBS Tue 11/24 10 PM
Rating: 1.3 | % Chng PW: -7.1% | Tot Viewers (MM): 6.5 | StD Rating: 1.5 | Net Avg: 1.6 | Cancellation Alert: Low

It slipped one tick over Thanksgiving week, but I expect it to rebound. But it really needs to get to the 1.5 range or higher if it wants to be safe for a second season.

Arrow CW Wed 11/25 8 PM
Rating: Preempted | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): n/a | StD Rating: 1.0 | Net Avg: 0.6 | Cancellation Alert: Low

Preempted for Thanksgiving week.

Supernatural CW Wed 11/25 9 PM
Rating: Preempted | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): n/a | StD Rating: 0.7 | Net Avg: 0.6 | Cancellation Alert: Low

Preempted for Thanksgiving week.

Star Wars Rebels DXD Wed 11/25 9:30 PM
Rating: 0.2 | % Chng PW: +41.7% | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.5 | StD Rating: 0.1 | Net Avg: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Low

It improved slightly despite the holiday and received (the expected) announcement that it will be getting a third season.

American Horror Story FX Wed 11/25 10 PM
Rating: Preempted | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): n/a | StD Rating: 1.8 | Net Avg: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

Preempted for Thanksgiving week.

Vampire Diaries CW Thu 11/26 8 PM
Rating: Preempted | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): n/a | StD Rating: 0.6 | Net Avg: 0.6 | Cancellation Alert: Low

Preempted for Thanksgiving week.

Heroes Reborn NBC Thu 11/26 8 PM
Rating: Preempted | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): n/a | StD Rating: 1.3 | Net Avg: 1.8 | Cancellation Alert: Medium

Preempted for Thanksgiving week.

The Originals CW Thu 11/26 9 PM
Rating: Preempted | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): n/a | StD Rating: 0.4 | Net Avg: 0.6 | Cancellation Alert: Low

Preempted for Thanksgiving week.

Sleepy Hollow FOX Thu 11/26 9 PM
Rating: Preempted | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): n/a | StD Rating: 0.9 | Net Avg: 1.6 | Cancellation Alert: High

Preempted for Thanksgiving week.

Haven Syfy Thu 11/26 10 PM
Rating: 0.1 | % Chng PW: -31.6% | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.5 | StD Rating: 0.0 | Net Avg: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Final Season

It slipped, as expected, because it aired on Thanksgiving Day and everybody was watching football or already passed out from eating too much.

Grimm NBC Fri 11/27 9 PM
Rating: Preempted | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): n/a | StD Rating: 1.0 | Net Avg: 1.8 | Cancellation Alert: Moderate

Preempted for Thanksgiving week.

Z Nation Syfy Fri 11/27 10 PM
Rating: 0.3 | % Chng PW: +14.3% | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.9 | StD Rating: 0.3 | Net Avg: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

It held mostly steady though it can’t be considered a strong performer at the moment. But it has received a third season renewal.

Doctor Who BBCA Sat 11/28 9 PM
Rating: 0.3 | % Chng PW: +3.4% | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.9 | StD Rating: 0.4 | Net Avg: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Low

It held mostly stead and appears headed toward a tenth season.

Ash vs Evil Dead Starz Sat 11/28 9 PM
Rating: 0.2 | % Chng PW: -25.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.4 | StD Rating: 0.2 | Net Avg: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

It dropped a bit from last week but is still doing okay for Starz. And it has already been renewed for a second season.

Guardians of the Galaxy DXD Sat 11/28 9:30 PM
Rating: 0.1 | % Chng PW: -12.5% | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.3 | StD Rating: 0.1 | Net Avg: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

It held steady and it has already been renewed for a second season.

Once Upon A Time ABC Sun 11/29 8 PM
Rating: 1.3 | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): 4.4 | StD Rating: 1.6 | Net Avg: 1.7 | Cancellation Alert: Low

It slipped, but we will call that a holiday hangover. It still remains one of the top rated scripted shows on the broadcast nets on Sundays.

The Librarians TNT Sun 11/29 8 PM
Rating: 0.5 | % Chng PW: +6.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 2.0 | StD Rating: 0.5 | Net Avg: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Low

It held mostly steady and a third season is looking like a good bet for this show.

The Walking Dead AMC Sun 11/29 9 PM
Rating: 7.0 | % Chng PW: +5.6% | Tot Viewers (MM): 14.0 | StD Rating: 6.7 | Net Avg: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

Its Fall finale improved on the ratings from the last few weeks, but it is down from where it was at this time last year. Still, the broadcast net execs would sell their souls (if they have any left) for half these numbers.  More on this one above.

Chart Activity: It held at Number 1 in the  Weekly Nielsen Twitter Ratings.  It remained at Number 1 in the cable Top 25 based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic, and slipped to Number 2 (down from Number 1) in the Top 25 based on total viewers

The Leftovers HBO Sun 11/29 9 PM
Rating: 0.4 | % Chng PW: +25.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.9 | StD Rating: 0.3 | Net Avg: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Moderate

This show improved for its second to last Season 2 episode. Can it make a surge with its finale next week?

The Last Man on Earth(R) FOX Sun 11/29 9:30 PM
Rating: 0.6 | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): 1.8 | StD Rating: 1.3 | Net Avg: 1.6 | Cancellation Alert: Elevated

Repeat, returns with a new episode next week.

Into the Badlands AMC Sun 11/29 10 PM
Rating: 2.5 | % Chng PW: +8.4% | Tot Viewers (MM): 5.2 | StD Rating: 2.6 | Net Avg: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Low

This show improved from last week and looks to be in good shape at the moment. Don’t be surprised if it takes a big drop next week as it won’t have its TWD lead-in. But I expect to hear a renewal notice for it at any time now.

Chart Activity: This show remained at Number 3 in the cable Top 25 based on the overnights for the 18-49 demo and improved to Number 3 in the Top 25 based on total viewers (up from Number 4).

Be sure keep an eye out for the latest numbers and any breaking news throughout the week at the Cancelled 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.

One thought on “Sci Fi Cancellation Watch: Is The Walking Dead Losing Its Audience? Plus the Full Ratings Round Up

  1. peter

    the walking dead is stil good but i have to say the story at the moment is to much focussed on all what happened on a timeline they need to bring it all toghetter again its taking too long its hard to keep interested while so many things are not coming to a closure, meanwhile they keep introducing new stuff ok it has promise for the future but lets wrap some of this old stuff up already and move on from there the first episodes of season 6 where great but it feels like the series is going all over the place starting from the morgan episode and on (an episode i did like) but now whitout any episode in between to wrap things up i hope the writers wil do something about this not that i stop watching ofc but i cant say i am enjoying it as much as before

    suspense is great but if it takes to long its just anoying but thats me i never completed watching x-files for example for the same reason

    Reply

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