Sci Fi Cancellation Watch: Into the Badlands Drops without its Walking Dead Lead-in, The Leftovers Surges for Season Finale, Plus the Full Ratings Roundup

By | December 8, 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-cancelledRatings Drop: AMC’s fantasy / martial arts series Into the Badlands flew solo on Sunday without its Walking Dead lead-in (that show is on hiatus until February) and its numbers dropped notably as a consequence.  It had a 1.1 rating based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic with 2.4 million total viewers.  That was a drop of 57% from its prior episode’s rating of a 2.5 score (which followed the TWD Fall finale).  The drop was expected, but the question is where did AMC execs believe the show would land.  A 1.1 rating is pretty darn good for a cable series these days, though Into the Badlands is definitely an expensive show to produce.  It is produced by AMC studios which means that the most or all of profits stay in house, but I don’t know if the show has any strong international partnerships to help defer its production costs.  I assume that AMC delayed making a renewal decision on the show to see how it performed without its TWD lead-in and they will likely let it air out the remaining two installments of its six episode first season before making a final decision (unless they are happy enough with that 1.1 rating).  I believe that if it at least holds steady for its next two airings, then it has a decent shot at a second season.  If it slips further, though, AMC will likely have to think long and hard about whether they want to bring this one back for a another year.  But then if they just keep it in the TWD lead-out slot, they are likely making money on the show seeing as it averaged a 2.6 rating in that hour and sponsors are definitely going to want to buy some add time during those airings.  AMC needs to make sure they keep that in mind while making their decisions.

Season Finale: HBO’s The Leftovers had its Season 2 finale on Sunday and saw its ratings improve to a season high 0.48 rating with right at one million total viewers.  The show has definitely seen a surge over its last two weeks and its starting to develop some buzz as having improved in its second season (I personally haven’t gotten around to checking out Year 2 yet).  And series creator Damon Lindelof definitely has ideas for a third season of the show.  Whether that happens remains to be seen, though, as this show’s viewership dropped notably this year (from a 0.8 average in its first season to only a 0.3 average).  Of course the main question is how many subscribers is it driving to HBO?  That’s much more important to the premium channels than the ratings numbers.  If they feel it is bringing people onboard the service (unlikely due to the year over year shrinking of the audience), they will give it another season.  It is definitely Call to Action time for fans on this one which I will go into more detail on in the next post in that series.

You can see the weekly roundup from last and the broadcast network and cable scorecards at this link.

Ratings results for the sci fi / fantasy shows airing Monday November 30th thru Sunday December 6th (metric definitions below):

(Updated for the broadcast network and cable Top 25)

Gotham FOX Mon 11/30 8 PM
Rating: 1.6 | % Chng PW: +14.3% | Tot Viewers (MM): 4.5 | StD Rating: 1.5 | Net Avg: 1.6 | Cancellation Alert: Low

It improved from the prior week for its Fall finale and tied Supergirl for the night. This show’s numbers have been down this season, but that can’t be attributed to the dubious counter-programming by CBS. Gotham is currently one of FOX’s highest rated scripted shows, so it appears to be safe for now.
Supergirl CBS Mon 11/30 8 PM
Rating: 1.6 | % Chng PW: +6.7% | Tot Viewers (MM): 8.0 | StD Rating: 2.0 | Net Avg: 1.6 | Cancellation Alert: Low

It improved from its Thanksgiving week low, but it is only flying even with its network’s average at the moment. Since this is likely an expensive series to produce, I’m thinking that CBS was expecting better numbers. I believe that this one needs to improve by at least a couple of ticks if it wants a decent chance of seeing a second season.

Chart Activity: This show almost dropped out of the broadcast network Top 25 based on the overnights for the 18-49 demo as it slipped to Number 25 (down from Number 24).

Minority Report FOX Mon 11/30 9 PM
Rating: 0.7 | % Chng PW: +40.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 2.2 | StD Rating: 0.7 | Net Avg: 1.6 | Cancellation Alert: High

It improved for what became its season finale and what will likely be its series finale. Fans are trying to convince FOX to give the show another chance, though, so maybe it’s not dead yet.

The Flash CW Tue 12/1 8 PM
Rating: 1.4 | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): 3.9 | StD Rating: 1.4 | Net Avg: 0.6 | Cancellation Alert: Low

It only held steady for its Arrow cross-over (and Legends of Tomorrow prelude), but that’s not a bad thing when it is the network’s highest rated show. And it also beat Agents of SHIELD for the night, yet again.

Agents of SHIELD ABC Tue 12/1 9 PM
Rating: 1.3 | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): 3.8 | StD Rating: 1.4 | Net Avg: 1.6 | Cancellation Alert: Low

This show remains low and I’m not buying that its fourth season is guaranteed. More on that at this link.

iZombie CW Tue 12/1 8 PM
Rating: 0.6 | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): 1.6 | StD Rating: 0.6 | Net Avg: 0.6 | Cancellation Alert: Moderate

It remained low and the TV Grim Reaper believes that the shortened episode order for the back half of its second season indicates that it is all but cancelled. I believe that was more about trying to fit all of The CW’s mid-season entries into the schedule, but I’m still not too confident on this one and I am raising it to a Moderate Cancellation Alert level.

Scream Queens FOX Tue 12/1 9 PM
Rating: 0.9 | % Chng PW: +12.5% | Tot Viewers (MM): 2.4 | StD Rating: 1.1 | Net Avg: 1.6 | Cancellation Alert: Elevated

It improved slightly from the prior week, but it is looking like its season finale this week will also be its series finale and I theorize it will get tacked on to the American Horror Story syndication package as a bonus season (FOX owns both shows).

Limitless(R) CBS Tue 12/1 10 PM
Rating: 1.1 | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): 4.9 | StD Rating: 1.5 | Net Avg: 1.6 | Cancellation Alert: Low

A repeat for this show followed by a preemption this week then a new episode (Dec 15) than a couple weeks off. Yeah, that scheduling’s going to be great for its numbers . . .

Arrow CW Wed 12/2 8 PM
Rating: 1.4 | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): 3.7 | StD Rating: 1.1 | Net Avg: 0.6 | Cancellation Alert: Low

The cross-over with The Flash (and Legends of Tomorrow prelude) gave this show a bump for the week and it continues to be a solid performer for The CW in its fourth season.

Supernatural CW Wed 12/2 9 PM
Rating: 0.9 | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): 2.0 | StD Rating: 0.8 | Net Avg: 0.6 | Cancellation Alert: Low

This show saw a nice bump for the week, likely helped by carryover from the elevated audience of its Arrow lead-in. A twelfth season still looks like a good bet as long as the cast and crew are up for it.

Star Wars Rebels DXD Wed 12/2 9:30 PM
Rating: 0.1 | % Chng PW: -23.5% | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.5 | StD Rating: 0.1 | Net Avg: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

It slipped some, but it is still doing well enough with its target demographic and it received the expected Season 3 renewal.

American Horror Story FX Wed 12/2 10 PM
Rating: 1.2 | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): 2.3 | StD Rating: 1.7 | Net Avg: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

This show dropped to a series low and looks like it could be running out of steam ratings-wise. It still received a sixth season renewal, though that could be just about its last which I go into more detail on at this link.

Vampire Diaries CW Thu 12/3 8 PM
Rating: 0.5 | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): 1.3 | StD Rating: 0.6 | Net Avg: 0.6 | Cancellation Alert: Low

It was even with its last new episode which is not bad considering it faced some pretty stiff competition on the night. I still believe this one will be wrapping up this season or next.

Heroes Reborn NBC Thu 12/3 8 PM
Rating: On Hiatus | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): n/a | StD Rating: 1.3 | Net Avg: 1.8 | Cancellation Alert: Medium

On Hiatus until January 7th. This is a Call to Action series, more info at this link.

The Originals CW Thu 12/3 9 PM
Rating: 0.5 | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): 1.2 | StD Rating: 0.4 | Net Avg: 0.6 | Cancellation Alert: Low

It improved slightly from its last new episode.  And since it has the third season show status, meaning that one more year gets it to a syndication friendly count of episodes, it is practically guaranteed at fourth year.

Sleepy Hollow FOX Thu 12/3 9 PM
Rating: On Hiatus | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): n/a | StD Rating: 0.9 | Net Avg: 1.6 | Cancellation Alert: High

On Hiatus (no scheduled return date yet). This is a Call to Action series, more info at this link.

Haven Syfy Thu 12/3 10 PM
Rating: 0.2 | % Chng PW: +15.4% | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.6 | StD Rating: 0.2 | Net Avg: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Final Season

This show continues to hold mostly steady as it wraps up its final season.

Grimm NBC Fri 12/4 9 PM
Rating: 0.8 | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): 3.7 | StD Rating: 0.9 | Net Avg: 1.8 | Cancellation Alert: Moderate

It slipped from its last new episode and it is performing well below its network’s average (even when you factor in its Friday series status). I have to believe that the NBC execs have told Grimm‘s production team to have their eye on the end-game because this could be its last season.

Z Nation Syfy Fri 12/4 10 PM
Rating: 0.3 | % Chng PW: -3.1% | Tot Viewers (MM): 1.0 | StD Rating: 0.3 | Net Avg: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

It held mostly steady and has already been renewed for a third season.

Doctor Who BBCA Sat 12/5 9 PM
Rating: 0.3 | % Chng PW: +3.3% | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.9 | StD Rating: 0.4 | Net Avg: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Low

It held mostly steady for its season finale and a tenth season for this one is a pretty good bet.

Ash vs Evil Dead Starz Sat 12/5 9 PM
Rating: 0.2 | % Chng PW: +26.7% | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.4 | StD Rating: 0.2 | Net Avg: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

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

Guardians of the Galaxy(R) DXD Sat 12/5 9:30 PM
Rating: 0.1 | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.2 | StD Rating: 0.1 | Net Avg: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

Repeat, returns with a new episode on Saturday

Once Upon A Time ABC Sun 12/6 8 PM
Rating: 1.3 | % Chng PW: 0.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 4.6 | StD Rating: 1.6 | Net Avg: 1.6 | Cancellation Alert: Low

This show remained low for its Fall finale and now it goes on hiatus for three months.  Can it return strong in March?

The Librarians TNT Sun 12/6 8 PM
Rating: 0.5 | % Chng PW: +1.9% | Tot Viewers (MM): 2.2 | StD Rating: 0.5 | Net Avg: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Low

It held mostly steady from the prior week and looks like a likely candidate to get a third season.

The Walking Dead AMC Sun 12/6 9 PM
Rating: On Hiatus | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): 13.2 | StD Rating: 6.7 | Net Avg: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

On hiatus.  Returns February 14th.

The Leftovers HBO Sun 12/6 9 PM
Rating: 0.5 | % Chng PW: +20.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 1.0 | StD Rating: 0.3 | Net Avg: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Moderate

That was a nice surge for its season finale and its time to call the fans to action to come out and support this show.  More on this one above.

The Last Man on Earth FOX Sun 12/6 9:30 PM
Rating: 1.4 | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): 3.6 | StD Rating: 1.3 | Net Avg: 1.6 | Cancellation Alert: Elevated

It improved from its last new episode, but it is still the lowest rated show on FOX on Sundays.  And after it wraps up its Fall run Sunday it loses its place on the schedule.  This is a Call to Action show, so it is time for the fans to get active.

Into the Badlands AMC Sun 12/6 10 PM
Rating: 1.1 | % Chng PW: -56.9% | Tot Viewers (MM): 2.4 | StD Rating: 2.2 | Net Avg: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Low

The ratings drop was expected without its TWD lead-in, but are these numbers good enough to keep this rather expensive entry going?  More on this one above.

Chart Activity: This show slipped down to Number 20 in the cable Top 25 based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic without its TWD lead-in (down from Number 3), and dropped completely out of the cable Top 25 based on total viewers.

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.

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