Cancellation Watch: The Expanse and Supergirl Improve, The Shannara Chronicles and Angel from Hell Have Modest Debuts

By | January 8, 2016

the-expanse-syfy-cancelledThe first full week of mid-season is mostly done and we had a few returns/debuts among sci fi / fantasy entries over the last few days.  Among the shows that saw some improvements to their numbers this week were Syfy’s The Expanse and CBS’ Supergirl.  The latter show posted a 0.22 rating based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic on Tuesday with 630K total viewers.  That’s only up slightly from the 0.17 score it posted last week, but any gains are welcome at this point and maybe the fact that Syfy had made it available for online viewing early brought more people to its linear airing this week.  And that show already received its second season renewal notice last week.  As for Supergirl, that one had a 1.9 rating with 8.7 million total viewers for its mid-season return which gave it the best numbers it has seen since its second episode.  If it can continue to hold at that altitude, I believe that will be good enough for a second season renewal in the current ratings environment.  But if it slips back to the 1.5 range it saw in late Fall, then it will be flying close to bubble territory.  Also on CBS, Limitless saw a slight improvement with its return on Tuesday, posting a 1.4 rating with 7.3 million total viewers. That’s still decent for the 10 PM EST hour, so I will consider it safe for the moment.

Two new shows debuted this week, though neither count as a breakout hit.  MTV’s The Shannara Chronicles bowed on Tuesday with a 0.48 rating based on the overnights with just over a million viewers which was just slightly better than the Teen Wolf Season 5 return that acted as its lead-in (that ep had a 0.46 rating).  The Shannara numbers don’t look great, especially considering that this is surely an expensive series to produce, but they are also not too bad in the current ratings environment and I’m sure this one has international financing backing it.  The cable shows are getting much harder to gauge these days, but I would say this one should be okay if it doesn’t slip much further.  Over on CBS on Thursday, Angel from Hell had its debut and pulled a 1.6 score with just over eight million total viewers (based on the preliminaries).  That put it as the lowest rated segment of the network’s two-hour comedy block, but the numbers are still decent enough for a sitcom these days.  If it doesn’t sink much further throughout the rest of the season, then it has a chance at coming back for a second year.  But if it slips too much, CBS can be vicious with what it perceives as under-performing shows.

Among the other returning shows this week, FX’s American Horror Story continues its slide as it dropped yet again to a new series low of a 0.85 rating with 1.8 million total viewers on Wednesday.  Those are still decent numbers for a cable series these days, though, and this one has already been renewed for a sixth season, but it is definitely running out of steam ratings-wise.   On NBC on Thursday, Heroes Reborn slipped with its mid-season return to a 1.0 rating with 3.7 million total viewers (based on the preliminaries).  This show has definitely under-performed in its revival run, but I believe it still has a slight chance at a second season if the syndication economics work out.  The current season and any that follow will just get tacked on to the Heroes package, and NBC owns the series (meaning they keep the profits).  So if it is worth it for the network to pad out the episode order, they may keep it around if it can plug up a hole in the schedule (maybe on Fridays).

I already discussed the Galavant Season 2 premiere at this link along with the round up of last week’s numbers.  The Broadcast and Cable Scorecards will resume next Friday once mid-season has a full week under its belt.  And to keep track of all the new and returning shows this mid-season, check out the current schedule over at our partner the Sci Fi TV Site.

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