Cancellation Watch: Lucifer Premieres Strong and The Magicians Show Some Magic, Plus the Broadcast Network and Cable Scorecards

By | January 29, 2016

lucifer-fox-cancelledWe had three premieres of genre shows over the last few days, two of which looked good and the other not so much.  On Monday, FOX’s Lucifer had its bow after the second episode of The X-Files and pulled an impressive 2.4 rating based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic with 7.2 million total viewers.  The network execs have to be salivating over those numbers (even though they allegedly pay no attention to the overnights) and have to hope that this is not just the trailer from its lead-in and that it can hold at least close to that level.  After FOX’s disaster of a Fall schedule, anything above a 2.0 score definitely counts as a major win at this point.  Whether Lucifer can hold on to those levels (especially once The X-Files wraps its short run) remains to be seen over the coming weeks.  Also on Monday, Syfy’s The Magicians had a two hour debut that averaged a 0.4 rating with 1.1 million total viewers.  That’s the best numbers that network has seen for one of its ongoing scripted shows in a while and it bested the 0.26 score The Magicians pulled for its “preview” back in December with the Childhood’s End mini-series as its lead-in.  If it can hold at this level, it is assured a second season.  And even if its slips, Syfy has tended to give its shows two seasons to prove themselves of late, so I like its odds of being back for another year.  Not so lucky was NBC’s dramedy You, Me, and the Apocalypse which had its bow on Thursday, pulling only a 1.2 rating with five million total viewers.  That show did not receive a lot of promotion and it had to lead into a highly competitive night, but it is a co-production with Sky over in Britain so ratings expectations may not be too high.  If it doesn’t drop much further from its premiere, and if it performs well across the ocean, it may still have a chance to come back for a second season seeing as the cost to NBC is not that high and it could plug up a difficult hour on the schedule.

In other ratings news of note, The X-Files pulled a 3.2 rating with 9.7 million total viewers on Monday for its second episode which I consider quite impressive.  The debut after the NFL Championship was expected to pull large numbers, but it also received a lot of criticism so I expected the numbers to drop further for its second episode.  Even if this show holds above a 2.0 score for the rest of its short run, I’m betting that FOX will try to wrangle another “limited run” for next season or consider an X-Files: The Next Generation spin-off.  On Tuesday night, all of the genre shows on the cable networks saw their numbers increase.  I’m not sure if that was in part due to light scheduling for the night by the broadcast nets (I doubt it), but it was encouraging especially for The Shannara Chronicles which jumped up to a season high 0.49 rating.  On Thursday, Legends of Tomorrow and The 100 both slipped one tick to a 1.1 rating and 0.6 rating respectively (based on the preliminaries), though that’s not too much concern especially for LoT.  The 100 needs to hold where it is, though, otherwise it could start crossing into bubble territory.  Most of the other shows that aired Monday through Thursday held relatively steady with last week and I will have the full roundup for this week’s ratings through Sunday posted next Tuesday.  You can see last week’s numbers at this link.

The broadcast network scorecard saw some movement as The X-Files and Lucifer entered at the Number 1 and 2 slots.  That pushed The Flash down to Number 3 and the rankings beyond that remained relatively the same as last week apart from some incidental movement.  You, Me, and the Apocalypse entered at Number 20 which is just below Heroes Reborn, the show it replaced (which has been cancelled).  Note that the strong showings for The X-Files and Lucifer will work against FOX shows that are barely hanging on like Sleepy Hollow and The Last Man on Earth because it pushes them further down from the network averages.

The scorecard ranks all of the broadcast net 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 notably below are getting into iffy territory.

Broadcast network scorecard based on the ratings through January 28th (metric definitions below):

Rank (PW) Series Net Std Avg Net Avg Var Live+7 Avg Rtg Cancel Alert
1 (n/a) The X-Files (O) CW 4.65 0.63 4.02 0.00 Low
2 (n/a) Lucifer CW 2.40 0.63 1.77 0.00 Low
3 (1) The Flash (O) CW 1.40 0.63 0.77 2.29 Low
4 (2) Legends of Tomorrow (O) CW 1.15 0.63 0.52 0.00 Low
5 (3) Arrow (O) CW 1.05 0.63 0.42 1.73 Low
6 (4) Supergirl CBS 1.85 1.60 0.25 2.79 Low
7 (5) Supernatural (O) CW 0.74 0.63 0.10 1.25 Low
8 (6) The 100 (O) CW 0.65 0.63 0.02 0.00 Low
9 (7) Once Upon A Time (O) ABC 1.57 1.56 0.01 2.59 Low
10 (9) Gotham FOX 1.51 1.57 -0.06 2.65 Low
11 (8) iZombie (O) CW 0.56 0.63 -0.07 0.85 Moderate
12 (10) Vampire Diaries (O) CW 0.56 0.63 -0.08 1.09 Low
13 (11) Limitless (O) CBS 1.48 1.60 -0.12 2.63 Low
14 (12) Agents of SHIELD (O) ABC 1.42 1.56 -0.14 2.39 Moderate
15 (13) Angel from Hell (O) CBS 1.43 1.60 -0.18 0.00 Moderate
16 (14) The Originals (O) CW 0.42 0.63 -0.21 0.82 Low
17 (15) The Last Man on Earth (O) FOX 1.28 1.57 -0.29 2.03 Medium
18 (16) Second Chance (O) FOX 1.10 1.57 -0.47 0.00 High
19 (18) Heroes Reborn (O) NBC 1.21 1.71 -0.50 2.31 Cancelled
20 (n/a) You Me and the Apocalypse NBC 1.20 1.71 -0.51 0.00 New Series
21 (17) Scream Queens (O) FOX 1.05 1.57 -0.51 1.89 Renewed
22 (19) Sleepy Hollow (O) FOX 0.91 1.57 -0.66 1.63 High
23 (20) Agent Carter (O) ABC 0.90 1.56 -0.66 0.00 Moderate
24 (21) Grimm (O) (F) NBC 0.93 1.71 -0.77 1.73 Medium
25 (22) Minority Report (O) FOX 0.71 1.57 -0.86 1.24 High
26 (23) Galavant (O) ABC 0.65 1.56 -0.91 0.00 Moderate

The cable scorecard is more subjective than the broadcast net version because it is not as easy (or useful) to compile network averages for the cable channels. So this is ranked based on the Cancellation Alert status of these shows from least to most likely to get cancelled.

Cable Scorecard based on ratings through January 27th (metric definitions below):

Series Net Std Avg Prior Yr Avg Var Cancel Alert
The Walking Dead AMC 6.68 7.37 -0.69 Renewed
American Horror Story FX 1.49 1.91 -0.42 Renewed
The Librarians TNT 0.52 0.92 -0.39 Renewed
Teen Wolf MTV 0.42 0.49 -0.07 Renewed
Doctor Who BBCA 0.37 n/a n/a Renewed
Z Nation (O) (F) Syfy 0.33 0.48 -0.15 Renewed
The Expanse Syfy 0.21 n/a n/a Renewed
Ash vs Evil Dead STARZ 0.16 n/a n/a Renewed
Star Wars Rebels DXD 0.14 0.15 -0.01 Renewed
Guardians of the Galaxy DXD 0.10 n/a n/a Renewed
Into the Badlands AMC 1.79 n/a n/a Low
Shadowhunters Free 0.54 n/a n/a Low
Colony USA 0.42 n/a n/a Low
The Shannara Chronicles MTV 0.42 n/a n/a Low
The Magicians Syfy 0.40 n/a n/a Low
The Leftovers HBO 0.33 0.77 -0.44 Final Season

Metric Definitions:

Broadcast Network Scorecard:

Rank (PW): 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).  The number in parenthesis is the prior week’s rank.

Series: (O) indicates the show is owned/produced by the network and/or a sister studio. (F) indicates the show airs on Friday when ratings expectations are lower.

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.

Cable Scorecard:

Series: (O) indicates the show is owned/produced by the network and/or a sister studio. (F) indicates the show airs on Friday when ratings expectations are lower.

Std Avg:  The show’s season to date ratings average based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic.

Prior Yr Avg:  The show’s season to date ratings average from its prior season (if applicable) based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic.

Variance:  The variance between a show’s season to date average and its Prior Year average as defined above.

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *