Sci Fi TV Power Rankings: The X-Files and Legends of Tomorrow Enter as Sure to Get Renewed, The 100 Shirks the Doomwatch Tag

By | January 30, 2016

x-files-revivalWe are now a month into mid-season and a lot of new shows have joined the Power Rankings and several returning ones have gone back into the game.  But despite the new entries, there has not been a ton of movement since the last set of rankings, especially in the upper half.  A lot of it is incidental with new shows pushing existing ones down or returning shows losing their renewed status and slipping down to the lower categories.  FOX’s The X-Files enters as sure to be renewed, but that’s basically from the network’s viewpoint and we don’t know if the primaries will agree to come back for another round of episodes.  It’s a similar situation for The CW’s Legends of Tomorrow, as that is a “limited run” series and the network may go a different direction with the team-up concept next season seeing as LoT is so expensive to produce.  And I don’t know why AMC is dragging its heals on Into the Badlands.  Everything points to a renewal and series star Daniel Wu has already said it is coming back.  But I expect to hear an announcement on that one at any time (probably right after I post these rankings, causing me to revise them).

Biggest Movers: ABC’s Galavant and Agent Carter both dropped pretty far on the list because they re-entered the game and did so with pretty low ratings.  I only dropped them to the Bubble category, though, because both defied the odds (and the Nielsens) last season.  Whether they can do that a second time remains to be seen.  I also dropped Person of Interest even though it has not returned yet because all signs point to this one heading into its final season.  Moving up on the list was TNT’s The Librarians which received its (expected) renewal notice since the last set of Power Rankings came out and also FOX’s Scream Queens which received a surprise renewal a few of weeks ago.

New Shows: Two new shows started this past week that are not in the rankings yet because I prefer to have at least two weeks worth of ratings data to assess them with.  But both Syfy’s The Magicians and FOX’s Lucifer got off to strong starts, and if they can hold anywhere near their current levels they should make it to a second season.  Beowulf also started up on Esquire, but it is a British import so it won’t make it to these rankings because its fate is more heavily dictated by its performance overseas.

Cancelled Shows: Heroes Reborn was cancelled by NBC (though they tried to spin that “limited run” fib) and HBO’s The Leftovers received word that its third season will be its last.  Both of those are covered at the bottom of the list.  And if I haven’t heard anything on Syfy’s Olympus by the next set of rankings, I will assume that one is cancelled as well.

Doomwatch: This category tracks shows that are currently in the Renewed Category but that head into their new seasons on thin ice because on their shaky performances in the prior season.  The LeftoversAgents of SHIELD, Sleepy Hollow, and The Last Man on Earth were all on the list before the Fall season began and that first one will end after its third year while the other three are all still struggling.  In the Fall Finale rankings, I had Person of Interest,  12 Monkeys, Agent Carter, and The 100 all as Doomwatch entries.  The first two remain in that status as they still have not returned for their new seasons (and I have already moved PoI into the Likely to Get Cancelled category).  Agent Carter returned at disastrously low levels and may not be able to beat the odds a second time.  Only The 100 has managed to show improvement and may be able to avoid the Network Executioner this season (more on each of these below).

So now on to the rankings.

What the Rankings Measure:  The shows on this list are ranked by those least likely to get cancelled to those most likely to get cancelled, and these rankings are all about gauging a show’s likelihood of beating the Network Executioner.

Shows Included:  These rankings show all the active and returning sci fi / fantasy shows.  Though, this is limited to ones whose renewal / cancellation decisions are more heavily influenced by their ratings in the U.S., so imports like Bitten, Orphan Black, and Doctor Who will not be included here.  Also note that Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc. entries will not be included here because the streaming services do not share their viewership numbers, making it hard to rank their shows.  The shows that will be on the list will be those airing in the current season or those from prior seasons that will be returning at some point.  New shows will typically not make it to the list until they have aired at least two episodes (because I have to have some numbers to gauge them by).  Also, shows in their final season like Beauty and the Beast will typically not be included because they are already on their way out (that one is in the post-rankings section, though).

Categories:  The list is broken into the following groups (descriptions found below and at this link): Unassailable, Renewed or Sure to Get Renewed, Likely to Get Renewed, Renewal Possible, On the Bubble, and Likely to Get Cancelled (though not all of those categories will be used each time).  And then there are also the recently cancelled or ended shows at the bottom of the list.

Renewed Shows:  Note that in most cases, renewed shows will be ranked above those that have yet to receive a renewal even if their renewal was iffy and/or they under-performed while airing.  Basically, once a show has earned a renewal, then it has won the battle against cancellation (which is what these rankings are all about), at least until the next season starts.  At that point its ranking will typically slip down as it joins the non-renewed rabble and re-enters the battle against the Network Executioner.  Those shows in the Unassailable category are exempt from this though because they are performing well enough that they are almost guaranteed another season.

Additional Info:  The number in parenthesis next to the show’s rank represents its prior position in the Power Rankings.  This list will come out once per month, usually during the second half of the month.  Note that there are a lot of sci fi / fantasy shows airing these days, so if I missed one or two go easy on me and just let me know in the comments so that I can make the proper adjustments.  For more information on the rankings and some of the terms used below, go to this link.

January 2016 Sci Fi TV Power Rankings:

Unassailable: These are the shows that face no chance of cancellation (short of extenuating circumstances and/or an unprecedented ratings collapse) in their current/upcoming season and likely beyond that as well.

1 (1) The Walking Dead (AMC) Airing Status: Active, Airing 6th Season
Avg Rating: 6.7 Prior Season Rating: 7.4 Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Strong Ratings
Cons: Ratings Declines YOY
Intangibles: Strong Social Net Presence

Sure, its numbers are down year over year, but so is almost every show on television. And there has been some grumbling about the writing this season, but we have seen that in past seasons as well. When you are on top, people are quick to find flaws. And I expect The Walking Dead to remain at the top of these rankings for several more years.

2 (2) Game of Thrones (HBO) Airing Status: Returning, 6th Season Airs Spring 2016
Avg Rating: 3.5 Prior Season Rating: 3.7 Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Strong Ratings, YOY Ratings Increase
Cons: n/a
Intangibles: Pay Cable Series, Strong Social Net Presence

It will be interesting to see how the ratings slump impacts this show when it returns in April. I expect to see a drop in its numbers, but nothing major. And word is that they are looking at wrapping up the show around Season 8 (hey Mr. Martin, how about wrapping up the last couple of books as well), so momentum should easily carry it at least that far.

The-Flash-season-23 (3) The Flash (CW) Airing Status: Active, Airing 2nd Season
Avg Rating: 1.4 Prior Season Rating: 1.4 Cancellation Alert: Low
Pros: Consistent Ratings, Relative Ratings, Network Owned/Co-Owned
Cons: n/a
Intangibles: Social Net Presence

Even though this show is currently airing and not officially renewed yet, it gets the privilege of not having to mix with the rabble because it is in the Unassailable category and its third season return is all but guaranteed.  And then that gets its to third season show status meaning that this one should just race right into a fourth year as well.

4 (5) Fear the Walking Dead (AMC) Airing Status: Returning, 2nd Season Airs Spring 2016
Avg Rating: 3.9 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Strong Ratings, Recognized Franchise
Cons: n/a
Intangibles: Strong Social Net Presence

It didn’t match the ratings of its parent show, but it was still the top rated non-sports shows on television during its six episode first season.  And I believe that it has at least two more years in it before zombie burnout will start to set in.  It returns for its second season in April

5 (6) Arrow (CW) Airing Status: Active, Airing 2nd Season
Avg Rating: 1.1 Prior Season Rating: 1.0 Cancellation Alert: Low
Pros: Decent Ratings, Relative Ratings, Network Owned/Co-Owned
Cons: n/a
Intangibles: Social Net Presence

While not quite as high as spin-off series The Flash, the numbers for Arrow have been rather strong (for a CW entry) in its fourth season.  A fifth year is all but assured at this point with a sixth as a good bet as well as this one anchors the most popular superhero franchise on television at the moment.

6 (4) Teen Wolf (MTV) Airing Status: Active, Airing 5th Season
Avg Rating: 0.4 Prior Season Rating: 0.5 Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Relative Ratings
Cons: Ratings Decline in Season, Ratings Decline YOY
Intangibles: Strong Social Net Presence

Its numbers are down this year and and hasn’t been registering as strong on the social networks either, so this show has definitely lost some of its luster.  It has already been renewed for a sixth season, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a seventh follow that, but they may be thinking of wrapping it up about that point.

Renewed or Sure to Get Renewed:  These shows have received their renewal notice or are almost guaranteed to by the end of their current season.

7 (8) The Last Ship (TNT) Airing Status: Returning, 3rd Season Airs Summer 2016
Avg Rating: 0.7 Prior Season Rating: 1.1 Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Good Ratings
Cons: Ratings Declines YOY, High Production Costs
Intangibles: n/a

It performed well enough to get a third season and I was tempted to move it up to the unassailable category.  But its ratings dropped in its second year (likely due to the current ratings slump environment) and it is an expensive show to produce.  Still, I would put good odds on it cruising into a fourth season.

8 (7) American Horror Story (FX) Airing Status: Returning, 6th Season Airs Fall 2016
Avg Rating: 1.5 Prior Season Rating: 1.9 Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Relative Ratings
Cons: Ratings Decline in Season, Ratings Decline YOY
Intangibles: Social Net Presence

This series definitely lost a lot of steam in its fifth season despite the stunt casting of Lady Gaga.  It got the sixth season renewal nod, but it’s not impossible that will be its last or maybe it gets a final seventh season to tie all the storylines together (because the creators claim that are all linked somehow).

9 (9) Outlander (Starz) Airing Status: Returning, 2nd Season Airs 2016
Avg Rating: 0.3 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Relative Ratings
Cons: Ratings Decline in Season
Intangibles: Pay Cable Series, Social Net Presence

This show slipped some during the second half of its first season, but it still did well enough for its network especially considering the current slump across the cable channels.  If it holds steady in its second season then it should be okay.

10 (10) Star Wars Rebels (DXD) Airing Status: Active, Airing 2nd Season
Avg Rating: 0.1 Prior Season Rating: 0.1 Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Recognized Franchise
Cons: Low Ratings in 18-49 Demo
Intangibles: n/a

The third season renewal came as expected.  It may not generate as many episodes as Star Wars: The Clone Wars did (over 120 for that one) because that’s just not the way animated shows typically roll these days.  But it has at least a few more years in it.

11 (11) Humans (AMC) Airing Status: Returning, 2nd Season Airs Spring 2016
Avg Rating: 0.4 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, International Partnership, Moderate Production Costs
Cons: Mediocre Ratings, Ratings Declines in Season
Intangibles: n/a

This show definitely did not deliver The Walking Dead sized ratings (they air on the same network), but it apparently did well enough to get renewed.  AMC is partners with the British Channel 4 on the series and it has performed quite well over there.  It is also a relatively inexpensive show to produce, so it could stick around for a few more seasons.

12 (12) Guardians of the Galaxy (DXD) Airing Status: Returning, 2nd Season Airs 2016
Avg Rating: 0.1 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Recognized Franchise
Cons: n/a
Intangibles: n/a

Like Star Wars: Rebels, this show lives on its merchandising as much as its ratings and I’m betting it has at least a couple more seasons in it.

the-librarians-tnt-cancelled13 (33) The Librarians (TNT) Airing Status: Returning, 3rd Season Airs Fall 2016
Avg Rating: 0.5 Prior Season Rating: 0.9 Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Relative Ratings
Cons: Ratings Declines YOY
Intangibles: Recognized Franchise

The third season renewal for this show came as no surprise even though its ratings were down year over year.  It still did well enough against stiff competition on Sundays (The Walking Dead and NFL Football) and I believe it will remain a staple for TNT at the holiday time each year (and we want Bruce Campbell back as Santa).

14 (13) Ash vs Evil Dead (Starz) Airing Status: Returning, 2nd Season Airs Fall 2016
Avg Rating: 0.2 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Recognized Franchise
Cons: n/a
Intangibles: n/a

It didn’t count as a breakout hit for Starz, but it brought plenty of buzz and and was well received by fans and critics.  Plus, I’m betting its not an expensive series to produce (Raimi and co. know how to work on the cheap when necessary), so I see another couple of seasons from this one.

15 (14) Dark Matter (Syfy) Airing Status: Returning, 2nd Season Airs 2016
Avg Rating: 0.2 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, International Partnership
Cons: Mediocre Ratings, Ratings Declines in Season
Intangibles: DVR Gains, International Financing?

The renewal for this show did not come as a big surprise despite its low ratings because Syfy partners with the Canadian Space Channel and I hear that Dark Matter has performed quite well up north.  And the current arrangement might be enough to keep this show around for a few more years.

16 (15) Killjoys (Syfy) Airing Status: Returning, 2nd Season Airs 2016
Avg Rating: 0.2 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, International Partnership
Cons: Mediocre Ratings, Ratings Declines in Season
Intangibles: International Financing?

The ratings for this show were even lower than Syfy’s other Summer space show Dark Matter, but the network has the same partnership on Killjoys with the Canadian Space Channel.  So that should help both shows stick around for a few years at least.

17 (16) Penny Dreadful (SHOW) Airing Status: Returning, 3rd Season Airs 2016
Avg Rating: 0.2 Prior Season Rating: 0.3 Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Low Ratings Expectations?
Cons: Low Ratings, Ratings Declines YOY
Intangibles: Pay Cable Series, International Financing?

This one didn’t build its audience from its first season like I was thinking Showtime would want.  But it has developed some decent buzz from fans and critics and apparently the network believed in it enough to give it a third season renewal.  It may have international financing backing it as well.

18 (17) Wayward Pines (FOX) Airing Status: Returning, 2nd Season Airs 2016
Avg Rating: 1.1 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Relative Ratings
Cons: n/a
Intangibles: n/a

FOX referred to this as a “huge hit” for the Summer 2015 season, but they sure took their time announcing its second season renewal.  Perhaps that’s because they were trying to work out things around M. Night Shyamalan’s schedule.  Or perhaps because the ratings were truly only decent for a Summer series and they were trying to decide if it was worth it to bring the show back for a second round.  It did get the nod, though, so we will see how it does when it returns.

19 (18) From Dusk Till Dawn (El Rey) Airing Status: Returning, 3rd Season Airs 2016
Avg Rating: 0.1 Prior Season Rating: 0.1 Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Low Ratings Expectations?
Cons: Low Ratings
Intangibles: Recognized Franchise

The third season renewal for this one came as no surprise because the fledgling El Rey network is looking less at the ratings and more and establishing its brand. And this one fits right in with where that cabler is going.

20 (20) The Strain (FX) Airing Status: Returning, 3rd Season Airs Summer 2016
Avg Rating: 0.6 Prior Season Rating: 1.0 Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Well Known Creator?
Cons: Ratings Declines in Season, Ratings Declines YOY
Intangibles: n/a

This show got the third year renewal nod, but its numbers were definitely down from its first season.  That can be chalked up in part to the ratings slump hitting the cable channels this past Summer, but it will at least need to hold steady when it returns if it wants a fourth season.

21 (21) Scream (MTV) Airing Status: Returning, 2nd Season Airs 2016
Avg Rating: 0.3 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Recognized Franchise
Cons: Ratings Declines in Season
Intangibles: n/a

The renewal for this show was not a sure thing as it slipped into the “ratings noise” level that we are seeing from many of the cable shows these days.  But apparently it did well enough with MTV’s target younger demographic and they decided to stick with it for another season.

22 (22) Salem (WGN) Airing Status: Returning, 3rd Season Airs 2016
Avg Rating: 0.1 Prior Season Rating: 0.1 Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Low Ratings Expectations?
Cons: Low Ratings
Intangibles: International Financing?

This was another, low-flying, “ratings noise” show that managed to win the game and get another season.  It apparently has international financing backing it, but at some point you would think its network would want more people tuning in on a weekly basis to the live broadcasts.

23 (23) Z Nation (Syfy) Airing Status: Returning, 3rd Season Airs Fall 2016
Avg Rating: 0.3 Prior Season Rating: 0.5 Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Relative Ratings, Low Production Costs, Network Owned/Co-Owned
Cons: Ratings Delinces in Season, Ratings Declines YOY
Intangibles: n/a

This one got the third season renewal, but it definitely does not count as a strong contender for Syfy at the moment.  It is an inexpensive show produce because it comes from The Asylum, so maybe these ratings are enough to keep it afloat for another year or so.

the-expanse-syfy-cancelled24 (n/a) The Expanse (Syfy) Airing Status: Active, Airing 1st Season
Avg Rating: 0.2 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Recognized Franchise
Cons: Low Ratings
Intangibles: Online Viewership? International Financing?

The second season renewal for this show, despite low numbers for linear viewing, was not a huge surprise because it is a high profile series and Syfy has been giving almost all of its shows two seasons of late to prove themselves.  They also did a heavy push for digital viewing on this one and claim the numbers were very good there.  It delivers the epic space show that genre fans have been clamoring for, so hopefully it will continue to build its audience and manage to stick around for several more seasons.

25 (24) Zoo (CBS) Airing Status: Returning, 2nd Season Airs Summer 2016
Avg Rating: 1.1 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Moderate
Pros: Renewed, Decent Debut Ratings, Netflix Partnership
Cons: Ratings Declines in Season
Intangibles: n/a

It got the second season renewal, but it didn’t count as a strong ratings contender this last Summer. It needs to at least hold steady next year else it will join recently cancelled Extant as another CBS Summer two-and-out entry.

26 (45) Scream Queens (FOX) Airing Status: Returning, 2nd Season Airs Fall 2016
Avg Rating: 1.1 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Network Owned/Co-Owned
Cons: Mediocre Debut Ratings, Ratings Declines in Season
Intangibles: n/a

The renewal for this show came as a surprise, but I believe that it had a few factors in its favor.  One, FOX didn’t want to count its Fall 2015 lineup as a complete disaster and saw some promise in this show (it did register well on the social networks).  Two, I believe they have plans of tacking it on to the American Horror Story syndication package (the network owns both shows), so a second season of Scream Queens is guaranteed to make money in the long run.  But unless it shows improvements in the ratings, I don’t see this show sticking around past its second year.

27 (25) Stitchers (Freeform) Airing Status: Returning, 2nd Season Airs 2016
Avg Rating: 0.3 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed
Cons: Moderate Debut Ratings, Ratings Decline in Season, Mediocre Ratings
Intangibles: International Financing?

Yet another “ratings noise” show that earned a renewal which was a bit surprising considering it regularly lost over half the audience of its lead-in (though arguably it’s not the best pairing with Pretty Little Liars).  But apparently ABC Family liked Stitchers enough to keep it around for another season, so we will see how long it can hang in there.

*DOOMWATCH* 28 (29) 12 Monkeys (Syfy) Airing Status: Returning, 2nd Season Airs 2016
Avg Rating: 0.2 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Pros: Renewed, Recognized Franchise
Cons: Low Ratings, Ratings Declines in Season
Intangibles: International Financing?

This show barely registered in the ratings during its first season and I believe the only reason it is coming back is that Syfy has given almost all of its shows two seasons to prove themselves the last few years.  It has developed some decent buzz, but unless that translates into increased ratings (or significant digital viewing), I believe this one will follow in the same path as other recent Syfy two-season-and-out shows like Helix and Dominion.

29 (n/a) The X-Files (FOX) Airing Status: Upcoming, Airing 1st Season
Avg Rating: 4.7 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Revival Series
Pros: Strong Ratings, Recognized Franchise
Cons: n/a
Intangibles: Strong Social Net Presence

It comes as no surprise that this highly anticipated revival bowed with strong ratings behind the NFL Championship game, but more surprising was how well it did with its second outing (down from the premiere but still huge for broadcast net Prime Time these days) especially considering the criticism of the first episode.  FOX will definitely be wanting more of this one (unless the numbers go south very quickly), but whether that comes in the form of another “limited run” affair with the original cast or X-Files: The Next Generation remains to be seen.

LegendsofTomorrowposter30 (n/a) Legends of Tomorrow (CW) Airing Status: Upcoming, Airing 1st Season
Avg Rating: 1.2 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Low
Pros: Good Ratings, Recognized Franchise
Cons: High Production Costs
Intangibles: n/a

The ratings for the first two episodes look good for this show, though I’ve heard that The CW may go a different direction with the team-up concept next season seeing as LoT is so expensive for them to produce.  But the numbers definitely look good for a show on the fifth place network.

31 (30) Supernatural (CW) Airing Status: Active, Airing 11th Season
Avg Rating: 0.7 Prior Season Rating: 0.8 Cancellation Alert: Low
Pros: Relative Ratings, Long Running Franchise, Network Owned/Co-Owned
Cons: Ratings Declines in Season
Intangibles: n/a

This show continues to perform well enough for the fifth place network and a twelfth season seems almost guaranteed at this point.  It’s possible, though, that could be its last year to wrap up all its storylines.  It all depends on the willingness of the cast and crew to keep soldiering on.

32 (34) Into the Badlands (AMC) Airing Status: Season Ended, Completed 1st Season
Avg Rating: 1.8 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Low
Pros: Strong Debut Ratings
Cons: n/a
Intangibles: n/a

The ratings for this show definitely justified a renewal, even the lower numbers it pulled without The Walking Dead as its lead-in.  So where’s our renewal announcement?  Maybe they are trying to work out the budget for the second season because this one is definitely costly to produce.  But if we go much longer without an announcement, then it’s time to start worrying.

33 (31) The Originals (CW) Airing Status: Active, Airing 3rd Season
Avg Rating: 0.4 Prior Season Rating: 0.6 Cancellation Alert: Low
Pros: Third Season Show, Network Owned/Co-Owned
Cons: Ratings Declines in Season, Ratings Declines YOY
Intangibles: n/a

Its numbers haven’t been great this season and it has been moved to Fridays where they could slip even further.  But as a third season show, it is all but guaranteed that fourth year, especially since it airs on the fifth place network.  But at this point, I would be surprised to see this one last any longer than that.

34 (38) Vampire Diaries (CW) Airing Status: Active, Airing 6th Season
Avg Rating: 0.6 Prior Season Rating: 0.7 Cancellation Alert: Low
Pros: Network Owned/Co-Owned
Cons: Ratings Declines in Season, Ratings Declines YOY
Intangibles: Lost Lead Actress

The CW hasn’t announced that this show will wrap up this year yet, so I’m thinking it will come back next season for a shortened final year to wrap up all its storylines.  And since The Originals will likely be on the outs next year as well, the two may do some crossovers and wrap up all their loose ends together.

Likely to Get Renewed: These shows have performed well enough so far in their current season that a renewal seems almost assured.

35 (36) Supergirl (CBS) Airing Status: Active, Airing 1st Season
Avg Rating: 1.9 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Low
Pros: Strong Debut Ratings
Cons: Ratings Declines in Season
Intangibles: Recognized Franchise

This show rebounded from its late-Fall lows when it returned at mid-season which is definitely encouraging.  If it holds at its current levels, then a second season looks likely.  If it starts to slip again, though, CBS may decide it is too expensive a production to keep around at just average ratings levels.  But I like its chances much better at this point.

36 (32) Once Upon A Time (ABC) Airing Status: Active, Airing 5th Season
Avg Rating: 1.6 Prior Season Rating: 2.2 Cancellation Alert: Low
Pros: Relative Ratings, Network Owned/Co-Owned
Cons: Ratings Declines in Season, Ratings Declines YOY
Intangibles: Recognized Franchise

This one slipped notably at the end of Fall and does not return from hiatus until March.  But even if the numbers remain low, I believe that ABC will give it one more season (possibly a partial year) to wrap up all its storylines.

37 (35) Gotham (FOX) Airing Status: Active, Airing 2nd Season
Avg Rating: 1.5 Prior Season Rating: 2.2 Cancellation Alert: Low
Pros: Relative Ratings
Cons: Ratings Declines YOY
Intangibles: Recognized Franchise

Despite the year over year drop in numbers, this show was one of FOX’s best performers from what was a disastrous Fall season for the network.  FOX has rebounded this mid-season, though, with the return of American Idol and The X-Files and Lucifer pulling good numbers, so Gotham‘s ratings may not look as good in comparison when it returns (on February 29th).  But if it can at least hold steady, then I believe it has a decent shot a third season.

Renewal Possible: These shows may not be top performers, but are currently doing well enough for their networks that renewal looks like a possibility.

38 (37) Limitless (CBS) Airing Status: Active, Airing 1st Season
Avg Rating: 1.5 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Low
Pros: Network Owned/Co-Owned
Cons: Ratings Declines in Season, Poor Scheduling
Intangibles: n/a

Based on this show’s Fall performance, it was doing okay.  But then CBS kicked in their typical scheduling hijinks with repeats and preemptions and the numbers have slipped.  If it starts to air consistently again and the numbers build back up, then it should be okay.  But if the numbers stay low, the network has no one but itself to blame.

39 (n/a) Shadowhunters (Freeform) Airing Status: Active, Airing 1st Season
Avg Rating: 0.6 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Low
Pros: Good Ratings, Recognized Franchise
Cons: Ratings Declines in Season
Intangibles: Social Net Presence

This series debuted very good for a cable entry, but then slipped notably with its second episode.  It’s still pulling decent enough numbers for its network, though, so it appears to be in good shape for now.

the-100-cw-cancelled40 (27) The 100 (CW) Airing Status: Returning, 3rd Season Airs 2016
Avg Rating: 0.7 Prior Season Rating: 0.5 Cancellation Alert: Low
Pros: Renewed, Relative Ratings, Network Owned/Co-Owned
Cons: Low Ratings
Intangibles: Social Net Presence

This show debuted with the highest numbers it has seen since its first season, and maybe that means the good buzz it has been receiving is attracting more viewers.  I previously had this one as a Doomwatch entry because of its struggles in its first two seasons.  I have taken it off that train for now and we will see how it tracks over the coming weeks.  If it can hold above a 0.5 score based on the overnights, I believe it has a chance of lasting into a fourth season.

41 (n/a) The Shannara Chronicles (MTV) Airing Status: Active, Airing 1st Season
Avg Rating: 0.4 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Low
Pros: Recognized Franchise
Cons: Mediocre Ratings, High Production Costs
Intangibles: Social Net Presence

This show debuted to less than impressive numbers, though it did jump up some with its latest episode.  I’m guessing that it has international financing backing it and that could carry it into a second season.  But I am thinking the numbers need to improve to get it much more beyond that.

42 (n/a) Colony (USA) Airing Status: Active, Airing 1st Season
Avg Rating: 0.4 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Low
Pros: n/a
Cons: n/a
Intangibles: Recognized Star

It doesn’t count as a huge hit, but it is pulling decent enough numbers for a cable series these days.  A second season looks possible, but I want to see how it tracks for a few more weeks.

43 (n/a) Angel from Hell (CBS) Airing Status: Active, Airing 1st Season
Avg Rating: 1.4 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Moderate
Pros: Network Owned/Co-Owned
Cons: Mediocre Ratings, Ratings Declines in Season
Intangibles: n/a

This show is taking up the rear ratings-wise in the CBS two-hour comedy block on Thursdays, and it is right at the cusp of passable numbers.  I’m not moving it to Bubble status just yet, but it needs to hold steady or perhaps improve by one or two ticks if it wants a second season.

On the Bubble:  These shows have delivered moderately low numbers which could put their renewal chances in jeopardy.

44 (40) iZombie (CW) Airing Status: Active, Airing 2nd Season
Avg Rating: 0.6 Prior Season Rating: 0.7 Cancellation Alert: Moderate
Pros: Network Owned/Co-Owned
Cons: Ratings Declines in Season, Losing Lead-in Audience
Intangibles: n/a

Its numbers aren’t great in its second season and it is losing a fair chunk of the lead-in audience from The Flash.  But The CW execs still speak well of the show and it is probably relatively inexpensive to produce, so maybe it has a chance of hanging in there to a third year.

45 (39) Agents of SHIELD (ABC) Airing Status: Active, Airing 3rd Season
Avg Rating: 1.4 Prior Season Rating: 1.6 Cancellation Alert: Moderate
Pros: Recognized Franchise, Third Season Show, Network Owned/Co-Owned
Cons: Ratings Declines in Season, Ratings Declines YOY, High Production Costs
Intangibles: Support from Disney

The three month hiatus that ABC puts this show is never good for its ratings and it is already in bubble territory.  It is a third season show and it has the Mouse House (which owns the network) on its side, but I’m still not confident in it receiving a fourth season, especially when Marvel’s Most Wanted (currently in development) could replace it on the schedule next year.  I’ll be looking further at the potential fates of AoS and Agent Carter in an upcoming post.

46 (41) Grimm (NBC) Airing Status: Active, 5th Season Airs Fall 2015
Avg Rating: 0.9 Prior Season Rating: 1.2 Cancellation Alert: Medium
Pros: Relative Ratings, Network Owned/Co-Owned
Cons: Ratings Declines in Season, Ratings Declines YOY
Intangibles: n/a

It’s numbers are low this year even for a Friday show and it is hovering around the bottom of the broadcast network scorecard.  The show’s producers may have already been told to start wrapping things up or perhaps this one could get a shortened sixth season as its swansong.

47 (26) Agent Carter (ABC) Airing Status: Returning, 2nd Season Airs 2016
Avg Rating: 0.9 Prior Season Rating: 1.4 Cancellation Alert: Moderate
Pros: Network Owned/Co-Owned
Cons: Low Ratings
Intangibles: Support from Disney

This show pulled tepid numbers in its first season and has returned to even lower ratings.  It seems hard to believe that a one hour drama (that’s probably rather costly) could survive on one of the Big Four broadcast nets with sub-1.0 ratings, but this one still has Disney pulling for it (and it continues to get favorable nods from fans and critics).  I will be looking further at the potential fates of this show as well as Agents of SHIELD in an upcoming post.

48 (19) Galavant (ABC) Airing Status: Active, Airing 2nd 2016
Avg Rating: 0.7 Prior Season Rating: 1.3 Cancellation Alert: Moderate
Pros: n/a
Cons: Low Ratings, Ratings Declines in Season
Intangibles: Low Ratings Expectations?

This show is at historically low ratings for a Big Four broadcast network entry and it seems like surely there is no chance it could beat the odds a second time.  But after last year’s surprise renewal, I’m not guaranteeing a cancellation (like I previously did) and I’ll just keep it On the Bubble until we hear final word on its fate.

Likely to Get Cancelled: These shows have seriously under-performed in their current season and appear surely headed to cancellation.

49 (44) The Last Man on Earth (FOX) Airing Status: Active, Airing 2nd Season
Avg Rating: 1.3 Prior Season Rating: 1.6 Cancellation Alert: Elevated
Pros: Low Production Costs?, Network Owned/Co-Owned
Cons: Ratings Decline in Season, Ratings Decline YOY
Intangibles: n/a

The good news is that production continues on this show, but the bad news is that it still has no scheduled return from its Winter hiatus.  The other good news (for this show at least) is that its Sunday replacement (Surviving Life) isn’t doing much better in the ratings at the moment.  But I’m still thinking FOX will want to dump as many ratings slackers as possible after its disastrous Fall season and this one could get included in that purge.

person-of-interest-cancelled*DOOMWATCH* 50 (28) Person of Interest (CBS) Airing Status: Returning, 5th Season Airs 2016
Avg Rating: 1.5 Prior Season Rating: 1.5 Cancellation Alert: Elevated
Pros: n/a
Cons: Ratings Declines in Season, Ratings Declines YOY
Intangibles: n/a

It hasn’t returned for its fifth season yet, but I’m still moving it down here because all signs point to this being its last season.  The creative team approached it with that in mind, though, so expect them to wrap up as many of its storylines as possible.  And it has had a good run with a chance to go out on its own terms, so there can’t be too much disappointment in that.

51 (46) Olympus (Syfy) Airing Status: Season Ended, Completed 1st Season
Avg Rating: 0.1 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Elevated
Pros: Low Ratings Expectations?
Cons: Low Ratings, Ratings Declines in Season
Intangibles: International Financing?

It’s been almost a year since the first season of this show began airing and still no word on whether a second season will happen.  I’m still thinking that the Canadian Super Channel may keep it going, but if I have not heard anything by the next set of Power Rankings I will assume this show has been cancelled.

52 (n/a) Second Chance (FOX) Airing Status: Active, Airing 1st Season
Avg Rating: 1.1 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Elevated
Pros: Network Owned/Co-Owned
Cons: Low Ratings, Ratings Declines in Season, Moved to Fridays
Intangibles: n/a

No second chance for this one as it debuted poorly behind a strong lead-in from American Idol and then got booted to Fridays after it dropped further in its second week.  That is almost certainly a burn-off run for a show that had a concept that the typical viewer apparently just could not grasp.

53 (47) Sleepy Hollow (FOX) Airing Status: Active, Airing 3rd Season
Avg Rating: 0.9 Prior Season Rating: 1.5 Cancellation Alert: High
Pros: Network Owned/Co-Owned
Cons: Ratings Declines in Season, Ratings Declines YOY
Intangibles: n/a

It returns next week where it gets moved to Fridays for what is almost assuredly a burn-off run before it gets sent to the Network Executioner.

54 (48) Minority Report (FOX) Airing Status: Season Ended, Completed 1st Season
Avg Rating: 0.7 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: High
Pros: Network Owned/Co-Owned
Cons: Poor Debut Ratings, Ratings Declines in Season
Intangibles: n/a

This show is all but officially cancelled.  A small group of fans are still fighting for it, but FOX is trying to move on from the disaster that was Fall 2015 and almost certainly does not want to look back at this misfire.

Recently Cancelled, Ended, or in Final Season: Currently or recently airing shows that have already been cancelled or that have ended or that are in or headed into their final season.

Beauty and the Beast (CW) Airing Status: Returning, 4th Season Airs Summer 2016
Avg Rating: 0.2 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Final Season
Pros: International Financing and Syndication
Cons: Low Ratings, Ratings Declines in Season, Ratings Declines YOY
Intangibles: Social Net Presence

Apparently there was a point that this show could sink to that would lead The CW to give up on it. It does at least get a fourth and final season in Summer 2016, though that won’t bring it to the episode count that the domestic syndication market prefers to see. It apparently plays well internationally, though, so maybe not as many episodes are required in that market.

heroes-reborn-cancelledHeroes Reborn (NBC) Airing Status: Cancelled, Airing 1st Season
Avg Rating: 1.2 Prior Season Rating: n/a Cancellation Alert: Cancelled
Pros: Network Owned/Co-Owned
Cons: Mediocre Debut Ratings, Ratings Declines in Season
Intangibles: n/a

I thought there might be a chance that NBC would stick with this one for at least one more year because the will make money on it in the long run when it gets tacked on to the Heroes syndication package and it plugs up a difficult timeslot for them.  But apparently it was too costly to keep around at the ratings level it was pulling.  It will at least provide some resolution to the cliffhanger the original series ended on and it will live on in syndication with that show.

The Leftovers (HBO) Airing Status: Returning, 3rd and Final Season Airs Fall 2016
Avg Rating: 0.3 Prior Season Rating: 0.8 Cancellation Alert: Final Season
Pros: n/a
Cons: Ratings Decline in Season, Ratings Decline YOY
Intangibles: Pay Cable Series, International Financing?

Give HBO some credit for at least allowing this one a final season after it plummeted in the ratings during its second year (and it already had mediocre numbers in its first season).  The acclaim it received in its second year probably helped and HBO isn’t as quick to ax shows as the broadcast networks.  So the fans will at least get some resolution from its final season.

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