Cancellation Watch: X-Files and Lucifer Still Looking Good, Mid-Season Brings Shake-ups to the Broadcast Net Scorecard

By | February 5, 2016

x-files-revivalRatings News of Note: On Monday, FOX’s X-Files revival slipped again, though the 2.7 overnight rating it pulled still counts as a huge win this season and I’m thinking the network will be trying to keep this revival going into next year.  That show’s lead-out series Lucifer also dropped, but its 2.0 score still looks like it could and could easily win it a second season. The key will be to see how that one performs with lower rated Gotham as its lead-in starting at the end of the month.  Over on CBS, Supergirl slipped to a 1.5 rating, its lowest numbers since last December.  That one needs to stay higher in the ratings because its network is not known for having patience with what it considers under-performing shows, especially genre entries.  Also on Monday, Syfys’s The Magicians slipped to a 0.35 rating, but those are still decent numbers for that network these days.  On Tuesday, Agent Carter slipped to a 0.8 rating based on the overnights which makes that show’s fate continue to look grim.  I look more closely at how things could play out for that one and Agents of SHIELD at this link.  On Thursday, The CW’s Legends of Tomorrow slipped to a 0.9 rating which is not a good thing for such an expensive show.  I don’t think it is in danger at the moment, but it can’t drop much further (though there is a rumor that the network will go a different direction anyway with the DC team-up concept next season because LoT costs so much).  Most of the other Monday through Thursday sci fi / fantasy shows remained mostly steady with the prior weeks 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.

Broadcast Network Scorecard:  The back half of the 2105-16 season now has a month under its belt and that means a shift is coming to the broadcast network scorecard.  At this point of the season, the networks pay more attention to the most current ratings results (yes, the overnights) and less to the numbers from the first half of the season because those are considered stale by now (and FOX surely wants to forget the Fall season all-together).  So for the broadcast network scorecard I will be shifting the network averages to be based only on the 2016 ratings, though the shows will still get the benefit of their full season averages.  This definitely causes some shake-ups in the rankings, though we may see some shifting back as the season progresses.

The show that benefits the most from this change is Agents of SHIELD because ABC’s ratings have been in the toilet so far in 2016.  But once that network’s strong performers like Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal come back from hiatus, expect AoS to start slipping back down.  Interestingly, the already cancelled Heroes Reborn jumped up in the rankings because NBC’s numbers are looking pretty poor in 2016 as well.  And new entry You, Me, and the Apocalypse (which is surely cheaper for NBC than Heroes Reborn was) is looking a little bit better based on the adjusted numbers.  Former Number 1 entry on the scorecard Supergirl continues to slip down, but that show was headed that direction anyway because of its less than super ratings.  And FOX slackers like Sleepy Hollow, The Last Man on Earth, and Second Chance are looking much worse now because that network is performing much better in 2016 thanks to The X-Files as well as the return of American Idol (note that the post NFL Championship debut of The X-Files is not included in FOX’s averages because it skews the numbers too much).  Vampire Diaries and The Originals have both slipped further down as well, but they are almost assured to come back for at least one more season which I go into in more detail at this link.

The scorecard ranks all of the broadcast net sci fi / fantasy shows’ ratings performance vs. their network’s 2016 season to date average for non-sports, non-special, 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 February 4th (metric definitions below):

Rank (PW) Series Net Std Avg 2016 Net Avg Var Live+7 Avg Rtg Cancel Alert
1 (1) The X-Files (O) FOX 4.00 1.76 2.24 n/a Low
2 (3) The Flash (O) CW 1.40 0.72 0.68 2.29 Low
3 (2) Lucifer FOX 2.20 1.76 0.44 n/a Low
4 (4) Legends of Tomorrow (O) CW 1.07 0.72 0.34 n/a Low
5 (9) Once Upon A Time (O) ABC 1.57 1.25 0.32 2.59 Low
6 (5) Arrow (O) CW 1.04 0.72 0.32 1.73 Low
7 (6) Supergirl CBS 1.83 1.61 0.21 2.79 Low
8 (14) Agents of SHIELD (O) ABC 1.42 1.25 0.17 2.39 Moderate
9 (7) Supernatural (O) CW 0.73 0.72 0.01 1.25 Low
10 (8) The 100 (O) CW 0.63 0.72 -0.09 n/a Low
11 (19) Heroes Reborn (O) NBC 1.21 1.33 -0.13 2.31 Cancelled
12 (13) Limitless (O) CBS 1.48 1.61 -0.13 2.63 Low
13 (11) iZombie (O) CW 0.55 0.72 -0.17 0.85 Moderate
14 (12) Vampire Diaries (O) (F) CW 0.55 0.72 -0.17 1.09 Low
15 (15) Angel from Hell (O) CBS 1.42 1.61 -0.19 n/a Moderate
16 (10) Gotham FOX 1.51 1.76 -0.25 2.65 Low
17 (20) You Me and the Apocalypse NBC 1.05 1.33 -0.28 n/a Moderate
18 (16) The Originals (O) (F) CW 0.42 0.72 -0.30 0.82 Low
19 (23) Agent Carter (O) ABC 0.87 1.25 -0.38 n/a Medium
20 (24) Grimm (O) (F) NBC 0.91 1.33 -0.42 1.73 Medium
21 (17) The Last Man on Earth (O) FOX 1.28 1.76 -0.48 2.03 Medium
22 (26) Galavant (O) ABC 0.64 1.25 -0.61 n/a Moderate
23 (21) Scream Queens (O) FOX 1.05 1.76 -0.71 1.89 Renewed
24 (18) Second Chance (O) (F) FOX 0.97 1.76 -0.79 n/a High
25 (22) Sleepy Hollow (O) FOX 0.91 1.76 -0.85 1.63 High
26 (25) Minority Report (O) FOX 0.71 1.76 -1.05 1.24 High

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 February 3rd (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
Colony USA 0.43 n/a n/a Renewed
Teen Wolf MTV 0.43 0.49 -0.06 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 0.51 n/a n/a Low
The Shannara Chronicles MTV 0.42 n/a n/a Low
The Magicians Syfy 0.38 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.

2016 Net Avg:  The network’s season to date ratings average for 2016 only based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic for non-sports, non-special, non-repeat broadcasts.  Note the the post NFL Championship debut of The X-Files is not included in FOX’s averages because it is non-representative of normal Prime Time performance and it skews the numbers too much

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.

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