Cancellation Watch: Pilot Casting for Haley Atwell is Not Necessarily Death Knell for Agent Carter, The 100 Slips in the Ratings, Plus the Broadcast and Cable Scorecards

By | February 12, 2016

agent-carter-peggy-atwellPilot Announcement: ABC announced this week that Haley Atwell has been cast in in upcoming pilot which left many of us wondering what that means for Agent Carter, the current series that she stars in.  Quite often, casting a star of an existing show in a pilot means that their current job could be going away by season end.  But that’s not necessarily the case this time around.  Agent Carter has only been getting a limited episode orders each season, so it’s possible that Atwell could do both shows, though it would be somewhat of a strain on the actress.  But the fact is that AC is currently scraping pretty low in the ratings, unfortunately, and I believe that its prospects of returning for a third season are slim (more on that at this link).  ABC obviously wants to keep Atwell around, so they have found a new project that she could transition to in case her current series wraps at season end.  This is basically a means of securing the actress for now and then they will make final decisions further down the road (around May when the networks present their 2016-17 season schedules at the upfronts), and not a sure sign that Agent Carter is done.  But the low ratings (and current position on the broadcast network scorecard below) suggest the end is near unless Disney (ABC’s owner) once again saves the show from cancellation because of its ties to the Avengers movie franchise.

Ratings News of Note: The CW’s The 100 slipped to a 0.5 rating based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic last night (according to the preliminaries) which is not a good thing.  That show started its third season at the highest levels it has seen since its first year and slipped just a little bit the last two weeks.  But the 0.5 level is where it hovered at last season and I do not believe that will be enough to get it to a fourth season.  Its numbers need to improve soon, otherwise that one heads to the bubble.  Also dropping last night was NBC’s You, Me, and the Apocalypse which slipped to a 0.8 rating.  That may not be good enough even for a show with an international partnership (with the British Sky channel) backing it, and it could be one-season-and-done.  On Tuesday, CBS’ Limitless finally aired a new episode (after several preemptions and reruns) and it improved slightly from its last outing to a 1.3 rating.  They need to keep that one on the air, though, to build back its audience because I don’t believe it can survive at those levels (the network just cancelled Angel from Hell and pulled it from the schedule though it is only performing slightly lower).  I am moving Limitless to a Moderate Cancellation Alert level for now, in part because its network appears to be kicking it to the curb.  On Monday, FOX’s Lucifer slipped to a 1.7 rating, which is still pretty good for that network these days.  The key to its survival, though, will be how it performs with Gotham as its lead-in (instead of higher-rated X-Files) starting at the end of the month.  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.

The Scorecards: Slipping down in the scorecard this week were Legends of Tomorrow, Lucifer, Agent Carter, and You, Me, and The Apocalypse, though those first two shows are in no danger at the moment.  Sleepy Hollow moved up based on its improved numbers for its mid-season return, but moving one slot from the bottom to two slots from the bottom does not count as much of a win.  I go into more detail on where that show stands 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 11th (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 3.63 1.74 1.89 n/a Low
2 (2) The Flash (O) CW 1.42 0.70 0.72 2.29 Low
3 (6) Arrow (O) CW 1.03 0.70 0.33 1.73 Low
4 (4) Legends of Tomorrow (O) CW 1.03 0.70 0.33 n/a Low
5 (5) Once Upon A Time (O) ABC 1.57 1.25 0.32 2.59 Low
6 (3) Lucifer FOX 2.03 1.74 0.30 n/a Low
7 (7) Supergirl CBS 1.82 1.61 0.21 2.79 Low
8 (8) Agents of SHIELD (O) ABC 1.42 1.25 0.17 2.39 Moderate
9 (9) Supernatural (O) CW 0.74 0.70 0.04 1.25 Low
10 (10) The 100 (O) CW 0.60 0.70 -0.10 n/a Low
11 (11) Heroes Reborn (O) NBC 1.21 1.31 -0.10 2.31 Cancelled
12 (12) Limitless (O) CBS 1.47 1.61 -0.14 2.63 Low
13 (13) iZombie (O) CW 0.55 0.70 -0.15 0.85 Moderate
14 (14) Vampire Diaries (O) (F) CW 0.54 0.70 -0.16 1.09 Low
15 (15) Angel from Hell (O) CBS 1.42 1.61 -0.19 n/a Cancelled
16 (16) Gotham FOX 1.51 1.74 -0.23 2.65 Low
17 (18) The Originals (O) (F) CW 0.42 0.70 -0.28 0.82 Low
18 (17) You Me and the Apocalypse NBC 0.97 1.31 -0.35 n/a Moderate
19 (20) Grimm (O) (F) NBC 0.91 1.31 -0.40 1.73 Medium
20 (19) Agent Carter (O) ABC 0.85 1.25 -0.40 n/a Medium
21 (21) The Last Man on Earth (O) FOX 1.28 1.74 -0.46 2.03 Medium
22 (22) Galavant (O) ABC 0.64 1.25 -0.61 n/a Moderate
23 (23) Scream Queens (O) FOX 1.05 1.74 -0.68 1.89 Renewed
24 (25) Sleepy Hollow (O) (F) FOX 0.91 1.74 -0.83 1.63 High
25 (24) Second Chance (O) (F) FOX 0.88 1.74 -0.86 n/a High
26 (26) Minority Report (O) FOX 0.71 1.74 -1.03 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 10th (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 0.42 n/a n/a Renewed
Teen Wolf MTV 0.42 0.49 -0.07 Renewed
Doctor Who BBCA 0.37 n/a n/a Renewed
The Magicians Syfy 0.34 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 0.50 n/a n/a Low
The Shannara Chronicles MTV 0.41 n/a n/a Low
The Leftovers HBO 0.33 0.77 -0.44 Final Season
Lost Girl Syfy 0.12 0.20 -0.09 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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