Cancellation Watch: Checking in on Bubble Shows Limitless, The 100, Shannara Chronicles, and More; Plus the Broadcast Net and Cable Scorecards

By | February 26, 2016

limitless-cbs-cancelledBubble Shows: Several shows slipped to Bubble status in the latest edition of the Sci Fi TV Power Rankings, and their performance in the ratings this week has done little to change their fates (accept maybe The 100). CBS series Limitless was looking pretty good back in Fall, but when the network started preempting it and/or airing reruns beginning in November, its numbers dropped pretty far. This past Tuesday it slipped to a series low 1.1 rating based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic. Its season to date ratings average is now the same as Angel from Hell, and that show has been cancelled. Considering that Limitless is surely more expensive to produce than that sitcom, fans should definitely be concerned at this point. And if its numbers do not improve by next week, then I am raising its Cancellation Alert higher. MTV’s The Shannara Chronicles continues to lag behind its lead-in series Teen Wolf and I can’t believe the network is happy with its current performance considering it is certainly an expensive show to produce. Its survival chances will certainly hinge more upon the level of international financing it has, but I am sure the network also wants more people tuning in on a regular basis. The CW’s The 100 saw a slight increase in its numbers last night to a 0.6 rating (based on the preliminaries), and that level may be enough to keep it alive. But the fifth place network has a lot of development in the pipeline, so how long will they tolerate ratings slackers on the schedule? The same is true for iZombie which continues to languish on Tuesday nights and lose over half the lead-in audience from The Flash. That one is cheaper to produce than The 100, but its ratings are currently lower. And NBC’s You, Me, and The Apocalypse has slipped from Bubble status to likely cancellation based on its poor numbers. It remained at a 0.6 rating last night which is historically low for one of the Big Four networks (though not the only show that has sunk that far this season). I wouldn’t be surprised if this one was yanked from the schedule and moved to Fridays or Saturdays or possibly even booted to Summer. There’s still a chance that the British Sky Channel could keep it going for another year, but it won’t be returning to NBC after this season wraps.

Scorecards: There was not much change in the rankings this week and interestingly enough for Agents of SHIELD is the fact that ABC’s Thursday lineup has not returned strong from its hiatus, so the network’s overall average remains low. If AoS can hold steady with its Fall numbers when it returns in two weeks, it may still have a chance. Also interesting is the fact that NBC’s ratings in 2016 are down considerably from its Fall performance, and the cancelled Heroes Reborn is looking better in comparison. If ever there was a time for fans to have a Call to Action to support the show, now is it.

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 25th (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 3.17 1.62 1.54 n/a Low
2 (2) The Flash (O) CW 1.42 0.69 0.73 2.29 Low
3 (3) Arrow (O) CW 1.02 0.69 0.33 1.73 Low
4 (4) Legends of Tomorrow (O) CW 0.97 0.69 0.27 n/a Low
5 (5) Once Upon A Time (O) ABC 1.57 1.34 0.23 2.59 Low
6 (6) Lucifer FOX 1.84 1.62 0.22 n/a Low
7 (7) Supergirl CBS 1.80 1.59 0.21 2.79 Low
8 (8) Agents of SHIELD (O) ABC 1.42 1.34 0.08 2.39 Moderate
9 (9) Supernatural (O) CW 0.74 0.69 0.05 1.25 Low
10 (10) Heroes Reborn (O) NBC 1.21 1.27 -0.06 2.31 Cancelled
11 (11) The 100 (O) CW 0.58 0.69 -0.11 n/a Moderate
12 (15) Gotham FOX 1.51 1.62 -0.11 2.65 Low
13 (12) iZombie (O) CW 0.55 0.69 -0.14 0.85 Moderate
14 (13) Limitless (O) CBS 1.43 1.59 -0.16 2.63 Moderate
15 (16) Angel from Hell (O) CBS 1.42 1.59 -0.17 n/a Cancelled
16 (14) Vampire Diaries (O) (F) CW 0.52 0.69 -0.18 1.09 Low
17 (17) The Originals (O) (F) CW 0.41 0.69 -0.29 0.82 Low
18 (19) The Last Man on Earth (O) FOX 1.28 1.62 -0.34 2.03 Medium
19 (18) Grimm (O) (F) NBC 0.91 1.27 -0.36 1.73 Medium
20 (20) You Me and the Apocalypse NBC 0.82 1.27 -0.45 n/a Elevated
21 (21) Agent Carter (O) ABC 0.82 1.34 -0.52 n/a Medium
22 (22) Scream Queens (O) FOX 1.05 1.62 -0.57 1.89 Renewed
23 (23) Galavant (O) ABC 0.64 1.34 -0.70 n/a Moderate
24 (24) Sleepy Hollow (O) (F) FOX 0.88 1.62 -0.74 1.63 High
25 (25) Second Chance (O) (F) FOX 0.77 1.62 -0.86 n/a High
26 (26) Minority Report (O) FOX 0.71 1.62 -0.91 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 24th (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 0.41 0.49 -0.08 Renewed
Colony USA 0.40 n/a n/a Renewed
Doctor Who BBCA 0.37 n/a n/a Renewed
Z Nation (O) (F) Syfy 0.33 0.48 -0.15 Renewed
The Magicians Syfy 0.31 n/a n/a 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 0.47 n/a n/a Low
The Shannara Chronicles MTV 0.39 n/a n/a Low
The Leftovers HBO 0.33 0.77 -0.44 Final Season
Lost Girl Syfy 0.11 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.

One thought on “Cancellation Watch: Checking in on Bubble Shows Limitless, The 100, Shannara Chronicles, and More; Plus the Broadcast Net and Cable Scorecards

  1. Y.Whateley

    I’m surprised that “The Shannara Chronicles” isn’t doing better – it’s certainly not failing for lack of effort from the cast, production, effects, and writing (which I think does “Shannara…” more justice than the thematically similar “The 100″‘s writing does for that show); the cast and crew seem to be doing a solid job to me (though the CGI did look a bit shaky at times in the season finale, presumably due to budget cuts). It’s clear that everyone involved was hoping this ambitious show would be the next “Game of Thrones” and that it could never quite have lived up to those expectations, but for a “second-rate” imitator it did a competent job of developing its own character, look, and feel, and probably deserves better than to have been largely ignored by its target audience. Perhaps MTV’s usual audience was not the best match for this show?

    In any event, I’m glad to see stations like MTV (“The Shannara Chronicles”), ITV (“Beowulf”), and so on at lest trying to make their own genre television shows work, even if they don’t succeed – hopefully, they’ll keep trying. I’d rather see and support any number of interesting failures in Sci-Fi, Fantasy, or Horror television shows than any number of successful reality shows, game shows, or sitcoms….

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