If you have an active campaign to support a struggling sci fi / fantasy show or save a cancelled one, send us the information at cancelledscifi [at] gmail [dot] com and we will pass it along.
The Nielsen ratings continue to drive the fate of the shows currently on television (and yes, the networks do look at the overnights despite what they will tell you). But the tide is changing and fans have social media as a powerful tool to let the networks know that there is a larger audience out there than what the ratings are measuring (and/or failing to capture). Live tweeting when an episode airs is the best way for fans to show their support. And hashtag campaigns throughout the week are a good idea as well. The other social media sites should also play into this. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and whatever the latest one is can all provide a means for fans to support their shows and get the word out for other people to start watching. Also, buying episodes from VOD services like Amazon Instant Video and iTunes will help if done en masse as part of an organized effort, because that goes directly to the bottom line for a show (and takes the Nielsens out of the equation). This is your Call to Action to make your voices (and numbers) known and to do your part to save your favorite shows.
Since the last Call to Action post, Agents of SHIELD has dropped off because it received a fourth season renewal. Added to the list this time is iZombie and The Shannara Chronicles. Here is a list of all the shows that are struggling at the moment and that could use an outpouring of support from fans (sorted alphabetically):
(Links are to the shows’ pages on this site where you can find their season to date ratings results and latest status updates.)
The 100 (CW): This show started off its third season looking good, but it has slipped off since then. It does not get the coveted third season show status because of its shortened episode orders, and The CW’s boss already called the show out last season saying it needed to build up its audience. That hasn’t happened yet and the network has quite a lot of development in the pipeline. Fans need to organize now to draw attention to the show and let people know they can catch up on the first two seasons on Netflix. Because I am thinking that The CW wants to get as many of the ratings slackers off its schedule it can as the network tries to remain relevant in the Too-Much-TV era.
Agent Carter (ABC): Sad to say, but this one seems almost certainly on the way out. Haley Atwell has been cast in an upcoming pilot. and Agent Carter‘s executive producers are saying that chances of a third season look “bad”. But this show has a lot of support from critics and people within the industry, so a strong push from fans still has a slight chance of saving it. [Update 3/8/16] There is a rumor that ABC has decided to bring the show back for a third season. All the more reason for fans to make noise in support of the show to convince the network that is the right move.
Angel from Hell (CBS): One of only two official cancellations of genre shows for the 2016-17 season so far, this one’s numbers actually were not that bad, especially for a sitcom. If fans were to make a strong show of support, another network (maybe TBS) or one of the streaming services might consider taking a flyer on it. It’s already off the air, though, so it will be a tough battle, but not impossible. And the window is closing quickly on this one.
Galavant (ABC): There is probably no hope for this one seeing as it returned in its second season at historically low ratings levels for a Big Four broadcast network show and did not get included in the recent wave of renewals by ABC. But perhaps fans could spin a little ditty on the social nets that would convince ABC (or more importantly that network’s owner Disney) to keep it around for another season.
Grimm (NBC): This show is at all-time lows, and even though ratings expectations are not as high on Fridays I still believe it is in trouble based on its current performance. There has still be no word on this being its final season, so I don’t know if that is a good thing or if NBC is still trying to decide what to do with this show. Fans need to show their support if they don’t want this one to end without getting the chance to resolve its storylines.
Heroes Reborn (NBC): The second of only two official genre cancellations this season, NBC execs might be persuaded to change their minds on that move because another season is just further padding to the Heroes syndication run (where shows really start to turn a profit). Plus, with NBC’s numbers dropping off since 2016, this one doesn’t look as bad in comparison (see its standing in the latest broadcast network scorecard). But fans need to make a strong showing right now to have any hope of another season (and no, sister channel Syfy will not pick it up due to the expense and the extensive development they already have in the pipeline).
iZombie (CW): This show continues to pull tepid numbers and lose over half of its audience from lead-in The Flash. I’m thinking The CW will try to weed out as many ratings slackers as it can at the end of the season (though Vampire Diaries and The Originals will almost certainly be back), and this show could end up on the wrong end of that purge. It’s not as expensive to produce as The 100 (also struggling, see above), so that works in its favor. And a strong show of support from fans could help it survive into a third season.
The Last Man on Earth (FOX): The network pretty much kicked this one to the curb at mid-season by not scheduling a return date, but it is finally back on the schedule now (though it returned this week with pretty low numbers). Fans need to get behind this struggling sci fi comedy right now, lest the re st of its episodes will only be a burn-off run.
Limitless (CBS): This show was doing okay during the first half of the season, but its numbers have dropped significantly, in a large part due to the network’s scheduling hi jinks. Fans should make noise and let CBS know they are out their before that network (which is known to have an aversion to sci fi shows) squashes this promising new entry like it did with Angel from Hell.
Minority Report (FOX): This one is for all practical purposes cancelled, but I know that fans were trying to make a show of support a while back. Unless that turns into a resounding roar, I’m thinking this one is done.
Second Chance (FOX): Like Minority Report, this show is cancelled in all but name and it never developed much of an audience to begin with. I haven’t heard much from fans, but if they are out there they need to organize quick while it is still airing.
The Shannara Chronicles (MTV): This show might actually be okay if it has significant international financing backing it. Its ratings have been low, but the delayed viewing gains are strong which is more meaningful for the cable shows. But I know this one has a vocal fanbase out there, so it would be a good idea for them to make their presence known now to help sway the powers-that-be to give it a second season.
Sleepy Hollow (FOX): The numbers for its return on Friday at first looked promising, but have sunk pretty low since then. This one does not get the third season show status because of its shortened episode orders and appears to be just burning off its last few episodes before heading to the Network Executioner. I know this show has a dedicated fanbase and they need to make noise right now to let the network know people are watching.
You Me and the Apocalypse (NBC): This fun little apocalyptic comedy was dumped on the schedule with little promotion and in an hour that NBC has struggled with of late. Its early numbers suggested it might be able to survive taking into account the international partnership with the British Sky channel, but it has since sunk to historically low levels for a Big Four broadcast network show. It will almost certainly not return to NBC, but if fans make a show of support maybe Sky will be convinced to seek a new partner.