Cancellation Watch: The Ratings are Low, But Still Going Lower. Is There Still Hope for Agent Carter? Plus the Weekly Ratings Roundup

By | March 8, 2016

Unless otherwise noted, the ratings numbers below are based on the final overnights and may vary slightly from the preliminaries reported on the Cancelled Sci Fi Twitter Site.

once-upon-a-time-abc-s4Sinking Ratings: The ratings continue to be low for the broadcast networks evidenced by the returns on Sunday of ABC’s Once Upon A Time and FOX’s The Last Man on Earth, both after long hiatuses. The former series remained at a series low of a 1.3 rating with four million total viewers, while the latter slipped from its Fall finale to a 1.1 rating with 2.7 million total viewers. Interestingly, though, Once Upon A time tied for the highest rated scripted show on the broadcast networks on Sunday as that night has become a disaster this season for non-sports related programming. And pretty much every night for the broadcast nets is down these days with hardly any shows making it above a 3.0 rating and several Big Four shows falling as low as 0.6 and 0.5 scores. But if you think the numbers are bad now, guess what? They are about to go lower! Historically, the broadcast nets have experienced a Spring slump starting with the move to Daylight Savings Time which arrives this Sunday. So that suggests that the numbers have not bottomed out yet and we will see how low they can go and still be considered acceptable over the next couple of months. The broadcast nets will have to answer to their sponsors come May when they present their schedules at the Upfronts. I have to believe that the advertisers will not want to pay as much for commercial time based on these slumping numbers and that’s going to put the squeeze even tighter on the broadcast nets. It is apparent that linear viewing is quickly dying off and I expect a ratings-pocalypse by next season assuming that it does not come as soon as the next few months. And the bubble from the Too-Much-TV era will have to burst at some point, perhaps this year or next. In the meantime, we need to brace for the wave of cancellations that will almost certainly follow.

Rumors and Castings: According to the Nerd Reactor site, an inside source has claimed that ABC is planning on bringing Agent Carter back for a third season. That goes counter to what I previously heard when the show’s executive producers said in an interview that its chances of renewal are “bad”. But perhaps Disney has issued an edict for the show to come back for another year. That’s not impossible, though it would be unprecedented based on its low ratings. Take the rumor with a grain of salt, but as Agent Carter is a Call to Action show, fans should take this as a good sign and start making some noise to support it.  NBC’s You, Me, and the Apocalypse seems surely on its way out based on its historically low ratings, and recent casting announcements support that.  Jenna Fischer has been cast in the upcoming CBS pilot starring Matt LeBlanc and Patterson Joseph is joining the sci fi pilot Time from Supernatural creator Eric Kripke.  I’ve already said that You, Me, and The Apocalypse will almost certainly not return to NBC, but this makes it look like its international partner the British Sky Channel will not keep the show going either.

In breaking news from last week, ABC announced the renewals of Once Upon A Time and Agents of SHIELD.  And you can see my look at the early week shows as well as the broadcast and cable scorecards at this link.

Ratings results for the sci fi / fantasy shows airing Monday February 29th thru Sunday March 6th (metric definitions below):

(Updated for the broadcast network and cable Top 25 chart activity)

Gotham FOX Mon 2/29 8 PM
Rating: 1.5 | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): 4.1 | StD Rating: 1.5 | Net Avg: 1.6 | Cancellation Alert: Low

It returned even with its season to date average and looks okay for a FOX show right now.  Unless its ratings plummet in the next few weeks, this one should be good for a third season renewal.

Chart Activity: This show made it to Number 24 in the broadcast network Top 25 based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic with its return from hiatus.

Supergirl CBS Mon 2/29 8 PM
Rating: 1.4 | % Chng PW: -6.7% | Tot Viewers (MM): 6.7 | StD Rating: 1.8 | Net Avg: 1.6 | Cancellation Alert: Low

This one slipped to a season low which is not good, especially considering it airs on genre-averse CBS.  I discuss this one in more detail at this link.

Chart Activity: This show slipped completely out of the broadcast network Top 25 for the week.

The X-Files FOX Mon 2/29 8 PM
Rating: Season Ended | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): n/a | StD Rating: 3.2 | Net Avg: 1.6 | Cancellation Alert: Low

Season ended, awaiting word on renewal.

Lucifer CBS Mon 2/29 9 PM
Rating: 1.3 | % Chng PW: -13.3% | Tot Viewers (MM): 3.9 | StD Rating: 1.8 | Net Avg: 1.6 | Cancellation Alert: Moderate

This show slipped to a season low and needs to get its numbers back up.  It discuss this one further at this link.

The Magicians Syfy Mon 2/29 9 PM
Rating: 0.3 | % Chng PW: -7.4% | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.7 | StD Rating: 0.3 | Net Avg: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

It held relatively steady and it has already been renewed for a second season.

Lost Girl Syfy Mon 2/29 10 PM
Rating: 0.1 | % Chng PW: +22.2% | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.4 | StD Rating: 0.1 | Net Avg: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Final Season

It remained low as it airs out its final season.

Bitten Syfy Mon 2/29 11 PM
Rating: 0.1 | % Chng PW: -10.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.4 | StD Rating: 0.1 | Net Avg: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Final Season

The numbers are still low for this show, but it is currently in its final season.

The Flash CW Tue 3/1 8 PM
Rating: Preempted | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): n/a | StD Rating: 1.4 | Net Avg: 0.7 | Cancellation Alert: Low

Preempted.  Returns with new episodes March 22nd.

Agent Carter ABC Tue 3/1 9 PM
Rating: 0.7 | % Chng PW: -12.5% | Tot Viewers (MM): 2.4 | StD Rating: 0.8 | Net Avg: 1.5 | Cancellation Alert: Medium

It slipped back down for its season finale, and its chances don’t look good despite the rumor mentioned above.  This is currently a Call to Action show and needs support from its fans.

Agents of SHIELD ABC Tue 3/1 9 PM
Rating: On Hiatus | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): 3.9 | StD Rating: 1.4 | Net Avg: 1.5 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

It returns from hiatus this week and learned last week that it has been renewed for a fourth season.

iZombie CW Tue 3/1 9 PM
Rating: Preempted | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): n/a | StD Rating: 0.6 | Net Avg: 0.7 | Cancellation Alert: Moderate

Preempted.  Returns with new episodes March 22nd.  This is currently a Call to Action show and needs support from its fans.

Shadowhunters Free Tue 3/1 9 PM
Rating: 0.4 | % Chng PW: 0.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.9 | StD Rating: 0.5 | Net Avg: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Low

It held steady and appears to be on track for a second season renewal.

Teen Wolf MTV Tue 3/1 9 PM
Rating: 0.4 | % Chng PW: +16.7% | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.9 | StD Rating: 0.4 | Net Avg: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

It improved slightly and it has already been renewed for a sixth season.

Limitless CBS Tue 3/1 10 PM
Rating: Preempted | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): n/a | StD Rating: 1.4 | Net Avg: 1.6 | Cancellation Alert: Moderate

It was preempted for campaign coverage which will do nothing to help its numbers but that definitely helped our traffic with people typing “Is Limitless Cancelled?” into search engines.  This is currently a Call to Action show and needs support from its fans.

The Shannara Chronicles MTV Tue 3/1 10 PM
Rating: 0.4 | % Chng PW: +21.2% | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.9 | StD Rating: 0.4 | Net Avg: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Moderate

It improved slightly for its season finale and the delayed viewing numbers have been looking good for this one which likely matters more for a cable show.  Still, I consider this a Call to Action show and support from the fans could definitely help its cause.

Arrow CW Wed 3/2 8 PM
Rating: Preempted | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): n/a | StD Rating: 1.0 | Net Avg: 0.7 | Cancellation Alert: Low

Preempted.  Returns with new episodes March 23rd.

Supernatural CW Wed 3/2 9 PM
Rating: Preempted | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): n/a | StD Rating: 0.7 | Net Avg: 0.7 | Cancellation Alert: Low

Preempted.  Returns with new episodes March 23rd.

Star Wars Rebels DXD Wed 3/2 9:30 PM
Rating: 0.2 | % Chng PW: +35.7% | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.7 | StD Rating: 0.1 | Net Avg: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

It improved some for the week and it has already been renewed for a third season.

Legends of Tomorrow CW Thu 3/3 8 PM
Rating: 0.9 | % Chng PW: 0.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 2.3 | StD Rating: 1.0 | Net Avg: 0.7 | Cancellation Alert: Low

It held mostly steady and could get a second season unless The CW decides to revamp the team-up concept to a less expensive format.

You Me and the Apocalypse NBC Thu 3/3 8 PM
Rating: 0.5 | % Chng PW: -16.7% | Tot Viewers (MM): 2.3 | StD Rating: 0.8 | Net Avg: 1.6 | Cancellation Alert: Elevated

Its numbers slipped further and this show will almost certainly not return to NBC for a second season (in fact, it could very well get kicked to Fridays or Saturdays pretty soon).  Since it is a co-production with the British Sky Channel, it could still live on (though the casting mentioned above puts that in doubt), but a Call to Action from its fans is needed right now.

The 100 CW Thu 3/3 9 PM
Rating: 0.5 | % Chng PW: -16.7% | Tot Viewers (MM): 1.4 | StD Rating: 0.6 | Net Avg: 0.7 | Cancellation Alert: Moderate

It back down again and I’m thinking The CW will be purging its ratings slackers at season end.  This makes this a Call to Action show and needs support from its fans.

Colony USA Thu 3/3 10 PM
Rating: 0.3 | % Chng PW: -5.7% | Tot Viewers (MM): 1.0 | StD Rating: 0.4 | Net Avg: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

It held relatively steady, and it has already been renewed for a second season.

Vampire Diaries CW Fri 3/4 8 PM
Rating: 0.4 | % Chng PW: -20.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 1.1 | StD Rating: 0.5 | Net Avg: 0.7 | Cancellation Alert: Low

It slipped back down, but I still believe this one is on track for an eighth (and possibly final) season.

Sleepy Hollow FOX Fri 3/4 8 PM
Rating: 0.7 | % Chng PW: -12.5% | Tot Viewers (MM): 3.0 | StD Rating: 0.9 | Net Avg: 1.6 | Cancellation Alert: High

It slipped back down and it is likely in burn-off mode at this point.  This is currently a Call to Action show and needs support from its fans.

Slasher Chill Fri 3/4 9 PM
Rating: 0.0 | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.1 | StD Rating: 0.0 | Net Avg: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Low

The numbers were low for this show’s debut, but I believe that was expected for a Chiller show. This one will likely live or die based on its international financing and/or partnerships.

The Originals CW Fri 3/4 9 PM
Rating: 0.4 | % Chng PW: -20.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.9 | StD Rating: 0.4 | Net Avg: 0.7 | Cancellation Alert: Low

It slipped, but a fourth season is still all but guaranteed to get it enough episodes for a syndication run.

Second Chance FOX Fri 3/4 9 PM
Rating: 0.5 | % Chng PW: 0.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 2.2 | StD Rating: 0.7 | Net Avg: 1.6 | Cancellation Alert: High

This one remained low and is likely just airing out its episodes before heading to the Network Executioner.  This is currently a Call to Action show and needs a strong showing of support to have any chance.

Grimm NBC Fri 3/4 9 PM
Rating: 1.0 | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): 4.3 | StD Rating: 0.9 | Net Avg: 1.6 | Cancellation Alert: Medium

It improved some from its last new episode which is a little bit of encouragement.  A Call to Action from its fans could definitely help it out at the moment.

Beowulf ESQ Sat 3/5 10 PM
Rating: Pending | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): n/a | StD Rating: 0.0 | Net Avg: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Moderate

Ratings results pending.

Once Upon A Time ABC Sun 3/6 8 PM
Rating: 1.3 | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): 4.0 | StD Rating: 1.5 | Net Avg: 1.5 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

It remained at the series lows it ended on in Fall, but it has already been renewed for a sixth season. Could that be its last, though?

The Walking Dead AMC Sun 3/6 9 PM
Rating: 6.2 | % Chng PW: +1.2% | Tot Viewers (MM): 12.8 | StD Rating: 6.6 | Net Avg: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

It improved slightly from last week and it continues to top all scripted programming across television. The zombie rot is not setting in here yet.

Chart Activity:  This show improved to Number 4 in the Weekly Nielsen Twitter Ratings Top 10 (up from Number 6).  It held at Number 1 in the Cable Top 25 based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic and at Number 2 based on total viewers.  Post-show discussion series The Talking Dead was at Number 3 and 8 respectively on both those charts.

The Last Man on Earth FOX Sun 3/6 9:30 PM
Rating: 1.1 | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): 2.7 | StD Rating: 1.3 | Net Avg: 1.6 | Cancellation Alert: Elevated

It returned down from where it ended in Fall, but its not too far below where the The Simpsons and Family Guy were on Sunday. That’s some hope and a Call to Action from fans could help it at this point.

Be sure keep an eye out for the latest numbers and any breaking news throughout the week at the Cancelled Sci Fi Twitter Site. You can see the status of all the currently airing sci fi / fantasy shows at the Cancellation Watch page and also the latest Sci Fi TV Power Rankings post. And for more information on where I get these numbers and how I make my Cancellation Alert assessments, check out the Cancelled Sci Fi FAQ.

Metric Definitions:

Rating: Overnight rating in the 18-49 demographic for same day viewing based on the final numbers unless otherwise noted

% Chng PW: The percentage change +/- for this week’s rating vs. last week’s rating.

Tot Viewers: Estimated total viewers (age 2+) to tune in to the episode for same day viewing.

StD Rating: Season to date average for the rating metric tracked above.

Net Avg:  The season to date average rating for the network for non-sports programming and non-repeats.  This data is available for the broadcast networks only.

Cancellation 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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