Cancellation Watch: Rumor Control on Supergirl, Limitless, and Agent Carter. Which CW Shows Won’t Make It? Plus the Scorecards.

By | March 11, 2016

supergirl-cbs-cancelledRumor Control: There have been a lot of claims circulating around the internet that certain shows have been renewed or will be renewed, but no official announcements yet, so it is time to address some of those rumors. First of all, let’s take a look at the CBS rumors which I admit I got caught up in until the TV Grim Reaper shook me back to reality.  The network’s CEO Leslie Moonves made the following claim at an investor conference: “We have five new shows on the air. Of the five, I believe all five of them will be renewed. And we own four of them.”  Problem with that statement is that CBS has seven new shows this season, one of which (Angel from Hell) has already been cancelled and two of which have not debuted yet.  Now perhaps they feel good about all of them and conference room discussion point toward renewing them (even though the numbers for Supergirl and Limitless are way down), but there are no guarantees those shows will be back or that the five number Moonves mentioned will stick.   And since two of the shows (Rush Hour and Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders) have not debuted yet, there’s no telling what will happen with them.  Basically, the CBS exec was just trying to assure investors and his comments are in no way a guarantee of renewal for any show (and he also said he believes they will be renewed, not they will be).  And I still consider Limitless to be On the Bubble with Supergirl appearing safe for now if its numbers to not slip much further.  As for Agent Carter, the executive producers said in an interview last week that its chances of a third season were “bad”.  But then the Nerd Reactor site claimed this week that an inside source indicated the show would be coming back for another year.   I’m thinking the EPs have a better feel for where things stand with the show, but then this is the entertainment industry which can change on a whim, so it’s not impossible that “inside source” knows something.  More substantial is the claim by the Agents of SHIELD executive producers that they would consider working in the Agent Carter character to AoS‘s fourth season (it received the renewal announcement last week) and perhaps that’s what the inside source was picking up on.  Linking the two shows together makes a ton of sense so that they can be packaged together in syndication (as I have been saying for a while).  And if they do that, it makes a third season of Agent Carter more viable because ABC is guaranteed to make its money back when the two shows enter syndication together.  Season 3 may hinge entirely on whether ABC picks up the pilot Haley Atwell is starring in.  If they go forward with that, probably no third season of Agent Carter, but the character could still cross-over on Agents of SHIELD.  So it looks like even if AC does not get a renewal, we may not have seen the last of Peggy Carter.  But also understand that there are no guarantees for this one or Supergirl or Limitless.  I believe the networks are in a state of panic due to the current ratings drop-off (which will be going lower), and they are trying to assure investors while also rolling the dice on what are the best decisions going into next season.

CW Scheduling Decisions: And speaking of the decisions for next season’s schedule, The CW will have some tough choices to face on its lineup for next year seeing as that network programs only ten Prime Time hours a week and has quite a number of shows to cram into that space.  I’ve already looked previously at the shows which are certain to return: The Flash, Arrow, The Originals, Supernatural, and Vampire Diaries.  Those first three are locks for renewal.  The second two are practically locks, though Supernatural hinges on the willingness of the cast and crew to return.  Even then, I would expect a shortened final season to send the show off and perhaps set up a spin-off series.  The other show certain to return is non-genre entry Jane the Virgin.  Even though that one is low-rated, it is a critical darling and not expensive to produce.  Period drama Reign also seems certain to return because of its third season show status, though the shortened episode order for the current year could put a kibosh on that.  But I will go with the assumption that it will be back.  That’s seven hours locked up, though the network does get more than ten shows on its schedule each year seeing as some have shortened runs.  Legends of Tomorrow seems like it will return based on its ratings, but it could be in a different, less expensive format.  The CW has at least four sci fi / fantasy pilots in the works right now along with the Archie Comics based series Riverdale that looks like a sure pickup.  So where does that leave the network’s current ratings slackers?  My guess is that non-genre entry Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is first on the chopping block because of its low ratings.  And the future definitely looks murky for The 100 and iZombie as they continue to pull mediocre numbers.  The 100 doesn’t get the coveted third season show status because of its limited episode orders, and it is certainly the more expensive of the two to produce.  But then iZombie continues to lose over half of the audience from its Flash lead-in.  It’s possible both could go if The CW feels strong about its development pipeline, but then its possible both could stick around with shortened runs as schedule spackle.  That makes both of these very much Bubble shows in need of a Call to Action from fans to help them earn another season.  And I didn’t forget about The CW’s late season entry Containment, but I consider that one basically a dead-show-walking like The Messengers last year.  It is getting a late start (April 19th) and has been designated as a “limited run” series, so I don’t expect it to be back.  It does get The Flash as its lead-in, though (as opposed to The Messengers which was cast to Fridays last year), so if it does show some ratings sparks, that just muddies up The CW’s scheduling decisions that much more.  But one thing is for certain, if fans of The 100 and iZombie want those shows to continue, they need to make noise now. [Update 3/11/16] Scratch the speculation on The 100 and iZombie, The CW has renewed all of its currently airing shows.

Scorecards:  In the broadcast network scorecard, Supergirl improved by one spot, but that is mostly a factor of Once Upon A Time slipping due to it returning from hiatus matching its season low.  Gotham also improved as it returned from hiatus even with its Fall numbers.  Agents of SHIELD slipped after it returned from hiatus at a season low.  Limitless slipped below cancelled Angel from Hell, which can’t be good and which puts further doubts on the claims by Leslie Moonves mentioned above.  And Second Chance has now replaced Minority Report in the bottom slot, though both shows are currently awaiting their dates with the Network Executioner.

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 March 10th (metric definitions below):

Rank (PW) Series Net Std Avg Net Avg Var Live+7 Avg Rtg Cancel Alert
1 (1) The X-Files (O) FOX 3.17 1.53 1.63 0.00 Low
2 (2) The Flash (O) CW 1.42 0.64 0.78 2.29 Low
6 () Lucifer FOX 1.69 1.53 0.15 0.00 Moderate
4 () Legends of Tomorrow (O) CW 0.93 0.64 0.28 0.00 Low
3 () Arrow (O) CW 1.02 0.64 0.38 1.73 Low
5 () Supergirl CBS 1.77 1.58 0.19 2.79 Low
7 () Supernatural (O) CW 0.74 0.64 0.10 1.25 Low
8 () Once Upon A Time (O) ABC 1.55 1.52 0.03 2.59 Renewed
10 () The 100 (O) CW 0.55 0.64 -0.09 0.00 Moderate
9 () Gotham FOX 1.51 1.53 -0.03 2.65 Low
11 () iZombie (O) CW 0.55 0.64 -0.09 0.85 Moderate
13 () Vampire Diaries (O) CW 0.51 0.64 -0.14 1.09 Low
15 () Limitless (O) CBS 1.41 1.58 -0.17 2.63 Moderate
12 () Agents of SHIELD (O) ABC 1.39 1.52 -0.13 2.39 Renewed
14 () Angel from Hell (O) CBS 1.42 1.58 -0.16 0.00 Cancelled
16 () The Originals (O) CW 0.41 0.64 -0.23 0.82 Low
17 () The Last Man on Earth (O) FOX 1.26 1.53 -0.27 2.03 Medium
18 () Heroes Reborn (O) NBC 1.21 1.58 -0.37 2.31 Cancelled
25 () You Me and the Apocalypse NBC 0.74 1.58 -0.84 0.00 Elevated
19 () Scream Queens (O) FOX 1.05 1.53 -0.48 1.89 Renewed
24 () Second Chance (O) FOX 0.70 1.53 -0.83 0.00 High
22 () Agent Carter (O) ABC 0.80 1.52 -0.72 0.00 Medium
21 () Sleepy Hollow (O) FOX 0.86 1.53 -0.67 1.63 High
20 () Grimm (O) (F) NBC 0.92 1.58 -0.66 1.73 Medium
23 () Minority Report (O) FOX 0.71 1.53 -0.82 1.24 High
26 () Galavant (O) ABC 0.64 1.52 -0.88 0.00 Moderate

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 March 9th (metric definitions below):

Series Net Std Avg Prior Yr Avg Var Cancel Alert
The Walking Dead AMC 6.58 7.37 -0.79 Renewed
Into the Badlands AMC 1.79 n/a n/a 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 0.38 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 0.30 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
Bitten Syfy 0.11 0.20 -0.09 Renewed
Guardians of the Galaxy DXD 0.10 n/a n/a Renewed
Shadowhunters Free 0.45 n/a n/a Low
The Shannara Chronicles MTV 0.39 n/a n/a Moderate
Damien A&E 0.31 n/a n/a Moderate
Beowulf Esq 0.04 n/a n/a Moderate
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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *