Cancellation Watch: In the Too-Much-TV Era, the Networks are Saying “Just Renew It, Baby!”; Plus the Ratings Roundup

By | March 15, 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.

the-100-cw-cancelledRenewal Fever:  The ratings are going down the toilet in the Too-Much-TV era with so many viewing options continuing to fragment the audience (possibly breaking 500 scripted shows this year across the broadcast nets, cable channels, and streaming services).  But the networks have apparently decided to take a “Don’t worry, be happy!” attitude and say “Just renew it, baby!”  Despite double-digit losses in viewership for some networks, we are seeing record renewal rates, at least among the sci fi / fantasy offerings.  Here’s the shows that have been renewed so far in the 2015-16 season: The 100 (CW), Agents of SHIELD (ABC), Arrow (CW), Ash vs Evil Dead (Starz), Colony (USA), The Expanse (Syfy), The Flash (CW), Into the Badlands (AMC), iZombie (CW), Jesica Jones (Netflix), The Leftovers (HBO), Legends of Tomorrow (CW), The Librarians (TNT), The Magicians (Syfy), The Man in the High Castle (Amazon), Once Upon A Time (ABC), The Originals (CW), Scream Queens (FOX), Shadowhunters (ABCF), Star Wars Rebels (DXD), Supernatural (CW), Teen Wolf (MTV), Vampire Diaries (CW), The Walking Dead (AMC), Z Nation (Syfy).  That’s 25–count ’em, 25 (!) –renewals this season alone (plus, Cinemax has renewed Robert Kirkman’s upcoming Outcast for a second season before it has even aired).  Against that there have only been two cancellations: Angel from Hell (CBS), and Heroes Reborn.  Who says that the networks don’t give shows a chance before cancelling them?  (Okay, to be fair, CBS really didn’t give Angel from Hell a chance).  And while we may be at a record high number of scripted shows across the broadcast networks, cable channels, and streaming services, the bubble hasn’t burst yet and it doesn’t look like this is the season that will happen.

So let’s take a look at the shows that haven’t been renewed yet and gauge their chances of continuing into another season.  FOX’s Gotham looks like a lock.  It has performed consistently well all season and is right about even with that network’s current ratings average.  The X-Files revival also looks like a lock for another round assuming they can get the cast and crew back, though I’m assuming some of that was worked out in advance considering the cliffhanger it ended on.  Lucifer also has a decent chance despite its falling numbers because FOX has slots to fill on the schedule next season with American Idol not coming back.  The ratings have been dropping for the new CBS series Supergirl, but I’m still thinking that one will manage to survive into a second season (though not because of the recent promise from network exec Leslie Moonves).  A&E’s Damien still has a chance. despite pulling lower numbers than last year’s cancelled The Returned. if it has sufficient international financing backing it.  Then there are several shows that I previously believed were on their way out that might get a lifeline from the current renewal fever.  These include Agent Carter (ABC), Galavant (ABC), Grimm (NBC), Limitless (CBS), The Last Man on Earth (FOX), The Shannara Chronicles (MTV), and Sleepy Hollow (FOX).  I go into more detail on each of these in my latest Call to Action post.  The shows that I believe have almost no chance at the moment are Minority Report (FOX), Second Chance (FOX), and You, Me, and The Apocalypse (NBC), but who knows?  It’s the feel good era for the networks and maybe one or more of those does manage to survive for another season.  We should know the fate of just about all of these by the time the broadcast networks announce their schedules for the 2016-17 season at the May Upfronts.  But early renewal announcements have been the order of the day, so expect most of these decisions to be made before those presentations come around and be sure to keep a close eye on this site and the Cancelled Sci Fi Twitter Site for updates and breaking announcements over the coming weeks and months.

And in the spirit of the current renewal fever, I am giving reasons why shows still awaiting word on their fates should be renewed in the ratings roundup section below.

Ratings results for the sci fi / fantasy shows airing Monday February 7th thru Sunday March 13th (metric definitions below):

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

Gotham FOX Mon 3/7 8 PM
Rating: 1.5 | % Chng PW: 0.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 4.5 | StD Rating: 1.5 | Net Avg: 1.5 | Cancellation Alert: Low

Just Renew It, Baby!  It has performed consistently well all season and FOX has extra hours to schedule next season since American Idol will not be back.

Chart Activity: This show improved to Number 17 (up from Number 24) in the broadcast network Top 25 based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic.

Supergirl CBS Mon 3/7 8 PM
Rating: Preempted | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): n/a | StD Rating: 1.8 | Net Avg: 1.6 | Cancellation Alert: Low

Just Renew It, Baby!  Sure, it’s numbers have dropped, but The CW Arrow-verse shows have proved there is an audience for the DC Comics shows.  And maybe this show start bringing in more familiar faces from the comics like The Flash and Arrow have been doing.

Lucifer CBS Mon 3/7 9 PM
Rating: 1.3 | % Chng PW: 0.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 4.2 | StD Rating: 1.7 | Net Avg: 1.6 | Cancellation Alert: Moderate

Just Renew It, Baby!  Tom Ellis is great in the lead role and this show can be a ton of fun at times.  But maybe ease off the procedural format because the declining viewership suggests the audience has grown board with that.

Chart Activity: This show returned to the Top 25 based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic at Number 23 (it dropped off the chart last week).

The Magicians Syfy Mon 3/7 9 PM
Rating: 0.3 | % Chng PW: +8.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.7 | StD Rating: 0.3 | Net Avg: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

It held mostly steady for the week and has already been renewed for a second season.

Damien A&E Mon 3/7 10 PM
Rating: 0.3 | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.8 | StD Rating: 0.3 | Net Avg: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Moderate

Just Renew It, Baby!  It debuted lower than last year’s cancelled The Returned (which aired on the same network), but the numbers are okay for cable of late and this show has name recognition.

Lost Girl Syfy Mon 3/7 10 PM
Rating: 0.1 | % Chng PW: +9.1% | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.4 | StD Rating: 0.1 | Net Avg: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Final Season

It remained low and it is currently in its final season.

Bitten Syfy Mon 3/7 11 PM
Rating: 0.1 | % Chng PW: +22.2% | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.3 | StD Rating: 0.1 | Net Avg: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Final Season

This show also remained low as it airs out its final season.

The Flash(R) CW Tue 3/8 8 PM
Rating: 0.3 | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): 1.2 | StD Rating: 1.4 | Net Avg: 0.6 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

The third season renewal came as expected which means that it will speed right into a fourth year because it will have the third season show status on its side–one more year will get it to a syndication friendly count of episodes. So this one is locked in for at least a couple more years.

Agent Carter ABC Tue 3/8 9 PM
Rating: Season Ended | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): 2.4 | StD Rating: 0.8 | Net Avg: 1.5 | Cancellation Alert: Medium

Just Renew It, Baby!  Critics love it, fans love it, and it can get tacked on to the Agents of SHIELD syndication run especially if it has one more season to better establish the link between the two (Agent Carter is essentially SHIELD: The Beginning).  It makes sense all around to bring it back.

Agents of SHIELD ABC Tue 3/8 9 PM
Rating: 1.1 | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): 3.5 | StD Rating: 1.4 | Net Avg: 1.5 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

This show gets another season in which it will likely hand off the Avengers tie-in baton to upcoming spin-off series Marvel’s Most Wanted.

iZombie(R) CW Tue 3/8 9 PM
Rating: 0.3 | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.7 | StD Rating: 0.6 | Net Avg: 0.6 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

It escaped the Network Executioner and maybe will continue to do so as long as The CW wants to be the happy network and issue blanket renewals of all its shows.

Shadowhunters Free Tue 3/8 9 PM
Rating: 0.4 | % Chng PW: +16.2% | Tot Viewers (MM): 1.0 | StD Rating: 0.5 | Net Avg: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

The second season pickup for this show came as no surprise especially considering the renewal fever sweeping across all the networks these days.

Teen Wolf MTV Tue 3/8 9 PM
Rating: 0.4 | % Chng PW: -11.9% | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.8 | StD Rating: 0.4 | Net Avg: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

It slipped a bit for its season finale but it has already been renewed for a sixth year.  How much longer it sticks around beyond that remains to be seen, but it has at least another year or so ahead of it.

Limitless CBS Tue 3/8 10 PM
Rating: 1.1 | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): 5.4 | StD Rating: 1.4 | Net Avg: 1.6 | Cancellation Alert: Moderate

Just Renew It, Baby!  This show was doing decent for a 10 PM EST entry until CBS started preempting it and running too many repeats.  Bring it back and cut out the scheduling hi jinks.

The Shannara Chronicles MTV Tue 3/8 10 PM
Rating: Season Ended | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.9 | StD Rating: 0.4 | Net Avg: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Moderate

Just Renew It, Baby!  It’s overnights aren’t great but it picks up a lot of viewers with delayed viewing.  Plus, it is an established franchise and will almost certainly play well in the international market.

Arrow(R) CW Wed 3/9 8 PM
Rating: 0.3 | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): 1.1 | StD Rating: 1.0 | Net Avg: 0.6 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

No surprise on the renewal for this one, and it probably has at least a couple more years in it.

Supernatural(R) CW Wed 3/9 9 PM
Rating: 0.3 | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): 1.0 | StD Rating: 0.7 | Net Avg: 0.6 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

A record-busting twelfth season for this show (as expected).  The march for 20 seasons begins now!

Star Wars Rebels(R) DXD Wed 3/9 9:30 PM
Rating: 0.1 | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.4 | StD Rating: 0.1 | Net Avg: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

This show was in repeats last week but returns this week with a new episode.  And it has already been renewed for a third season.

Legends of Tomorrow CW Thu 3/10 8 PM
Rating: 0.7 | % Chng PW: -22.2% | Tot Viewers (MM): 2.0 | StD Rating: 0.9 | Net Avg: 0.6 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

It’s coming back, though don’t be surprised if they change up the format some to make it less expensive.  But there are still plenty of Arrow-verse characters (including Constantine) that they can run through this one.

You Me and the Apocalypse NBC Thu 3/10 8 PM
Rating: 0.5 | % Chng PW: 0.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 2.2 | StD Rating: 0.7 | Net Avg: 1.6 | Cancellation Alert: Elevated

Just Renew It, Baby!  It’s a ton of fun and there’s nothing else quite like it on television.  Keep it around a little longer.

The 100 CW Thu 3/10 9 PM
Rating: 0.4 | % Chng PW: -20.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 1.2 | StD Rating: 0.6 | Net Avg: 0.6 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

It escaped the Network Executioner once again, and depending on the episode order it could be in the syndication stretch next year which would guarantee it a fifth season  (no promises on that yet, though).

Colony USA Thu 3/10 10 PM
Rating: 0.4 | % Chng PW: +12.1% | Tot Viewers (MM): 1.1 | StD Rating: 0.4 | Net Avg: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

This show improved a bit as it winds down its first season and it has already been renewed for a second year.

Vampire Diaries CW Fri 3/11 8 PM
Rating: Preempted | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): n/a | StD Rating: 0.5 | Net Avg: 0.6 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

It got the expected renewal, though that could be its last season.  Then again, who knows?  Maybe this one chases Supernatural‘s record!

Sleepy Hollow FOX Fri 3/11 8 PM
Rating: 0.8 | % Chng PW: +14.3% | Tot Viewers (MM): 2.9 | StD Rating: 0.9 | Net Avg: 1.5 | Cancellation Alert: High

Just Renew It, Baby!  It has an established audience and it plugs a hole in the schedule on lower viewership Fridays.  And if they give it a twenty two episode order, that gets it into the syndication stretch.

Slasher Chill Fri 3/11 9 PM
Rating: 0.0 | % Chng PW: -50% | Tot Viewers (MM): 0.1 | StD Rating: 0.0 | Net Avg: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Low

Just Renew It, Baby!  This one has a good chance of coming back because Chiller is more concerned with establishing itself as a producer of original content than the overnight ratings at this point.

The Originals CW Fri 3/11 9 PM
Rating: Preempted | % Chng PW: n/a | Tot Viewers (MM): n/a | StD Rating: 0.4 | Net Avg: 0.6 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

It is coming back for a fourth season as expected, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they wrap it up about that point.

Second Chance FOX Fri 3/11 9 PM
Rating: 0.5 | % Chng PW: 0.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 1.9 | StD Rating: 0.7 | Net Avg: 1.5 | Cancellation Alert: High

Just Renew It, Baby!  It says it in the title: this one should get a second chance.  Maybe better promotion could bring more viewers in if it were to come back.

Grimm NBC Fri 3/11 9 PM
Rating: 0.9 | % Chng PW: -10.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 3.9 | StD Rating: 0.9 | Net Avg: 1.6 | Cancellation Alert: Medium

Just Renew It, Baby!  This is a long running show for NBC and has an established audience.  And it plugs up an hour on low viewership Fridays.  Plus, it is just further padding to its syndication package, so the network is guaranteed to see a return on its investment.

Beowulf ESQ Sat 3/12 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 3/13 8 PM
Rating: 1.3 | % Chng PW: 0.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 4.3 | StD Rating: 1.5 | Net Avg: 1.5 | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

It held steady for the week and it will be coming back for a sixth season.

The Walking Dead AMC Sun 3/13 9 PM
Rating: 6.0 | % Chng PW: -3.1% | Tot Viewers (MM): 12.5 | StD Rating: 6.5 | Net Avg: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

It slipped a bit for the week, but it is still by far the highest rated scripted show on all of television and already renewed for a seventh season

Chart Activity:  This show held steady at 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 it improved to Number 1 based on total viewers (up from Number 2).  Post-show discussion series The Talking Dead was at Number 3 on both those charts.

The Last Man on Earth FOX Sun 3/13 9:30 PM
Rating: 1.1 | % Chng PW: 0.0% | Tot Viewers (MM): 2.6 | StD Rating: 1.3 | Net Avg: 1.5 | Cancellation Alert: Elevated

Just Renew It, Baby!  It’s not an expensive show to produce and its numbers aren’t that much lower than Family Guy. Keep it around for another season.

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.

Leave a Reply

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