Cancellation Watch: The Daylight Savings Time Effect Is Definitely Dragging Down the Ratings; Plus the Scorecards

By | March 18, 2016

supergirl-cbs-cancelledThe DST Effect: As I had mentioned in a previous post, it’s time for the broadcast network ratings to slip again as the Daylight Savings Time effect kicks in.  This occurs each year after the changing the clocks in Spring, and typically we see the ratings results–already at historically low levels this season–slip.  Whether this is because people haven’t caught up to the time change yet or they are outside enjoying the sunlight or some other reason, I can’t say.  But it has been a predictable yearly trend and we already see its impact this week.  Almost all the genre shows that have had new episodes on the broadcast nets this week have slipped to all-time lows.  Supergirl (CBS) dropped to a 1.3 rating, Gotham (FOX) a 1.3 rating, Lucifer (FOX) a 1.2 rating, Agents of SHIELD (ABC) 1.0 rating. Limitless (CBS) did not drop but remained at its series low 1.1 score, while You, Me, and The Apocalypse actually improved to a 0.6 rating (based on the preliminaries), but that’s not enough to help it much.  At this point in the season, though, I don’t know that the drops will make too much of an impact because they won’t drag down the overall season to date averages too much.  But for a few struggling shows like Limitless and Lucifer, the current lows could work against them.  Then again, with the current renewal fever, maybe the drops will not make too much of a difference.   This has been a pretty crazy season thus far and it’s hard to make good predictions with ratings at historic lows but renewal rates unusually high.

The Scorecards: There was not much change in the broadcast net scorecard ranking this week, though Limitless continues to slip down as its numbers remain low.  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 17th (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 1.55 1.62 n/a Low
2 (2) The Flash (O) CW 1.42 0.67 0.75 2.29 Renewed
3 (3) Arrow (O) CW 1.02 0.67 0.35 1.73 Renewed
4 (4) Legends of Tomorrow (O) CW 0.93 0.67 0.26 n/a Renewed
5 (5) Supergirl CBS 1.74 1.57 0.17 2.79 Low
6 (6) Once Upon A Time (O) ABC 1.53 1.37 0.16 2.59 Renewed
7 (7) Lucifer FOX 1.63 1.55 0.08 n/a Moderate
8 (8) Supernatural (O) CW 0.74 0.67 0.07 1.25 Renewed
9 (9) Agents of SHIELD (O) ABC 1.36 1.37 -0.01 2.39 Renewed
10 (10) Gotham FOX 1.49 1.55 -0.06 2.65 Renewed
11 (11) Heroes Reborn (O) NBC 1.21 1.32 -0.11 2.31 Cancelled
12 (12) The 100 (O) CW 0.55 0.67 -0.12 n/a Renewed
13 (13) iZombie (O) CW 0.55 0.67 -0.12 0.85 Renewed
14 (14) Angel from Hell (O) CBS 1.42 1.57 -0.15 n/a Cancelled
15 (16) Vampire Diaries (O) (F) CW 0.51 0.67 -0.16 1.09 Renewed
16 (15) Limitless (O) CBS 1.39 1.57 -0.18 2.63 Moderate
17 (17) The Originals (O) (F) CW 0.41 0.67 -0.26 0.82 Renewed
18 (18) The Last Man on Earth (O) FOX 1.25 1.55 -0.30 2.03 Medium
19 (19) Grimm (O) (F) NBC 0.92 1.32 -0.40 1.73 Medium
20 (20) Scream Queens (O) FOX 1.05 1.55 -0.49 1.89 Renewed
21 (21) Agent Carter (O) ABC 0.80 1.37 -0.57 n/a Medium
22 (22) You Me and the Apocalypse NBC 0.71 1.32 -0.60 n/a Elevated
23 (23) Sleepy Hollow (O) (F) FOX 0.86 1.55 -0.69 1.63 High
24 (24) Galavant (O) ABC 0.64 1.37 -0.73 n/a Moderate
25 (25) Minority Report (O) FOX 0.71 1.55 -0.84 1.24 High
26 (26) Second Chance (O) (F) FOX 0.68 1.55 -0.87 n/a 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 March 16th (metric definitions below):

Series Net Std Avg Prior Yr Avg Var Cancel Alert
The Walking Dead AMC 6.54 7.37 -0.83 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
Shadowhunters Free 0.44 n/a n/a 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 0.15 0.15 0.00 Renewed
Guardians of the Galaxy DXD 0.10 n/a n/a Renewed
The Shannara Chronicles MTV 0.39 n/a n/a Moderate
Damien A&E 0.26 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
Bitten 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.

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