Cancellation Watch: Renewal Fever Saves The Last Man on Earth; Plus the Scorecards

By | March 25, 2016

last-man-on-earth-S2Renewal Fever Continues: Despite the ratings nose dive we are seeing this season, the broadcast networks have caught the renewal fever and continue to say “Just renew it, baby!” The latest beneficiary of this is FOX’s low-rated sci fi sitcom The Last Man on Earth. That network announced late yesterday that the show will be returning for a third season even though the outlook for it has been grim all year. It went on a long hiatus after Fall and returned earlier this month only to get preempted after only two new episodes had aired. That made it look like the network was using the show as schedule spackle, but apparently FOX has decided to keep it around for another year. As a sitcom, it is less expensive to produce than the typical hour long drama and this show in particular does not have much in the way of casting demands. It has been performing notably below its network average all season (see rank on the scorecard below), and its delayed viewing gains have not been particularly high either. Both TV by the Numbers and TV Grimm Reaper were more optimistic about its fate, but I had pretty much written if off when it didn’t receive a return date after it wrapped up in Fall. But as the ratings-pocalypse sets in, it appears evident that the networks are preferring to hold on to as many known properties as possible.

With that in mind, I’m thinking the chances for the higher rated Lucifer are looking much better now, though it needs to hold steady or possibly even improve its numbers. I am also liking Grimm’s chances of coming back for a sixth season much more now and would even say that Sleepy Hollow still has a chance. But I still consider those two Call to Action shows and recommend that fans remain as active as possible on the social networks to help their chances. Among the broadcast network shows that I still consider certain cancellations are Minority Report, Second Chance, and You, Me, and the Apocalypse. Galavant and Agent Carter are still toss-ups, so if fans can get the names of those shows trending on the social networks it would certainly work in their favor.

The Scorecards: There was not much movement on the broadcast network scorecard other than a few slight shifts with some shows trading places. Agents of SHIELD did slip a bit further as it dropped to a series low this week. But it has already reaped the benefits of the current renewal fever and will be coming back for a fourth season.

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 24th (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 1.48 1.69 n/a Low
2 (2) The Flash (O) CW 1.40 0.66 0.74 2.29 Renewed
3 (3) Arrow (O) CW 1.00 0.66 0.34 1.73 Renewed
4 (4) Legends of Tomorrow (O) CW 0.93 0.66 0.27 n/a Renewed
5 (5) Supergirl CBS 1.72 1.55 0.17 2.79 Low
6 (6) Once Upon A Time (O) ABC 1.49 1.38 0.11 2.59 Renewed
7 (7) Lucifer FOX 1.58 1.48 0.10 n/a Moderate
8 (8) Supernatural (O) CW 0.73 0.66 0.08 1.25 Renewed
9 (10) Gotham FOX 1.48 1.48 0.00 2.65 Renewed
10 (9) Agents of SHIELD (O) ABC 1.32 1.38 -0.06 2.39 Renewed
11 (12) The 100 (O) CW 0.55 0.66 -0.11 n/a Renewed
12 (13) iZombie (O) CW 0.55 0.66 -0.11 0.85 Renewed
13 (14) Angel from Hell (O) CBS 1.42 1.55 -0.13 n/a Cancelled
14 (15) Vampire Diaries (O) (F) CW 0.51 0.66 -0.15 1.09 Renewed
15 (16) Limitless (O) CBS 1.39 1.55 -0.16 2.63 Moderate
16 (11) Heroes Reborn (O) NBC 1.21 1.40 -0.19 2.31 Cancelled
17 (18) The Last Man on Earth (O) FOX 1.25 1.48 -0.23 2.03 Medium
18 (17) The Originals (O) (F) CW 0.41 0.66 -0.24 0.82 Renewed
19 (20) Scream Queens (O) FOX 1.05 1.48 -0.42 1.89 Renewed
20 (19) Grimm (O) (F) NBC 0.92 1.40 -0.48 1.73 Medium
21 (21) Agent Carter (O) ABC 0.80 1.38 -0.58 n/a Medium
22 (23) Sleepy Hollow (O) (F) FOX 0.85 1.48 -0.62 1.63 High
23 (22) You Me and the Apocalypse NBC 0.70 1.40 -0.70 n/a Elevated
24 (24) Galavant (O) ABC 0.64 1.38 -0.74 n/a Moderate
25 (25) Minority Report (O) FOX 0.71 1.48 -0.77 1.24 High
26 (26) Second Chance (O) (F) FOX 0.66 1.48 -0.82 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 23rd (metric definitions below):

Series Net Std Avg Prior Yr Avg Var Cancel Alert
The Walking Dead AMC 6.50 7.37 -0.87 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 0.43 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 0.14 0.15 -0.01 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 0.24 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 0.10 0.20 -0.10 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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