If you have an active campaign to support a struggling sci fi / fantasy show or save a cancelled one, send us the information at cancelledscifi [at] gmail [dot] com and we will pass it along.
The Nielsen ratings continue to drive the fate of the shows currently on television (and yes, the networks do look at the overnights despite what they will tell you). But the tide is changing and fans have social media as a powerful tool to let the networks know that there is a larger audience out there than what the ratings are measuring (and/or failing to capture). Live tweeting when an episode airs is the best way for fans to show their support. And hashtag campaigns throughout the week are a good idea as well. The other social media sites should also play into this. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and whatever the latest one is can all provide a means for fans to support their shows and get the word out for other people to start watching. Also, buying episodes from VOD services like Amazon Instant Video and iTunes will help if done en masse as part of an organized effort, because that goes directly to the bottom line for a show (and takes the Nielsens out of the equation). This is your Call to Action to make your voices (and numbers) known and to do your part to save your favorite shows.
Renewal fever continues and The Last Man on Earth is the latest struggling show that has been saved from the Network Executioner. But there are still several more awaiting word on their fate and a strong show of support from fans on the social networks could definitely help as we head toward the Upfronts in May when the networks will announce their schedules for the 2016-17. Below are the struggling sci fi / fantasy shows that have not been renewed yet and my estimation of whether fans can still help them:
(Links are to the shows’ pages on this site where you can find their season to date ratings results and latest status updates.)
Agent Carter (ABC): It was not included in ABC’s first round of renewals and Haley Atwell has been cast in an upcoming pilot. Plus, Agent Carter‘s executive producers have said that chances of a third season look “bad”. But then a rumor has emerged that ABC has decided to bring the show back for a third season, so perhaps the network is at least considering it. All the more reason for fans to make noise in support of the show to convince the network it deserves a third season.
Angel from Hell (CBS): CBS has officially cancelled this show and yanked it from the schedule, so don’t expect it back on that network for anything more than a burn-off run. But its numbers were not that bad and if fans were to make a strong show of support then another network (maybe TBS) or one of the streaming services might consider taking a flyer on it. The window is closing quickly on this one, though.
Galavant (ABC): The (historically low) ratings would seem to dictate that this show will not be back for a third season, but maybe it gets swept up in the current “just renew it, baby!” wave. Seems unlikely, but perhaps fans could spin a little ditty on the social nets that would convince ABC (or more importantly that network’s owner Disney) to keep it around as a fill-in show for another year.
Grimm (NBC): Update: Renewed for a 6th season.
This one is at all-time lows, but then so are a lot of shows currently airing on the broadcast networks. I’m thinking its chances are looking better because of the renewal fever and the fact that it plugs up an hour on low-viewership Fridays. But fans need to show their support right now if they don’t want this one to end without getting the chance to resolve its storylines.
Heroes Reborn (NBC): The second of only two official genre cancellations this season, could NBC execs be persuaded to change their minds on this one? That network’s ratings have tumbled in 2016 and this show’s numbers don’t look too bad in retrospect. Plus, another season is just further padding to the Heroes syndication run (where shows really start to turn a profit). I’m thinking the window is closed on this one, but it fans make a strong showing right now maybe it still has a slight chance (and no, sister channel Syfy will not pick it up due to the expense and the extensive development they already have in the pipeline).
Limitless (CBS): Don’t drink the Kool-Aid CBS Boss Leslie Moonves is offering by claiming all of the network’s freshman shows will be renewed. New entry Angel from Hell has already been axed and Limitless is currently performing below where that show was when it was sent to the Network Executioner. Plus, Limitless is certainly more expensive to produce. Fans need to make a strong show of support and let CBS know they are out their before that network (which is known to have an aversion to sci fi shows) squashes this promising new entry.
Lucifer (FOX): Update: Renewed for a second season.
This show started quite strong with The X-Files as its lead-in, but it has dropped considerably since its January bow. It still believe it has a decent chance, but a show of support from fans could make the difference as FOX is trying to hammer out its schedule for next year.
Minority Report (FOX): This one is for all practical purposes cancelled, but I know that fans were trying to make a show of support a while back. Unless that turns into a resounding roar, I’m thinking this one is done.
Second Chance (FOX): Like Minority Report, this show is cancelled in all but name and it never developed much of an audience to begin with. I haven’t heard much from fans, but if they are out there they need to organize now and make their voices heard.
The Shannara Chronicles (MTV): This show might actually be okay if it has significant international financing backing it. Its ratings have been low, but the delayed viewing gains are strong which is more meaningful for the cable shows. I know this one has a vocal fanbase out there, so it would be a good idea for them to make their presence known now to help sway the powers-that-be to give it a second season.
Sleepy Hollow (FOX): The numbers for this show are at all-time lows and it does not get the third season show status because of its shortened episode orders. FOX has space to fill on its schedule next year with American Idol not coming back, but I have to believe they are looking elsewhere (maybe Lucifer) with Sleepy Hollow at such low levels. I know this show has a dedicated fanbase and they need to make noise right now to let the network know people are watching.
Stitchers (Freeform): This show never saw high ratings in its first season and has returned even lower in its second year. Of course it appeared on the schedule without much prior notice, so that’s not much of a surprise. It apparently has a very vocal fanbase out their, though, so they should definitely take to the social nets to bring attention to this one.
You Me and the Apocalypse (NBC): This fun little apocalyptic comedy was dumped on the schedule with little promotion and in an hour that NBC has struggled with of late. Its early numbers suggested it might be able to survive taking into account the international partnership with the British Sky channel, but it has since sunk to historically low levels for a Big Four broadcast network show. It will almost certainly not return to NBC, but if fans make a show of support maybe Sky will be convinced to seek a new partner. Two of its stars are already moving on to new projects, though, so its chances seem real slim at the moment.