Cancellation Watch: Hunters Has a Modest Debut for Syfy, The Upfronts are Coming, Plus the Scorecards

By | April 15, 2016

hunters-syfy-cancelledSeries Debut: Syfy’s new series Hunters had its first season bow on Monday and could only muster a 0.16 rating based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic with 540k total viewers.  That has to be another disappointing debut for that network (Wynonna Earp only saw a 0.2 rating with its April premiere), but it doesn’t necessarily doom the show either.  That network has typically been working out international partnerships and/or financing for its original series that help keep them afloat despite disappointing overnights.  And it has also been pushing for digital viewing (both those new shows are available on Syfy.com) as the network has realized that the linear audience is dying off.  Plus, Syfy has typically given its shows two seasons to prove themselves of late (Olympus is the only show from the last few years that did not get a second season).  And the cable channels are paying much more attention to the delayed viewing these days because that is important to their international partners.  So despite somewhat modest debuts, I’m not writing off Hunters or Wynonna Earp, but neither do I consider these shows strong performers.  Cable entries like this are hard to predict because too many intangibles are involved, so I have both at a Moderate Cancellation Alert level and I will likely leave them there until we hear final word on whether they will survive into a second season.

The Upfronts:  Renewal fever continues this season with FOX’s Lucifer being the latest beneficiary of that trend, but there are still quite a few genre entries awaiting word on their fate.  Among those, Supergirl (CBS) and The X-Files (FOX) appear to be the most likely to get renewals, while shows like Limitless (CBS), Agent Carter (ABC), and Sleepy Hollow (FOX) are still hanging in there (those last two just barely).  But when will we know for certain the fate of the remaining shows that have yet to receive a renewal or cancellation notice?    For the 2015-16 season shows, the deadline for those announcements will be the upcoming Upfronts when the networks make their presentations to the advertisers.  This is when they announce their schedules for the 2016-17 season and we find out for certain which shows will survive into another year and which ones get ushered off the schedule by the Network Executioner.  Generally all the announcements come at the end of the week before and/or the weekend preceding the Upfronts.  But sometimes negotiations go to the eleventh hour (as they did last year with Person of Interest) and we do not find out until right before the network’s presentation.  Below is the Upfront schedule for the broadcast networks and the NBC Universal Cable presentation on Thursday will included channels like Syfy and USA (though I seem to remember Syfy doing a separate presentation earlier last year).  So if we have not heard any announcements before these dates, then we should learn the final verdicts by the time of the presentation.  Sometimes, one or two shows may be held in limbo for a week or two after the Upfronts (like Hannibal a few seasons back).  But for most, their fate is determined by the dates below or before.  As for the cable shows that have debuted since the beginning of April, we may not hear word on those for a while.  But the broadcast nets are on the clock and have to have things tidied up by the Upfronts.  Here is the full schedule for the broadcast networks and NBC Universal Cable:

2016 Upfronts:
May 16, 2016 NBC-TV Morning
May 16, 2016 Fox Afternoon
May 17, 2016 ABC-TV Afternoon
May 18, 2016 CBS-TV Afternoon
May 19, 2016 The CW Morning
May 19, 2016 NBC Universal Cable Afternoon

The Scorecards: There was not a whole lot of movement on the broadcast network scorecard, though Lucifer did slip as predicted due to its continued ratings slide and the fact that Empire is skewing FOX’s numbers.  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 April 13th (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 1.49 1.68 4.90 Low
2 (2) The Flash (O) CW 1.39 0.63 0.76 2.29 Renewed
3 (3) Arrow (O) CW 0.98 0.63 0.35 1.62 Renewed
4 (4) Legends of Tomorrow (O) CW 0.88 0.63 0.25 1.64 Renewed
5 (5) Supergirl CBS 1.69 1.53 0.17 2.56 Low
6 (7) Supernatural (O) CW 0.72 0.63 0.09 1.23 Renewed
7 (8) Once Upon A Time (O) ABC 1.42 1.35 0.07 2.47 Renewed
8 (6) Lucifer FOX 1.50 1.49 0.01 2.70 Renewed
9 (9) Gotham FOX 1.45 1.49 -0.03 2.57 Renewed
10 (10) Agents of SHIELD (O) ABC 1.26 1.35 -0.10 2.28 Renewed
11 (11) iZombie (O) CW 0.53 0.63 -0.10 0.85 Renewed
12 (13) Angel from Hell (O) CBS 1.42 1.53 -0.11 1.90 Cancelled
13 (12) The 100 (O) CW 0.52 0.63 -0.11 0.95 Renewed
14 (14) Vampire Diaries (O) (F) CW 0.49 0.63 -0.14 0.99 Renewed
15 (15) Limitless (O) CBS 1.38 1.53 -0.15 2.44 Moderate
16 (16) Heroes Reborn (O) NBC 1.21 1.41 -0.20 2.13 Cancelled
17 (17) The Originals (O) (F) CW 0.41 0.63 -0.23 0.78 Renewed
18 (18) The Last Man on Earth (O) FOX 1.21 1.49 -0.27 2.00 Renewed
19 (19) Scream Queens (O) FOX 1.05 1.49 -0.43 1.89 Renewed
20 (20) Grimm (O) (F) NBC 0.92 1.41 -0.49 1.71 Renewed
21 (21) Agent Carter (O) ABC 0.80 1.35 -0.55 1.43 Medium
22 (22) Sleepy Hollow (O) (F) FOX 0.82 1.49 -0.66 1.49 Medium
23 (24) Galavant (O) ABC 0.64 1.35 -0.71 0.85 Moderate
24 (23) You Me and the Apocalypse NBC 0.69 1.41 -0.72 n/a Cancelled
25 (25) Minority Report (O) FOX 0.71 1.49 -0.78 1.24 High
26 (26) Second Chance (O) (F) FOX 0.65 1.49 -0.84 0.87 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 April 13th (metric definitions below):

Series Net Std Avg Prior Yr Avg Var Cancel Alert
The Walking Dead AMC 6.48 7.37 -0.88 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 0.41 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 0.29 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
Fear the Walking Dead AMC 3.08 3.79 -0.71 Low
Outlander STARZ 0.39 0.30 0.09 Low
Slasher Chill 0.02 n/a n/a Low
The Shannara Chronicles MTV 0.39 n/a n/a Moderate
Damien A&E 0.20 n/a n/a Moderate
Hunters Syfy 0.16 n/a n/a Moderate
Wynonna Earp Syfy 0.18 n/a n/a Moderate
Beowulf Esq 0.04 n/a n/a Elevated
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 -0.11 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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