Cancellation Watch Hit List: Limitless, Damien, and Stitchers Among the Shows On The Bubble

By | April 18, 2016

You can find the latest edition of the Hit List at this link

limitless-open-your-mindIn what has been a wild season so far, the ratings continue to tumble but the networks continue to renew shows as they have apparently decided to white-knuckle it and keep as many familiar faces around as possible during the downward spiral. We have seen the renewals of over two dozen genre entries during the 2015-16 season including ratings challenged shows like Scream Queens, The Last Man on Earth, iZombie, and Grimm. The networks (especially the cable channels) are definitely not looking to the overnights as much this season, but that appears to be more out of desperation as they don’t seem to know what to cling to in the current ratings-pocalypse environment. The cable nets are increasingly turning to international financing and partnerships to keep their shows viable. The broadcast networks seem to be clinging to shows that are at or within grasp of a syndication friendly count of episodes. But other factors are working their way into the decision-making process as well and it is becoming increasingly more difficult to gauge the fate of shows in these turbulent times for the linear channels.

For these reasons, the Power Rankings that I previously published to show where all the currently airing and returning shows stand were becoming increasingly less accurate and I will be replacing them (for now at least) with the more stream-lined Cancellation Watch Hit List. This new list breaks the shows into categories similar to what I previously used for the Power Rankings and it also shows some of the current ratings statistics available for each of these shows. The ranking is by these categories without an attempt to get at a more granular show by show standing. This gives you a quick view of how all the shows currently stand, with those cancelled or in danger of cancellation rising to the top of the list. For more information on specific shows, you can click on the link to the show page where you will see the season to date ratings numbers plus status updates. I will provide an overview of the shows in each of the categories below with any significant updates and/or recent developments. And this list will come out about once a month, sometimes more often when significant renewal/cancellation activity occurs. So check out where your favorite shows stand in the current list and let us know in the comments your thoughts on the new format for the rankings.

Cancelled/Ending: The latest show to move into this category is the NBC/Sky joint venture You, Me, and the Apocalypse. That show slipped to historically low levels for a Big Four broadcast net entry, though I thought that there was a chance that Sky might keep it going if they could find another partner. That’s not happening, though, and you can read more about that at this link.

Cancellation Likely: It appears that British entry Beowulf (airing on Esquire in the U.S.) will not return for a second season, but I still have not seen an official announcement on that one. FOX’s Minority Report and Second Chance have been cancelled in all but name for a while, and we will probably get the official word on those around the time of next month’s Upfronts (you can see the timing of that at this link).

On the Bubble: FOX’s Sleepy Hollow has moved from the Cancellation Likely category it previously held in the Power Rankings to On the Bubble because word is that it still has a chance of returning for a fourth season, in part because FOX has hours to fill on the schedule with American Idol departing. More on that at this link. And Agent Carter is still hanging in there with its chances for a third season ranging from “bad” based on the word of the producers to pretty good depending on what rumors you believe. More on that at this link. Freeform’s Stitchers has returned to poor ratings in its second season, but that show does have a loyal fanbase and if they can keep it trending on the social networks then it still has a chance. A&E’s Damien has yet to find much of an audience and that one may have to rely on international financing/partnerships to survive into a second season.  All of these (as well as the Cancellation Likely entries) count as Call to Action shows and you can read more about each of them at this link.

wynonna-earp-syfy-cancelledRenewal Possible: Syfy’s two new shows, Wynonna Earp and Hunters, have both bowed to pretty low numbers (and expect similar levels from 12 Monkeys which has its Season 2 debut tonight), but that network is definitely paying much less attention to linear viewing. It is trying to drive viewership to its website and I’m sure “stickiness” on the social nets helps as well. Plus, it has typically given first year shows a second season to prove themselves of late, so the freshman entries could be okay for now. Chiller’s Slasher is their first attempt at scripted programming and is a joint venture with the Canadian Sky Channel, so I like its chances for a second season. And Orphan Black depends more heavily on its viewership on the Space Channel in Canada, so its low Season 4 debut on BBC America is not too concerning.

Renewal Likely: Despite the ratings for Supergirl dropping off during the second half of its first season, I still like its chances of coming back for a sophomore year. And the return of The X-Files revival is likely just a matter of hammering time out of the schedules of the principal players (David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Chris Carter, etc.). Outlander looks like a lock for a third season after its strong S2 debut, and we could hear word on that any day. And Netflix’s Daredevil will certainly get a third season as long as that fits in with the over-arching plans of their Defenders team-up concept.

Renewed: Among the recent renewals, NBC’s Grimm and FOX’s The Last Man on Earth were a bit of a surprise, and both would have likely got the ax in seasons past based on their viewership declines. But these are both examples of the networks sticking with familiar names as the current model for television viewing is starting to unravel. Plus, additional seasons for Grimm are just padding to that show’s already lucrative syndication run, and The Last Man on Earth is likely an inexpensive entry and the network wants to keep a good relationship with the show’s producers.

Following is the full list which gives a snapshot of all the currently airing and returning sci fi / fantasy shows with their renewal / cancellation prospects. This is sorted by the Hit List Status (see definitions below) then by series name.

Hit List Status Series Network / Airs (EST) Cancellation Alert StD Rating Net Avg Live+7 Rating
Cancelled/Ending 11-22-63 Hulu / Streaming Mini-Series n/a n/a n/a
Cancelled/Ending Angel from Hell CBS / Thu 9:30 PM Cancelled 1.4 1.5 1.9
Cancelled/Ending Beauty and the Beast CW / Thu 8 PM Final Season 0.2 n/a n/a
Cancelled/Ending Bitten Syfy / Mon 11 PM Final Season 0.2 n/a n/a
Cancelled/Ending Heroes Reborn NBC / Thu 8 PM Cancelled 1.2 1.4 2.1
Cancelled/Ending The Leftovers HBO / Sun 10 PM Final Season 0.3 n/a 0.7
Cancelled/Ending Lost Girl Syfy / Mon 10 PM Final Season 0.2 n/a n/a
Cancelled/Ending Person of Interest CBS / Mon/Tue 10 PM Cancelled 1.5 n/a n/a
Cancelled/Ending You Me and the Apocalypse NBC / Thu 8 PM Cancelled 0.7 1.4 n/a
Cancellation Likely Beowulf Esq / Sat 9 PM Elevated 0.0 n/a n/a
Cancellation Likely Minority Report FOX / Mon 9 PM High 0.7 1.5 1.2
Cancellation Likely Second Chance FOX / Fri 9 PM High 0.6 1.5 0.9
On the Bubble Agent Carter ABC / Tue 9 PM Medium 0.8 1.4 1.4
On the Bubble Damien A&E / Mon 10 PM Moderate 0.2 n/a n/a
On the Bubble Galavant ABC / Sun 8 PM Moderate 0.6 1.4 0.9
On the Bubble Limitless CBS / Tue 10 PM Moderate 1.4 1.5 2.4
On the Bubble The Shannara Chronicles MTV / Tue 10 PM Moderate 0.4 n/a 1.0
On the Bubble Sleepy Hollow FOX / Fri 9 PM Medium 0.8 1.5 1.5
On the Bubble Stitchers ABC Family / Tue 10 PM Moderate 0.3 n/a n/a
Renewal Possible 12 Monkeys Syfy / Mon 9 PM Moderate 0.2 n/a n/a
Renewal Possible Hunters Syfy / Mon 10 PM Moderate 0.2 n/a n/a
Renewal Possible Orphan Black BBCA / Sat 10 PM Low 0.2 n/a n/a
Renewal Possible Slasher Chill / Fri 9 PM Low 0.0 n/a n/a
Renewal Possible Wynonna Earp Syfy / Fri 10 PM Moderate 0.2 n/a n/a
Renewal Likely Daredevil Netflix / Streaming Low n/a n/a n/a
Renewal Likely Outlander Starz / Sat 9 PM Low 0.4 n/a n/a
Renewal Likely Supergirl CBS / Mon 8 PM Low 1.7 1.5 2.6
Renewal Likely The X-Files FOX / Sun 9 PM Low 3.2 1.5 4.9
Renewed The 100 CW / Thu 9 PM Renewed 0.5 0.6 1.0
Renewed Agents of SHIELD ABC / Tue 9 PM Renewed 1.3 1.4 2.3
Renewed American Horror Story FX / Wed 10 PM Renewed 1.5 n/a n/a
Renewed Arrow CW / Wed 8 PM Renewed 1.0 0.6 1.6
Renewed Ash vs Evil Dead Starz / Sat 9 PM Renewed 0.2 n/a n/a
Renewed Between Netflix / Streaming Renewed n/a n/a n/a
Renewed Colony USA / Thu 10 PM Renewed 0.4 n/a 0.8
Renewed Dark Matter Syfy / TBD Renewed 0.2 n/a n/a
Renewed Deadbeat Hulu / Streaming Renewed n/a n/a n/a
Renewed Doctor Who BBCA / Sat 9 PM Renewed 0.4 n/a 0.7
Renewed The Expanse Syfy / Tue 10 PM Renewed 0.2 n/a 0.5
Renewed Fear the Walking Dead AMC / Sun 9 PM Renewed 3.1 n/a n/a
Renewed The Flash CW / Tue 8 PM Renewed 1.4 0.6 2.3
Renewed From Dusk Till Dawn El Rey / TBD Renewed 0.1 n/a n/a
Renewed Game of Thrones HBO / Sun 9 PM Renewed 3.5 n/a n/a
Renewed Gotham FOX / Mon 8 PM Renewed 1.5 1.5 2.6
Renewed Grimm NBC / Fri 9 PM Renewed 0.9 1.4 1.7
Renewed Guardians of the Galaxy DXD / Sat 9 PM Renewed 0.1 n/a n/a
Renewed Humans AMC / TBD Renewed 0.4 n/a n/a
Renewed Into the Badlands AMC / Sun 10 PM Renewed 1.8 n/a n/a
Renewed iZombie CW / Tue 9 PM Renewed 0.5 0.6 0.9
Renewed Jessica Jones Netflix / Streaming Renewed n/a n/a n/a
Renewed Killjoys Syfy / TBD Renewed 0.2 n/a n/a
Renewed The Last Man on Earth FOX / Sun 9 PM Renewed 1.2 1.5 2.0
Renewed The Last Ship TNT / Sun 9 PM Renewed 0.7 n/a n/a
Renewed Legends of Tomorrow CW / Thu 8 PM Renewed 0.9 0.6 1.6
Renewed The Librarians TNT / Sun 8 PM Renewed 0.5 n/a n/a
Renewed Lucifer FOX / Mon 9 PM Renewed 1.5 1.5 2.7
Renewed The Magicians Syfy / Mon 10 PM Renewed 0.3 n/a 0.6
Renewed The Man in the High Castle Amazon / Streaming Renewed n/a n/a n/a
Renewed Once Upon A Time ABC / Sun 8 PM Renewed 1.4 1.4 2.5
Renewed The Originals CW / Fri 8 PM Renewed 0.4 0.6 0.8
Renewed Penny Dreadful SHOW / Sun 10 PM Renewed 0.2 n/a n/a
Renewed Powers Play Station / Streaming Renewed n/a n/a n/a
Renewed Salem WGN / TBD Renewed 0.1 n/a n/a
Renewed Saving Hope ION / Tue 11 PM Renewed 0.0 n/a n/a
Renewed Scream MTV / Tue 10 PM Renewed 0.3 n/a n/a
Renewed Scream Queens FOX / Tue 9 PM Renewed 1.1 1.5 1.9
Renewed Sense8 Netflix / Streaming Renewed n/a n/a n/a
Renewed Shadowhunters ABCF / Tue 9 PM Renewed 0.4 n/a 0.9
Renewed Star Wars Rebels DXD / Wed 9 PM Renewed 0.1 n/a 0.3
Renewed The Strain FX / Sun 10 PM Renewed 0.6 n/a n/a
Renewed Supernatural CW / Wed 9 PM Renewed 0.7 0.6 1.2
Renewed Teen Wolf MTV / Tue 9 PM Renewed 0.4 n/a 0.8
Renewed Vampire Diaries CW / Fri 8 PM Renewed 0.5 0.6 1.0
Renewed The Walking Dead AMC / Sun 9 PM Renewed 6.5 n/a 9.5
Renewed Wayward Pines FOX / Wed 9 PM Renewed 1.1 n/a n/a
Renewed Z Nation Syfy / TBD Renewed 0.3 n/a n/a
Renewed Zoo CBS / TBD Renewed 1.1 n/a n/a

Metric Definitions:

Hit List Status: Category indicating the show’s cancellation/renewal prospects.

Cancelled/Ending: This includes cancelled shows from the current season as shows that are in or headed into their final seasons.  Mini-series that have wrapped their runs will be included here as well.

Cancellation Likely: These shows have seriously underperformed in their current season and appear surely headed to cancellation.

On the Bubble: These shows have delivered moderately low numbers which could put their renewal chances in jeopardy.

Renewal Possible: These shows may not be top performers, but are currently doing well enough that renewal looks like a decent possibility.

Renewal Likely: These shows have performed well enough so far in their current season that a renewal seems almost assured.

Cancellation Alert: My prediction of the likelihood that a show will get cancelled (which are more granular than the Hit List Status above). From least to most likely the statuses are Low, Moderate, Medium, Elevated, and High.

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, non-special, non-repeat programming.  This data is available for the broadcast networks only.

Live+7 Rtg: The season to date average rating based on the Live+7 delayed viewing numbers for the days that data is available.


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