Cancellation Watch: Grimm’s Sixth Season Will Have Fewer Episodes, Game of Thrones Returns Strong, Plus the Ratings Roundup

By | April 26, 2016

Unless otherwise noted, the ratings numbers below are based on the final overnights and may vary slightly from the preliminaries reported on the Cancelled Sci Fi Twitter Site.

grimm-s5Shortened Season: NBC recently renewed their long-running supernatural drama Grimm for a sixth season, but last week the network announced that they had only ordered thirteen episodes for the coming year instead of the typical twenty two for a returning show.  It could also get a late start next year, possibly around mid-season, instead of its typical bow which is usually close to Halloween.  So what exactly does this mean for the show?  In part, it represents schedule shuffling by the networks because they have so many returning shows due to the renewal fever they caught this year.  But I believe they could also be positioning this show for its exit.  Its numbers were at all-time lows this season (but that was true of many shows in the current ratings-pocalypse environment), so the sixth season could be its opportunity to wrap up all its storylines.  The network may end up using the show as schedule spackle, filling in holes while other shows are on break or running it at typically low viewership times of year.  But the network also does not appear to have completely given up on the series like CBS did with Person of Interest at about this time last year, as they have said that more episodes could still be ordered for Grimm‘s sixth season.   But I take this as a sign that the end could be near and that the creative team will likely approach next season as its last.  It has had a good run, though, and it will get to an episode count of over 120 if those thirteen are all that remains.  But it gets the chance to go out on its own terms which is more than many genres can say, and fans should at least appreciate that.

Ratings Results of Interest:  On Sunday, HBO’s Game of Thrones returned at a 4.0 rating based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic with 7.9 million total viewers.  That’s up from the 3.6 score the show had for its Season 5 finale, but down a bit from the 4.2 rating for its debut last year.  But in the current ratings environment, that still counts as a big win and it was the most watched show across all the cable and broadcast channels on Sunday.  Fear the Walking Dead took a distant second as it slipped to a 2.1 rating with 4.7 million total viewers.  I’m not certain why AMC wanted to put that one directly up against Game of Thrones because it was certain to lose that battle, but it was still above everything else except GoT on the cable and broadcast channels.  On Saturday, Outlander held mostly steady with a 0.28 rating and I am expecting a renewal announcement for that one at any time.  On Friday, Syfy’s Wynonna Earp slipped a full ratings point to a 0.08 score.  That one’s numbers have not been too impressive thus far in its first season and I currently consider it a Call to Action show that needs immediate support from its fans.  On Thursday, The CW’s Legends of Tomorrow slipped to a 0.6 rating when the finals came out which had it at its lowest point for the season.  I believe the ratings drop-off that show has been seeing of late is a clear sign that viewers are not happy with the diminishing quality of the writing and that show will need to course-correct for its second season.  Comedy Central’s “3 Night Event” Time Traveling Bong had a decent bow for a cable show last Wednesday, but dropped each night to end with only a 0.14 rating on Friday and a three night average of a 0.24 score.  If that was a tryout for an ongoing series, its prospects do not look great at this point.  I covered the Monday thru Thursday shows plus the scorecards in the Friday Cancellation Watch post at this link.

Ratings results for the sci fi / fantasy shows airing Monday April 18th thru Sunday April 24th (metric definitions below):

Links are to the show pages on this site where status updates and season to date numbers have been updated through Sunday.

Series Airs Rating % Chng Tot Viewers STD Avg Net Avg Cancel Alert
Gotham FOX, Mon 8 PM 1.2 0.0% 3.7 1.4 1.5 Renewed
Supergirl CBS, Mon 8 PM 1.3 0.0% 6.1 1.7 1.5 Low
Lucifer CBS, Mon 9 PM 1.3 +18.2% 2.0 1.5 1.5 Renewed
The Magicians Syfy, Mon 9 PM Season Ended n/a n/a 0.3 n/a Renewed
12 Monkeys Syfy, Mon 9 PM 0.1 n/a 0.5 0.1 n/a Moderate
Hunters Syfy, Mon 10 PM 0.1 -37.5% 0.5 0.1 n/a Moderate
Damien A&E, Mon 10 PM 0.2 -11.1% 0.4 0.2 n/a Moderate
Bitten Syfy, Mon 11 PM 0.1 n/a 0.4 0.1 n/a Final Season
The Flash CW, Tue 8 PM 1.2 n/a 3.0 1.4 0.6 Renewed
Agents of SHIELD ABC, Tue 9 PM 0.9 -10.0% 2.8 1.2 1.5 Renewed
Containment CW, Tue 9 PM 0.5 n/a 1.7 0.5 0.6 Renewed
Stitchers Free, Tue 10 PM 0.2 -6.3% 0.4 0.2 n/a Moderate
Limitless CBS, Tue 10 PM 1.1 n/a 5.6 1.4 1.5 Moderate
Arrow (R) CW, Wed 8 PM 0.3 n/a 1.1 1.0 0.6 Renewed
Supernatural (R) CW, Wed 9 PM 0.3 n/a 0.9 0.7 0.6 Renewed
Time Traveling Bong CC, Wed 10:30 PM 0.4 n/a 0.6 0.2 n/a Moderate
Legends of Tomorrow CW, Thu 8 PM 0.6 -14.3% 1.8 0.8 0.6 Renewed
The 100 CW, Thu 9 PM 0.4 0.0% 1.2 0.5 0.6 Renewed
Orphan Black BBCA, Thu 10 PM 0.1 +37.5% 0.3 0.0 n/a Low
Time Traveling Bong CC, Thu 10:30 PM 0.2 -40.5% 0.4 0.2 n/a Moderate
Vampire Diaries CW, Fri 8 PM 0.4 0.0% 1.0 0.5 0.6 Renewed
Slasher Chill, Fri 9 PM 0.0 0.0% 0.1 0.0 n/a Low
The Originals CW, Fri 9 PM Preempted n/a n/a 0.4 0.6 Renewed
Grimm NBC, Fri 9 PM 0.9 +12.5% 3.9 0.9 1.6 Renewed
Wynonna Earp Syfy, Fri 10 PM 0.1 -55.6% 0.6 0.2 n/a Moderate
Time Traveling Bong CC, Fri 10:30 PM 0.1 -36.4% 0.3 0.2 n/a Moderate
Outlander Starz, Sat 9 PM 0.3 +3.7% 1.2 0.3 n/a Low
Beowulf ESQ, Sat 10 PM Season Ended n/a n/a 0.0 n/a Elevated
Once Upon A Time ABC, Sun 8 PM 1.2 0.0% 3.8 1.4 1.5 Renewed
Fear the Walking Dead AMC, Sun 9 PM 2.1 -16.2% 4.7 2.6 n/a Renewed
Game of Thrones HBO, Sun 9 PM 4.0 n/a 7.9 0.0 n/a Renewed
The Last Man on Earth FOX, Sun 9:30 PM 0.9 -18.2% 2.1 1.2 1.5 Renewed

Chart Activity: As expected, Game of Thrones made it into the Weekly Nielsen Twitter Rating Top 10 for its debut week and I expect it to stick around on that chart for most of the season.  GoT also topped the cable Top 25 based on the overnights and total viewers, knocking Fear the Walking Dead into the Number 2 slot on both those charts for the week.  Supergirl managed to slip back into the broadcast net Top 25 based on the overnights for its season finale as did Lucifer.

(Updated for the broadcast network and cable Top 25 chart activity)

Series Chart Curr Wk Rank Prior Wk Rank
Game of Thrones Nielsen Twitter Ratings Top 10 3 n/a
Game of Thrones Cable Top 25 (18-49 Demo) 1 n/a
Game of Thrones Cable Top 25 (Total Viewers) 1 n/a
Fear the Walking Dead Cable Top 25 (18-49 Demo) 2 1
Fear the Walking Dead Cable Top 25 (Total Viewers) 2 1
Lucifer Broadcast Net Top 25 (18-49 Demo) 22 n/a
Supergirl Broadcast Net Top 25 (18-49 Demo) 21 n/a

Be sure keep an eye out for the latest numbers and any breaking news throughout the week at the Cancelled Sci Fi Twitter Site. You can see the status of all the currently airing sci fi / fantasy shows at the Cancellation Watch page and also the latest Sci Fi TV Power Rankings post. And for more information on where I get these numbers and how I make my Cancellation Alert assessments, check out the Cancelled Sci Fi FAQ.

Metric Definitions:

Series: (R) indicates a repeat airing

Rating: Overnight rating in the 18-49 demographic for same day viewing based on the final numbers unless otherwise noted

% Chng: The percentage change +/- for this week’s rating vs. last week’s rating (if a new episode aired last week).

Tot Viewers: Estimated total viewers (age 2+) to tune in to the episode for same day viewing.

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.

Cancellation 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.

Source: ShowBuzzDaily and TV by the Numbers

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