Cancellation Watch: Recap of Last Week’s Breaking News, Still No Word on Limitless, Plus the Ratings Roundup

By | May 17, 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.

agent-carter-cancelledRenewal/Cancellation Recap: Plenty of renewal / cancellation announcements came last week, though I believe that the rumor mill run-up braced us pretty well for the Thursday / Friday news onslaught.  Among the renewals, there were only two genre entries (so far): Supergirl (CBS but moving to The CW) and Sleepy Hollow (FOX).  Among the cancellations were Agent Carter (ABC), Galavant (ABC), Second Chance (FOX), Minority Report (FOX), and Containment (CW).  FOX’s The X-Files has not been officially renewed, but apparently it is just a scheduling issue with the show’s principals and it looks like that one will be back for the 2017-18 season.  There is no word yet on Limitless (CBS), which I go into in more detail below.  As for the renewals, Supergirl was no big surprise and we had already been hearing rumors of the move to The CW which makes a lot of sense because it can team up with that net’s other superhero shows The Flash, Arrow, et al.  Had Supergirl held on to the early ratings it had, CBS would have been happy to keep that one on its schedule.  But it was too expensive to justify keeping it going on that network based on the ratings it slipped to by season end.  Over on the fifth place network, it will go through some cost cutting, but that should set it up for success on that channel going forward.  FOX’s Sleepy Hollow is an interesting story in that it is probably one of the few renewed genre shows that its fans didn’t want to come back (enraged by the drop-off in the quality of the writing and that major character death in the season finale).  Considering how low its ratings slipped by Spring, I can only imagine what its numbers will look like when it returns next season.  Among the cancellations, fans were holding out hope that Agent Carter would survive to a third season and the rumors were all over the board for that one.  But ABC decided to cut ties based on its ratings declines and now there is an active campaign to get the show picked up by Netflix.  None of the other cancellations came as a surprise considering their ratings lows and also the fact that The CW’s Containment appeared to be a dead-show-walking when it debuted in April.  Houdini & Doyle counts as a Spring / Summer entry, so FOX didn’t bother with an announcement on that one yet, but expect it to get axed based on the abysmal numbers it has pulled thus far.

Waiting Game: The only broadcast network genre entry from the 2016-17 season still awaiting word on its fate is CBS freshman series Limitless.  That one has delivered moderate overnight ratings in its Tuesday 10 PM EST timeslot but has seen significant gains in delayed viewing which the network claims it is paying more attention to.  That said, Deadline Hollywood reported last week that it looks unlikely that Limitless will continue into a second season on CBS and that the producers are currently shopping it around.  But we have not seen a lot of success with show’s jumping networks over the last few years as Revolution, Forever, and Constantine have proved.  Their producers shopped them around and the shows had strong fanbases, but no other network or streaming service took a flyer on them.  Supergirl is moving to The CW as mentioned above, but CBS co-owns that network with Warner Bros who owns the show and there are plenty of synergies with the move due to the other superhero shows already airing there.  Limitless is not a candidate to move to the fifth place net (despite the fact that it is owned by CBS) and may find itself out in the cold.  The network should keep it around because it did okay in a difficult hour and it had a notable lift from DVR viewing.  ABC kicked Forever to the curb last year, a similar show that aired in the same timeslot with comparable ratings, and that hour has been a disaster for the network this season.  We should have the final word on Limitless by tomorrow when CBS presents its schedule, and I expect an uprising from the fans if the show gets axed.

Ratings results for the sci fi / fantasy shows airing Monday May 9th thru Sunday May 15th (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
Houdini and Doyle CBS, Mon 9 PM 0.6 -14.3% 2.4 0.7 1.5 Medium
12 Monkeys Syfy, Mon 9 PM 0.1 +9.1% 0.4 0.1 n/a Moderate
Damien A&E, Mon 10 PM 0.1 -17.6% 0.4 0.2 n/a Moderate
Person of Interest CBS, Mon 10 PM 1.0 -16.7% 5.8 1.1 1.5 Final Season
Hunters Syfy, Mon 10 PM 0.1 +28.6% 0.4 0.1 n/a Moderate
The Flash CW, Tue 8 PM 1.3 0.0% 3.5 1.4 0.6 Renewed
Agents of SHIELD ABC, Tue 9 PM 0.9 0.0% 2.9 1.2 1.4 Renewed
Containment CW, Tue 9 PM 0.5 0.0% 1.4 0.5 0.6 Cancelled
Stitchers Free, Tue 10 PM 0.2 +15.4% 0.4 0.1 n/a Moderate
Person of Interest CBS, Tue 10 PM 1.1 +10.0% 7.3 1.1 1.5 Final Season
Arrow CW, Wed 8 PM 0.8 +14.3% 2.2 1.0 0.6 Renewed
Supernatural CW, Wed 9 PM 0.7 +16.7% 1.7 0.7 0.6 Renewed
Legends of Tomorrow CW, Thu 8 PM 0.7 +16.7% 1.9 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 0.0% 0.2 0.1 n/a Low
Vampire Diaries CW, Fri 8 PM 0.4 +33.3% 1.0 0.5 0.6 Renewed
The Originals CW, Fri 9 PM 0.3 0.0% 0.8 0.4 0.6 Renewed
Grimm NBC, Fri 9 PM 0.8 n/a 3.4 0.9 1.5 Renewed
Wynonna Earp Syfy, Fri 10 PM 0.1 -13.3% 0.4 0.1 n/a Moderate
Outlander Starz, Sat 9 PM 0.2 0.0% 1.0 0.3 n/a Low
Once Upon A Time ABC, Sun 8 PM 1.2 +9.1% 4.1 1.4 1.4 Renewed
Fear the Walking Dead AMC, Sun 9 PM 1.9 -1.5% 4.5 2.3 n/a Renewed
Game of Thrones HBO, Sun 9 PM 3.9 +5.9% 7.8 3.8 n/a Renewed
The Last Man on Earth FOX, Sun 9:30 PM 0.9 n/a 2.2 1.2 1.5 Renewed
Penny Dreadful FOX, Sun 10 PM 0.2 n/a 0.6 0.2 1.5 Low

Chart Activity: Game of Thrones remained steady in Weekly Nielsen Twitter Rating Top 10 to the Number 3 slot, and Supernatural appeared in that chart for a second week in a row, though it slipped to the Number 10 slot (down from Number 6).  Game of Thrones remained at Number 1 on the cable charts based on the overnights for the 18-49 demo and on total viewers.  Fear the Walking Dead improved by one on both those charts, and only GoT and NBA playoff games were ahead of it.  Person of Interest improved to Number 21 in the broadcast net Top 25 based on total viewers, but only for its Tuesday airing.  Last week and this week the Monday airing has pulled lower numbers.

(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 3
Game of Thrones Cable Top 25 (18-49 Demo) 1 1
Game of Thrones Cable Top 25 (Total Viewers) 1 1
Fear the Walking Dead Cable Top 25 (18-49 Demo) 5 6
Fear the Walking Dead Cable Top 25 (Total Viewers) 6 7
Person of Interest (Tues) Broadcast Net Top 25 (Total Viewers) 21 23
Supernatural Nielsen Twitter Ratings Top 10 10 6

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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