Late Friday announcements rarely bring good news for television shows as was the case yesterday when A&E announced that first-year supernatural horror series Damien will not be continuing on to a second season. That show pulled low ratings throughout its first season run, averaging just a 0.2 score based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic and it did not see much in the way of delayed viewing gains (the cable channels give more weight to those stats than the broadcast nets). Its numbers were below cancelled The Returned which averaged a 0.4 score in the same timeslot last year, and Damien was typically losing over half the audience from its lead-in Bates Motel. The cancellation announcement does not come as a huge surprise based on the low ratings, though it is often hard to predict the cable shows because they bring in international financing and partnerships that allow them to survive with very low scores in U.S. audience viewership. WGN’s Salem is heading into its third season after barely averaging a 0.1 rating during its second year, and Syfy’s Dark Matter and Killjoys averaged a 0.2 rating last Summer and are both returning for a second season. Apparently Damien, which acted as a sequel to the 1976 feature film, did not have sufficient global backing to keep it going and it wraps up its run after one year.
Other cable shows currently awaiting word on their fate include Stitchers (Free), 12 Monkeys (Syfy), Hunters (Syfy), Wynonna Earp (Syfy), and all of those are pulling numbers at or below what Damien had. Keep an eye on this site and the Cancelled Sci Fi Twitter Site for word on those shows and more in the coming weeks.