If you have an active campaign to support a struggling sci fi / fantasy show or save a cancelled one, send us the information at cancelledscifi [at] gmail [dot] com and we will pass it along.
The Nielsen ratings continue to drive the fate of the shows currently on television (and yes, the networks do look at the overnights despite what they will tell you). But the tide is changing and fans have social media as a powerful tool to let the networks know that there is a larger audience out there than what the ratings are measuring (and/or failing to capture). Live tweeting when an episode airs is the best way for fans to show their support. And hashtag campaigns throughout the week are a good idea as well. The other social media sites should also play into this. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and whatever the latest one is can all provide a means for fans to support their shows and get the word out for other people to start watching. Also, buying episodes from VOD services like Amazon Instant Video and iTunes will help if done en masse as part of an organized effort, because that goes directly to the bottom line for a show (and takes the Nielsens out of the equation). This is your Call to Action to make your voices (and numbers) known and to do your part to save your favorite shows.
The Upfronts–when the networks presented their upcoming schedules to the advertises–have come and gone with several renewals and cancellations in their wake. Among the cancelled shows that were previously Call to Action entries are Agent Carter (ABC), Damien (A&E), Galavant (ABC), Limitless (CBS), Minority Report (FOX), and Second Chance (FOX). There is still a fight to save Agent Carter and I believe that Limitless fans are mounting an effort as well (more on those below). The only two renewals from the previous Call to Action list were Sleepy Hollow (FOX), and Supergirl (CBS moving to The CW). That means that quite a number of shows have dropped off the list, but there are still several of the struggling Spring cable entries that could benefit from a show of support from fans. Here are the current shows in need of support:
(Links are to the shows’ pages on this site where you can find their season to date ratings results and latest status updates.)
12 Monkeys (Syfy): This show was never a stronger performer in the ratings in its first season and it has returned at even lower levels in its second year, currently averaging only a 0.11 rating based on the overnights. It has already used the Escape-the-Network-Executioner-Free card that Syfy tends to give its first season shows, and it is likely on a short leash at this point. As a cable entry, it may have international financing / partnerships helping it, though a show of support from fans could definitely give it a boost. Syfy has been paying close attention to the digital viewing lately as well, so if you watch it on their website, that will be counted (as opposed to watching it live during the linear broadcast or on the DVR which is only counted for Nielsen families). And buzz on the social networks has been helping cable shows of late as well. If fans of this show want it to stick around for a third season, they need to get active and make sure Syfy knows they are out there, and an organized effort to purchase episode downloads as well as the first season DVD could help as well.
Agent Carter (ABC): The cancellation for this show did not come as a huge surprise because of its ratings drop-off, but fans are mounting an effort to get it back for a third season. There is currently an online petition to convince Netflix to pick up the show which has just under 120k signatures as of this writing and that is shooting for a goal of 150k. Series star Haley Atwell has indicated that she would be willing to do “whatever it takes” to bring the show back for another season. In this case, the petition and social network activity are nice, but an organized campaign to purchase episodes online as well as the first season DVD would speak louder. That could help it get a direct-to-DVD movie if nothing else. This show still has a chance and fans should stay active in their support.
Houdini & Doyle (FOX): This late season entry that comes to FOX in a partnership with ITV started out with low ratings (even if you count it as a Summer show) and has continued to slip. All indications are that it has not registered with audiences on either side of the Atlantic, but if there is a fanbase out there for the show they should get active right now!
Hunters (Syfy): This has been the lowest rated of Syfy’s Spring entries and the network just recently kicked it to the midnight hour on Mondays. That suggests that they may have revoked its Escape-the-Network-Executioner-Free card and it is only burning off its remaining episodes at this point. A show of support from fans may help, but it will have to be a roar to convince Syfy to keep Hunters around for a second year.
Limitless (CBS): CBS basically kicked this show to the curb and you can read my thoughts about that at this link. The network indicated that they were shopping it around, but I’m guessing they did not put too much effort into it. But this show still has a ton of potential. It is a recognized franchise with Bradley Cooper’s name attached, so you would think another network or one of the streaming services would be interested, but the asking price from CBS (they own the show) may just be too high. There is currently an online petition out there, but it does not have too many signatures yet and the window may be just about closed on this one.
Stitchers (Freeform): This show has ended its second season and its ratings were lower than the already tepid numbers it had for its first year. I know it has a very vocal fanbase, though, and they need to get active now to let Freeform know that they are out there. I’m thinking that a campaign to purchase episode downloads might help as well.
Wynonna Earp (Syfy): This has been the highest rated of Syfy’s Spring shows (though that’s not saying much at only a 0.14 season to date average based on the overnights) and this is not an expensive show to produce. Plus, I know this one has a vocal fanbase out there, and they need to get active to bring attention to the show. I’m thinking a good show of support will convince Syfy to let it play its Escape-the-Network-Executioner-Free card and return for a second season.