Cancellation Watch: The Ratings-Pocalypse Continues as the Numbers for the Spring and Summer Shows Not Named Game of Thrones Remain Low

By | June 28, 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.

ratings-pocalypseThe Ratings-Pocalypse officially began during the regular 2015-16 season when we saw numbers across the broadcast networks and cable channels start off at all-time lows in Fall and sink even further during the season. And the same remains true for the Spring and Summer shows with every genre entry (and the same is mostly true for non-sci fi shows) that is not named Game of Thrones seeing all-time low ratings (GoT is one of the few shows on all of television that has actually seen a year over year gain). AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead is still pulling relatively decent numbers overall with a 2.2 ratings average based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic, but it is down a notable 42% from its numbers last year. That network’s new series Preacher bowed to decent numbers for a cable show in May as it started with a 0.9 rating, but it has slipped closer to the 0.5 range the last couple of weeks. TNT’s The Last Ship is down about 30% from its Season 2 average, but it has had some scheduling issues and stiff competition, and it did improve this last Sunday despite airing opposite the record-breaking GoT season finale. All three of Syfy’s Spring shows are struggling mightily with Wynonna Earp leading at only a 0.13 average, 12 Monkeys well down from last year at a 0.11 average and Hunters barely registering with a 0.09 average. BBC America’s Orphan Black only averaged a 0.10 score for its fourth year and while Starz’s Outlander started off its second season strong it has slipped to the 0.15 range or lower the last few weeks. MTV’s Scream is down about 30% from last year, though that one is still scoring well on the social networks.  New entries Cleverman on Sundance and Outcast on Cinemax have posted sub 0.10 scores thus far, though neither of those channels are known for pulling in high ratings. And the Live+7 numbers are not doing much to move the needle on most of these shows either. Even though they may be seeing one to two hundred percent gains, that still keeps the final score below the 0.5 level, once considered the minimum threshold for the overnights for a cable show to survive. On the broadcast networks, FOX’s new entry Houdini & Doyle was a dud out of the gate as is freshman series Braindead on CBS. Second year show Wayward Pines returned down year over year, though in line or maybe even a little better than the drop FOX shows saw during the regular season. But that show has slipped further the last few weeks and is currently at barely passable numbers for a Summer Entry. All this is bad news for upcoming returning shows like Zoo, Killjoys, and Dark Matter. None of those counted as hits last year and will have a hard time keeping their heads above water in the current sinking environment. Interestingly, Game of Thrones proves that there is still an audience out there that will tune in on a regular basis if engaged, but with so many options in the Too-Much-TV-Era, it’s hard for shows to find and hold onto an audience each year. At some point the Ratings-Pocalypse is going to take its toll on the current television landscape (even though development is full steam ahead for now) and the bloated number of scripted shows will surely start to shrink at that point.

Ratings results for the sci fi / fantasy shows airing Monday June 20th thru Sunday June 26th (metric definitions below):

(Links are to the show pages on this site with season to date ratings results and status updates)

Series Airs Rating % Chng Tot Viewers STD Avg Net Avg Cancel Alert
Houdini and Doyle FOX, Mon 9 PM 0.4 0.0% 1.8 0.6 1.5 Elevated
12 Monkeys Syfy, Mon 9 PM 0.1 +10.0% 0.4 0.1 n/a Medium
Braindead CBS, Mon 10 PM 0.5 -28.6% 3.5 0.6 1.5 Elevated
Scream MTV, Mon 10 PM 0.1 -23.5% 0.3 0.2 n/a Moderate
Hunters Syfy, Mon 12 AM 0.1 -30.0% 0.3 0.1 n/a Elevated
Containment CW, Tue 9 PM 0.3 0.0% 0.9 0.4 0.6 Cancelled
Person of Interest CBS, Tue 10 PM 1.0 +25.0% 6.5 1.0 1.5 Final Season
Wayward Pines FOX, Wed 9 PM 0.7 0.0% 2.3 0.8 1.5 Low
Cleverman SUND, Wed 10 PM 0.0 -50.0% 0.1 0.0 n/a Renewed
Beauty and the Beast CW, Thu 9 PM 0.2 0.0% 0.8 0.0 0.6 Renewed
Orphan Black BBCA, Thu 10 PM Season Ended n/a n/a 0.1 n/a Renewed
Outcast CIN, Fri 10 PM 0.1 0.0% 0.2 0.1 n/a Renewed
Wynonna Earp Syfy, Fri 10 PM 0.1 +40.0% 0.4 0.1 n/a Moderate
Outlander Starz, Sat 9 PM 0.2 +15.4% 0.9 0.2 n/a Renewed
Fear the Walking Dead AMC, Sun 9 PM On Hiatus n/a n/a 2.2 n/a Renewed
Game of Thrones HBO, Sun 9 PM 4.4 +13.0% 8.9 3.9 n/a Renewed
The Last Ship TNT, Sun 9 PM 0.6 +46.2% 2.4 0.5 n/a Low
Preacher AMC, Sun 10 PM 0.5 +14.0% 1.4 0.7 n/a Low
Penny Dreadful SHOW, Sun 10 PM Series Ended n/a 0.6 0.2 n/a Ended

Chart Activity: Game of Thrones slipped slightly to Number 2 on Weekly Nielsen Twitter Rating Top 10 for its season finale, behind only the BET Awards for the week. GoT of course remained at Number 1 in the cable Top 25 based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic and total viewers for its record-breaking season finale. The Last Ship did not make the Top 25, but it would have been right about Number 26 or 27 based on its total viewers numbers for its second Season 3 episode.  Person of Interest improved to Number 22 on the broadcast net Top 25 based on the overnights and Number 10 based on total viewers for its series finale.

(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 2 1
Game of Thrones Cable Top 25 (18-49 Demo) 1 1
Game of Thrones Cable Top 25 (Total Viewers) 1 1
Person of Interest Broadcast Net Top 25 (18-49 Demo) 22 n/a
Person of Interest Broadcast Net Top 25 (Total Viewers) 10 12

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

2 thoughts on “Cancellation Watch: The Ratings-Pocalypse Continues as the Numbers for the Spring and Summer Shows Not Named Game of Thrones Remain Low

  1. Patricia Hampton

    Miss your favorite show? No problem, catch it on demand. The problem isn’t the shows. Twentieth century ratings schemes are being used to rate twenty first century viewing habits. That is the problem. Networks could get a far better picture of what their shows are doing with Twitter and Facebook analytics than with the outdated Neilsons

  2. yahama

    Containment CW, Tue 9 PM 0.3 0.0% 0.9 0.4 0.6 Renewed

    not Renewed but cancelled.


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