Cancellation Watch: Westworld and Ash vs. Evil Dead Debut High in the Scorecard

By | October 7, 2016

westworld-hbo-cancelledHBO’s Westworld debuted this past Sunday and Starz’s Ash vs. Evil Dead returned for its second season and both shows posted decent numbers for their networks.  That has them in the Top 10 with their entry into the Fall Scorecard, and looking good for now.  Note that the Benchmark number for HBO does not include Game of Thrones as that show counts as an outlier.  Over on NBC, Timeless had a decent debut on Monday, but the show is further down in the Scorecard because that network’s average is skewed by a heavy dose of The Voice early in the season.  And The Good Place looks pretty bad for that network, all the way down at Number 17, but its numbers are actually in line with most of NBC’s scripted offerings.  Expect it to shift up in the coming weeks as the numbers settle.  FOX’s overall numbers remain low at this point, so it is hard to really gauge where all its shows stand.  But I do expect to see Scream Queens and The Last Man on Earth remain low on the Scorecard even after the numbers settle.  And The Exorcist‘s numbers are low enough that I don’t expect it to change much unless FOX wises up and reschedules it to a better night.  Where shows like Lucifer, Gotham, and Son of Zorn will stabilize remains to be seen.   Don’t fret about MacGyver being low on the list at the moment, CBS is the second best performing broadcast network at the moment (after NBC) for non-sports programming, so it is skewing the results, and that show’s numbers look good for a Friday entry.  If it holds steady where it is at, it should be okay.  Note that The Flash, Arrow, and Frequency had their debuts on The CW this week, but that network’s Monday, Thursday and Friday programming has not kicked in yet.  I want a full week’s worth of ratings before I add its shows to the Scorecard.  Look for them to show up in two weeks.

The scorecard ranks all of the sci fi & fantasy shows’ ratings performance vs. their network’s ratings benchmark (see definition below).  Shows at or above their benchmark should be okay, whereas those slipping notably below are getting into iffy territory.

Broadcast network scorecard based on the ratings through October 5th (metric definitions below):

Rank (PW) Series Net Std Avg Net Bench Var Live+3 Avg Rtg Cancel Alert
1 American Horror Story FX 1.49 0.60 0.89 n/a Renewed
2 Son of Zorn (O) FOX 1.70 1.25 0.45 2.60 Low
3 Westworld HBO 0.77 0.60 0.17 n/a Low
4 Z Nation Syfy 0.33 0.20 0.13 n/a Low
5 Star Wars Rebels DXD 0.15 0.10 0.05 n/a Low
6 Ash vs Evil Dead STARZ 0.21 0.20 0.01 n/a Low
7 Van Helsing Syfy 0.20 0.20 -0.01 n/a Low
8 Aftermath Syfy 0.18 0.20 -0.03 n/a Low
9 Lucifer FOX 1.20 1.25 -0.05 2.00 Low
10 Timeless NBC 1.90 1.98 -0.08 n/a Low
11 Gotham FOX 1.17 1.25 -0.08 2.00 Low
12 The Strain FX 0.44 0.60 -0.16 0.97 Renewed
13 Once Upon A Time (O) ABC 1.20 1.40 -0.20 n/a Low
14 MacGyver (O) (F) CBS 1.50 1.77 -0.27 n/a Low
15 The Last Man on Earth (O) FOX 0.95 1.25 -0.30 n/a Moderate
16 Scream Queens (O) FOX 0.85 1.25 -0.40 1.50 Moderate
17 The Good Place (O) NBC 1.58 1.98 -0.40 2.65 Low
18 Agents of SHIELD (O) ABC 1.00 1.40 -0.40 2.00 Moderate
19 The Exorcist (O) (F) FOX 0.80 1.25 -0.45 n/a Moderate

Metric Definitions:

Rank (PW): Current rank based on the variance of a show’s season to date ratings average vs. its network’s benchmark (see definition below).  The number in parenthesis is the prior week’s rank.

Series: (O) indicates the show is owned/produced by the network and/or a sister studio. (F) indicates the show airs on Friday when ratings expectations are lower. These typically just apply to the broadcast networks where they are more of a factor.

StD Avg:  The show’s season to date ratings average based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic.

Net Bench (Network Benchmark):  For the broadcast networks, this is the net’s season to date average rating based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic for non-sports, non-special, non-repeat broadcasts (for FOX, Empire is also excluded because it counts as an outlier).  For the cable channels, this is the lowest level at which a show is typically renewed by that network if there are enough genre entries on that channel to provide a decent sample.

Variance:  The variance between a show’s season to date average and the network benchmark as defined above.  The higher the variance, the better a show is performing vs. the network mean.

Live+3 Avg Rtg:  The show’s season to date ratings average based on delayed viewing up to three days past the live broadcast.  This data is not available for all shows.  Last year I had the Live+7 delayed viewing, but the availability of that data was very spotty so I am shifting to this metric.

Cancel 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.


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