Cancellation Watch: CBS Cancels Braindead after One Season, Plus the Ratings Roundup

By | October 18, 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.

braindead-cbs-cancelledCancellation Announcement: Coming as no surprise, CBS announced late yesterday that their Summer series Braindead has been cancelled. That sci fi political satire bowed with only a 0.7 rating based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic which are poor numbers even for a Summer entry. Its numbers went down from there, and the Network Executioner has been sharpening his ax the past few months waiting for the show to get sent to him. The series came from the producers of The Good Wife and it’s possible that the delay in announcing the cancellation could have been caused because they were trying to work out a deal like moving the show to the CBS All Access streaming service or continuing it on Amazon (they partnered with CBS on this one). But if that was the case, then nothing came of it and Braindead joins the ever-increasing heap of one-season-and-out shows in the Too-Much-TV-Era.

Ratings Results of Interest: On Friday, MacGyver remained low for CBS at a 1.1 rating based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic with 7.4 million total viewers, and it was also the lowest of that network’s shows on the night. But then it just got a full season order, so apparently CBS is happy enough with its performance to keep it around until May. The Exorcist remained at a 0.7 rating with two million total viewers for FOX and that one looks like it could be the next to fall to the Network Executioner unless the network shifts the show to a better timeslot. Over on Syfy, both Z Nation and Van Helsing saw slight improvements to their numbers and that latter show just learned it will be coming back for a second season. Expect a fourth season renewal announcement for Z Nation at any time as well.  On Sunday, HBO’s Westworld improved to its best numbers yet with a 0.92 rating and 2.1 million total viewers.  It may be repeating the Game of Thrones trend of increasing its viewership through its first season and I expect to hear a renewal announcement on this one at any time.  Over on FOX, Son of Zorn improved to a 1.5 rating with 3.8 million total viewers, bolstered by the NFL bleed-over into Prime Time as well as the 600th (!) episode of The Simpsons.  That show could very well ride its strong lead-ins to a full season order.  The Last Man on Earth improved from its last new episode to 1.1 rating with 2.7 million total viewers.  Considering FOX’s current struggles, those may just be survivable numbers for that show.  Ash vs. Evil Dead, The Strain, and Once Upon A Time all remained relatively stable on the night.  I previously looked at the Monday through Thursday shows from last week at this link.

Renewal Announcements: There were more renewals last week with AMC renewing The Walking Dead for an eighth season, Syfy renewing Van Helsing for a second season, and MTV renewing Scream for a third season.  Plus, CBS has picked up MacGyver for a full season.

Ratings results for the sci fi / fantasy shows airing Monday October 10th thru Sunday October 16th (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 Benchmark Cancel Alert
Supergirl CW, Mon 8 PM 1.1 n/a 3.1 1.1 0.6 Low
Gotham FOX, Mon 8 PM 1.1 +10.0% 3.4 1.2 1.2 Low
Lucifer FOX, Mon 9 PM 1.0 -9.1% 3.7 1.1 1.2 Low
Timeless NBC, Mon 10 PM 1.4 -26.3% 6.2 1.7 1.9 Low
The Flash CW, Tue 8 PM 1.1 -15.4% 2.8 1.2 0.6 Low
Scream Queens FOX, Tue 9 PM 0.7 n/a 1.6 0.8 1.2 Medium
Channel Zero Syfy, Tue 9 PM 0.3 n/a 0.8 0.3 0.2 Low
Agents of SHIELD ABC, Tue 10 PM 0.9 n/a 2.7 1.0 1.4 Medium
Aftermath Syfy, Tue 10 PM 0.2 -21.1% 0.7 0.2 0.2 Low
Arrow CW, Wed 8 PM 0.7 0.0% 1.9 0.7 0.6 Low
Frequency CW, Wed 9 PM 0.3 n/a 1.1 0.4 0.6 Low
American Horror Story FX, Wed 10 PM 1.5 +2.1% 2.8 1.8 0.6 Renewed
Legends of Tomorrow CW, Thu 8 PM 0.6 n/a 1.8 0.6 0.6 Low
The Good Place NBC, Thu 8:30 PM 1.2 -14.3% 4.2 1.4 1.9 Low
Supernatural CW, Thu 9 PM 0.8 n/a 2.2 0.8 0.6 Low
Falling Water USA, Thu 10 PM 0.2 n/a 0.7 0.2 0.3 Moderate
MacGyver CBS, Fri 8 PM 1.1 0.0% 7.4 1.3 1.7 Low
The Exorcist FOX, Fri 9 PM 0.7 0.0% 2.0 0.8 1.2 Medium
Z Nation Syfy, Fri 9 PM 0.3 +4.0% 0.8 0.3 0.2 Low
Van Helsing Syfy, Fri 10 PM 0.2 +13.3% 0.6 0.2 0.2 Low
Star Wars Rebels DXD, Sat 8:30 PM 0.1 -23.5% 0.4 0.2 0.1 Low
Once Upon A Time ABC, Sun 8 PM 1.1 -8.3% 3.5 1.2 1.4 Low
Ash vs Evil Dead Starz, Sun 8 PM 0.2 +5.6% 0.3 0.2 0.2 Renewed
Son of Zorn FOX, Sun 8:30 PM 1.5 n/a 3.8 1.7 1.2 Low
Westworld HBO, Sun 9 PM 0.9 +37.3% 2.1 0.8 0.6 Low
The Last Man on Earth FOX, Sun 9:30 PM 1.1 n/a 2.7 1.0 1.2 Moderate
The Strain FX, Sun 10 PM 0.3 -5.6% 0.9 0.4 0.6 Renewed

Chart Activity: FX’s American Horror Story improved to Number 4 (up from Number 9) in the Weekly Nielsen Social Net Rating Top 10 (Facebook trending has now been added).  And Supernatural showed up in that chart at Number 6 for its Season 12 premiere. It will likely drop back out next week, but that show is still showing strong engagement from fans even after twelve years. American Horror Story improved to Number 5 (up from Number 8) in the cable Top 25 based on the overnights for the 18-49 demo and returned to the Top 25 based on total viewers at Number 20.  As I predicted last week, Timeless fell out of the broadcast net Top 25 charts.  MacGyver also slipped out of the Top 25 based on total viewers, though the show would have been right around Number 26 or 27 based on its numbers from last week.

(Updated for the broadcast network and cable Top 25 chart activity)

Series Chart Curr Wk Rank Prior Wk Rank
American Horror Story Nielsen Twitter Ratings Top 10 4 9
American Horror Story Cable Top 25 (18-49 Demo) 5 8
American Horror Story Cable Top 25 (Total Viewers) 20 n/a
MacGyver Broadcast Net Top 25 (Total Viewers) n/a 19
Supernatural Nielsen Twitter Ratings Top 10 6 n/a
Timeless Broadcast Net Top 25 (18-49 Demo) n/a 17
Timeless Broadcast Net Top 25 (Total Viewers) n/a 21

Be sure keep an eye out for the latest numbers and any breaking news throughout the week at the  Cancelled Sci Fi Twitter Site and Facebook Page. You can see the status of all the currently airing sci fi / fantasy shows at the Cancellation Watch page and also the latest Cancellation Watch Hit List 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 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 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.

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

One thought on “Cancellation Watch: CBS Cancels Braindead after One Season, Plus the Ratings Roundup

  1. Brenda Kay

    Without a single doubt, “Braindead” was painfully awful; this putrid show was an insult to science fiction. And I still cannot believe that the same writers who created the brilliant drama “The Good Wife”, somehow came up with this steaming pile of garbage. It is infuriating how a crapfest such as “Braindead” was green lit for actual production, when proposed series with real potential never make it out of development.


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