Cancellation Watch: Falling Water Falls in the Ratings, Frequency Starts at the Bottom of the Scorecard

By | October 22, 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.

falling-water-usaRatings Results of Interest: On Thursday, USA’s new series Falling Water slipped from its premiere numbers to a 0.16 rating based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic and 510k total viewers.  That show bowed with tepid ratings last week and is currently heading in the wrong direction, so I am raising the Cancellation Alert Level to Medium.  I will probably keep it there even if it slips further because it may have international financing keeping it afloat.  Over on The CW, Legends of Tomorrow improved with its second Season 2 episode to a 0.7 rating with 1.8 million total viewers.  That show will get an even further boost with the upcoming team-up episodes, so it looks okay for now.  On NBC, The Good Place slipped to a 1.0 rating with 3.8 million total viewers, its lowest numbers yet.  It is still in line with the network’s other Thursday programming, but it is an expensive show to produce so I’m not certain how safe it is at the moment.  On Wednesday, The CW’s Frequency remained low at a 0.3 rating with one million total viewers which is low even for the fifth place network.  I am raising it up to a Medium Cancellation Alert level, though you never know what will happen with that renewal-happy network.  On Tuesday, Syfy’s two new entries Channel Zero and Aftermath continued to perform well for that network with a 0.24 rating / 630k total viewers and 0.20 rating / 600k total viewers respectively.  But sinking to series lows were FOX’s Scream Queens (0.6 rating with 1.4 million total viewers) and Agents of SHIELD (0.7 rating with 2.3 million total viewers) and the Network Executioner currently has both of those on his short list.  On Monday, NBC’s Timeless improved from the prior week with a 1.5 rating and 5.9 million total viewers, though it continues to lose a fair amount of its lead-in audience from The Voice.  Supergirl slipped to a 0.9 rating with 2.7 million total viewers in that show’s second episode on The CW, but those are still very good numbers for that network these days. On FOX, Gotham and Lucifer continue to perform below last year’s numbers, but they are doing okay compared to FOX’s overall schedule at the moment. I will have the full ratings roundup for this week available in the upcoming Tuesday Cancellation Watch post.  And you can see last week’s roundup at this link.

frequency-cw-cancelledScorecard:  The CW shows have joined the Scorecard now and it looks like there has been a lot of movement, but it is mostly the result of the new entries pushing the others down.  Almost all of that network’s genre entries are performing above the benchmark with one major exception.  New series Frequency has struggled to find an audience and that has it joining the Scorecard in last place.  Whether the Happy Net will elect to renew that one anyway remains to be seen.  NBC’s The Good Place remains low and I am starting to get concerned about that one.  I have not raised the Cancellation Alert on it yet, but will if its numbers do not improve.  Falling Water did not see any improvement from its debut numbers, and as mentioned above, its Cancellation Alert Level has been raised.

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 20th (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 0.60 148.8% 3.30 Renewed
2 The Flash (O) CW 1.13 0.60 88.9% n/a Low
3 Supergirl (O) CW 1.00 0.60 66.7% n/a Low
4 Z Nation Syfy 0.33 0.20 65.0% n/a Low
5 Star Wars Rebels DXD 0.15 0.10 50.0% n/a Low
6 Son of Zorn (O) FOX 1.65 1.18 40.3% 2.60 Low
7 Westworld HBO 0.79 0.60 31.1% 1.10 Low
8 Channel Zero Syfy 0.25 0.20 22.5% n/a Low
9 Supernatural (O) CW 0.70 0.60 16.7% n/a Low
10 Arrow (O) CW 0.67 0.60 11.1% n/a Low
11 Legends of Tomorrow (O) CW 0.65 0.60 8.3% n/a Low
12 Gotham FOX 1.16 1.18 -1.4% 2.00 Low
13 Ash vs Evil Dead STARZ 0.19 0.20 -3.3% n/a Renewed
14 Lucifer FOX 1.13 1.18 -4.4% 2.00 Low
15 Timeless NBC 1.60 1.80 -11.2% n/a Low
16 Van Helsing Syfy 0.18 0.20 -11.3% n/a Renewed
17 Aftermath Syfy 0.18 0.20 -12.5% n/a Low
18 Once Upon A Time (O) ABC 1.18 1.37 -14.4% n/a Low
19 The Last Man on Earth (O) FOX 1.00 1.18 -15.0% n/a Moderate
20 MacGyver (O) (F) CBS 1.30 1.64 -20.8% n/a Low
21 The Good Place (O) NBC 1.35 1.80 -25.0% 2.65 Low
22 The Strain FX 0.42 0.60 -30.0% 0.97 Renewed
23 Agents of SHIELD (O) ABC 0.90 1.37 -34.4% 2.00 Medium
24 Scream Queens (O) FOX 0.75 1.18 -36.2% 1.50 Medium
24 The Exorcist (O) (F) FOX 0.75 1.18 -36.2% n/a Medium
26 Falling Water USA 0.18 0.30 -41.7% n/a Medium
27 Frequency (O) CW 0.33 0.60 -44.4% n/a Medium

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.

Source: ShowBuzzDaily and TV by the Numbers

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