Cancellation Watch: Agents of SHIELD is Getting the Schedule Shuffle, Plus the Latest Scorecard

By | November 5, 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.

agents-of-shield-vengeanceScheduling Challenges: ABC’s Agents of SHIELD is currently at all-time ratings low (it was at only a 0.8 score based on the demo with 2.4 million total viewers this last Thursday), and I have been predicting that this will be the show’s final season. And the fact that it is now going on a three-week hiatus reinforces that. The next new episode for AoS will be at the end of November which means that ABC is pulling it off during sweeps month, when the advertisers are paying close attention to the ratings results. The network will likely try to put something else in the Tuesday 10 PM EST hour that they believe will pull in more viewers during this critical measuring period. And I would expect more preemptions to occur through the rest of the season as they likely use the show for schedule spackle. The network did a similar thing with Forever two seasons back and then cancelled the show at the end of the year. Agents of SHIELD will at least get to ride off into syndication after this season (the only reason it survived into a fourth year), and hopefully the creative staff has a resolution to the current storylines in the works. FOX’s struggling Scream Queens is another show that has been subjected to regular preemptions of late and I expect that to continue until they announce its cancellation. I also see that NBC will be preempting both Timeless and The Good Place next week which will do little to help the ratings for those shows.

Ratings Results of Interest: On Monday, the new TBS sci fi sitcom People of Earth debuted with a 0.32 rating based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic and 850k total viewers across its double episode premiere. Those numbers seem a little light for that network, but I have not tracked the TBS shows too closely because it has not had any genre entries among its originals up to this point. Halloween is also a typically low viewership night, so we will see where this one comes in with its second airing this coming Monday. Ratings have been down in general the first part of this week because of Halloween and also the fact that the World Series stretched to a seventh game. So I wouldn’t be too alarmed about the drops we have seen because I expect most shows to rebound next week. On Wednesday, WGN’s supernatural drama Salem had its third season bow and pulled a 0.10 rating with 270k total viewers.  Those numbers might seem really low, but that is right about where it was at the end of its second season, so maybe it is good enough for WGN.  A new series slipped in this week, IFC’s horror comedy Stan Against Evil, that I had missed while trying to keep track of this Fall’s 40+ genre entries.  That one had a preview episode on Halloween that pulled a 0.6 rating with 180k total viewers, then repeated that plus a new episode in its regular Wednesday timeslot with similar numbers. Since that is one of the smaller cable nets, it’s hard to gauge if those numbers are enough to keep the show alive.  On Thursday, NBC’s The Good Place held at a 1.2 rating with 3.7 million total viewers which was in line with that network’s other Thursday shows and may be enough to give it a chance of surviving to a second season (note that its first season will only have thirteen episodes because it is more expensive to produce than the average sitcom). Over on USA, Falling Water continues to fall as it had only a 0.12 rating with 350k total viewers. I can’t believe that USA is happy with these numbers and I’m expecting this show to be another one-season-and-done casualty of the Peak TV era unless it has significant international financing backing it. 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.

Scorecard: Both People of Earth and Salem enter the Scorecard in the lower half, but I don’t have as much data to gauge them by so consider their standings as more of a gut feel at this point.  And I am not including IFC’s Stan Against Evil in the scorecard at this point because I have no other shows from that network to compare it to.  There has been some shuffling around in the lower rungs, but mostly just by a slot or two as the Scorecard starts settling in.

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 November 3rd (metric definitions below):
(Links are to the show pages on this site with season to date ratings results and status updates)

Rank (PW) Series Net Std Avg Net Bench % Var Live+3 Avg Rtg Cancel Alert
1 The Walking Dead AMC 7.23 0.60 1104.2% n/a Renewed
2 American Horror Story FX 1.49 0.60 148.8% 3.30 Renewed
3 The Flash (O) CW 1.08 0.60 80.0% 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 52.0% n/a Low
6 Supergirl (O) CW 0.85 0.60 41.7% n/a Low
7 Son of Zorn (O) FOX 1.52 1.18 28.5% 2.60 Low
8 Westworld HBO 0.74 0.60 23.3% 1.10 Low
9 Supernatural (O) CW 0.68 0.60 12.5% n/a Low
10 Arrow (O) CW 0.66 0.60 10.0% n/a Low
11 Channel Zero Syfy 0.22 0.20 8.7% n/a Low
12 Legends of Tomorrow (O) CW 0.63 0.60 4.2% n/a Low
13 Gotham FOX 1.13 1.18 -4.6% 2.00 Low
14 Lucifer FOX 1.07 1.18 -9.9% 2.00 Low
15 Van Helsing Syfy 0.17 0.20 -14.2% n/a Renewed
16 Aftermath Syfy 0.17 0.20 -14.2% n/a Low
17 Once Upon A Time (O) ABC 1.10 1.31 -15.9% n/a Low
18 Ash vs Evil Dead STARZ 0.17 0.20 -16.0% n/a Renewed
19 Timeless NBC 1.44 1.72 -16.3% n/a Moderate
20 The Last Man on Earth (O) FOX 0.98 1.18 -17.6% n/a Moderate
21 People of Earth TBS 0.32 0.40 -20.0% n/a Low
22 MacGyver (O) (F) CBS 1.20 1.54 -22.2% n/a Low
23 The Good Place (O) NBC 1.31 1.72 -24.0% 2.65 Low
24 The Strain FX 0.42 0.60 -30.8% 0.97 Renewed
25 Salem WGN 0.10 0.15 -33.3% n/a Low
26 Agents of SHIELD (O) ABC 0.87 1.31 -33.7% 2.00 Medium
27 Scream Queens (O) FOX 0.75 1.18 -36.6% 1.50 Medium
28 The Exorcist (O) (F) FOX 0.74 1.18 -37.5% n/a Medium
29 Vampire Diaries (O) (F) CW 0.35 0.60 -41.7% n/a Final Season
30 Frequency (O) CW 0.32 0.60 -46.7% n/a Medium
31 Falling Water USA 0.16 0.30 -48.3% n/a Medium
32 Dirk Gentlys Holistic Detective Agency BBCA 0.11 0.40 -72.5% 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.

Source: ShowBuzzDaily and TV by the Numbers

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