Cancellation Watch: The CW Superhero Cross-over Soared in the Ratings, Plus The Librarians Looks Good in the Scorecard

By | December 3, 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.

cw-superheroesHeroes vs. the Ratings: This past week, The CW had its four-part “Heroes vs. Aliens” cross-over which carried over through all four of that network’s DC superhero shows, and it definitely piqued the interest of the viewers as all of the shows registered season high ratings.  On Monday, Supergirl pulled a 1.1 rating based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic with 3.5 million total viewers, that show’s best numbers on The CW so far.  On Tuesday, The Flash sped up to a season high 1.5 rating with 4.8 million total viewers, tying it for the fifth highest rated show on the broadcast networks for the night.  Arrow hit a 1.3 rating with 3.5 million total viewers, that show’s best numbers since its Flash cross-over episode last Fall.  And Legends of Tomorrow pulled a 1.1 rating with 3.3 million total viewers (based on the preliminaries) which are its best numbers since its first season debut.  Needless to say, The CW will definitely be looking to do at least one more cross-over for later in the season to give all of its superhero shows another boost.

Ratings Results of Interest: On Monday, Gotham had its mid-season finale pulling a 1.0 rating based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic and 3.4 million total viewers.  That’s on the low side for the show this season, but it still looks likely to get the fourth year nod.  Lucifer improved for its mid-season finale to a 1.1 rating with 4.1 million total viewers and it is looking okay for the struggling FOX network at this point.  Over on NBC, Timeless slipped to a 1.1 rating with 4.8 million total viewers as it continues to under-perform in a high-profile timeslot.  On Tuesday, Agents of SHIELD returned from three weeks off, and its numbers remained low at a 0.8 rating (almost half of The Flash‘s score for the night) and 2.4 million total viewers.  It continues to look like that one is in its final season.  And over on FOX, Scream Queens remained low at a 0.5 rating with 1.3 million total viewers.  That show is likely on its way out as well.  On Wednesday, Frequency could not capitalize of the ratings boost Arrow received from the cross-over (see above) and remained low at a 0.3 rating with 970k total viewers.  Even for The CW, those numbers look pretty bad.  And on Thursday, USA’s Falling Water had a 0.15 rating with 510k total viewers, ending its upward trend and keeping it very much On the Bubble. The full ratings results for the week will be available in the upcoming Tuesday Cancellation Watch post and you can see the rundown of last week’s numbers at this link.

The Scorecard: There was no Scorecard last week due to the holidays and there has not been a lot movement since the last posting.  TNT’s The Librarians has entered the Scorecard looking good, and I would say that show has a very strong chance of getting another chapter in its story with a fourth season.  NBC’s Timeless took a notable drop, going from Number 15 to Number 20 as its numbers remain low.  MTV’s Teen Wolf entered the Scorecard on the low side, but that’s not a huge surprise as its numbers have been down notably from last year and it is currently in its final season. And at this point, I’m going to move FOX’s The Last Man on Earth to a Low Cancellation Alert Status because it seems to be doing well enough for struggling FOX and it is an inexpensive sitcom.

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 December 1st (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+7 Avg Rtg Cancel Alert
1 The Walking Dead AMC 5.94 0.60 889.7% 9.85 Renewed
2 American Horror Story FX 1.49 0.60 148.8% 3.20 Renewed
3 The Flash (O) CW 1.15 0.60 91.7% 1.95 Low
4 Z Nation Syfy 0.33 0.20 65.0% 0.40 Low
5 Star Wars Rebels DXD 0.15 0.10 45.0% 0.30 Low
6 Supergirl (O) CW 0.85 0.60 41.7% 1.35 Low
7 Westworld HBO 0.78 0.60 29.8% 1.40 Renewed
8 Son of Zorn (O) FOX 1.44 1.15 25.6% n/a Low
9 Arrow (O) CW 0.75 0.60 25.0% 1.22 Low
10 Legends of Tomorrow (O) CW 0.69 0.60 14.3% 1.07 Low
11 Supernatural (O) CW 0.67 0.60 11.9% 1.20 Low
12 The Librarians TNT 0.53 0.50 5.0% n/a Low
13 Gotham FOX 1.13 1.15 -1.9% 1.90 Low
14 Channel Zero Syfy 0.19 0.20 -5.8% 0.40 Renewed
15 Lucifer FOX 1.06 1.15 -7.7% 1.86 Low
16 The Last Man on Earth (O) FOX 0.97 1.15 -15.4% 1.60 Low
17 Once Upon A Time (O) ABC 1.07 1.29 -17.2% 1.75 Low
18 Van Helsing Syfy 0.17 0.20 -17.5% 0.30 Renewed
19 Aftermath Syfy 0.17 0.20 -17.5% 0.40 Low
20 Timeless NBC 1.34 1.64 -18.5% 2.54 Moderate
21 MacGyver (O) (F) CBS 1.17 1.44 -19.2% 1.95 Low
22 Ash vs Evil Dead STARZ 0.16 0.20 -19.4% 0.38 Renewed
23 People of Earth TBS 0.32 0.40 -19.5% n/a Low
24 The Good Place (O) NBC 1.31 1.64 -20.4% 1.98 Low
25 Teen Wolf MTV 0.21 0.30 -28.9% n/a Final Season
26 The Strain FX 0.42 0.60 -30.8% 0.85 Renewed
27 Agents of SHIELD (O) ABC 0.86 1.29 -33.4% 1.78 Elevated
28 Vampire Diaries (O) (F) CW 0.36 0.60 -40.0% 0.70 Final Season
29 The Exorcist (O) (F) FOX 0.69 1.15 -40.2% 1.18 Elevated
30 Scream Queens (O) FOX 0.66 1.15 -42.8% 1.25 Elevated
31 Salem WGN 0.09 0.15 -43.3% n/a Low
32 Frequency (O) CW 0.31 0.60 -47.9% 0.53 Medium
33 Falling Water USA 0.15 0.30 -49.0% n/a Medium
34 Dirk Gentlys Holistic Detective Agency BBCA 0.09 0.40 -78.3% n/a Renewed

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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