Cancellation Watch: The Walking Dead Improves for its Fall Finale, Plus the Ratings Roundup

By | December 13, 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.

walking-dead-s7The Walking Dexit: On Sunday, The Walking Dead improved to a 5.1 rating based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic with 10.6 million total viewers. Its numbers went up as expected because of its Fall finale, but the show is still down notably from last season. When TWD wrapped up for its Winter break last year, it ended with a 7.0 rating and a 6.7 average across its eight Fall episodes. The 5.1 score the show had this past Sunday is down 27% from last year’s Fall finale and its season to date average of a 5.7 rating has it down 15% year over year. Of course, it is still the top-rated scripted show on all of television and it is in no danger of cancellation. And the show could start trending up when it returns in February as it looks to be headed into some fan-favorite storylines from the comics. So despite the notable impact of the “Walking Dexit”, the show is still in good standing and could potentially turn the viewer exodus around.

Ratings Results of Interest: Over on TNT on Sunday, The Librarians slipped to a 0.44 rating based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic with 1.8 million total viewers, but then it had some pretty stiff competition from the Walking Dead Fall finale as well as football. I still believe that The Librarians is in good shape for a fourth season renewal at this point. On FOX, Son of Zorn slipped to a 1.2 rating with 2.9 million total viewers for its Fall finale which was almost a 50% drop from its Simpsons lead-in. SoZ‘s season to date numbers look decent for a FOX show, but that is all skewed by strong lead-ins, so I’m not sure where FOX will stand on this show when deciding whether to bring it back for a second season. On Saturday, BBC America’s Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency slipped to a 0.09 rating with 280k total viewers for its season finale, but that one has already been renewed for a second year. On Friday, MacGyver slipped to a 1.0 rating with 7.4 million total viewers which is not surprising considering the preemptions that show has endured of late. CBS did a similar thing with Limitless last season and that show ended up getting cancelled after its freshman year. On FOX, The Exorcist remained low at a 0.6 rating with 1.7 million total viewers and its upcoming season finale will likely also be its series finale. Over on Syfy, Van Helsing remained at a 0.12 rating with 560k total viewers for its season finale. That one has been renewed for a second year, but it definitely does not count as a strong contender for its network, especially during the latter half of its first season. I previously covered the Monday and Thursday ratings at this link.

Ratings results for the sci fi / fantasy shows airing Monday December 5th thru Sunday December 11th (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 On Hiatus n/a n/a 0.9 0.6 Low
Gotham FOX, Mon 8 PM On Hiatus n/a n/a 1.1 1.1 Low
Lucifer FOX, Mon 9 PM On Hiatus n/a n/a 1.1 1.1 Low
Mars NBC, Mon 9 PM 0.2 +12.5% 0.9 0.0 1.6 Low
People of Earth TNT, Mon 9 PM 0.4 +9.1% 0.8 0.3 0.5 Low
Timeless NBC, Mon 10 PM 1.2 +9.1% 5.1 1.3 1.6 Moderate
The Flash CW, Tue 8 PM 1.2 -20.0% 3.1 1.2 0.6 Low
Scream Queens FOX, Tue 9 PM 0.5 0.0% 1.2 0.6 1.1 Elevated
Teen Wolf MTV, Tue 9 PM 0.2 +20.0% 0.5 0.2 0.3 Final Season
Agents of SHIELD ABC, Tue 10 PM 0.7 -12.5% 3.1 0.8 1.3 Elevated
Aftermath Syfy, Tue 10 PM 0.1 -29.4% 0.5 0.2 0.2 Low
Arrow CW, Wed 8 PM 0.7 -46.2% 1.9 0.7 0.6 Low
Frequency CW, Wed 9 PM 0.2 -33.3% 0.8 0.3 0.6 Medium
Salem WGN, Wed 9 PM 0.1 +12.5% 0.3 0.1 0.2 Moderate
Incorporated WGN, Wed 10 PM 0.2 -10.0% 0.5 0.2 0.2 Low
Legends of Tomorrow CW, Thu 8 PM 0.7 -41.7% 2.0 0.7 0.6 Low
The Good Place NBC, Thu 8:30 PM On Hiatus n/a n/a 1.3 1.6 Low
Supernatural CW, Thu 9 PM 0.6 0.0% 1.7 0.7 0.6 Low
Falling Water USA, Thu 10 PM 0.1 -13.3% 0.4 0.2 0.3 Medium
MacGyver CBS, Fri 8 PM 1.0 n/a 7.4 1.2 1.4 Low
Vampire Diaries CW, Fri 8 PM 0.4 0.0% 1.0 0.4 0.6 Final Season
The Exorcist FOX, Fri 9 PM 0.6 n/a 1.7 0.7 1.1 Elevated
Z Nation Syfy, Fri 9 PM 0.2 -14.3% 0.8 0.2 0.2 Renewed
Van Helsing Syfy, Fri 10 PM 0.1 0.0% 0.6 0.2 0.2 Renewed
Star Wars Rebels DXD, Sat 8:30 PM 0.2 +45.5% 0.4 0.1 0.1 Low
Dirk Gentlys Holistic Detective Agency DXD, Sat 9 PM 0.1 -18.2% 0.3 0.1 0.1 Renewed
Once Upon A Time ABC, Sun 8 PM On Hiatus n/a n/a 1.1 1.3 Low
The Librarians TNT, Sun 8 PM 0.4 -10.2% 1.8 0.5 0.5 Low
Ash vs Evil Dead Starz, Sun 8 PM 0.1 0.0% 0.3 0.2 0.2 Renewed
Son of Zorn FOX, Sun 8:30 PM 1.2 -7.7% 2.9 1.4 1.1 Low
The Walking Dead AMC, Sun 9 PM 5.1 +2.8% 10.6 5.7 0.6 Renewed
Westworld HBO, Sun 9 PM Season Ended n/a n/a 0.8 0.6 Renewed
The Last Man on Earth FOX, Sun 9:30 PM 0.9 -18.2% 2.2 1.0 1.1 Low

Chart Activity: Nielsen never did update the Weekly Social Net Rating Top 10 for last week, but I expect that The Walking Dead placed in the Top 5 or so in that chart. TWD held at Number 1 in the cable Top 25 based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic and improved to Number 1 (up from Number 2) in the Top 25 based on total viewers. MacGyver returned to the broadcast net Top 25 based on total viewers at Number 22 after several weeks of preemptions.

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

Series Chart Curr Wk Rank Prior Wk Rank
MacGyver Broadcast Net Top 25 (Total Viewers) 22 n/a
The Walking Dead Nielsen Social Net Ratings Top 10 Pending 2
The Walking Dead Cable Top 25 (18-49 Demo) 1 1
The Walking Dead Cable Top 25 (Total Viewers) 1 2

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

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