Cancellation Watch: Timeless Slips to Season Low, Plus the Final Fall Scorecard

By | December 17, 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.

timeless-nbc-posterRatings Results of Interest:  On Monday, NBC’s Timeless slipped to a series low 1.0 rating based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic with 4.8 million total viewers for its Fall finale which has it at a season low, and it continues to lose over half the audience from its lead-in series The Voice.  I haven’t seen a mid-season return date for that show yet, but I would not be surprised to see NBC schedule it to a different night for the remainder of its first season.  And if it winds up getting shuffled to Fridays, consider that a burn-off run that will be followed by cancellation.  On Tuesday, FOX’s Scream Queens remained low at a 0.5 rating with 1.1 million total viewers and I am expecting its season finale this coming Tuesday to also be the show’s series finale.  On Wednesday, WGN’s Salem slipped to a series low 0.7 rating with 290k total viewers, the day after news broke that its current season will be its last.  Over on Syfy, Incorporated slipped to a 0.17 rating with 570k total viewers, which still has it at passable levels for that network.  But that one does not have an international partnership sharing production costs as shows like Killjoys and Van Helsing do, so if it slips much further I’m thinking Syfy execs will be disappointed with its performance.  But then that network typically gives its shows two seasons to prove themselves, so it still has a chance of getting a second season nod.  On Thursday, USA’s Falling Water remained low at a 0.13 rating with 440k total viewers and I believe that one is headed to cancellation unless it has significant international financing backing it that I don’t know about.

Scorecard:  Below is the final Scorecard for the Fall season.  There has been minimal movement since last week, though NBC’s Timeless did drop three slots and Syfy’s Incorporated dropped two.  You will see that most of the shows in the bottom third are either cancelled, in their final seasons, or headed into their last year, or they are at a Moderate or higher Cancellation Alert levels.  The bottom show on the list, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, did get renewed, but mostly on the strength of its Netflix partnership.  And as I have said before, it’s much harder to predict cable shows because of intangibles such as partnerships and/or international financing (the Scorecard was accurate on Salem, though).  I will resume the Scorecard in the second or third week of January, once enough shows have returned from their breaks.

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 15th (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 5.71 0.60 851.5% 8.75 Renewed
2 American Horror Story FX 1.58 0.60 162.5% 3.16 Renewed
3 The Flash (O) CW 1.16 0.60 92.6% 1.97 Low
4 Star Wars Rebels DXD 0.14 0.10 43.0% 0.30 Low
5 Supergirl (O) CW 0.85 0.60 41.7% 1.36 Low
6 Westworld HBO 0.80 0.60 33.8% 1.47 Renewed
7 Z Nation Syfy 0.25 0.20 24.2% 0.40 Low
8 Arrow (O) CW 0.74 0.60 24.1% 1.22 Low
9 Son of Zorn (O) FOX 1.40 1.13 23.8% n/a Low
10 Legends of Tomorrow (O) CW 0.70 0.60 16.7% 1.06 Low
11 Supernatural (O) CW 0.65 0.60 8.3% 1.18 Low
12 Gotham FOX 1.13 1.13 -0.3% 1.93 Low
13 The Librarians TNT 0.50 0.50 -1.0% 0.90 Low
14 Channel Zero Syfy 0.19 0.20 -5.8% 0.38 Renewed
15 Lucifer FOX 1.06 1.13 -6.3% 1.84 Low
16 Incorporated Syfy 0.18 0.20 -8.3% n/a Low
17 The Last Man on Earth (O) FOX 0.98 1.13 -13.6% 1.55 Low
18 Once Upon A Time (O) ABC 1.05 1.25 -16.0% 1.70 Low
19 People of Earth TBS 0.33 0.40 -18.2% n/a Renewed
20 MacGyver (O) (F) CBS 1.15 1.42 -19.1% 1.95 Low
21 The Good Place (O) NBC 1.31 1.64 -20.3% 1.98 Low
22 Aftermath Syfy 0.16 0.20 -20.8% 0.35 Low
23 Van Helsing Syfy 0.16 0.20 -21.3% 0.30 Renewed
24 Timeless NBC 1.29 1.64 -21.3% 2.43 Moderate
25 Ash vs Evil Dead STARZ 0.16 0.20 -21.5% 0.36 Renewed
26 Teen Wolf MTV 0.23 0.30 -22.7% 0.40 Final Season
27 The Strain FX 0.42 0.60 -30.8% 0.85 Renewed
28 Agents of SHIELD (O) ABC 0.84 1.25 -33.0% 1.78 Elevated
29 Vampire Diaries (O) (F) CW 0.37 0.60 -38.1% 0.70 Final Season
30 The Exorcist (O) (F) FOX 0.68 1.13 -40.1% 1.09 Elevated
31 Salem WGN 0.08 0.15 -44.4% n/a Cancelled
32 Scream Queens (O) FOX 0.62 1.13 -45.0% 1.08 Elevated
33 Frequency (O) CW 0.30 0.60 -50.0% 0.52 Medium
34 Falling Water USA 0.15 0.30 -50.7% n/a Medium
35 Dirk Gentlys Holistic Detective Agency BBCA 0.09 0.40 -77.5% 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+7 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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