Cancellation Watch: NBC Renews The Good Place for a Second Season, The Magicians Starts High on the Scorecard

By | January 31, 2017

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.

Renewal Announcement:  NBC announced yesterday that their afterworld comedy The Good Place–which wrapped up its first season two weeks ago–will be returning next year for a second season.  The announcement does not come as a complete surprise, but the show was also not a sure thing for renewal.  It averaged a 1.3 rating based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic season to date, which is okay but not spectacular (in the link above, Variety incorrectly claims it had a 1.9 average which may have been its Live+3 numbers).  That 1.3 score is under NBC’s average for non-sports, non-special, non-repeat broadcasts as calculated in the Scorecard below, but then that network’s numbers are skewed by The Voice and their breakout hit from this season This Is Us.  If you take those two out of the mix, The Good Place is right in line with the network’s other programming.  It has also been performing in line with the averages for NBC’s other Thursday shows, a night when the network faces pretty stiff competition.  The Good Place is likely more expensive to produce than the typical thirty minute comedy because of its special effects and the fact that its two leads (Ted Danson and Kristen Bell) likely take home a higher than average salary.  But these days a moderately performing show is good enough for the broadcast networks, and NBC felt comfortable greenlighting this one for a sophomore run.  Its second season will have thirteen episodes like its first in order to keep costs down and will likely bow in Fall 2017.

Ratings Results of Interest: While The Good Place has done well enough for NBC this year, that network’s other freshman genre entry Emerald City is not tracking well over its first month.  It slipped again this past Friday to a 0.6 rating based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic with 2.8 million total viewers.  Those are low numbers even for a Friday entry and the network was doing much better with Dateline running in the 9 PM EST hour on that night in Fall (averaging a 1.0 rating based on the overnights), and it is much cheaper to produce.  It seems unlikely that the rather expensive Emerald City will get a second season at these levels unless the network has international financing/partnerships that can keep it afloat.  For now, I am moving it to a Cancellation Likely status.  Over on FOX, Sleepy Hollow improved from the series low it posted the prior week as it pulled a 0.6 rating with 2.2 million total viewers.  But that still has it at pretty low levels and the show appears to be in its final season unless that international audience FOX brags about will be enough to get it one more year.  I previously covered the Monday through Thursday ratings from last week at this link.

Scorecard: Syfy’s The Magicians returned for its second season last week posting record ratings for the network, and it enters the Scorecard at the Number 3 slot.  Expect that one to remain in the Top 5 for its second year and a renewal announcement should come for it at any time now.  USA’s Colony slipped a few places down to the Number 19 slot, but I expect it to stabilize around there.  Emerald City slipped down to Number 40 as its ratings continue to sink and it is vying with Sleepy Hollow as the lowest ranked broadcast net entry.  Most of the other shows held steady for the week apart from some incidental movement.

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.

Scorecard based on the ratings through January 29th (metric definitions below):

Rank (PW) Series Net Std Avg Net Bench % Var Live+7 Avg Rtg Status
1 (1) The Walking Dead AMC 5.71 0.60 851.5% 8.43 Renewed
2 (2) American Horror Story FX 1.58 0.60 162.5% 3.16 Renewed
3 (n/a) The Magicians Syfy 0.52 0.20 160.0% n/a Renewal Likely
4 (3) The Flash (O) CW 1.13 0.53 112.4% 2.03 Renewed
5 (4) Supergirl (O) CW 0.84 0.53 58.7% 1.45 Renewed
6 (5) Star Wars Rebels DXD 0.15 0.10 50.0% 0.32 Renewal Likely
7 (6) Arrow (O) CW 0.73 0.53 37.2% 1.31 Renewed
8 (7) Westworld HBO 0.80 0.60 33.8% 1.50 Renewed
9 (8) Legends of Tomorrow (O) CW 0.69 0.53 29.5% 1.20 Renewed
10 (10) Z Nation Syfy 0.25 0.20 24.3% 0.42 Renewed
11 (9) Shadowhunters Free 0.31 0.25 24.0% n/a Renewal Likely
12 (11) Son of Zorn (O) FOX 1.39 1.12 23.8% n/a Renewal Possible
13 (12) Supernatural (O) CW 0.64 0.53 21.1% 1.18 Renewed
14 (13) Gotham FOX 1.14 1.12 1.3% 1.90 Renewal Likely
15 (18) Lucifer FOX 1.08 1.12 -4.4% 1.83 Renewal Possible
16 (14) Stan Against Evil IFC 0.08 0.08 -4.7% n/a Renewed
17 (16) The Librarians TNT 0.47 0.50 -5.2% 0.88 Renewed
18 (17) Channel Zero Syfy 0.19 0.20 -5.8% 0.38 Renewed
19 (15) Colony USA 0.27 0.30 -8.9% 0.70 Renewal Possible
20 (19) The Last Man on Earth (O) FOX 0.98 1.12 -13.0% 1.53 Renewal Possible
21 (21) MacGyver (O) (F) CBS 1.14 1.38 -17.4% 1.78 Renewal Possible
22 (20) Once Upon A Time (O) ABC 1.05 1.27 -17.5% 1.67 Renewal Possible
23 (22) People of Earth TBS 0.33 0.40 -18.1% n/a Renewed
24 (24) The Good Place (O) NBC 1.25 1.53 -18.5% 1.91 Renewed
25 (29) Incorporated Syfy 0.16 0.20 -20.0% 0.34 Renewal Possible
26 (23) Timeless NBC 1.23 1.53 -20.1% 2.29 On the Bubble
27 (26) Aftermath Syfy 0.16 0.20 -20.8% 0.33 Cancelled
28 (27) Van Helsing Syfy 0.16 0.20 -21.3% 0.30 Renewed
29 (28) Ash vs Evil Dead STARZ 0.16 0.20 -21.5% 0.34 Renewed
30 (30) Teen Wolf MTV 0.22 0.30 -25.2% 0.45 Final Season
31 (25) Beyond Free 0.19 0.25 -26.0% n/a Renewed
32 (31) The Strain FX 0.42 0.60 -30.8% 0.85 Renewed
33 (32) Vampire Diaries (O) (F) CW 0.36 0.53 -32.3% 0.74 Final Season
34 (33) Agents of SHIELD (O) ABC 0.79 1.27 -37.8% 1.73 Cancellation Likely
35 (34) The Exorcist (O) (F) FOX 0.67 1.12 -40.4% 1.09 Cancellation Likely
36 (35) Scream Queens (O) FOX 0.61 1.12 -45.7% 0.96 Cancellation Likely
37 (37) Grimm (O) (F) NBC 0.83 1.53 -46.2% 1.45 Final Season
38 (39) Frequency (O) CW 0.28 0.53 -48.0% 0.51 Cancellation Likely
39 (38) Salem WGN 0.08 0.15 -48.0% n/a Cancelled
40 (36) Emerald City (O) (F) NBC 0.78 1.53 -49.4% 1.50 Cancellation Likely
41 (40) Falling Water USA 0.15 0.30 -51.0% 0.30 On the Bubble
42 (41) Sleepy Hollow (O) (F) NBC 0.58 1.53 -62.5% 1.00 On the Bubble
43 (42) 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.  But note that with cable entries intangibles such as international and/or streaming partnerships can play an important factor in a shows survival and that is not measured here.

% Var:  The percent 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 benchmark.

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.

Status: My assessment of the likelihood that a show will get renewed or cancelled. The statuses are Renewal Likely, Renewal Possible, On the Bubble, Cancellation Likely (plus Renewed and Cancelled/Ended)

Ratings Source: ShowBuzzDaily and TV by the Numbers

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