Cancellation Watch: Midnight Texas Gets Pushed to Summer, The Expanse Continues to Slip

By | March 21, 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.

Summer Burn-off? NBC’s Midnight Texas, based on the supernatural book series by Charlaine Harris, was originally announced as a mid-season entry, but its premiere has now been pushed all the way to Summer (July 25th). That show is apparently intended to be a broadcast network’s True Blood, but it appears that it does not have much bite because NBC is shuffling it off to a low-viewership time of year. It is true that the networks have been attempting more scripted programming during the Summer, but this move seems suspiciously like what ABC did with The Whispers a couple of years back, and that show faded quickly in its Summer run. I wouldn’t say the Midnight Texas is a dead show walking at this point (well, beyond its subject matter), but it does seem like the network has lost faith in it. It may have needed extra production time, but if NBC really felt strongly enough about the show, they would have held it for Fall when it would have a better chance of finding an audience. Fans of the books who are looking forward to the series should make a push on the social networks to get the word out and help it draw more viewers when it debuts this coming Summer.  You can see the latest trailer for Midnight Texas here.

Ratings Results of Interest: Catching up for the ratings delays last week due to the Nielsen outage, on Wednesday, Syfy’s The Expanse slipped to a series low 0.13 rating based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic with 440k total viewers. The show was renewed last week, but I have to believe that Syfy is not thrilled with the its linear viewing numbers at this point. If we want this promising series to last beyond its third year, then we must make a Call to Action to get the word out and get more people watching it. Over on FX, Legion slipped to a 0.34 rating with 730k total viewers, but that one has been seeing very good delayed viewing gains (more important to the cable channels than the broadcast nets) and was just renewed for a second season.

On Thursday, USA’s Colony slipped to a 0.29 rating with 780k total viewers, but that one has also been seeing decent delayed viewing numbers and I still like its chances to get a third season. On Friday, The CW’s The Originals returned for its fourth season but matched a series low with its 0.3 rating and 1.1 million total viewers. Since it airs on the Happy Net that likes to renew its shows, I’m betting that it will get a final season renewal of around six episodes to resolve all its storylines. Over on FOX, Sleepy Hollow remained low at a 0.4 rating with 1.8 million total viewers and will need a pretty raucous Call to Action from its fans to have any chance of surviving to a fifth season.

On Saturday, Adult Swim’s Samurai Jack slipped a bit to a 0.68 rating with 1.3 million total viewers, but those are still strong numbers for a late night cable entry and I wonder if the network might want another season of this one (its current season was planned as its last). Over on Disney XD, Guardians of the Galaxy slipped to a 0.06 rating with 180k total viewers, numbers that are low even for that network. This one relies on merchandising as much as ratings to keep it going, but the show definitely does not seem to have been as popular as the movies.

On Sunday, AMC’s The Walking Dead slipped to a 4.7 rating with 10.3 million total viewers, but it is still the top rated scripted show on all of television and I expect its numbers to trend up as it heads into its season finale in two weeks. In the lead-out hour, Into the Badlands posted a 1.4 rating with 3.4 million total viewers for its Season 2 debut, and those numbers would look good even on the broadcast networks these days. Its ratings will drop off once it no longer has TWD as a lead-in, but I believe the show has a decent chance of kicking its way through to a third season.

Over on the broadcast networks, all the Sunday genre entries looked pretty weak ratings-wise. On ABC, Once Upon a Time slipped to a series low 0.8 rating with 2.7 million total viewers and Time After Time slipped to a disastrous 0.4 score with 1.8 million total viewers. On FOX, Making History remained low at a 0.7 rating with 1.6 million total viewers and The Last Man on Earth slipped to a 0.8 rating with 2.0 million total viewers. All of these shows need a Call to Action from their fans if they are to survive past the current season.

Scorecard: Shows with notable drops in the Scorecard this week include The Expanse (Syfy), Making History (FOX), and Legion (FX). And dropping to the second to last slot is ABC’s Time After Time. The CW’s The Originals returned to the Scorecard pretty low at the Number 43 slot, but as I said above, I still expect it to get a final season renewal. Predictably, Into the Badlands entered high on the Scorecard (at Number 3), but it will shift down some when it loses The Walking Dead as its lead-in in three weeks.

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 March 19th (metric definitions below):

Rank (PW) Series Net Std Avg Net Bench % Var Live+7 Avg Rtg Status
1 (1) The Walking Dead AMC 5.42 0.60 803.9% 8.27 Renewed
2 (2) American Horror Story FX 1.58 0.60 162.5% 3.16 Renewed
3 (n/a) Into the Badlands AMC 1.42 0.60 136.7% n/a Renewal Possible
4 (3) The Flash (O) CW 1.09 0.53 106.7% 1.97 Renewed
5 (4) The Magicians Syfy 0.34 0.20 71.3% 0.80 Renewal Likely
6 (5) Supergirl (O) CW 0.79 0.53 50.8% 1.41 Renewed
7 (6) Star Wars Rebels DXD 0.15 0.10 45.0% 0.33 Renewal Likely
8 (7) Westworld HBO 0.80 0.60 33.8% 1.50 Renewed
9 (8) Arrow (O) CW 0.67 0.53 27.1% 1.23 Renewed
10 (9) Legends of Tomorrow (O) CW 0.66 0.53 24.9% 1.19 Renewed
11 (10) Z Nation Syfy 0.25 0.20 24.3% 0.42 Renewed
12 (11) Son of Zorn (O) FOX 1.28 1.05 21.1% n/a Renewal Possible
13 (12) Supernatural (O) CW 0.63 0.53 19.1% 1.15 Renewed
14 (13) Shadowhunters Free 0.28 0.25 11.2% 0.50 Renewal Likely
15 (14) Gotham FOX 1.14 1.05 7.7% 1.88 Renewal Likely
16 (15) Lucifer FOX 1.08 1.05 2.9% 1.85 Renewed
17 (16) Stan Against Evil IFC 0.08 0.08 -4.7% n/a Renewed
18 (18) The Librarians TNT 0.47 0.50 -5.2% 0.88 Renewed
19 (19) Channel Zero Syfy 0.19 0.20 -5.8% 0.38 Renewed
20 (20) The Last Man on Earth (O) FOX 0.96 1.05 -9.1% 1.53 Renewal Possible
21 (17) The Expanse Syfy 0.18 0.20 -9.3% 0.43 Renewed
22 (21) Colony USA 0.27 0.30 -11.7% 0.63 Renewal Possible
23 (22) The Good Place (O) NBC 1.25 1.46 -14.6% 1.91 Renewed
24 (24) MacGyver (O) (F) CBS 1.11 1.33 -16.2% 1.78 Renewal Possible
25 (26) People of Earth TBS 0.33 0.40 -18.1% n/a Renewed
26 (23) The 100 (O) CW 0.38 0.47 -19.2% 0.70 Renewed
27 (29) Incorporated Syfy 0.16 0.20 -20.0% 0.34 Cancelled
28 (30) Aftermath Syfy 0.16 0.20 -20.8% 0.33 Cancelled
29 (31) Van Helsing Syfy 0.16 0.20 -21.3% 0.30 Renewed
30 (28) Once Upon A Time (O) ABC 1.01 1.28 -21.4% 1.67 On the Bubble
31 (32) Ash vs Evil Dead STARZ 0.16 0.20 -21.5% 0.34 Renewed
32 (27) Making History (O) NBC 0.77 0.98 -21.9% n/a On the Bubble
33 (25) Legion (O) FX 0.47 0.60 -22.2% 1.37 Renewed
34 (33) Timeless NBC 1.11 1.46 -24.0% 2.07 Cancellation Likely
35 (34) Teen Wolf MTV 0.22 0.30 -25.7% 0.44 Final Season
36 (35) Vampire Diaries (O) (F) CW 0.38 0.53 -28.7% 0.75 Ended
37 (37) The Strain FX 0.42 0.60 -30.8% 0.85 Renewed
38 (36) Guardians of the Galaxy DXD 0.07 0.10 -35.0% n/a Renewal Possible
39 (39) The Exorcist (O) (F) FOX 0.67 1.05 -36.4% 1.09 Cancellation Likely
40 (38) Powerless (O) NBC 0.82 1.30 -37.1% n/a Cancellation Likely
41 (40) Agents of SHIELD (O) ABC 0.75 1.28 -41.7% 1.61 Cancellation Likely
42 (42) Scream Queens (O) FOX 0.61 1.05 -42.1% 0.96 Cancellation Likely
43 (41) Beyond Free 0.14 0.25 -42.7% n/a Renewed
44 (n/a) The Originals (O) CW 0.30 0.53 -43.0% n/a Renewal Possible
45 (43) Grimm (O) (F) NBC 0.79 1.46 -46.0% 1.45 Final Season
46 (44) Emerald City (O) (F) NBC 0.69 1.30 -47.1% 1.23 Cancellation Likely
47 (45) Frequency (O) CW 0.28 0.53 -47.4% 0.51 Cancellation Likely
48 (47) Salem WGN 0.08 0.15 -48.0% n/a Cancelled
49 (46) Sleepy Hollow (O) (F) FOX 0.51 0.98 -48.1% 0.96 On the Bubble
50 (49) Falling Water USA 0.15 0.30 -51.0% 0.30 On the Bubble
51 (48) Time After Time ABC 0.57 1.32 -57.0% n/a Cancellation Likely
52 (50) 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

One thought on “Cancellation Watch: Midnight Texas Gets Pushed to Summer, The Expanse Continues to Slip

  1. Brenda Kay

    The Expanse is an amazing space opera, but it is also at time d*mn boring, difficult to keep up with due to its multiple storylines, but most of all since the authors are still working on three additional novels the last of which will be released in 2019, it makes me wonder what is the point of watching the television series?


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