Cancellation Watch: Falling Water Renewed for a Second Season, Plus the Scorecard

By | April 4, 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: USA announced yesterday that their paranormal series Falling Water will be returning for a second season. That show wrapped up its first year back in Fall and only averaged a 0.15 rating based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic, making it USA’s lowest rated series and definitely not a sure thing for renewal. But the network worked out an exclusive deal with Amazon for the VOD sales of the show which apparently helped it secure its second season. This renewal is particularly of interest because it continues to show that the old school Nielsens have less influence on the survival of shows on the cable channels. As you can see in the Scorecard below, Falling Water is near the bottom of the rankings yet got renewal and in the very last slot is BBC America’s Dirk Gently which got a second season pickup on the strength of its international streaming deal with Netflix. So shows like these can survive, even in the uber-competitive environment of Peak TV, if they have the right partnerships and/or financing in place (“stickiness” on the social networks helps as well).

USA will be retooling Falling Water a bit, though, bringing in Rémi Aubuchon (Falling Skies, Caprica) as showrunner with series with co-creator Blake Masters taking a step back to just an executive producer role. The second season will air either late 2017 or early 2018. The show follows three unrelated people who make contact through dreams and realize they have been called together for a bigger mission. It stars Lizzie Brocheré, Will Yun Lee, and David Ajala.

Ratings Results of Interest: On Friday, Sleepy Hollow only managed a 0.5 rating based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic with 1.7 million total viewers for its season finale. Hopefully that episode wrapped up most of this season’s storylines, because I don’t like its chances of returning for a fifth year. Over on NBC, Grimm improved slightly to a 0.9 rating with 4.3 million total viewers as that show wrapped up its six year run. MacGyver returned down from two weeks off at a 0.9 rating with 6.6 million total viewers, but that one has already been renewed for a second season.  And The Originals slipped back to a 0.3 rating with 930K total viewers for The CW, but I still believe that show will get a fifth and final season.

On Sunday, The Walking Dead improved to a 5.4 rating with 11.3 million total viewers which is actually quite low for a season finale performance from that show (down 22% from last year), but it is still the highest rated scripted show on television and will not have to worry about facing cancellation anytime soon.  Into the Badlands slipped to a 1.4 rating with 3.1 million total viewers, but those are still excellent numbers for a cable series.  I expect that one to drop to around the 0.7 to 0.8 range without TWD as its lead-in, but that will still probably be enough to get it a third season renewal.

Over on the broadcast nets, Making History slipped to a series low 0.6 rating with 1.3 million total viewers and it is looking like that show will be history once it wraps up its first season.  Once Upon A Time and The Last Man on Earth both remained low (0.8 rating / 2.8M tot viewers and 0.8 rating / 1.7M tot viewers respectively) which keeps the former series On the Bubble and the latter series moving closer to that point.  I previously covered the ratings results for the Monday through Thursday shows at this link.

Scorecard: The rankings remained mostly steady for the week with only some incidental movement up and down since the prior Scorecard. I expect The CW’s iZombie (Season 3 premiere tonight) to enter on the lower side next week because that show has typically performed below the network’s average. But it still has a chance of surviving to a fourth season seeing as it airs on the Happy Net which typically prefers to renew its shows.

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 April 2nd (metric definitions below):

Rank (PW) Series Net Std Avg Net Bench % Var Live+7 Avg Rtg Status
1 (1) The Walking Dead AMC 5.39 0.60 798.2% 8.03 Renewed
2 (2) American Horror Story FX 1.58 0.60 162.5% 3.16 Renewed
3 (3) Into the Badlands AMC 1.42 0.60 137.2% 2.00 Renewal Possible
4 (4) The Flash (O) CW 1.07 0.52 105.6% 1.92 Renewed
5 (5) The Magicians Syfy 0.33 0.20 62.5% 0.77 Renewal Likely
6 (6) Supergirl (O) CW 0.78 0.52 48.9% 1.39 Renewed
7 (7) Star Wars Rebels DXD 0.14 0.10 44.7% 0.34 Renewal Likely
8 (8) Westworld HBO 0.80 0.60 33.8% 1.50 Renewed
9 (9) Arrow (O) CW 0.65 0.52 24.7% 1.20 Renewed
10 (11) Z Nation Syfy 0.25 0.20 24.3% 0.42 Renewed
11 (12) Son of Zorn (O) FOX 1.28 1.03 24.0% n/a Renewal Possible
12 (10) Legends of Tomorrow (O) CW 0.64 0.52 23.5% 1.14 Renewed
13 (13) Supernatural (O) CW 0.63 0.52 19.9% 1.13 Renewed
14 (14) Shadowhunters Free 0.28 0.25 11.2% 0.50 Renewal Likely
15 (15) Gotham FOX 1.14 1.03 10.3% 1.88 Renewal Likely
16 (16) Lucifer FOX 1.08 1.03 5.3% 1.85 Renewed
17 (17) 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 0.94 1.03 -8.5% 1.48 Renewal Possible
21 (21) Colony USA 0.26 0.30 -12.2% 0.61 Renewal Possible
22 (23) The Good Place (O) NBC 1.25 1.44 -13.2% 1.91 Renewed
23 (22) The Expanse Syfy 0.17 0.20 -13.9% 0.40 Renewed
24 (24) MacGyver (O) (F) CBS 1.10 1.32 -16.5% 1.74 Renewed
25 (25) People of Earth TBS 0.33 0.40 -18.1% n/a Renewed
26 (26) Incorporated Syfy 0.16 0.20 -20.0% 0.34 Cancelled
27 (27) Aftermath Syfy 0.16 0.20 -20.8% 0.33 Cancelled
28 (28) Van Helsing Syfy 0.16 0.20 -21.3% 0.30 Renewed
29 (30) Ash vs Evil Dead STARZ 0.16 0.20 -21.5% 0.34 Renewed
30 (29) Once Upon A Time (O) ABC 0.99 1.27 -22.1% 1.63 On the Bubble
31 (33) Timeless NBC 1.11 1.44 -22.7% 2.07 Cancellation Likely
32 (31) The 100 (O) CW 0.36 0.48 -23.7% 0.70 Renewed
33 (32) Making History (O) NBC 0.72 0.95 -24.3% n/a Cancellation Likely
34 (34) Legion (O) FX 0.45 0.60 -25.0% 1.24 Renewed
35 (35) Teen Wolf MTV 0.22 0.30 -25.7% 0.44 Final Season
36 (37) Vampire Diaries (O) (F) CW 0.38 0.52 -28.1% 0.75 Ended
37 (36) The Originals (O) CW 0.33 0.48 -29.9% 0.60 Renewal Possible
38 (38) The Strain FX 0.42 0.60 -30.8% 0.85 Renewed
39 (39) Guardians of the Galaxy DXD 0.07 0.10 -33.3% n/a Renewal Possible
40 (40) The Exorcist (O) (F) FOX 0.67 1.03 -35.0% 1.09 Cancellation Likely
41 (41) Powerless (O) NBC 0.77 1.29 -40.6% n/a Cancellation Likely
42 (43) Scream Queens (O) FOX 0.61 1.03 -40.8% 0.96 Cancellation Likely
43 (42) Agents of SHIELD (O) ABC 0.75 1.27 -41.1% 1.61 Cancellation Likely
44 (44) Beyond Free 0.14 0.25 -42.7% n/a Renewed
45 (45) Grimm (O) (F) NBC 0.80 1.44 -44.4% 1.43 Final Season
46 (48) Sleepy Hollow (O) (F) FOX 0.51 0.95 -46.6% 0.94 On the Bubble
47 (46) Emerald City (O) (F) NBC 0.69 1.29 -46.6% 1.23 Cancellation Likely
48 (47) Frequency (O) CW 0.28 0.52 -46.9% 0.51 Cancellation Likely
49 (49) Salem WGN 0.08 0.15 -48.0% n/a Cancelled
50 (50) Falling Water USA 0.15 0.30 -51.0% 0.30 Renewed
51 (51) Time After Time ABC 0.53 1.28 -59.1% 0.70 Cancelled
52 (52) 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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