Cancellation Watch: Final Scorecard Before the Upfronts; What Are the Chances for Once Upon A Time?

By | May 9, 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.

Final Scorecard: This will be the final scorecard before the broadcast networks have their upfront presentations to the advertisers next week and unveil their schedules for the 2017-18 season. Plenty of cancellation and renewal announcements will be preceding those meetings and we have already heard the expected cancellations of NBC’s Emerald City last week and The CW’s Frequency yesterday. Expect more to follow and we should know the status of all this season’s shows at least by the time that the network gives its presentation. Here is the schedule for each of the broadcast nets:

NBC – Monday May 15th (Morning)
FOX – Monday May 15th (Afternoon)
ABC – Tuesday May 16th (Afternoon)
CBS – Wednesday May 18th (Afternoon)
The CW – Thursday May 19th (Morning)

The Turner cable networks will also be presenting next week on Wednesday morning and NBC Universal Cable will present on Thursday afternoon. Of course, we already know the renewal / cancellation status of the majority the broadcast net shows on the schedule with only twelve left awaiting to hear official word. Here are those twelve along with the status I have assigned them heading into the Upfronts:

Agents of SHIELD – On the Bubble
The Exorcist – Cancellation Likely
Gotham – Renewal Likely
iZombie – Renewal Possible
The Last Man on Earth – Renewal Possible
Making History – Cancellation Likely
Once Upon A Time – On the Bubble
The Originals – Renewal Possible
Scream Queens – Cancellation Likely
Sleepy Hollow – On the Bubble
Son of Zorn – On the Bubble
Timeless – On the Bubble

Of these, I am pretty confident in the Cancellation Likely status I have assigned to The Exorcist, Making History, and Scream Queens. I’m also pretty confident that Gotham will be back next season unless they have a problem negotiating contracts. The other eight are all pretty much a crapshoot. I discussed Agents of SHIELD, iZombie, and The Originals previously at this link. I looked at FOX’s three genre comedies last week here. And I previously considered the odds for Sleepy Hollow here and for Timeless here.

As for Once Upon A Time, that one could come down to the wire (there’s usually at least one every year) and hinge on contract negotiations. The show plans on wrapping up most of its story arcs with its season finale this coming Sunday, but series creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz have plans for a reboot of sorts next year. However, series star Jennifer Morrison (who was part of the reboot plans) has chosen not to stay with the show on a regular basis, though she could return as a recurring character. Once Upon A Time sunk pretty low in the ratings this season, so ABC will be thinking long and hard about whether they want it back for another year, especially considering it is at a good ending point and has more than enough episodes for an extended syndication run. So this will all depend on contract negotiations as well as the shows ABC decides to pick up among this season’s crop of pilots. If they can bring Once Upon A Time back for another year at an affordable price and there is room on the schedule, they may do it. But if they feel strong about enough of their pilots, the veteran series may get sent off to its life in syndication reruns.  And even if it does come back for a seventh season, that will likely be its last.

Ratings Results of Interest: On Sunday, Starz’s American Gods slipped a bit with its second episode to a 0.30 rating based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic with 710K total viewers.  Those are still good numbers for that network, though, and the show is trending well on the social nets as it was in the Daily Nielsen Social Content Top 5 again on Sunday (at the Number 5 slot).  I would not be surprised to hear an early renewal announcement on this one.  Over on FOX, The Last Man on Earth wrapped up its third season with a whimper, managing only a 0.7 rating and 1.8 million total viewers for its double-episode finale.  I still think that one has a shot at coming back for a fourth season next year, though.  On Saturday, Disney XD ran three episodes of Guardians of the Galaxy in the morning, but they only managed a 0.05 rating with 230K total viewers.  The continued low ratings along with the erratic scheduling of this show make me wonder if DXD is just burning off its second season at this point, so I am moving its status to On the Bubble.

Scorecard: As with last week, there is not much movement in the scorecard which is what I would expect at this point in the season.  Below are the final rankings for each of these shows before we head into next weeks Upfronts when the fate of all the broadcast net entries should be determined.

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 May 7th (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% 7.95 Renewed
2 (2) American Horror Story FX 1.58 0.60 162.5% 3.16 Renewed
3 (3) The Flash (O) CW 1.07 0.50 112.2% 1.89 Renewed
4 (4) American Gods STARZ 0.33 0.20 65.0% n/a Renewal Likely
5 (5) The Magicians Syfy 0.31 0.20 54.6% 0.71 Renewed
6 (7) Supergirl (O) CW 0.75 0.50 48.9% 1.37 Renewed
7 (8) Star Wars Rebels DXD 0.14 0.10 44.7% 0.34 Renewed
8 (6) Into the Badlands AMC 0.86 0.60 42.9% 1.44 Renewed
9 (9) Westworld HBO 0.80 0.60 33.8% 1.50 Renewed
10 (10) Son of Zorn (O) FOX 1.28 0.99 29.0% n/a On the Bubble
11 (12) Legends of Tomorrow (O) CW 0.64 0.50 27.8% 1.13 Renewed
12 (11) Arrow (O) CW 0.64 0.50 26.5% 1.16 Renewed
13 (13) Z Nation Syfy 0.25 0.20 24.3% 0.42 Renewed
14 (14) Supernatural (O) CW 0.60 0.50 19.6% 1.09 Renewed
15 (15) Gotham FOX 1.12 0.99 13.0% 1.88 Renewal Likely
16 (16) Shadowhunters Free 0.28 0.25 11.2% 0.50 Renewal Likely
17 (17) Lucifer FOX 1.08 0.99 9.0% 1.85 Renewed
18 (18) Stan Against Evil IFC 0.08 0.08 -4.7% n/a Renewed
19 (19) The Librarians TNT 0.47 0.50 -5.2% 0.88 Renewed
20 (20) Channel Zero Syfy 0.19 0.20 -5.8% 0.38 Renewed
21 (21) The Last Man on Earth (O) FOX 0.91 0.99 -7.9% 1.48 Renewal Possible
22 (22) The Good Place (O) NBC 1.25 1.37 -8.7% 1.91 Renewed
23 (23) Colony USA 0.26 0.30 -12.6% 0.60 Renewed
24 (24) The Expanse Syfy 0.17 0.20 -15.0% 0.39 Renewed
25 (25) MacGyver (O) (F) CBS 1.08 1.28 -15.9% 1.67 Renewed
26 (27) People of Earth TBS 0.33 0.40 -18.1% n/a Renewed
27 (28) Timeless NBC 1.11 1.37 -18.7% 2.07 On the Bubble
28 (29) Incorporated Syfy 0.16 0.20 -20.0% 0.34 Cancelled
29 (30) Aftermath Syfy 0.16 0.20 -20.8% 0.33 Cancelled
30 (31) Van Helsing Syfy 0.16 0.20 -21.3% 0.30 Renewed
31 (32) Ash vs Evil Dead STARZ 0.16 0.20 -21.5% 0.34 Renewed
32 (33) The 100 (O) CW 0.35 0.45 -23.1% 0.67 Renewed
33 (34) Once Upon A Time (O) ABC 0.94 1.22 -23.5% 1.53 On the Bubble
34 (26) Guardians of the Galaxy DXD 0.08 0.10 -24.0% n/a On the Bubble
35 (36) Legion (O) FX 0.45 0.60 -25.0% 1.17 Renewed
36 (38) Vampire Diaries (O) (F) CW 0.38 0.50 -25.3% 0.75 Ended
37 (37) Teen Wolf MTV 0.22 0.30 -25.7% 0.44 Final Season
38 (35) Making History (O) NBC 0.68 0.91 -25.7% n/a Cancellation Likely
39 (39) The Originals (O) (F) CW 0.33 0.45 -27.8% 0.64 Renewal Possible
40 (40) iZombie (O) CW 0.32 0.45 -29.7% 0.67 Renewal Possible
41 (41) The Strain FX 0.42 0.60 -30.8% 0.85 Renewed
42 (42) The Exorcist (O) (F) FOX 0.67 0.99 -32.3% 1.09 Cancellation Likely
43 (43) Scream Queens (O) FOX 0.61 0.99 -38.4% 0.96 Cancellation Likely
44 (45) Agents of SHIELD (O) ABC 0.74 1.22 -39.4% 1.59 On the Bubble
45 (46) Grimm (O) (F) NBC 0.80 1.37 -41.5% 1.43 Ended
46 (44) The Leftovers HBO 0.35 0.60 -42.5% n/a Final Season
47 (47) Beyond Free 0.14 0.25 -42.7% n/a Renewed
48 (48) Powerless (O) NBC 0.70 1.23 -42.9% n/a Cancelled
49 (50) Emerald City (O) (F) NBC 0.69 1.23 -43.8% 1.23 Cancelled
50 (49) Sleepy Hollow (O) (F) FOX 0.51 0.91 -44.1% 0.94 On the Bubble
51 (51) Frequency (O) CW 0.28 0.50 -44.8% 0.51 Cancelled
52 (52) Salem WGN 0.08 0.15 -48.0% n/a Cancelled
53 (53) Falling Water USA 0.15 0.30 -51.0% 0.30 Renewed
54 (54) Time After Time ABC 0.53 1.20 -56.3% 0.70 Cancelled
55 (55) 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.  Note that shows on the streaming services are not included because of insufficient viewership data and foreign imports like Doctor Who will not be included because they rely more heavily on their viewership in their home countries.

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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