Cancellation Watch: Twin Peaks Debut Falls Short in the Peak TV Crunch, Plus the Scorecard

By | May 23, 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.

Series Premiere: Showtime’s much anticipated Twin Peaks revival debuted on Sunday, but seemed to get lost of the shuffle of Peak TV. It only managed a 0.15 rating based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic with 510k total viewers. Of course, the premium channels are not too concerned with the overnight stats and they count the multiple viewings throughout the week because they are not relying on advertising revenue like the broadcast networks and cable channels. Plus, the show’s two hour premiere was available immediately on the Showtime’s streaming service and they even noted a bump in subscribers after announcing the episodes three and four were being made available early for streaming. Still, the overnights do act as a leading indicator of how many people are watching, and the 0.15 score is a far cry from the 3.85 that Game of Thrones averaged on Showtime’s competitor HBO last season. It is also below the 0.18 score that got Penny Dreadful cancelled in its third season (no, I don’t believe they planned to end that one and yes I count it as cancelled). Also, Twin Peaks was fourth out of five genre entries on cable on Sunday, only beating out Syfy’s well-respected by little-watched 12 Monkeys:

Series Network Overnight Rating Total Viewers
1 Into the Badlands AMC 0.47 1,370
2 The Leftovers HBO 0.29 770
3 American Gods Starz 0.25 630
4 Twin Peaks Show 0.15 510
5 12 Monkeys Syfy 0.08 280

Of course, Showtime is still getting plenty of buzz just for reviving the cult series, and it did trend well on the social networks (landing at Number 9 in the Weekly Nielsen Social Top 10). Plus, we haven’t seen the digital viewing numbers yet which I expect will be good and that the network will brag about them. Also, this is allegedly an 18-episode limited series designed to give a one-time return to Twin Peaks and resolve any lingering questions. But then we know how that works, its are only truly “limited” if the audience does not justify more seasons. We will wait and see how this one tracks in the coming weeks, and what supplemental stats Showtime comes up with to prove it is a success.  But at the moment it appears that the revival of a 25 year old cult series did not do much to move the needle for its network in the Peak TV crunch.

Ratings Results of Interest: Syfy’s 12 Monkeys had its third season “binge-run” over the weekend which delivered a 0.12 ratings average (based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic) and 420K total viewers for its four eps on Friday, a 0.08 rating average and 340K total viewers for three eps on Sat, and a 0.08 rating average with 280K total viewers on for its last three eps on Sunday. The overall average of a 0.09 rating was below the show’s 0.12 second season average, but that’s not too much of a surprise considering the audience attrition we have already seen from this one. It will return for a fourth and final season in 2018. On Starz on Sunday, American Gods slipped to a 0.25 rating with 630K total viewers, but that show has already been renewed for a second season. And AMC’s Into The Badlands slipped to a 0.47 rating with 1.4 million total viewers for its season finale. But it is set for a third season which will debut in 2018.

Scorecard: The Scorecard standings should not matter much for either 12 Monkeys (heading into its final season) or Twin Peaks (allegedly in a one-time-only revival run), but I went ahead and included them for bench-marking purposes. The former series performed notably below the other Syfy entries in its three-night binge-run, and it lands at the Number 55 slot, near the bottom of the rankings. For Twin Peaks, I don’t have much comparison data seeing as Showtime has had no other genre entries since Penny Dreadful wrapped up last year, but looking at the ratings for that network’s other recent shows, I wagged out a 0.25 minimum renewal level that has the revival series entering at Number 45. Take that with a grain of rock salt, though.

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 21st (metric definitions below):

Rank (PW) Series Net Std Avg Net Bench % Var Live+7 Avg Rtg Status
1 (1) The Walking Dead (O) AMC 5.39 0.60 798.2% 7.95 Renewed
2 (2) American Horror Story (O) FX 1.58 0.60 162.5% 3.16 Renewed
3 (3) The Flash (O) CW 1.05 0.50 112.2% 1.88 Renewed
4 (5) The Magicians Syfy 0.31 0.20 54.6% 0.71 Renewed
5 (4) American Gods STARZ 0.30 0.20 48.8% n/a Renewed
6 (6) Supergirl (O) CW 0.73 0.50 46.6% 1.32 Renewed
7 (7) Star Wars Rebels (O) DXD 0.14 0.10 44.7% 0.34 Renewed
8 (9) Westworld HBO 0.80 0.60 33.8% 1.50 Renewed
9 (8) Into the Badlands AMC 0.79 0.60 31.5% 1.44 Renewed
10 (10) Son of Zorn (O) FOX 1.28 0.98 29.8% n/a Cancelled
11 (11) Legends of Tomorrow (O) CW 0.64 0.50 29.0% 1.13 Renewed
12 (12) Arrow (O) CW 0.63 0.50 26.2% 1.14 Renewed
13 (13) Z Nation Syfy 0.25 0.20 24.3% 0.42 Renewed
14 (14) Supernatural (O) CW 0.60 0.50 19.8% 1.09 Renewed
15 (15) Gotham FOX 1.10 0.98 11.8% 1.86 Renewed
16 (16) Shadowhunters Free 0.28 0.25 11.2% 0.50 Renewal Likely
17 (17) Lucifer FOX 1.05 0.98 6.7% 1.84 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 0.98 -7.3% 1.48 Renewed
22 (22) The Good Place (O) NBC 1.25 1.35 -7.4% 1.91 Renewed
23 (23) Colony USA 0.26 0.30 -12.6% 0.60 Renewed
24 (25) MacGyver (O) (F) CBS 1.08 1.27 -15.0% 1.67 Renewed
25 (24) The Expanse Syfy 0.17 0.20 -15.0% 0.39 Renewed
26 (27) Timeless NBC 1.11 1.35 -17.6% 2.07 Renewed
27 (26) People of Earth TBS 0.33 0.40 -18.1% n/a Renewed
28 (28) Incorporated Syfy 0.16 0.20 -20.0% 0.34 Cancelled
29 (29) Aftermath Syfy 0.16 0.20 -20.8% 0.33 Cancelled
30 (30) Van Helsing Syfy 0.16 0.20 -21.3% 0.30 Renewed
31 (31) Ash vs Evil Dead STARZ 0.16 0.20 -21.5% 0.34 Renewed
32 (32) Once Upon A Time (O) ABC 0.93 1.21 -22.7% 1.53 Renewed
33 (33) Guardians of the Galaxy DXD 0.08 0.10 -24.0% n/a On the Bubble
34 (36) Vampire Diaries (O) (F) CW 0.38 0.50 -24.5% 0.75 Ended
35 (34) The 100 (O) CW 0.34 0.45 -24.7% 0.66 Renewed
36 (35) Legion (O) FX 0.45 0.60 -25.0% 1.17 Renewed
37 (38) Teen Wolf MTV 0.22 0.30 -25.7% 0.44 Final Season
38 (37) Making History (O) NBC 0.67 0.91 -26.4% n/a Cancelled
39 (40) iZombie (O) CW 0.31 0.45 -30.7% 0.65 Renewed
40 (41) The Strain FX 0.42 0.60 -30.8% 0.85 Renewed
41 (39) The Originals (O) (F) CW 0.31 0.45 -31.4% 0.63 Renewed
42 (42) The Exorcist (O) (F) FOX 0.67 0.98 -31.9% 1.09 Renewed
43 (43) Scream Queens (O) FOX 0.61 0.98 -38.0% 0.96 Cancelled
44 (44) Agents of SHIELD (O) ABC 0.74 1.21 -39.0% 1.58 Renewed
45 (n/a) Twin Peaks Show 0.15 0.25 -40.0% n/a Final Season
46 (45) Grimm (O) (F) NBC 0.80 1.35 -40.7% 1.43 Ended
47 (48) Powerless (O) NBC 0.70 1.22 -42.4% n/a Cancelled
48 (47) Beyond Free 0.14 0.25 -42.7% n/a Renewed
49 (46) The Leftovers HBO 0.34 0.60 -43.1% n/a Final Season
50 (49) Emerald City (O) (F) NBC 0.69 1.22 -43.3% 1.23 Cancelled
51 (50) Sleepy Hollow (O) (F) FOX 0.51 0.91 -43.9% 0.94 Cancelled
52 (51) Frequency (O) CW 0.28 0.50 -44.3% 0.51 Cancelled
53 (52) Salem WGN 0.08 0.15 -48.0% n/a Cancelled
54 (53) Falling Water USA 0.15 0.30 -51.0% 0.30 Renewed
55 (n/a) 12 Monkeys Syfy 0.09 0.20 -53.3% n/a Renewed
56 (54) Time After Time ABC 0.53 1.18 -55.6% 0.70 Cancelled
57 (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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