Sci Fi TV Status Report: Zoo Could Be in Trouble, Castlevania Gets a Second Season, and More

By | July 11, 2017

The ‘Zoo’ Could Be Closing

On Thursday of last week, CBS’ Zoo got a bit of good news when its ratings for its second Season 3 episode improved to a 0.6 rating based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic. But the bad news was that it dropped to 2.9 million total viewers (down from thee million the prior week) and older-skewing CBS pays more attention to that stat. Plus, the show is down year-over-year and performing much worse than the reality shows and game shows that broadcast networks are offering this Summer. And you can’t blame the low numbers on scheduling, because Zoo has Big Brother as it lead-in which is the network’s highest rated show and a Top 5 entry for the broadcast networks. The sci fi series has not been able to take advantage of its lead-in boost and has lost close to 70% of the audience two weeks in a row. Nor has it managed to crack the Top 25 despite a lack of competition during the Summer season.

CBS does have a partnership with Netflix on Zoo that makes episodes available for streaming after their live broadcast, but that may not be enough to make up the difference from the low linear viewing. Summer series Braindead was cancelled last year after averaging only a 0.4 rating based on the overnights, and Zoo is currently not too far above that. If it can climb back up closer to the 0.7 range, though, it might have a chance. The network did not promote the Season 3 premiere too heavily, so perhaps fans did not realize the show was back. We will have to see how this one tracks in the coming weeks, but it is definitely not off to a good start.

Call To Action:  And More Need Support From Their Fans

'Wynonna Earp' [Credit: Syfy]

The ratings have been low for the sci fi and fantasy Summer entries this year as the Peak TV crunch continues to fracture the audience. But the old-school Nielsen ratings do not necessarily dictate the fate of shows these days–especially on the cable nets–and fans do have a means of making a difference and helping their shows. We have just recently seen NBC’s Timeless saved by a fan campaign that was very active on the social nets, and Netflix agreed to give Sense8 a finale in response to an outcry from fans. Both of these prove that the social nets can be a powerful tool to help support shows that are struggling in the Nielsen ratings. In addition, online viewing and/or purchasing episodes can help turn the tide as well. I go into more detail on what fans can do here, and I give a rundown of the current shows that need support–which includes  and more–here.

 Gets Officially Renewed For A Second Season

'Castlevania' [Credit: Netflix]

Netflix’s animated series Castlevania–based on the classic vampire hunter video game series–had its first season bow last Friday, and the streaming service gave the show the greenlight for a second season on that same day. My previous understanding was that the second season was part of the plan all along and that work was already underway on that, but Netflix has given the official stamp to that now. The first season comprised four thirty-minute episodes, and the second will have eight. Among the voice cast are Hobbitalums Graham McTavish and Richard Armitage, BSG alum James Callis, and genre mainstay Matt Frewer. The second season of the animated series will stream in 2018.

Ratings Results of Interest: ‘Dark Matter’ and ‘The Mist’ Slip

On Thursday, Spike’s The Mist slipped yet again, this time to a 0.12 rating based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic with 428K total viewers. I thought that show would get a free pass to a second season because it is leading the scripted programming charge for its network as Spike transitions to Paramount TV. But at these levels, it has to be considered On the Bubble at this point.

On Friday, Syfy’s Dark Matter slipped to a 0.13 rating with 583K total viewers. I still believe that one has a decent chance at a fourth season, but those numbers are definitely concerning. Killjoys improved slightly to a 0.16 rating with 605K total viewers while Wynonna Earp remained low at a 0.12 rating with 499K total viewers. All of the four shows above could use a Call to Action from their fans to keep them from sinking beneath the Peak TV crunch.

On Sunday, Fear the Walking Dead improved to a 0.93 rating with 2.6 million total viewers. But I expected a higher bump for that show since it was at its mid-season finale, so it continues to perform below expectations even though it remains the highest rated show on cable this Summer. Over on Showtime, Twin Peaks improved to a 0.16 rating with 355k total viewers as that one has been picking up some momentum of late. But I don’t expect that the network will decide to extend its “limited run”.

Scorecard: ‘The Mist’ Continues To Fade In The Rankings

'The Mist' [Credit: Spike TV]

With the diminishing ratings that The Mist has been seeing, it slipped eleven slots this week in the Cancellation Watch Scorecard, going from Number 28 to Number 39. Zooshot up twelve slots (from Number 45 to Number 33) and Preacher slipped nine (from Number 29 to Number 38), but they have only been in the Scorecard a few weeks and have not quite settled in yet. The same is true of Killjoys which jumped up five place (from Number 40 to Number 35) with its slight ratings improvement. A couple more weeks in the rankings should stabilize each of those shows. Most of the rest of the movement was incidental and you can see the full rankings here.

Be sure to follow the Cancelled Sci-Fi TV Twitter for daily ratings results as well as breaking news and updates.

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