Sci Fi TV Status Report: The Orville Slows Down, Stitchers is Cancelled, and More

By | September 19, 2017

 Holds Mostly Steady For Second Sunday Outing

On Sunday, FOX’s Trek-like comedy The Orville slipped some for its second episode to to a 2.2 rating based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic with 6.6 million total viewers. That’s down from last week’s 2.8 score for the show’s premiere, but still quite impressive considering it was going up against the football game over on NBC and the Emmy’s on CBS. Of course, that number was inflated by the bleed-over from afternoon football with the preliminaries (which averaged a 2.6 rating) showing the first half hour of the show pulling a 3.5 rating and the second half hour slipping to a 1.7 score. The drop off its expected, but the show was at least holding its own amidst stiff competition.

All these numbers are moot, though, except for the fact that they indicate the show is getting some good early promotion. The Orville‘s fate will ultimately be decided by the ratings it pulls on Thursday nights when it gets moved to the brutal 9 PM EST timeslot starting this week. I’m guessing it will drop to around a 1.0 score and could slip further in the coming weeks. As I mentioned in last week’s post, FOX has to know that the numbers will drop in that hour, and we will have to see if the network is willing to stand by the show. Baring ratings delays, I will report on the preliminary Thursday results for The Orville (and Gotham‘s Season 4 debut) in my Friday This Week In Sci-Fi TV column.

Freeform Cancels  After Three Seasons

Freeform has decided not to continue its sci fi procedural Stitchers for a fourth season and announced the cancellation of that show late Friday. It has been one of the network’s lowest rated shows during the 2016-17 season, averaging only a 0.13 rating based on the overnights this past Summer without significant gains in delayed viewing. But I had thought that they would at least give it a fourth and final season to resolve all its storylines and to give it a more bingeable run for the streaming services. Apparently they decided not to go that route as Hollywood Reporter has indicated that the network has been shifting its programming to appeal to “‘becomers’, or young adults who are experiencing a series of firsts like love and work”. Stitchers has had a very dedicated fanbase that has been quite active on the social networks and the show’s “stickiness” in social media has previously been cited as a reason it has survived across three seasons despite mediocre to low ratings. Those fans are currently campaigning for a fourth season and I will have more info on that in an upcoming post.

Ratings Results Of Interest:  improves,  Continues To Slip

On Sunday, The Last Ship picked up steam for TNT as it improved to a 0.34 rating based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic with 1.6 million total viewers. That show has already been renewed for a fifth season. Over on AMC, Fear the Walking Deadslipped yet again, this time to a 0.74 rating with two million total viewers. It has already been renewed for a fourth season, but that or perhaps a fifth will likely be its last. Startz’s Outlander slipped a bit to a 0.29 rating with 1.4 million total viewers, but it is still doing well for that network and has already been renewed for a fourth season.

Last Thursday, Zoo remained low at a 0.5 rating with 2.6 million total viewers. Fans are lobbying for a fourth season of that show, but that may be a long-shot at this point. On Wednesday, Salvation also held low for CBS with a 0.5 rating and 3.5 million total viewers. That one will likely be done after its “limited run”.

Final Scorecard For 2016-17 Season

There was no Cancellation Watch Scorecard for last week because of the ratings delays, and this week brings the (mostly) final edition of the Scorecard for the 2016-17 season. A few Summer shows will be wrapping up this week and Fear the Walking Dead and The Last Ship will carry over a little bit further into the Fall season. But the results are pretty much baked in at this point and I don’t expect to see much if any movement beyond where it currently stands. I will keep an eye on Fear the Walking Dead to see if it slips any further due to its ratings declines (it dropped from Number 5 to Number 6 in the latest rankings), and will probably do a final-final run in a couple of weeks.

As for the 2017-18 Season scorecard, I expect to have that ready about the first or second weekend of October. We need to get enough shows started to have something rankable and I need to collect network ratings averages for a few weeks to establish benchmarks. So keep an eye out for that and you can see the current rankings here.

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

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