Cancellation Watch Scorecard: A Happy! Start on the Scorecard

By | December 12, 2017

Syfy’s new fantasy crime drama Happy! got off to an unexpectedly strong start ratings-wise last week (more on that at this link), and that resulted in the show entering the Cancellation Watch Scorecard at the Number 2 slot, right below The Walking Dead and above American Horror Story.  While that may seem odd because its debut rating of a 0.4 score is well below the season to date average for both of those shows, the Scorecard ranks based on performance compared to the network’s benchmark.  For Syfy, that was set pretty low at a 0.17 rating, which is the level that got Killjoys renewed this past Summer.  Happy! came in 135% above that, thus the reason the show ranked so well after its first episode.  I expect its numbers to trend down after its premiere, just as most shows do, and it will likely slip some in the rankings.  But unless it takes a complete dive, expect Happy! to remain in the upper third of the Scorecard if not the Top 10 throughout its first season run.  Agents of SHIELD surprisingly did not drop much this week despite its ratings decline for its second Season 5 episode (more on that at this link), but it already started out pretty low last week.  Most of the rest of the movement was incidental which is what I would expect at this point in the season.




The scorecard ranks all of the sci fi and 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 rankings based on the ratings through December 10th (metric definitions below):

Rank (PW) Series Net Std Avg Net Bench % Var Live+7 Avg Rtg Status
1 (1) The Walking Dead (O) AMC 3.79 0.50 657.8% 6.23 Renewal Likely
2 (n/a) Happy (O) Syfy 0.40 0.17 135.3% n/a Upcoming
3 (2) American Horror Story (O) FX 1.10 0.50 120.7% 2.47 Renewed
4 (3) The Flash (O) CW 0.91 0.48 91.0% 1.67 Renewal Likely
5 (4) Outlander Starz 0.32 0.20 59.6% 0.60 Renewed
6 (5) Supernatural (O) CW 0.61 0.48 28.1% 0.95 Renewal Possible
7 (6) Riverdale (O) CW 0.58 0.48 20.5% 1.18 Renewal Possible
8 (7) Legends of Tomorrow (O) CW 0.56 0.48 16.4% 0.93 Renewal Possible
9 (8) Supergirl (O) CW 0.54 0.48 14.1% 0.94 Renewal Likely
10 (9) Arrow (O) CW 0.52 0.48 9.5% 0.96 Renewal Possible
11 (10) Ghosted (O) FOX 1.13 1.03 8.7% n/a Renewal Possible
12 (11) The Gifted (O) FOX 1.07 1.03 3.1% 2.17 Renewal Possible
13 (12) Z Nation Syfy 0.17 0.17 1.1% 0.37 Renewal Likely
14 (13) The Orville (O) FOX 1.00 1.03 -3.4% 2.26 Renewed
15 (14) Gotham FOX 0.89 1.03 -13.9% 1.58 Renewal Possible
16 (15) The Good Place (O) NBC 1.19 1.44 -17.4% 1.98 Renewed
17 (18) Lucifer FOX 0.84 1.03 -18.5% 1.50 Renewal Possible
18 (16) Channel Zero (O) Syfy 0.14 0.17 -18.6% n/a Renewed
19 (17) The Last Man on Earth (O) FOX 0.84 1.03 -19.1% n/a Renewal Possible
20 (19) Stan Against Evil IFC 0.06 0.08 -21.9% n/a Renewal Possible
21 (20) Mr Robot (O) USA 0.22 0.30 -27.0% 0.46 Renewal Possible
22 (21) Van Helsing Syfy 0.12 0.17 -28.1% n/a On the Bubble
23 (22) MacGyver (O) (F) CBS 0.83 1.16 -28.6% n/a On the Bubble
24 (23) Kevin Probably Saves the World (O) ABC 0.74 1.09 -32.6% n/a Cancellation Likely
25 (24) Agents of SHIELD (O) (F) ABC 0.60 1.09 -45.2% n/a Renewed
26 (25) Superstition Syfy 0.09 0.17 -46.1% n/a Cancellation Likely
27 (26) The Inhumans (O) (F) ABC 0.59 1.09 -46.5% 1.13 Cancellation Likely
28 (27) Ghost Wars Syfy 0.09 0.17 -49.0% n/a Cancellation Likely
29 (28) Once Upon A Time (O) (F) ABC 0.55 1.09 -49.8% 1.13 On the Bubble
30 (29) The Shannara Chronicles (O) Spike 0.09 0.20 -54.3% 0.30 Cancellation Likely
31 (30) The Exorcist (O) (F) FOX 0.42 1.03 -59.2% 0.70 On the Bubble
32 (31) Dirk Gentlys Holistic Detective Agency BBCA 0.07 0.30 -76.7% n/a Renewal Possible

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 or co-owned by the network and/or a sister studio. (F) indicates the show airs on Friday when ratings expectations are lower on the broadcast networks.

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 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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