Sci Fi TV Status Report: Runaways and Future Man Get Renewed, Extinct Gets Cancelled, and More

By | January 13, 2018

Recapping the stories from the week relating to the renewal / cancellation of sci fi and fantasy television shows.  This article may be reprinted in part or in whole as long as links back to the original post are included.

Hulu Renews Runaways and Future Man

It is TCA time of year, when the networks meet with the Television Critics Association and reveal their upcoming programming plans. Amidst that, Hulu announced this past week that its two freshmen series Runaways and Future Man have both been renewed for a second season. That news comes as no surprise for the former series because there was plenty of anticipation leading up to its debut and it has received a fair amount of good buzz in its first season. As for the latter series, I have not heard much buzz about it among the sci fi community but the critics seemed to have liked it well enough. And both of these shows benefit from the fact that they air on one of the streaming services as those venues tend to hand out renewals more often than cancellations. Both shows received thirteen episode orders for their second seasons.

BYUtv Cancels Extinct After One Season

BYUtv’s has cancelled its science fiction series Extinct which was created by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston. The non-profit network issued a statement announcing the cancellation late last week. The network claims that the show was not cancelled due to the ratings (though they did not share the numbers), but apparently because they believe it did not register well with their audience compared to their other programming. Extinct did garner some attention among the sci fi community and some good buzz, but it never seemed to catch on widely with that audience either. Aaron Johnston did lobby fans to contact BYUtv to request a second season last Fall, but apparently that did not generate enough activity to save the show. The entire first season is still available for streaming at the BYUtv website and it fortunately does not wrap up with a cliffhanger ending. An early petition is in the works to try and save the show and you can sign that at this link.

Renewals Possible for Once Upon A Time and Agents of SHIELD, Unlikely for The Inhumans

At the TCAs, ABC’s Entertainment president Channing Dungey discussed the prospects of its genre entries Once Upon A Time, Agents of SHIELD, and The Inhumans. She noted that the first two shows have seen notable drops with their moves to Friday, but both continue to do well in Live+7 viewing. Dungey claimed that she is “cautiously optimistic” about another season of Once Upon A Time, and that she believes Agents of SHIELD could come back for another year as well. I believe that renewals are possible for both since they have secured enough episodes to satisfy the syndication market and any additional seasons are just padding to their encore runs. Also, they plug up two low-viewership timeslots on Friday night. As for The Inhumans, Dungey commented that “it didn’t perform for us at the level we would’ve wanted”. She did not say that it has definitely been cancelled, but all indications are that it will not be back for another season.

Get Ready to Add a Fourteenth Season to Supernatural‘s Run

At the TCAs, CW boss Mark Pedowitz was asked about long-running series Supernatural and gave what has become the expected answer: “That show will go on as long as it keeps going, the boys (stars Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles) keep doing it and the ratings keep holding.” He noted that it would reach its 300th episode next season, and even though he would not commit to another year, indicated that it is likely to come back. At this point, I expect to hear a blanket renewal for the network’s Fall genre entries either later this month or early in February because it has become a tradition for The CW to make those announcements early and en masse.

Ratings Trends: The Magicians Returns Down, but Still Looks Okay

On Wednesday, Syfy’s fantasy series The Magicians returned for its third season and posted a 0.30 rating based on same day viewing for the 18-49 demographic. That is down from the 0.52 score the show had for its second season debut, but still very good for Syfy these days. As long as The Magicians does not tank in the coming weeks (unlikely) consider it a lock for a fourth season renewal. Happy! did not take advantage of its strong lead-in as it slipped to a 0.18 rating, down from the 0.22 score it had the prior week. But that one is still performing better than most of Syfy’s Fall slate and looks to be on track for a second season renewal.

Over on FOX, The X-Files slipped to a 1.0 rating for its second Season 11 episode. All indications are that the show will be ending after this year, and it is uncertain that FOX would even want it back at these levels.  On CBS, MacGyver improved to a 1.0 rating on Friday (based on the preliminaries), and that show continues to track toward renewal especially considering the fact that it regularly places in the Top 25 for the week based on total viewers.

Keep up with the ratings performance of the sci fi and fantasy shows throughout the week with the Cancellation Watch posts and also be sure to follow the Cancelled Sci Fi Twitter Site for the latest ratings numbers as well as breaking news.

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