AMC currently has three genre shows facing an uncertain fate: The network’s supernatural drama Preacher just wrapped up its third season. Its AI series Humans (which comes in a partnership with the British Channel 4) finished its third season last month. And its post-apocalyptic martial arts series Into the Badlands is on hiatus with no word on when it will be back. All three of the shows are in their third years and all have experienced notable year-over-year ratings declines.
Preacher returned for its third season in late June with ratings down by almost fifty percent from its second year numbers. It did improve as the season progressed and ended on a high note for this year, but the season average of a 0.25 score was still down by 38% from last year. Preacher has developed somewhat of a following as well as some good buzz, but I have not noticed a strong presence for the show on the social networks this year. Whether or not AMC will keep this one going for a fourth season is up in the air at this point. It is certainly not cheap to produce and I don’t believe it counts as a high-profile series for the network. AMC may not have a lot of incentive for keeping it on the air considering the decline in the show’s viewership, so fans may want to stage a Call to Action in support of the show. At this point, I consider it firmly On the Bubble leaning toward a cancellation threat.
As for Humans, that series aired early in the Summer and saw its ratings nearly drop off the map. It averaged only a 0.08 ratings for its third season (down 41% year-over-year) and AMC kicked it out of Prime Time to the 11 PM hour midway through the season. That seems like a clear sign that the U.S. network has given up on the show, but it is possible that the British Channel 4 could keep it going for another season if they can work out the finances. But viewership is down across the Atlantic as well according to by Wikipedia, so it may not be worth it for that network to commit further to the show. Fans should definitely lobby Channel 4 (and include AMC) if they want a fourth season, because I consider this one very much On the Bubble and possibly on the way out.
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As for Into the Badlands, that show wrapped up the first half it its third season in June and there has been no word on it since. Fear the Walking Dead, which it was airing with in Spring, returned from hiatus earlier this month. But Into the Badlands is not on the schedule yet and I have heard nothing on a return date. Like the shows above, this one’s numbers are down year-over-year, but even more drastically. Its season-to-date ratings average of a 0.36 score is down by 55% from last year. Considering this is certainly an expensive series to produce, that’s a big gap in viewership that I am sure the AMC execs are not happy with. It is possible that this one has international partnerships that can keep it afloat, but if not–or they are not strong enough–I don’t like its chances of surviving to a fourth season. In fact, I’m wondering if the network has not already decided to cancel the show and is just waiting until a later time to burn off the remaining episodes. In any case, this one is yet another Bubble show that looks like it is leaning closer to cancellation than renewal.
Unfortunately, with cable networks like AMC it is often difficult to get a good gauge on the prospects of borderline shows. International and/or streaming deals can make up for a gap in viewership and may keep lower-rated shows going. I do know that Humans has its Channel 4 partnership, but as mentioned above I don’t know how committed the British network is to that one at this point. As for the other two, I do not know of any major partnerships that could help them. But the fans can definitely lend their support with a Call to Action, and perhaps that can keep one or more of these going.