Cancellation Watch Weekly Roundup: Mars Returns Down, The Walking Dead Hits Mid-Season Low

By | November 28, 2018

Ratings results and status updates on all the currently airing sci fi & fantasy shows as well as those still awaiting word on their fates. For the latest ratings updates, be sure to follow the Cancelled Sci Fi Twitter Site

Ratings Results of Interest: Last week I whiffed on the Mars ratings results from its debut the prior Monday, so I will catch up with that show now. That docu-drama returned on November 12th for its second season but only posted a 0.09 rating based on same day viewing for the 18-49 demographic with 604K total viewers, and then it slipped to a 0.05 rating with 413K total viewers last Monday. That has the show down by over 60% from the of its first season which aired two years ago. The long time between seasons may have contributed to the drop in viewership, though Nat Geo did a pretty good job of promoting the show’s return. This one was a global hit in 2016 according to its network, so its worldwide numbers may factor more heavily into its standing and there is still a possibility this one could come back for a third year run.

On Monday of this week, The CW’s Arrow had a 0.4 rating with 1.3 million total viewers and Legends of Tomorrow had a 0.3 rating with 989K total viewers (based on the preliminaries). That puts Arrow up by 0.1 from last week while LoT held steadily low. Over on NBC, Manifest held even with last week pulling a 1.1 rating with right at six million total viewers. That show is now on break until mid-season.

On Sunday, AMC’s The Walking Dead improved to a 2.0 rating with 5.1 million total viewers, but that marks a low-point for a mid-season finale from the show, over 40% below its numbers at the same point last year. But as I have said before, I expect this one will be back for at least one more season if not more. Over on BBC America, Doctor Who improved to a 0.30 rating with 867K total viewers as that one winds down its current season. On Starz, Outlander improved slightly to a 0.15 rating with 960K total viewers while on Disney Star Wars: Resistance slipped to a 0.07 score with 338K total viewers.

On the broadcast nets on Sunday, CBS’s God Friended me improved to a 1.0 rating with 8.1 million total viewers as that one continues to do well for its network on Sundays. Over on The CW, Supergirl held at a 0.3 rating with 1.2 million total viewers while Charmed slipped to a 0.2 score with 869K total viewers. But despite their low numbers in the demo, they should both be considered safe at this point.

On Friday, Syfy’s Z Nation slipped to a 0.14 rating with 448K total viewers and Van Helsing slipped to a 0.08 rating with 354K total viewers. The holiday weekend is probably partly to blame, but both of those shows have been under-performing most of season. On Tuesday, The CW’s The Flash remained low at a 0.6 rating with 1.6 million total viewers and Black Lightning also remained low at a 0.3 rating with 985K total viewers. The former series is still safe, but the latter could be verging closer to Bubble status. The rest of the Tuesday through Friday shows were preempted or in repeats due to the holiday week.

You can see the full ratings results for the week at this link, and be sure to follow the Cancelled Sci Fi Twitter Site for the latest results and breaking news.  Ratings Source: ShowBuzzDaily

What’s to watch on the Streaming Services?  Click on the following links for a comprehensive list of the Sci Fi TV Shows available on Netflix | Prime Video | Hulu | Other

Call To Action: Van Helsing, The Gifted, Midnight Texas, Daredevil, and More Could Use a Show of Support from Fans


The Fall season is winding down now and several sci fi and fantasy shows look like they could become victims of the Peak TV crunch.  But the networks are starting to understand that the old school Nielsen ratings no longer accurately reflect the full viewership for their shows,  and that offers an opportunity for fans to step up and show their support in ways that the networks will notice.  Last year we saw FOX’s Lucifer and Syfy’s The Expanse saved by the streaming services (Netflix and Amazon respectively) after fans took to the social networks (and more) to support those shows.  So it appears that an active and engaged fanbase can influence the fate of a show if they rally together. This season, shows like Van Helsing, The Gifted, Midnight Texas, Legends of Tomorrow and more are struggling in the ratings, and the future of Netflix’s Daredevil seems uncertain after the cancellations of Iron Fist and Luke Cage. I have a rundown of all the show currently in need of support from fans at this link.  And you can vote on which Fall 2018 shows you want to see return at this link.

Status Updates: Midnight, Texas Now Looks Likely to Be Cancelled

Below are the status updates for all the currently airing shows or those still awaiting word on their fate.  This does not include streaming shows, unless there is information worth mentioning, because there is typically too little data available to gauge their fates. You can click through to the show pages to see week-over-week ratings results (where available) and find out more information about the series.  You can see the status of all the currently airing and returning sci fi TV shows at the Cancellation Watch Page.

Arrow (CW, Status – Renewal Possible): This show has returned down a bit from last year’s numbers and it is almost certainly looking at wrapping up sooner rather than later. Whether it comes back for an eighth season depends on how The CW decides to proceed with its Arrow-verse shows.

Black Lightning (CW, Status – Renewal Possible): The numbers are down for this show in its second year and it will not have too many episodes under its belt by season end. The CW prefers to renew shows rather than cancel them, but with the waning popularity of its superhero entries, this one could be the first casualty if its ratings remain low.

Channel Zero (Syfy, Status – Cancellation Likely): By all appearances, this one looks to be a dead show walking. Its ratings have been on a continual decline across its four seasons, and Syfy burned off the fourth year episodes across six consecutive nights outside of Prime Time. The show has stirred up some good buzz and has picked up a small but loyal following, but Syfy has been in the cancelling business of late and it looks like this one could be the next to fall. Fans could try to make some noise on the social nets to see if another venue might be interested in picking the show up, though.

Charmed (CW, Status – Renewal Possible): The same day ratings for this show may not be great on highly competitive Sunday nights, but it is one of the most watched shows in digital viewing on the network’s website and app.  Since The CW has better adapted to the 21st century than the other broadcast nets, it factors online viewing more heavily into its model.  This show has received a full season order and should be on track to charm its way into a second season.

Doctor Who (BBCA, Status – Renewed): This show is off to a strong start with the thirteenth Doctor (played by Jodie Whitakker) drawing in plenty of viewers to see the first female lead for the series. The numbers have slipped now that the curious onlooker effect has passed, but word is that production has already begun on a twelfth season so expect this show to stick around for several more years.

The Flash (CW, Status – Renewal Likely): The momentum for this one has slowed some with its continued ratings declines, but it is still the network’s top-rated show and it should race right into a sixth season.

The Gifted (FOX, Status – Renewal Possible): This show is at series low numbers and it is not getting the same lift from delayed viewing that it was seeing last year. FOX owns the show and it is part of the X-Men franchise, but at these levels it has to be counted as On the Bubble and fans should take to the social networks to try and give it a boost.

God Friended Me (CBS, Status – Renewal Possible): This show’s numbers in the 18-49 demo are just passable, but it continues to rank in the Top 25 based on total viewers each week. It has received a full season pickup, and if it can continue to post good total viewers stats (older-skewing CBS tends to give more weight to those numbers), then it may survive to a second season.

The Good Place (NBC, Status – Renewal Possible): This show’s numbers are down from its second season average, but it is still doing well enough for an NBC show on Thursday nights. If it holds around its current levels, it should be okay.

Humans (AMC, Status – On the Bubble): This show’s numbers were down in its third season, and AMC kicked it out of Prime Time to the 11 PM hour; never a good sign. Its fate is more closely tied to how it is performing in Britain on Channel 4, but its numbers are down over there as well according to Wikipedia. I have moved it to Bubble status and will keep it there until we hear final word on its fate.

Into the Badlands (AMC, Status – On the Bubble): This show wrapped up the first half of its third season in June and there is still no word on when it will be back, leading me to wonder if AMC has given up on it (more on that at this link).  Its ratings are down over fifty percent from its second year and it remains firmly On the Bubble at this point. Fans should definitely make a Call to Action on the social networks to show that it has a loyal following.

Legacies (CW, Status – Renewal Possible): This one has not gotten off to a great start based same day ratings, but it is one of the most watched shows in digital viewing on the network’s website and app.  Since The CW has adapted to the 21st century better than the other broadcast nets, it factors online viewing more heavily into its model.  Legacies has received an order of three more episodes (shorter than the usual Back 9 because production got off to a late start) and seems to be on track for a second season renewal.

Legends of Tomorrow (CW, Status – Renewal Possible): This show is at series low levels so far in its fourth season, but I believe it is still safe for now. This is the one that can pick up characters from other Arrow-verse shows if the network decides to start trimming down on those. Plus, once a show gets through its third season on this network it usually sticks around for at least 70 episodes (it will be just shy of that at the end of this year), and one more full season gets it to a syndication friendly count of episodes. But some support from its fans on the social networks could definitely boost its prospects.

MacGyver (CBS, Status – Renewal Likely): This show has returned down from last year’s numbers, but that likely will not matter. It is owned by CBS and it will have three full seasons after this year, so it is worth it to the network to keep it going at least one more season to get it to the episode threshold the syndication market prefers. Also, it plugs up and hour on low-viewership Fridays.

Manifest (NBC, Status – Renewal Possible): This one pulled very strong numbers for its series premiere, though it has seen those drop since then.  It continues to see a notable lift from delayed viewing, though, and if it does not drop much further from its current same day ratings then it should be on course for a second season renewal.

Midnight Texas (NBC, Status – Cancellation Likely): This show performed relatively well for a Summer entry when it debuted in July of last year, but shifting it to Fridays in Fall has done it no favors. It is currently the network’s lowest rated show and I have moved it to Cancellation Likely Status. I know this one had a pretty dedicated fanbase in its first season, so they need to make some noise on the social nets if they want it to stick around.

Outlander (Starz, Status – Renewed): This show has returned down in its fourth season, but Starz pays less attention to the same day viewing and more to the total airings for the week plus online viewing. This is an established franchise for the network that performs well overseas and it has already been renewed through a sixth season.

Preacher (AMC, Status – On the Bubble): This show has wrapped its third season with ratings down by close to 40% from last year and I already considered it on iffy ground then. I have it On the Bubble and fans should definitely take to the social networks if they want this one to survive to a fourth season.

Riverdale (CW, Status – Renewal Likely): This show is running on par with last year’s numbers and it tends to get plenty of attention on the social networks. It also performs very well in its encore runs on Netflix and is on the verge of the syndication stretch. Expect it to be back for at least one more season if not more.

Salvation (CBS, Status – Cancelled): As expected, CBS has cancelled this show after two seasons. The network had a streaming deal with Amazon that made the show profitable out of the gate, but apparently CBS decided it would rather run repeats or find a reality show that might draw more viewers to the live broadcasts (repeats of several CBS regular season shows typically scored higher ratings than Salvation during Summer 2018).  There did not appear to be much in the way of fan support for the show, so it is doubtful there will be much momentum to get Amazon or another venue to pick it up.

Stan Against Evil (IFC, Status – Renewal Possible): This show’s numbers were down a bit in its third season, but it may still have done well enough for an IFC entry. Fans might want to take to the social nets and show some support, though.

Star Wars Resistance (Disney, Status – Renewal Possible): This show’s numbers are on the low side, but then animated series tend to live and die more by their merchandising than overnight ratings results. This one could stick around for a few seasons if it sells enough toys.

Supergirl (CW, Status – Renewal Possible): This show has slipped some the last few weeks, but it has still done quite well for The CW’s first foray into Sunday night programming in a decade, especially considering how competitive that night is. If it can hold steady at current levels, and if the network remains committed to its Arrow-verse shows, this one should soar into a fifth season.

Supernatural (CW, Status – Renewal Possible): This venerable genre entry is down some from last season, but it remains one of the better-rated shows on The CW. The network boss has already said that this one will continue as long as the lead actors want to stay with the show, so whether it has a fifteenth season is largely up to them.

Van Helsing (Syfy, Status – On the Bubble): This show’s numbers are down notably in its third season and it is now officially On the Bubble. It is a low-rated third year show not owned by Syfy, and this network tends to cancel those (more on that at this link). Fans need to get active and make some noise on the social networks RIGHT NOW, otherwise this could become yet another Syfy casualty.

The Walking Dead (AMC, Status – Renewal Likely): The post-Rick Grimes era has not led to an improvement in the ratings for this show, but it still continues to rank as the top scripted series on cable and also outperforms most broadcast network shows.  Expect at least a tenth season from this one if not more.

Z Nation (Syfy, Status – Renewal Possible): This show has slipped to series low levels, but it may still be on track for renewal. It is relatively inexpensive to produce and a sixth season gets it to a good episode count for a syndication run, so it could stick around another year. But fans should probably take to the social networks to show some support and to boost attention.

PREVIOUS POST: The Walking Dead Drops to Series Low, Van Helsing Improves READ

3 thoughts on “Cancellation Watch Weekly Roundup: Mars Returns Down, The Walking Dead Hits Mid-Season Low

  1. Kevin Brown

    a) I find myself doing this more and more, somewhat on purpose, and somewhat accidentally. But hopefully the networks are smart enough to realize that this could be the case: I haven’t watched any of the new Mars episodes yet (well, I did watch the Mars SpaceX thing), nor any of the new Walking Deads. A lot of times now, I’ll try to stockpile a bunch of episodes, then pseudo binge them. So I could still watch a particular episode of any TV show, but it could be weeks after it initially aired. Yeah, “timely” advertising won’t get any benefit from that, but I *still* will watch a show even if it’s more than a week later. Hopefully the ratings people are starting to think about this. (See c …)

    b) I’ve been watching TV a long time. I have seen more than my fair share of favorite shows cancelled. Almost Human, and the Expanse immediately come to mind, among many, many others. The Expanse was sort of “the last straw”. I sent off a few very nasty emails to SyFy, and of course, I didn’t hear squat back. There have been new shows that I have specifically not watched, in order to “punish” the networks for screwing me by cancelling shows that I do like. (Gotham was one. I really despise Fox. Don’t care if it’s any good or not. I will *not* watch it.) Lately, I’ve been watching more and more reality science TV shows, like Mystery of the Abandoned, Engineering Catastrophes, Impossible Engineering, etc., and watching less and less scripted TV shows. I could wish that networks would realize, that cancelling a TV show can do more harm than they think, if people just start not to watch *anything* new on their networks. There is a price to be paid for constantly screwing people who want to try out new TV shows, and who get invested in them. I get it: advertising is how they make their money. But they’ve *got* to think longer term, in terms of viewership loyalty too. Because of Dark Matter and the Expanse, I probably will *not* watch Nightflyers on SyFy. Perhaps my loss, but I can always check out the DVD/Blu-ray later on, if it lasts long enough to get issued that way. But really, most new shows on SyFy are garbage anyway (Hunters, anyone? 😉 Helix, etc …), so waiting also gives me the opportunity to see what the consensus is in terms of whether it’s worth watching anyway. So therefore, I benefit twicely.

    And by the way, I’m aware of exactly why the Expanse got cancelled: the way the contracts were written in terms of advertising revenue, distribution rights, same-day viewership, etc. My question to SyFy would be: who was the idiot lawyer who agreed to such restrictions in the first place!?!?

    c) I hesitate to mention this one, but … 😉 So for example, I pseudo binge watch a lot of TV shows, stockpiling them, and then watching a bunch grouped together later on. Wouldn’t it be cool for networks and for advertisers, if instead of the 2 or 3 week old commercials inserted into those episodes I would watch now when watching an episode 2 or 3 weeks later, there could be “real time” advertising inserted into those shows? In other words, instead of a set commercial placed into my recording, there is just a marker. The marker calls upon advertising relevant to when I actually watch the show, what time of day I actually watch that episode, heck, even the exact demographics of me as a viewer. Kind of like I’ll go cruise for a product on Amazon, eBay, or just by Googling, and then all of a sudden, I see a lot of ads in general for that product surfing the internet. “Real time” advertising. Yes, there’s some software and programming involved, but the networks could still make some coin by me watching a show even months later.

    Keep up the great writing Johnny! Even though I might watch less and less SyFy and Fox these days (screw ’em), your email updates are *priceless* for me getting info about good, new TV shows on *other* networks besides SyFy and Fox … 😀

    1. johnnyjay Post author

      Thanks for the detailed comments, very interesting observations. And I assume you know since you have been following our site, but The Expanse was saved by Amazon after Syfy cancelled it.

  2. Kevin

    Yes, yes, and I even already have Amazon Prime for the quick shipping. But in general, I’m not really a fan of watching a TV show on my tablet or on my PC. But … the Expanse was a great enough show that that will be the very first show that I will try and stream. 🙂 So in that regard, I’m very thankful to Amazon Prime, and they’ll be very thankful to me if that’s just the first of many. 😀


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