Cancellation Watch Weekly Roundup: Nightflyers Flies Low for Syfy, Arrow-verse Crossover Down from Last Year

By | December 11, 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: Syfy’s new sci fi / horror series Nightflyers–based on the George R.R. Martin novella of the same name–debuted last Sunday but has posted less than stellar numbers thus far. It premiered with a 0.15 rating based on same day viewing for the 18-49 demographic and 623K total viewers which are acceptable but not spectacular numbers for that network these days. Syfy is airing the show in two five-consecutive-night blocks and the numbers trended downward after its premiere. On Monday, it slipped to a 0.14 then further to a 0.9 on Tuesday and a 0.08 on Wednesday. It did improve on Thursday with a 0.12 score, but then dropped again this past Sunday to a 0.08 ratings giving the show an average of 0.11 across its first six episodes. The network is also making the eps available for streaming after they air live, so it is possible that the show has performed better in digital viewing.

But Syfy’s parent company NBC Universal does not own Nightflyers and that typically means the network only makes money off the advertising. At these levels, it is questionable whether the net is turning enough of a profit to justify a second season. Syfy has been good about giving shows a second season if the ratings are not too low. But this one is at a very marginal levels so I am putting it On the Bubble. If it finishes out strong, it may still have a chance, but I consider it a toss-up at this point.

On Sunday, a special episode of The Flash kicked off this season’s Arrow-verse crossover (titled “Elseworlds”), but only managed a 0.7 rating with 1.8 million total viewers. That’s on par with The Flash‘s regular ratings lately and good for The CW on Sundays, but that is down from last year’s numbers, and the crossovers are not delivering the viewership boost they once did. In the lead-out hour, Charmed did not get much advantage from the special event episode as it held steady at a 0.3 rating with 939K total viewers. Over on BBC America, Doctor Who slipped to a 0.18 rating with 706K total viewers for its Season 11 finale (it still has a New Years Day episode scheduled for January 1st). And on Disney, Star Wars: Resistance slipped to a 0.07 rating with 385K total viewers for its mid-season finale.

On Friday, Syfy’s Z Nation slipped a bit to a 0.13 rating with 465K total viewers while Van Helsing improved to a 0.12 rating with 381K total viewers. The latter show remains On the Bubble though, as its numbers have been down most of the season. Over on CBS, MacGyver slipped to a 0.7 rating with 6.4 million total viewers, but it remains safe because it is in the syndication stretch.  NBC’s Midnight, Texas remained low at a 0.4 rating as that one appears destined for a date with the Network Executioner.

On Thursday, The CW’s Supernatural improved to a 0.5 rating with 1.5 million total viewers while Legacies matched its season high with a 0.4 score and 1.2 million total viewers. Both shows appear to be tracking towards renewal. On Tuesday, The Gifted held steady at a 0.7 rating with two million total viewers, but that remains one of FOX’s lowest rated shows and it is firmly on the Bubble. On Monday, Nat Geo’s Mars remained low at a 0.05 rating, but it relies more heavily on digital viewing.

Most of the rest of last week’s shows remained mostly steady from the prior 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

News Roundup: NBC announced last week that its fantasy / comedy The Good Place will be returning for a fourth season. Fans continue to lobby for a fourth season of Daredevil with weekly Friday tweet storms (more on that at this link) and an online petition that has now surpassed 20k signatures.  In development news, Syfy is working on a reboot of Rod Serling’s Night Gallery and HBO has ordered a ten-episode series that adapts Stephen King’s The Outsiders.  You can read more about those at this link.

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 Netflix’s Daredevil has now joined Iron Fist and Luke Cage among this year’s cancellations.  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: NBC’s The Good Place Gets the Fourth Season Nod

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 is down from last year’s numbers and it is almost certainly looking at wrapping up sooner rather than later. At this point, I’m thinking it will be back for one more season which will be announced as its last.

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 got 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 slipped some after the curious onlooker effect has passed, but production has already begun on a twelfth season so expect this show to stick around for several more years.  The New Years special episode will air on January 1st.

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.  The Gifted is currently on its Winter hiatus and will return on January 1st.

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): As expected, this show has been renewed for a fourth season.  Its numbers have been down from its second season average, but it is still doing well enough for an NBC show on highly competitive Thursday nights and it sees decent gains in delayed viewing.  It is currently on its Winter hiatus and will return with new episodes in January.

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’s ratings are down from last year’s levels, 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.  It is currently on its Winter break and should return with new episodes early in 2019.

Mars (NGC, Status – Renewal Possible): This show’s same day viewing numbers are down notably in its second year, but it relies more heavily on its global viewership stats. If it continues to perform well worldwide, it could come back for a third season.

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.

Nightflyers (Syfy, Status – On the Bubble): This show debuted with passable numbers for a Syfy series, but airing it on consecutive nights has not worked in its favor as it has trended almost every episode. Syfy does not own this show which is a red flag for an under-performer on that network. I’m starting this one On the Bubble and fans should make some noise on the social nets if they want Nightflyers to stick around.

Outlander (Starz, Status – Renewed): This show has returned down in its fourth season (though it has been trending up the last few weeks), 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.

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.

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 is down from last season’s numbers, 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 TWD 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. This show is on its Winter break and will return with new episodes in February.

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.

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