Sci Fi TV Power Rankings: The Tomorrow People Moves to Likely to Get Cancelled; Has the Ratings Bar Dropped Low Enough to Save Revolution or Intelligence?

There’s not much in the way of changes at the top of the Power Rankings since the last list came out with the exception of Haven moving up based on its renewal announcement.  In the second half of the list, The Tomorrow People has moved from On the Bubble to Likely to Get Cancelled based on its continued ratings struggles and then a few other minor shifts have occurred throughout there as well.  I do have to say that I thought long and hard about moving a couple of the Likely to Get Cancelled shows up to Bubble status (Revolution and maybe Intelligence) based on the overall ratings declines we have seen across the broadcast networks as the season has progressed.  I definitely do believe that the cancellation bar will drop this year and we will see some shows get renewed that would certainly been axed in prior years based on their numbers.  It’s hard to gauge just yet how far that bar has dropped though, so I’m holding off for now.  But I will be discussing that in more detail in an upcoming post, so on to the current rankings for now.

Note that these rankings only look at shows currently airing (some could be on hiatus, though) or those that are returning. New series that have aired one or less episodes will not make it into the rankings yet because I have to have some sort of a sampling to make a determination of their status. And import shows like Syfy’s Lost Girl and Bitten or BBC America’s Orphan Black which are not as heavily impacted by their ratings in the States are not included here either. The rankings order the shows by those least likely to get cancelled to those most likely. The number in parenthesis is the show’s prior rank. Any non-cancelled show in its final season will be addressed separately at the bottom. You can see the full schedule for the mid-season shows at this link.

Cancellation Alert statuses from least likely to be cancelled to most likely: Low, Moderate, Medium, Elevated, High

Renewed or Sure to Get Renewed

the-walking-dead-season41 (1) The Walking Dead (AMC) – This show’s numbers may have dropped some by the end of Fall (though the results for its mid-season return are still pending), but that just meant it was coming down some from the stratosphere. It is still the top rated scripted show on all of television at this point and almost assuredly locked in for several more years (with a spin-off on the way).
Pros: Renewed, Strong Ratings, Strong Social Network Presence
Status: Renewed for a Fifth Season

2 (2) Game of Thrones (HBO) – This series has grown its ratings and prestige each season and now rivals the numbers of many broadcast network shows. Should stick around for the long haul.
Pros: Strong Ratings
Status: Returning for a Fourth Season

3 (3) American Horror Story (FX) – In its third season, this one has delivered its highest ratings numbers yet and has regularly scored well in the social media ranking of TV shows. It has become a huge hit for its network and has outpaced quite a number of broadcast network shows.
Pros: Renewed, Strong Ratings, Strong Social Network Presence
Status: Renewed for a Fourth Season

4 (4) Teen Wolf (MTV) – This show already grew its numbers last Summer and now it is continuing to hold strong against regular season competition with the second half of its third season. Plus, MTV has already renewed it for a fourth year.
Pros: Renewed, Ratings Increase Year over Year, Relative Ratings
Status: Renewed for a 4th Season

5 (5) Vampire Diaries (CW) – Still the top rated series on the fifth place broadcast network, and it has topped its competition on the other broadcast channels in its timeslot several times this year.
Pros: Relative Ratings, Fifth Place Network Series, Strong Social Network Presence
Cons: Declining Year over Year Ratings
Cancellation Alert: Low

6 (6) Supernatural (CW) – This one may be in its ninth season, but it keeps performing well for the fifth place network. Expect a tenth season and counting (plus a spin-off).
Pros: Relative Ratings, Fifth Place Network Series, Strong Social Network Presence
Cancellation Alert: Low

7 (7) Arrow (CW) – It’s numbers looked a bit shaky early in its second season, but it came on strong toward the end of Fall and has done well since its mid-season return. With a Flash spin-off potentially on the way, Arrow could anchor a whole line of DC comics related shows at some point.
Pros: Relative Ratings, Fifth Place Network Series, Strong Social Network Presence
Cons: Ratings Fluctuations
Cancellation Alert: Low

8 (8) The Originals (CW) – This spin-off series helped The CW retake Tuesdays (relatively speaking) and looks set to coast into a second season.
Pros: Relative Ratings, Fifth Place Network Series, Strong Social Network Presence
Cancellation Alert: Low

9 (9) Person of Interest (CBS) – The move to Tuesday at 10 PM EST hurt this show’s ratings in the 18-49 demographic, but it is still one of the most watched shows on the broadcast networks based on total viewership which holds more weight with older-skewing CBS. Plus it is a third season show.
Pros: High Total Viewership, Third Season Series
Cons: Decline in Year over Year Ratings
Cancellation Alert: Low

10 (10) Grimm (NBC) – It has gone up and down all season, but never dropped enough to cause concern. It’s still doing well for a Friday series and its a third season show as well, so it looks safe.
Pros: Relative Ratings, Third Season Series
Cons: Ratings Fluctuations
Cancellation Alert: Low

haven-syfy-cancelled11 (17) Haven (Syfy) – Not only did this show get renewed, but it received twice its usual order of episodes for a season (26 instead of 13).  Probably indicates that the series is low cost enough that Syfy would pony up the money for that many more episodes to make it more attractive to the syndication market.  But then kudos to the fanbase for their strong online presence that brought attention to the show and likely helped it get renewed.  Looks like the social networks could be in the process helping to change the way that network execs gauge the success of their programming.
Pros: Low Production Costs, Renewed
Cons: Mediocre Ratings, Ratings Decline Year over Year
Status: Renewed for a 5th Season

12 (11) Sleepy Hollow (FOX) – A surprise hit early in the season, this one slipped notably in the ratings by the end of Fall. Its exit at mid-season didn’t deliver spectacular numbers either (though they weren’t terrible) so we will have to wait until next year to see if it can reclaim any sort of momentum.
Pros: Renewed, Strong Ratings Early, Strong Social Network Presence
Cons: Ratings Decline in Season
Status: Renewed for a 2nd Season

13 (12) The Witches of East End (Lifetime) – It’s numbers were okay for a basic cable series and good enough to get a second year nod. But it’s definitely no Walking Dead ratings juggernaut, or even Teen Wolf for that matter.
Pros: Renewed, Relative Ratings, Strong Social Network Presence
Cons: Ratings Decline in Season
Status: Renewed for a 2nd Season

Likely to Get Renewed:

once-upon-a-time-cancelled14 (13) Once Upon A Time (ABC) – This one has definitely slipped in the ratings this season, but then so have all of the broadcast net Sunday shows. It’s a third season series, so that helps. But it needs to avoid dropping off any further during the second half of the season, and that long hiatus (returns in March) sure isn’t helping.
Pros: Relative Ratings, Third Season Series, Strong Social Network Presence
Cons: Ratings Decline in Season, Ratings Decline Year over Year, Extended Mid-Season Hiatus
Cancellation Alert: Low

15 (15) Being Human (Syfy) – This one averaged around a 0.5 rating in the 18-49 demo last year and is currently in that range thus far this season which was enough to get Haven a renewal nod. But does it mean anything that the original BBC version was cancelled after its 5th season?
Pros: Relative Ratings, Low Production Costs
Cons: Mediocre Ratings
Cancellation Alert: Low

16 (15) Agents of SHIELD (ABC) – Started strong then went on a quick decline then rebounded then ended it’s Fall run weak. And its January return hasn’t brought much of an upsurge. Some think that it is too well known of a franchise for ABC to axe it, but if it sinks below a 2.0 score (which I already thought would be its death knell), they would be hard-pressed to bring this one back. Could be a nail-biter at the end of the season.
Pros: Strong Early Ratings, Recognized Franchise, Strong Social Network Presence
Cons: Ratings Decline in Season, High Production Costs
Cancellation Alert: Low

On the Bubble:

17 (16) Helix (Syfy) – This new entry from BSG‘s Ronald Moore had an okay bow with a 0.6 rating but then dropped to and has remained at a 0.4 score since its second airing. Haven got renewed with numbers at that level, but then it is much closer to having an episode count that makes it attractive to the syndication marker.  For a new series, I’m guessing Helix needs to get up to at least at a 0.5 rating or above if it wants to see a second season.
Pros: Strong Early Buzz
Cons: Mediocre Ratings, Ratings Decline in Season
Cancellation Alert: Moderate

18 (18) Hannibal (NBC) – This series got a second season despite its low ratings in its first year. But I’m guessing it’s going to need to improve those if it wants to see a third season. Or will strong buzz on the social networks keep it alive again?
Pros: Recognized Franchise, Strong Social Network Presence
Cons: Poor Ratings, Ratings Decline in Season
Cancellation Alert: Medium

almost-human-fox-cancelled19 (19) Almost Human (FOX) – This series started to show some life when it returned from its short mid-season hiatus, but then preemptions killed its momentum.  It didn’t drop too far after a two week absence, so if it can continue to edge up with its last four episodes of its first season it just may have a chance.
Pros: Good Early Start, Recent Ratings Upswing
Cons: Ratings Decline in Season, Poor Ratings, Poor Scheduling
Cancellation Alert: Medium

Likely to Get Cancelled:

20 (21) Revolution (NBC) – I’m tempted to move this to Bubble status based on the overall ratings weakness of NBC’s scripted programming.  But could one of the Big Four really renew a non-Friday series pulling numbers in the 1.3 range based on the overnights?  That means the bar has dropped pretty far.  Still, the show has a vocal fanbase and maybe they can convince the network to keep it going as a pair-up with Grimm on Fridays.  Seems like a longshot, but it’s not impossible.  Make some noise Revolution fans.
Pros: Relative Ratings, Strong Social Network Presence
Cons: Poor Ratings, Ratings Decline in Season, Ratings Decline Year over Year
Cancellation Alert: Elevated

21 (22) Intelligence (CBS) – It started to build back up its ratings after that disastrous drop when it moved into its regular Monday timeslot.  But it needs to keep moving up if it wants to have any shot at survival.  And it surely doesn’t help to be on a network that typically gives a cold shoulder to sci fi entries.  Is there a fanbase out there that will rally around this show?
Pros: Good Debut Ratings, Recent Ratings Upswing
Cons: Poor Ratings, Ratings Decline in Season, Sci Fi Averse Network
Cancellation Alert: Elevated

the-tomorrow-people-cancelled22 (20) The Tomorrow People (CW) – It’s numbers have continued to languish and now newcomers Star-Crossed and The 100 will be making their bows soon.  Plus, The CW has some strong pilots in development such as Flash, iZombie, and the Supernatural spin-off.  I’m thinking they might prefer go with one of those properties over a ratings slacker.
Pros: Fifth Place Network Series
Cons: Ratings Decline in Season, Mediocre Ratings
Cancellation Alert: Elevated

23 (23) The Neighbors (ABC) – If this one could have pulled ratings a few ticks higher, it might have done okay in its Friday night timeslot with low expectations. And apparently it did receive a full twenty two episodes for its second season, so it still has some time to build up its numbers. But based on what I have seen so far, I’m guessing that won’t happen.
Pros: Low Ratings Expectations
Cons: Poor Ratings, Ratings Decline in Season, Ratings Decline Year over Year
Cancellation Alert: High

24 (24) Beauty and the Beast (CW) – This one ended last season with poor ratings, then it’s network moved it to one of their worst nights for its second year. It arrived basically DOA, but they are letting it air out its episodes.
Cons: Poor Ratings, Ratings Decline Year over Year
Cancellation Alert: High

25 (25) Dracula (NBC) – This one started strong for a Friday 10 PM EST show, but then fell fast and far. It had a bit of an uptick at the end of Fall but then slipped again upon its mid-season return. It was originally billed as a ten episode “event” series and will likely not go any further. Consider it de facto cancelled at this point.
Pros: Good Debut Ratings
Cons: Poor Ratings, Ratings Decline in Season
Cancellation Alert: High

26 (26) Once Upon A Time in Wonderland (ABC) – This spin-off series had the odds heavily against it before the season began because of scheduling, and it could never overcome that. It started low and went down from there. It was originally intended to be a single season show (with the possibility of continuing if the ratings were good), so consider it de facto cancelled, though it will likely be used to pad out the eventual syndication run of its parent series.
Cons: Poor Ratings, Ratings Decline in Season
Cancellation Alert: High

Final Season:

Nikita (CW) – It got a 4th season renewal but not enough eps for a typical domestic syndication package. That’s probably because it plays better to the overseas markets and they just wanted to give it the chance to wrap up its storylines.

New shows that have aired one or less episodes: The 100 (CW, Debuts Mar 19th), From Dusk Till Dawn (El Ray, Debuts Mar 11th), Penny Dreadful (Showtime, Debuts May 11th), Resurrection (ABC, Debuts Mar 9th), Star-Crossed (CW, Debuts Feb 17th)

Import shows not included in the rankings: Atlantis (UK, Airs on BBC America), Bitten (Canada, Airs on Syfy), Lost Girl (Canada, Airs on Syfy), Orphan Black (UK, Airs on BBC America)

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One Response to“Sci Fi TV Power Rankings: The Tomorrow People Moves to Likely to Get Cancelled; Has the Ratings Bar Dropped Low Enough to Save Revolution or Intelligence?”

  1. Rudi Pittman
    February 10, 2014 at 10:25 am #

    As more and more canadian imports with scifi genre appear I can’t be the only one disgruntled about not being able to track them, if not in usa then how well they are doing in canada so I’m not surprised if the show up and disappears one day. I’ve read your reasoning’s for why you stick to “broadcast” over “cable” although you bend that rule for some channels like syfy……is there not a way to measure the canadian shoes in a similar manner as syfy or broadcast? Canada doesn’t use a nielson’s like system? I assume the internet “popularity” side would still be there. I understand you have to do what you have to do (including messing up my rss feeds by changing your url about once a year *sticks tongue out* but hope there can be some sort of tracking.

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