Cancellation Watch: CW Shows Return with Decent Numbers (for That Network), Fringe Ends with Little Fanfare

By | January 21, 2013

Most of The CW’s genre shows returned from their winter hiatuses this past week, and those that did posted numbers at or higher than they were when they ended their Fall runs.  Arrow returned up with a 1.1 rating in the 18-49 demographic and and 3.1 million total viewers.  Supernatural resumed its season steady with a 0.9 rating and right at two million total viewers.  Vampire Diaries was up with its return, posting a 1.4 rating and three million total viewers.  Nikita resumed steadily low at a 0.4 rating and 1.3 million total viewers.  I don’t know what happened with Beauty and the Beast because I had previously seen it scheduled to resume its first season this last Thursday, but instead The CW ran a repeat of Sex in the City spin-off The Carrie Diaries after Vampire Diaries (some odd synergy of titles there).  B & B is showing to be back this week though, but don’t expect its numbers to improve much with its mid-season bow. 

The numbers for American Horror Story slipped this past Wednesday as it posted a 1.3 rating in the 18-49 demo and and 2.3 million total viewers, taking a backseat for the night on cable to repeats of Family Guy and The Big Bang TheoryAHS has its Season 2 finale this week and has already been renewed for a third season.  ABC’s The Neighbors slipped in its second mid-season episode to a 1.8 rating and 6.1 million total viewers.  Also on ABC, Last Resort slipped further back with its penultimate episode last Thursday pulling only a 1.0 rating and just over five million total viewers.  That show–which was cancelled by ABC in the Fall–has its series finale this week which is supposed to provide some resolution to the overall storyline as the production team had enough of a notice on the cancellation.  CBS threw out a repeat of Person of Interest just as that show was really picking up steam with its mid-season return.  And Fringe wrapped up its five year run on Friday without much fanfare.  The two hour series finale pulled a 1.0 rating and 3.2 million total viewers.  A touch higher what it has seen most of this season, but a somewhat anti-climactic bow out for this cult favorite series.  EW’s Inside TV offered some thoughts on how this low-rated show has managed to stick around for five years:

“Fox has really struggled on Fridays and needed to have something pulling a stable number, the show gained rather significantly from DVR playback (often gaining more than 60 percent), there’s a valuable relationship at stake with the show’s influential executive producer team (including J.J. Abrams), and the network was able to successfully make renewal deals with studio Warner Bros., which really wanted Fringe to hit that key five-season benchmark that helps sell a show into syndication (Science Channel picked up the rights to Fringe last year).”

FOX’s serial killer dram The Following with Kevin Bacon debuts tonight.  I’m not certain how much in the way of genre elements it will have, but it does seem to be reaching out to that audience so it’s probably worth a look.   

I covered the Sunday and Monday shows in my mid-week column last week.  You can keep an eye on the Cancellation Watch Twitter Site for the early returns from this week’s shows and you can see the Cancellation Alert status of all the shows currently airing plus the final results from prior seasons at my Cancellation Watch page.  And for questions on how the ratings work and my Cancellation Alert statuses, you can see the Cancellation Watch FAQ.

Ratings Results for the Week of Jan 13: 
Once Upon A Time (ABC Sun 8 PM) Rating: 2.8 | Trend: Down | Cancellation Alert: Low
The Walking Dead (AMC Sun 9 PM) Rating: On Hiatus | Trend: Steady | Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Being Human (Syfy Mon 9 PM) Rating: 0.5 | Trend: n/a | Cancellation Alert: Moderate
Arrow (CW Wed 8 PM) Rating: 1.1 | Trend: Up | Cancellation Alert: Low
The Neighbors (ABC Wed 9:30 PM) Rating: 1.8 | Trend: Down | Cancellation Alert: Moderate
Supernatural (CW Wed 9 PM) Rating: 0.9 | Trend: Steady | Cancellation Alert: Low
American Horror Story (FX Wed 9 PM) Rating: 1.3 | Trend: Down | Cancellation Alert: Renewed
Last Resort (ABC Thu 8 PM) Rating: 1.0 | Trend: Down | Cancellation Alert: Cancelled
Vampire Diaries (CW Thu 8 PM) Rating: 1.4 | Trend: Up | Cancellation Alert: Low
Person of Interest (R) (CBS Thu 9 PM) Rating: 1.6 | Trend: Steady | Cancellation Alert: Low
Beauty and the Beast (CW Thu 9 PM) Rating: On Hiatus | Trend: Steady | Cancellation Alert: Moderate
Nikita (CW Fri 9 PM) Rating: 0.4 | Trend: Steady | Cancellation Alert: Moderate
Fringe (FOX Fri 9 PM) Rating: 1.0 | Trend: Up | Cancellation Alert: Final Season
Haven (Syfy Fri 10 PM) Rating: Pending | Trend: Steady | Cancellation Alert: Renewed

Revolution and Grimm will resume in March. Lost Girl and Continuum are not as heavily tied to U.S. ratings

Ratings Source: TV by the Numbers

Why Were They Cancelled? 
The Plight of Science Fiction and Fantasy Television in the Face of the Unforgiving Nielsens and Networks

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