Cancellation Watch: The Walking Dead is Kicking Butt Again; Ratings Outlook Not so Rosey for Once Upon A Time, The Following, and Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome

By | February 13, 2013

AMC’s The Walking Dead returned from its hiatus this last Sunday, and once again the show is blowing away the Nielsen ratings.  The latest episode pulled an astounding 6.1 rating in the all-important 18-49 demographic and 12.3 million total viewers.  That outpaces that show’s previous high of a 5.8 rating , which itself was a record-breaker.  Who knows when this show will slow down at this point (though the mid-season return did seem to have the show treading water, so the numbers may drop a bit next week).  And you have to know that NBC and HBO are kicking themselves for having passed over this show several years ago (though certainly it would have had a very different tone–likely more like Revolution–if NBC had picked it up).

The other genre shows on television are currently looking (way) up at The Walking Dead these days as far as their ratings (and quality as well, for that matter).  And two in particular have had notable drops this week.  ABC’s fairy tale series Once Upon A Time sunk to a series low on Sunday when it only pulled a 2.2 rating in the 18-49 demo and 7.1 million total viewers.  That show had to contend with the Grammy’s over on CBS, though, and it has had a rough time of it lately having to compete against NFL playoffs, the Golden Globe Awards, and also taking a couple of weeks off.  It experienced a similar slump (though not as far) around this time last year, so we will see if it starts to edge up as it wraps up its current season over the next couple of months.

And FOX’s The Following continued its ratings slide as this last Monday’s episode pulled only a 2.4 rating and 7.8 million total viewers.  That’s a considerable drop from the 3.3 score the show had for its premiere just a few weeks ago and has to be invoking flashbacks for fans and FOX execs to the ratings downfall of Alcatraz last season.  The Following is still performing relatively well for the network, though, as it improved on the numbers from its lead-in Bones on Monday.  It’s still safe for now, but if it doesn’t halt that slide soon, it could find itself in bubble territory very soon.

On Sunday night, Syfy gave Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome its television debut (it had previously aired online as a web series and hits DVD next week) though it didn’t make any waves in the Nielsens.  The prequel movie didn’t even make it into the Cable Top 100, so those holding out hope that the network might pick this up as an ongoing series (which was already a remote chance) can pretty much hang it up at this point.  From what I understand, the online viewing numbers weren’t that spectacular to begin with, and the fact that its TV debut barely registered has to be yet one more nail in the coffin. As for Syfy’s Monday shows, Being Human remained steady with a 0.5 rating and Canadian import Continuum managed to eke out a 0.3 rating.  Lost Girl (also borrowed from Canada) did not mange to make it into the Cable Top 100.

Keep an eye on the Cancellation Watch Twitter Site for the early returns from the rest of 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 Source: TV by the Numbers

Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome Available on DVD and Blu-ray Feb 19th from

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