Cancellation Watch: Sleepy Hollow Continues to Slide, Vampire Diaries Does Well with Nielsen’s New Twitter Tracking

By | October 8, 2013
Sleepy Hollow dropped all the way to a 2.7 rating in the 18-49 demographic and 7.8 million total viewers (based on the preliminaries) with its latest episode.  That show, which started out almost a full ratings point higher with its debut, continues its downward trend and you have to wonder at this point where it will stop.  FOX surprisingly announced a second season renewal for the show last week, as if they have forgotten the recent history of genre shows that bowed to large numbers before descending into a death spiral (Revolution, Touch, Alcatraz, Terra Nova, The Event, FlashForward, V, need I go on?).  Now perhaps Sleepy Hollow is only scheduled for a thirteen episode first season, and that’s why they announced the second season renewal instead the typical full season pick up (giving the show a back nine episodes).  But keep an eye on the numbers over the coming weeks to see if the drop continues.  As it stands, the show is still safe for now and should remain so unless it drops to the low 2’s or below.  And remember that last season The Following (which aired in this same timeslot) followed a similar trend, though it eventually plateaued then improved toward the end of its season.  Sleepy Hollow fans should hope to see that pattern repeat itself for their show.

UPDATE: When putting this post together earlier, I completely missed the Beauty and the Beast Season 2 premiere on The CW.  But then apparently almost everybody did.  That show bowed with a measly 0.3 rating in the 18-49 demo and 0.9 million total viewers.  That’s the same rating that Cult premiered with last Spring and that show was kicked to Fridays in short order then banished to a Summer burn-off run.  I should put Beauty and the Beast right up at a High Cancellation Alert status, but then it airs on The CW and the networks execs seem to have an afinity for the show.  I’ll put it at Elevated for now, but I don’t see how this perennially under-performing show can beat the odds again and escape cancellation.

On Sunday night, new supernatural series The Witches of East End debuted on Lifetime with a 0.7 rating and 1.9 million viewers.  Those seem like good numbers, though I have not tracked any shows on that network of late.  Deadline Hollywood seemed to think this was a decent bow, though, so it looks like the show could be off to a good start.  Also on Sunday, Once Upon A Time remained steady with its second Season 3 episode, pulling a 2.6 rating in the 18-49 demo and eight million total viewers.  That’s good news for that show as typically a series starts to trend down after its season premiere episode, so this one continues to look safe for now.

Not as safe is ABC’s The Neighbors which remained steady with its ratings last Friday, but that means it only pulled a 1.0 score with 4.1 million total viewers.  That show is walking a pretty fine line right now and could find itself kicked to the curb by mid-season.  But then it has beat the odds before, so don’t count it out yet.  Also on Friday, Haven slipped a tick back to a 0.4 rating with 1.5 million total viewers.  Whether that’s enough to keep it alive I’m not quite sure at this point.  But I’m betting at best it will get a shortened Season 5 to wrap up its story lines (which basically acts as a preemptive cancellation by Syfy to ward off a “Save My Show” campaign). 

On Thursday of last week, The CW had its first two genre premieres of the season as Vampire Diaries returned for its fifth year and spin-off series The Originals had its bow in the lead-out slot.  Diaries pulled a 1.2 rating in the 18-49 demo with 2.6 million total viewers which was up from where it ended in Spring, but not nearly as good as the 1.6 score it bowed with in Fall of last year.  Still, The CW will take those numbers at this point.  In the next hour, The Originals had a decent first outing with a 1.0 rating and 2.2 million total viewers.  But now that show moves to the highly competitive Tuesday 8 PM EST timeslot and must contend with ratings juggernauts The Voice, NCIS, and new upstart Agents of SHIELD.  Check back tomorrow to see how it fared on its first night in that treacherous hour. 

Some interesting news came out this week as the Nielsen Co announced they would start tracking the activity on Twitter related to the live broadcast of television shows.  This new system will begin tracking three hours prior to the airing of a show through three hours after.  That company had previously indicated that they would start monitoring audience involvement based on online activity, and has now released the first numbers related to that.  I’ll be going into this in more detail in an upcoming post, but it will be interesting to see if this has much impact on network renewal/cancellation decisions going forward.  The first Top 10 list that Nielsen released (for the week of Sept 30th thru Oct 6th) had only one genre show: Vampire Diaries.  That’s an interesting entry, though, because that one is low rated in comparison to the overall Prime Time entries for the broadcast networks, but it ranked just behind highly rated The Voice on this scale and above other entries like Dancing With the Stars and The X-Factor.  I would tend to think this is registering the younger skewing viewers (which Vampire Diaries definitely appeals to) because they tend to be more active on the social networking sites.  But this is definitely something to watch closely this year and a way that fans can generate some attention for their shows if they are struggling in the ratings.  More to follow shortly on all of this and I will be tracking these numbers going forward on the Cancellation Watch Twitter Site.

Here are the season to date numbers and standings through October 7th for all the shows that have bowed so far:

Series Network / Airs (EST) Cancellation Alert StD Rating StD Eps Tracking
Beauty and the Beast CW / Mon 9 PM Elevated 0.3 1 Down
Revolution NBC / Wed 8 PM Elevated 1.7 2 Down
The Neighbors ABC / Fri 8:30 PM Elevated 1.1 3 Low
Haven Syfy / Fri 9 PM Moderate 0.4 4 Low
The Originals CW / Tue 8 PM Low 1.0 1 Decent
Vampire Diaries CW / Thu 8 PM Low 1.2 1 Up
Witches of East End Life / Sun 9 PM Low 0.7 1 Good
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ABC / Tue 8 PM Low 4.0 2 Down
Once Upon A Time ABC / Sun 8 PM Low 2.6 2 Steady
Person of Interest CBS / Tue 10 PM Low 2.2 2 Down
Legend of Korra Nick / Fri 7 PM Low 0.6 3 Good
Sleepy Hollow FOX / Mon 9 PM Renewed 3.1 4 Down

The CW delivers another premiere tonight as Supernatural kicks off its eighth season and also The Originals moves into its ongoing timeslot.  And there are still more premieres on the way, so check out the Fall schedule at this link.  Keep an eye on the Cancellation Watch Twitter Site for the quickest ratings update and on this site for the latest analysis of how this season’s shows are performing.

Ratings Source: TV by the Numbers

Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2013 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.

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