In this weekly column, I monitor the viewership levels for the currently airing #scifi and #fantasy shows as well as their renewal and cancellation prospects. Also check out This Week In Sci-Fi TV on Fridays (sometimes Saturdays), which delivers news and updates on genre television. Ratings Source: The Nielsen Company.
Fans Take To The Social Networks To Save #DarkMatter
Last Friday, Syfy announced that their space-based series Dark Matter would not be returning for a fourth season (more on that and the Killjoys renewal here) and that has spurred fans to come together in a massive show of support to keep it going. They have focused their activity on the social networks and they are specifically targeting Netflix as the savior of the show. The current plan is to do a "tweet storm" on Fridays when the show usually airs with specific hashtags each week. The campaign also asks fans to call Netflix, to ask for a new season of Dark Matter with the Content Request Form, and to re-watch seasons one and two which are already available on the service (you can read more about the campaign here). In addition, there is also an online petition which has passed its original goal of 25K signatures and is now well on its way to 35K.
Doubters will question whether a fan campaign like this can really sway the minds of bottom-dollar-focused network executives, but I say that it is possible which we have already seen in just the last few months.
NBC (owned by the same parent company NBC/Universal that owns Syfy) uncancelled Timeless this past May after a raucous online campaign by fans convinced them to keep that show going. And Netflix agreed to give Sense8 a two-hour season finale (with porn site xHamster offering to do a full third season) when fans took to the social nets after that show's cancellation. An important difference with those two is that the networks had a stake in the ownership whereas Dark Matter is not owned by Syfy. But while I don't believe that cable net will reconsider its cancellation decision, Netflix could decide to jump onboard as a partner with the show. One or more seasons makes it more attractive to the streaming service because shows do better in binge-watching if they do not leave the audience hanging.
Dark Matter fans have really come out in force thus far with the show's co-creator Joseph Mallozzi supporting them as well; mentioning in a recent blog post that the campaign is getting some attention. The television landscape is shifting and fans have more of a voice than they once did with the power of the social networks at their disposal. There is definitely a chance this show could get another season and possibly more, so now is the time to step up and lend your support to the campaign.
Fans Want To Keep The 'Zoo' Open
Another show that is in trouble is the CBS animal-pocalypse entry Zoo. That show is in its third season with its ratings down over 30% year-over-year, which is especially bad considering it was only a marginal performer last year. I currently have its status as Cancellation Likely, but fans are taking to the social networks to support the show. Currently they are using the #RenewZoo hashtag, especially while watching new episodes of the show on Thursday nights. They are also sending tweets directly to @ZooCBS and @CBSTVStudios lobbying for a fourth season. Considering the show has Netflix onboard as its streaming partner, that service could consider continuing the show for another season if CBS chooses to cancel it. But that will require a very strong outpouring of support from the fans RIGHT NOW if there is any chance of keeping Zoo going for another season.
Ratings Results Of Interest: 'Midnight, Texas' Is Still Hanging On
The broadcast networks have not done well with original genre programming this Summer with shows like Zoo (CBS), Salvation (CBS), and Somewhere Between (ABC) all staring at possible cancellation. But NBC has done a little better with their supernatural soap opera Midnight, Texas which airs on Monday nights. After sinking to a season low two weeks ago (likely due to delays caused by the president's speech), that show improved a 0.9 rating based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic last Monday. And while the early numbers show it slipping to a 0.7 score this week, that can be blamed on the holiday. It is currently averaging a 0.8 rating for the season, which may be good enough for a Summer entry to earn it a second season if it can hold in that range through its season finale next week.
On Sunday, Twin Peaks could only manage a 0.10 rating with 247K total viewers for its double-episode season finale, and I continue to believe that show will not get an extension to its "limited run". Over on TNT, The Last Ship improved slightly to a 0.34 rating with 1.7 million total viewers. That show has already been renewed through a fifth season, but that will likely be its last. On Friday, Killjoys managed only a 0.15 rating with 589K total viewers for its season finale, but it has already been renewed through its fifth and final season.
Scorecard: 'Salvation' and 'Zoo' Continue To Drop
The scorecard brought no good news to the two CBS Summer sci fi shows as both slipped a little bit further this week in the Cancellation Watch Scorecard rankings. Salvation dropped three slots from Number 34 to 37, and Zoo also dropped three slots from Number 42 to 45. Both of those shows currently look to be headed toward cancellation (though Zoo fans are trying to save that show as mentioned above), and the numbers are definitely not in their favor at this point. Most of the rest of the movement on the Scorecard for the week was minimal and/or just incidental and you can see the full rankings here.
- Previous Column: 'Game Of Thrones' Sets Another Record With S7 Finale
- See a list of past columns at this link
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