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.
Seven Fall Shows Are Already On The Bubble
The first edition of the Fall Cancellation Watch Scorecard has been posted (at this link) which ranks the performance of the the currently airing #scifi and #fantasy shows vs. the benchmark for their network. There are already several under-performing shows, though I have not moved any to the Cancellation Likely status just yet. I do have a number of shows On the Bubble, and I will run those down here:
The Exorcist (FOX, Friday 9 PM EST): This show received a surprise renewal last season, and it has returned to even lower numbers, but I'm not ready to count it as a sure cancellation yet. The network may have an international syndication deal with the show and/or a streaming deal that makes up for the low viewership and allows them to plug up an hour on low-viewership Fridays. Plus the show has a loyal fanbase that is active on the social nets. But I believe the numbers have to improve at least a little bit to keep this one from get exorcised from the schedule.
Ghost Wars (Syfy, Thursday 10 PM EST): Averaging only a 0.1 rating so far, this new series is well below the level at which we have seen other Syfy entries like Dark Matter, Incorporated, and Aftermath cancelled. It is possible that it could have an international and/or streaming deal that could keep it alive. But if the numbers don't improve, I will almost certainly move this one to Cancellation Likely.
The Inhumans (ABC, Friday 9 PM EST): This show arrived with a lot of early fan-hate (which I believe was unwarranted) and that appears to have impacted it ratings. It started out with possibly acceptable numbers for a Friday show, but has dropped each week since then. Still, if Disney has future plans with its Marvel movies that involves keeping this show on the schedule, they may inform ABC that it is uncancellable for now.
MacGyver (CBS, Friday 8 PM EST): Three straight weeks at a 0.8 rating on CBS, even on low-viewership Fridays, is not likely to endear this one to the network execs. And it is never good to be an under-performing genre show on that sci fi-averse network (even if MacGyver only barely counts as sci fi).
Once Upon A Time (ABC, Friday 8 PM EST): The drop in this show's numbers upon moving to Fridays was expected. Whether it sticks around for an eighth season will depend on if Disney wants to keep cycling its characters through the show's story arcs.
The Shannara Chronicles (Spike, Wednesday 10 PM EST): This show moved to Spike for its second season, but managed only a 0.1 rating for its debut which is well below its 0.3 average on MTV last season and also below the 0.14 average that got The Mist cancelled on Spike this past Summer. The Shannara Chronicles has international financing propping it up, but it is also an expensive show to produce and the quest could be coming to an end for this one if its numbers do not improve
Van Helsing (Syfy, Thursday 9 PM EST): This show has returned down in its second season and its current ratings average is right at the level that got Dark Matter cancelled this last Summer. Van Helsing does have the Canadian Space Channel onboard as an international partner, but then so did Dark Matter. If the ratings do not improve on this one, then Syfy might put a stake into it.
- ALSO READ: This Week In Sci-Fi TV: 'Roswell', 'Amazing Stories' Reboots In The Works, Gillian Anderson Done With X-Files And More
Ratings Results of Interest: #TheInhumans Continues To Drop, #DirkGently Returns Low
On Friday, ABC's The Inhumans continued its ratings declines as it slipped to a 0.6 rating based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic with 2.3 million total viewers. As mentioned above, that show is currently On the Bubble. Over on Syfy, Z Nation improved to a 0.17 rating with 576K total viewers. I expect that show to get at least one more season if not more. All of the other Friday genre shows held even with the prior week, which is not necessarily a good thing considering they have all been under-performing.
On Saturday, BBC America's Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency returned for its second season with only a 0.07 rating and 235K total viewers. That's even lower than the 0.09 rating it averaged in its first season, but its Netflix deal saved it last year and could do so again.
On Sunday, Fear the Walking Dead improved just slightly to a 0.80 rating with 2.2 million total viewers for its Season 3 finale. It has already been renewed for a fourth year, but I believe AMC will be looking at ending this one by its fifth season. On FOX, Ghosted slipped to a 1.0 rating with 2.4 million total viewers. That may still be enough to keep the show alive, but it can't afford to slip much more.
On Monday, Supergirl remained low at a 0.5 rating with 1.8 million total viewers (according to the preliminaries), but that show is in the syndication stretch and should be back for a fourth year. Lucifer slipped to a 0.8 rating with 3.1 million total viewers which has it moving into iffy territory. The Gifted slipped to a 1.1 rating with 3.5 million total viewers, but it is still okay for now.
I covered the Tuesday through Thursday ratings in Friday's This Week In Sci-Fi TV post and be sure to follow the Cancelled Sci Fi Twitter Site for the latest ratings results and breaking news. You can see the full ratings results for last week here.
Chris Carter Would Like To Go Back To Frank Black
Deadline Hollywood talked with Chris Carter at the New York Comic-Con about the upcoming eleventh season of The X-Files, and during the conversation the subject of Carter's cancelled series Millennium was brought up. Asked whether he would like to return to that show, he said:
I think 'Millennium' would be a show that would have more life in it but no one’s ever spoken seriously to me about that . . . I always feel that there are more of those stories to tell as well. After three seasons, we pulled the plug on that show but the ratings were still very good so I think that there is a new approach to that show building on the solid foundation that was already there.
Of course when he says that "no one’s ever spoken seriously to me about that", he certainly means among the network brass. Series star Lance Henriksen has repeatedly expressed an interest in returning to the show, and there has been an active "Back to Frank Black" movement among fans since 2008 (they even have a book out). Millennium has already returned to comics with the IDW limited series, and since Chris Carter claims he is interested, perhaps that fan movement should re-double its efforts when The X-Files returns in January. If that show's ratings remain strong, perhaps FOX would have an interest in a Millennium revival.
- Previous Column: The Syfy And Friday Shows Are Facing Ratings Challenges
- See a list of past columns at this link
Be sure to follow the Cancelled Sci-Fi TV Twitter Site for daily ratings results as well as breaking news and updates. Go to CancelledSciFi.com for ratings results and status of all the currently airing and returning sci-fi and fantasy shows.