Cancellation Watch: Tracking the weekly ratings and the cancellation prospects of the science fiction and fantasy shows currently airing on broadcast and cable networks.
By John J. Joex
For many shows, at this point in the season the ratings just don’t matter that much. The fact that Person of Interest took a significant drop this past week (to a series low 2.4 rating) is really just a blip because that show has already been renewed and it returned from a couple of weeks of repeats. But the struggling shows out there living life at season end on the bubble can’t afford further drops in their numbers. Each time they sink, they find themselves in deeper and deeper water, and the networks will be finalizing their schedules over the next couple of weeks.
FOX’s Touch is a clear example of a show getting itself in deep as the season winds down. That series started with a very strong 3.9 rating in the 18-49 demographic with its preview episode back in January. But it has been all downhill from there with the past week only scraping up a paltry 1.9 rating. NBC’s Awake also continues to fade, having dropped from its mediocre debut of a 2.0 rating all the way down to a 0.8 in its latest outing. Two of the CW’s shows are also hurting for audience share as the season winds down. The Secret Circle, considered a sure thing early on to ride the coat tails of Vampire Diaries‘ success, mustered only a 0.5 rating this past week. And fading Nikita barely showed a pulse this past Friday with only a 0.4 rating.
Trending down toward season end is the worst direction to go, especially for shows already on the bubble. Of course Spring tends to bring a drop in the ratings in general, and networks do take that into account, but they don’t give bubble shows too much leeway here. Those series need to at least be holding their own, not sinking further into the depths. As it is, the networks will have a hard time seeing fit to bring any of these shows back next season, and there’s not much time left for a ratings turnaround.
The upfronts for the broadcast networks are only two weeks away and that is when they will announce their final schedules for next season. Expect some announcements prior to that, like FOX’s renewal of Fringe, and we should have the full picture of next year by the time the upfronts are done. Following is the schedule:
May 14, 2012 NBC Morning
May 14, 2012 FOX Afternoon
May 15, 2012 ABC Afternoon
May 16, 2012 CBS Afternoon
May 17, 2012 The CW Morning
Following are the ratings results for all of the genre shows from this past week. In some cases, the numbers below are based on the preliminary returns and could change slightly when the final results are tallied. And you can see the status of all of the current season’s shows at out Cancellation Watch page.
Ratings Results for the Week of April 22nd:
Once Upon A Time (ABC Sun 8 pm) Rating: 3.0 | Trend: Up | Cancellation Alert: Low
Game of Thrones (HBO Sun 10 PM) Rating: 1.8 | Trend: Steady | Renewed
Eureka (Syfy Mon 9 PM) Rating: 0.6 | Trend: Steady | Cancellation Alert: Final Season
Vampire Diaries (CW Thur 8 PM) Rating: 1.1 | Trend: Up | Cancellation Alert: Low
Person of Interest (CBS Thur 9 PM) Rating: 2.4 | Trend: Down | Renewed
Secret Circle (CW Thur 9 PM) Rating: 0.5 | Trend: Down | Cancellation Alert: Medium
Touch (FOX Thur 9 PM) Rating: 1.9 | Trend: Down | Cancellation Alert: Medium
Awake (NBC Thur 10 PM) Rating: 0.8 | Trend: Down | Cancellation Alert: High
Nikita (CW Fri 8 PM) Rating: 0.4 | Trend: Down | Cancellation Alert: High
Supernatural (CW Fri 9 PM) Rating: 0.6 | Trend: Down | Cancellation Alert: Moderate
Grimm (NBC Fri 9 PM) Rating: 1.4 | Trend: Up | Renewed
Fringe (FOX Fri 9 PM) Rating: 1.1 | Trend: Up | Renewed
Ratings Source: TV by the Numbers