Sci Fi Cancellation Watch is Moving to

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Sci Fi Cancellation Watch is Moving to

This site is now moving to a new location:  It's a more straightfoward name and simpler URL that relates exactly to what people have been coming here to find out:  will their favorite sci fi / fantasy show get cancelled?

The mid-season schedule of sci fi and fantasy shows is now available there at this link.  Going forward, all new posts will be at that site.  For my mid-season predictions, check out my Power Rankings at this link.

Cancellation Watch: Intelligence Has a Decent Bow, Almost Human is Still Kicking, but is Agents of SHIELD Losing Steam?

Mid-season for genre shows already kicked off last Friday with the return of NBC’s Grimm and Dracula along with several more shows debuting or returning as well.

On the Hot Seat: NBC’s Dracula had a slight uptick in its numbers when it closed out its Fall run, but when it returned last Friday it slipped back to a season low. That episode could only muster a 0.9 rating in the 18-49 demographic with 2.9 million total viewers and keeps the show firmly in its certain to be cancelled status. It only has three more of its ten episode order to go and then it will almost certainly return to the grave. FOX’s Almost Human was looking pretty weak when it wrapped up its Fall run, but it came back with slightly better numbers on Monday night. That episode pulled a 1.8 rating with 6.4 million total viewers which is still not great, but perhaps enough to keep it from falling into the abyss it was previously at the edge of. It’s still a bubble show, but the pressure eases off for at least a week now. ABC’s Agents of SHIELD still hasn’t moved into bubble territory yet, but its tepid mid-season return surely didn’t help its cause. Last night it only slightly improved on the season low if ended Fall with as it pulled a 2.2 rating and 6.5 million total viewers. For an expensive show like this, I’m thinking those ratings won’t be keeping the ABC execs very happy. It needs to get its score closer to the 2.5 level if it wants to feel comfortable about getting a second season.  Read the full article at

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Cancellation Watch: A Look at Prospects of Helix, Intelligence, The 100 and the Other New Mid-Season Genre Entries

This past Fall had a record number of sci fi and fantasy shows airing on the broadcast and cable networks and mid-season will be bringing even more into the fold with several new entries premiering over the coming weeks and months. When looking at these shows before they have debuted, it’s always hard to give a reasonable prediction on whether or not they will meet with ratings success because there are too many factors that can’t be fully assessed until you have some numbers to look at. For that reason, I rarely give a new series the highest or lowest Cancellation Alert status before they have had their premieres. That said, I have made a few exceptions over the past few years, previously giving Arrow and Agents of SHIELD a Low Cancellation alert (which worked well for the former but the jury is still out on the latter). I also gave The Neighbors a High Cancellation Alert before it debuted and that one proved me wrong (though many will argue vehemently that it should have been cancelled and it is surely head there this season). And I was tempted below to give both CBS’ Intelligence and Syfy’s Helix a Low Cancellation Alert prior to their debuts, but I decided to keep them at a more conservative Moderate.  Read the full article at

Friday, January 3, 2014

Cancellation Watch Power Rankings: Ranking the Sci Fi / Fantasy Shows from Least to Most Likely to Get Cancelled

This kicks off a new companion piece to my Cancellation Watch column which will be ranking the current sci fi and fantasy shows from strongest to weakest based on where I believe they stand as far as their renewal or cancellation prospects.  My Power Rankings follow my Cancellation Alerts pretty closely, but they expand on those and show all the factors that I believe should be taken into consideration.  This is the mid-season edition of the Power Rankings which looks at the returning Fall shows plus the other returning genre shows that will have their debuts over the next few months like Being Human, Teen Wolf, and Game of Thrones.  I will be doing a separate look at the new mid-season shows next week.  And I will be updating the Power Rankings every week to two weeks as new ratings information is tabulated.  The rankings order the shows by those least likely to get cancelled to those most likely.  Any non-cancelled show in its final season will be addressed separately at the bottom.  Read the full article as

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Cancellation Watch: Is There Still Hope for Syfy’s Haven? Can the Fans Keep the Show Alive?

The Syfy supernatural series Haven wrapped up its fourth season in December and now has to play the waiting game to see if it will get renewed for a fifth year. But the fact is that its prospects do not look too good at this point based on its ratings results from the past few months. The show averaged a 0.4 rating in the 18-49 demographic based on the overnight results this past season which is a very marginal number for an original scripted drama airing on that network and I have yet to see Syfy renew a show with ratings that low. Last year, Alphas averaged a 0.4 rating for its second season and it got axed. Two years ago, Sanctuary got cancelled after its fourth season even though it averaged a 0.5 score. And most recently, Warehouse 13–once a flagship series for the network–received a truncated final season order of only six episode after it averaged a 0.5 for its fourth season. So it seems at best that Haven can hope for that final shortened season order, but there’s a good chance it may not even get that. Some may point out that the shows Lost Girl and Continuum have had consistently lower numbers than all those mentioned above and yet received renewals. However, those series originate from the Canadian Showcase channel which bears the brunt of the financial responsibility and their performance up north more heavily influences whether they get renewed. Haven is also produced in Canada, but Syfy pays the bills for that one, so they need to see sufficient ratings from its first run episodes to cover the costs for the show.  Read the full article at

Friday, December 27, 2013

The CW Has Become a Relevant Network Again and Its Sci Fi and Fantasy Shows Appears to Have Helped Its Turnaround

Just last season I was asking the question whether The CW could continue to keep its doors open with all of its shows struggling noticeably in the ratings.  But this season the fifth place network appears to have turned its fortunes around to an extent, in part because of its focus on sci fi / fantasy as a large chunk of its ten hours of Prime Time programing.  Returning shows Vampire Diaries, Supernatural, and Arrow have held their own or even improved their numbers this year, and new entry The Originals has become a strong addition to the network’s schedule (by CW standards).  Now the truth is that the ratings in the all-important 18-49 demographic are still relatively low compared to the other broadcast networks (with The CW’s best shows generally falling in the 1.0 to 1.2 range), but the year to year attrition that we have been seeing appears to have halted, at least for these shows.

And last season The CW had just one night that it could consider a success (by its standards), which was Wednesdays when Arrow and Supernatural delivered relatively stable ratings.  On Thursdays, Vampire Diaries held tight to the 8 PM EST timeslot, but its lead-out series Beauty and the Beast could barely hold half of its lead-in audience by the time the season was winding down.  And the other three nights that the network programmed (Monday, Tuesday, and Friday) were nothing short of a disaster as The CW could barely hold onto a 0.5 rating for the two hours it had on the Prime Time schedule (numbers that are only passable for cable networks like Syfy). 

This season, though, the network has a good foothold on three nights (Tuesday through Thursday), and it is genre entries that are performing best on those nights: The Originals and Supernatural on Tuesday, Arrow on Wednesday, and Vampire Diaries on Thursday.  True, The Tomorrow People has been somewhat of a disappointment in the Wednesday Arrow lead-out slot, but the network will be doing some schedule juggling at mid-season and will bring in another sci fi series--the promising The 100--to take advantage of Arrow’s hold on that night.  And next season, The Flash could find its way to the schedule possibly paring with Arrow or maybe trying to establish a beachhead for the network on Monday nights. 

But it’s important to note that The CW, struggling for so long, is finding new life with science fiction and fantasy and is actually doing better with the genre than the other broadcast networks both in quality and (relative) ratings.   If it continues on its current path, it could become the broadcast sci fi channel by next season based on its current slate and the shows it has in the pipeline.  Previously the network’s strategy was to aim at the niche audience of young females and most of the genre entries still appeal to that group.  But the network appears to be shifting course a bit and reaching out more to sci fi / fantasy fans and they definitely seem to understand that audience better than the Big Four broadcast networks.  The CW may not be rolling out any Walking Dead’s for the moment, but they are definitely providing better genre entertainment than such mediocre entries from the other broadcast nets like Revolution, Almost Human, and Once Upon A Time.  This new direction could very well be the key to brightening up their once dubious future and a reason for sci fi and fantasy fans to pay close attention to what the network is doing going forward.

CW Shows on DVD and Blu-ray from

Friday, December 20, 2013

Numbers Overload: Agents of SHIELD Slips Back into the Top 25 for its Fall Finale

With the Fall season winding down, there was not too much activity in the Top 25 lists for last week.  American Horror Story: Coven was the only genre show on the cable list for last week with The Walking Dead already hibernating for the winter.  Agents of SHIELD did manage to cling onto the lower rungs of the broadcast network Top 25 (after slipping out the prior week with a repeat) for its Fall finale despite the fact that it posted its lowest ratings yet with that episode.  And had the competition been tougher that week, the show probably would not have made it in.  FOX’s Sleepy Hollow was also toward the bottom of that list with its somewhat tepid numbers for its Fall wrap up.  Once Upon A Time slipped back out as its late Fall numbers continued to drop.  And Person of Interest dropped out as well, but it was preempted for the week and it will return when this week’s numbers are tallied.  Interestingly enough, sci fi / fantasy shows made a strong showing in the DVR charts for the week of Nov 25th through Dec 1st.  Several shows did surprisingly well in the ratings for that typically low viewership week (because of the Thanksgiving holiday) and they received an additional boost with their delayed viewership.  The Originals and Supernatural showed up for the first time this season and Dracula and Grimm returned to the list.  The rankings will definitely shift once mid-season kicks into gear in January, though.

Top 25 Dec 9th  to Dec 15th    

Cable Networks

Total Viewers:  Live + Same Day viewing from the overnights
15. American Horror Story: Coven (FX) 3.9 Million (Prior Week - #7, 4.1 MM)

Broadcast Networks

Ratings:  18-49 demographic in Live + Same Day viewing from the overnights
23. Sleepy Hollow (FOX) 2.2 Rating (Prior Week - n/a)
24. Agents of SHIELD (ABC) 2.1 Rating (Prior Week - n/a)

Dropping Out: Once Upon A Time

Live+7 Day DVR Ratings:

Top 25 Ratings Increase for the Week of November 25th to Dec 1st    
2. Sleepy Hollow:  Rating Increase - 1.4, Final Rating - 3.6
3. Once Upon A Time: Rating Increase - 1.3, Final Rating - 3.2
5. Agents of SHIELD:  Rating Increase - 1.3, Final Rating - 3.9
6. Grimm:  Rating Increase - 1.3, Final Rating - 2.6
7. Person of Interest: Rating Increase - 1.2, Final Rating - 3.4
10. Almost Human: Rating Increase - 1.1, Final Rating - 3.0
18. The Originals:  Rating Increase - 0.7, Final Rating - 1.8
19. Dracula:  Rating Increase - 0.7, Final Rating - 1.6
25. Supernatural:  Rating Increase - 0.5, Final Rating - 1.6

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Cancellation Watch: Grimm, Once Upon A Time, Almost Human Deliver More Lackluster Fall Finale Numbers

Last week’s trend of tepid mid-season finales continued with the late week shows and into this week as several more genre entries delivered lackluster numbers with their Fall exits.  Grimm had its two hour finale the last Friday and only averaged a 1.2 rating in the 18-49 demographic with 4.9 million total viewers (based on the final numbers).  That’s a season low for the show and I believe it also matches its series low.  Still, this one has been up and down this year and I expect it to rebound when it resumes with new episodes in January.  Also on Friday, The Neighbors remained low with a 0.9 score and just over four million total viewers.  It is currently on the schedule to air the remaining installments of its thirteen episode order in January, but don’t expect any more beyond that.  Over on Syfy, Haven wrapped up its fourth season with another 0.4 score and 1.3 million total viewers.  The waiting game is on now for fans of that show to find out if Syfy will bring it back for a fifth season, but the prognosis does not look good at this point.  And on The CW, Nikita continued to barely register as it pulled only a 0.2 rating with 650k total viewers.  That show will have its series finale in next week on December 27th.

On Sunday, Once Upon A Time did not excite too many viewers with its Fall finale, matching its season low of a 1.9 rating in the 18-49 demo with 6.4 million total viewers.  And it can’t claim to have done comparatively well for the night as the FOX animated shows and the Survivor finale stomped on it in the 8 PM EST hour.  It now has a three month hiatus in front of it before it returns in March, but I expect it to rebound a bit at that point.  Over on Lifetime, The Witches of East End improved slightly to a 0.6 rating with 1.7 million total viewers.  That show still has a few more episodes left for its first year (and it has already been renewed for a second season) and I expect those will show up some time in January or early February.  On Monday night, FOX’s Almost Human dropped to a new low of a 1.6 rating with 5.3 million total viewers.  That one has to hope for a quick upsurge in its numbers when it resumes in January otherwise it may find itself quickly booted from the schedule.

On Tuesday, a stray episode of Person of Interest showed up and matched its season low with a 1.9 rating in the 18-49 demo and 12.1 million total viewers (based on the preliminaries).  I’m guessing a lot of people assumed the November 26th episode was the Fall finale and didn’t expect a new ep in the middle of December.  This show only has a two week break before it resumes on January 7th, and it’s still pulling huge numbers in total viewers, so it is safe for now.

That wraps up the ratings for the Fall shows with the exception of the last two episodes of The CW’s Nikita.  But new episodes will start showing up already the first week of January (you can see the full run down at this link), so keep an eye on this site and the Cancellation Watch Twitter Site for the early mid-season numbers.  I will be posting a Fall wrap-up column shortly as well as the full mid-season schedule and the all-new Cancellation Watch Power Rankings.  So enjoy your holidays now, but be ready for a new onslaught of numbers and cancellation predictions in short order.

Firefly: The Board Game

Firefly, the popular TV series created by Joss Whedon, comes to life in a new boardgame from Gale Force Nine and Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products! In Firefly: The Game, players captain their own Firefly-class transport ship, traveling the 'Verse with a handpicked crew of fighters, mechanics and other travelers. As a captain desperate for work, players are compelled to take on any job: so long as it pays. Double-dealing employers, heavy-handed Alliance patrols and marauding Reavers are all in a day's work for a ship's captain at the edge of the 'Verse! 

Order Today from

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Social Network Rankings: GetGlue Off the Grid?

Not certain what is going on over at GetGlue these days (other than them pissing people off by changing their sticker policy), but they never posted the Top 10 lists for Dec 2nd through 8th and I haven't seen anything for last week yet either.  I'm trying to find out more information, but I don't know if they have suspended posting the rankings for now.  They have had them available for at least a year, so I don't know why they would stop, though the site was recently acquired by i.TV last month, so maybe they are in the process of restructuring right now.  If I get any more information or see the Top 10s get posted, I will pass that along.

As far as Nielsen's Twitter Rankings, American Horror Story: Coven has been the only entry there for the last two weeks with The Walking Dead now on its winter hiatus.  AHS ranked at the Number 5 slot for the week of Dec 2nd through 8th and at Number 8 last week. That will likely be it for genre shows on that list until AHS returns in January.

Sci Fi TV and Movies in Comics (Due out Dec 18th):

Star Trek Ongoing #28
IDW Publishing

Description: The climactic chapter of the Klingon-Romulan War! Kirk and the Enterprise have one last chance to prevent galaxy-wide cataclysm... but at what cost to the crew?

Star Trek Into Darkness writer/producer Roberto Orci oversees this all-new story set in the aftermath of the blockbuster film!

By: Mike Johnson, Erfan Fajar

Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Cry of Shadows #1
Dark Horse

Description: During the Clone Wars, a single trooper-left for dead during battle-comes to hate the Jedi generals who abandoned him. Years later, he lives on, bitter and angry, until hearing tales of a great warrior. Now, this clone believes he may have found the leader he should have been following all along . . . Darth Vader!

* All-new series starring Darth Vader!

* Tim Siedell (@badbanana) has one of Time's 140 Best Twitter Feeds!

"A fine example of what Vader can and should be all about."-Comic Book Resources

Samurai Jack #3
IDW Publishing

Description: Jack's travels bring him to a village filled with tension and mystery.

Can he discover the town's strange secret before Aku's robotic army invades? Our samurai hero's quest to gather the Threads of Time continues.

By: Jim Zub, Andy Suriano

Doctor Who Prisoners Of Time TPB Vol. 03

Description: The conclusion to the year-long event celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who! The 9th through 11th Doctors are showcased in a story leading up to the final issue with all 11 Doctors.

By: Scott Tipton, David Messina, Francesco Francavilla

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Numbers Overload: Once Upon A Time Makes it Back to the Top 25, Barely

The Top 25 lists are looking pretty slim for the past week as far as genre shows go with The Walking Dead having wrapped up its Fall run and quite a number of shows either preempted or in reruns.  ABC’s Once Upon A Time did manage to creep back into the lower rungs of the broadcast network Top 25 for the first time in over a month.  When the competition gets stiffer in January, expect it to drop back off, though.  And interestingly, Person of Interest still made it to the Top 25 based on total viewers despite the fact that the episode was a repeat.  It’s lower on the list than usual, but if you think of what it outperformed based on total viewership with an encore episode, that’s pretty amazing.  Those who think this show might be in trouble because its ratings in the 18-49 demographic have slipped this year should think again.  Most of the usual suspects showed up on the DVR list, though Once Upon A Time dropped out for that week (Nov 18th - 24th) despite the fact that it aired a new episode.  

Top 25 Dec 2nd  to Dec 8th    

Cable Networks

Total Viewers:  Live + Same Day viewing from the overnights
7. American Horror Story: Coven (FX) 4.1 Million (Prior Week - n/a)

Dropping Out: The Walking Dead and The Talking Dead - On Hiatus

Broadcast Networks

Ratings:  18-49 demographic in Live + Same Day viewing from the overnights
24. Once Upon A Time (ABC) 2.2 Rating (Prior Week - n/a)

Dropping Out: Agents of SHIELD, Person of Interest, Sleepy Hollow - In Repeats

Total Viewers:  Live + Same Day viewing from the overnights
20. Person of Interest REPEAT (CBS) 8.6 million (Prior Week - #7, 11.9 MM)

Live+7 Day DVR Ratings: 

Top 25 Ratings Increase for the Week of November 18th to 24th   
4. Agents of SHIELD:  Rating Increase - 1.6, Final Rating - 4.0
8. Sleepy Hollow:  Rating Increase - 1.5, Final Rating - 4.0
14. Person of Interest: Rating Increase - 1.2, Final Rating - 3.2
16. Almost Human: Rating Increase - 1.0, Final Rating - 3.3
24. Revolution:  Rating Increase - 0.9, Final Rating - 2.3

Dropping Out: Once Upon A Time, Grimm (Preempted)

New on DVD from the Week of Dec 17th:

More New and Recent Releases at This Link