The list of canceled TV shows for 2015 could have a surprising entry, with reports that Scream Queens could already be in trouble due to lagging ratings.
The show came to Fox with high expectations, sporting a cast filled with big-name stars and coming from Ryan Murphy. But it was off to a slow start, grabbing just 3.4 million in its second week and continually slipping from there.
This week’s episode drew just 3.0 million total viewers and a 1.2 rating, down 14 percent from the previous week. Against its premiere, the show how has fallen 25 percent and 29 percent, TVLine reported.
While it is still early and the list of canceled TV shows for 2015 could take several more weeks to take shape, the slow start is seen as a bad sign for Scream Queens.
Buddy TV‘s Kartik Chainani wrote that the show’s format, which is centered around a mysterious killer, could also make it difficult to extend further.
“It’s hard to make a solid call on the fate of Scream Queens. The Ryan Murphy project has definitely been entertaining in the way it laughs at itself and draws intrigue in its murder-mystery element, but still has a few elements working against it. For one thing, the story doesn’t seem like it would have much to go off of past learning the identity of the killer. Though shows like Pretty Little Liars have managed to draw that out for a long time and even work to continue past it, that isn’t the only thing standing in Scream Queens’ way.”
There have been shows that successfully made the jump from a cliffhanger first season. Desperate Housewives debuted as a mystery, and along with Lost and Grey’s Anatomy was credited with helping put ABC back on top. But the finale of Season 1 also solved the mystery of the suicide of main character Mary Alice Young, and it subsequent seasons it shifted to more of a prime-time soap opera.
The show continued for another six years, though its ratings also steadily slipped once the opening season drama was solved. The first-season opener drew 21.6 million viewers and its finale had 30.6 million, but by the time the show ended in 2012 it had just 9.9 million for the premiere and 11.1 million for the finale.
If Scream Queens joins the list of canceled TV shows in 2015, it would be quite a change of fortune. After the show’s premiere, Fox Television Group Chairman and CEO Dana Walden was already taking about a second season.
In an interview with the Wrap, Walden said they might make a decision after a few more weeks of data.
“If it continues to perform this way throughout a measurable period of time — where our advertisers are more inclined now to look at this type of performance, and we’ve got many sponsor partners on this show — this show is beyond viable,” he said. “This is a show that any network would be happy to have, any streaming service would be happy to have.”
Aside from the endorsement of the network brass, Scream Queens could have another factor in its favor and keeping it from being one of the canceled TV shows of 2015. Zap2It reported that the show had an increase of more than 80 percent in delayed viewership, meaning that it could have a large audience watching on Fox Now and Hulu rather than tuning in to watch the actual broadcast.
— FOX NOW (@FOXNOW) October 7, 2015
And there could be another big boost — the show’s buzz. While the ratings may still be lagging, Scream Queens is getting attention from everything from its guest stars (like Ariana Grande) to its fashion.
— Teen Vogue (@TeenVogue) October 7, 2015
But given the investments that Fox has made in the freshman comedy/horror show, Scream Queens does become one of the cancelled shows in 2015, it likely won’t be anytime soon.
[Image via Twitter/Scream Queens]