Scream Queens could be among the first canceled TV shows for 2016, with low ratings and a slow start to the second season putting it in serious trouble of being axed.
The show generated quite a bit of buzz through its first season — especially with its rabid online following — but that didn’t always translate well into traditional ratings, the Zap2It blog TV By The Numbers noted. Scream Queens was saved after its first season through its popularity in DVR and on-demand viewers, which was the result of its good performance among viewers under age 35.
But the show also needed a good start to Season 2 to pull out of the danger zone. As TV By The Numbers noted, that hasn’t been the case so far.
“This season, it’s not looking that great. The show is still rated a tossup for now, but it’s running way behind its first two episodes last year (0.85 vs. 1.55) and below the first-season average of 1.1. DVRs and streaming won’t make that up — seven days of delayed viewing only got episode 2 back to its same-day number from a year ago.”
The blog, which compiles ratings for shows and assigns a status to its likely fate, currently has Scream Queens as a “tossup between renewal and cancellation by May 2017.” Though Scream Queens was not in immediate danger of becoming one of the canceled TV shows of 2016, the blog reported that it is “on notice.”
This is not the first time that Scream Queens has been in danger of being canceled. Through the show’s first season, there were reports that it was on the edge of cancellation due to low ratings, including a poor December finale in which it finished last place in its time frame, behind The Voice, NCIS, The Flash, and The Muppets.
As TV By The Numbers noted at the time, the two-hour finale drew a 0.9 in adults 18-49, a low mark that was in line with the steady decline it saw over the second half of its season.
“It may have done well enough with younger viewers to make it to a second season, but it was hardly the breakout FOX was hoping for this fall,” the report noted.
But there were also some high points to last year’s finale that may have given the show some momentum going into 2016. The reveal of the Red Devils brought some good buzz for the show, which has always had a vocal following on social media.
But even in the conclusion of Season 1, there were some predictions that Scream Queens might stumble out of the gate in Season 2. Buddy TV‘s Kartik Chainani noted at the time that shows based on a deep mystery solved at the end of the first season often find trouble once that mystery is solved.
While he credited creator Ryan Murphy for a good approach, Chainani noted that Desperate Housewives saw a big drop after the first season, when the mystery of Mary Alice Young’s suicide was solved.
Fox also went to bat for the show at the time, with Fox Television Group Chairman and CEO Dana Walden telling The Wrap that the second season was already in development after the first one ended.
If Scream Queens does end up among the canceled shows for 2016, it likely won’t be coming anytime soon. The first season has likely bought the show at least enough leeway to last the entire season and it would be a surprise to insiders if it were pulled before then. But if it can’t pull out of its ratings slide, then Scream Queens might not be around for a Season 3.
[Featured Image by Fox]