There have been some major winners and some major losers during the fall of 2015. Some of these winners have already received full season orders while some of the losers have already seen their episode orders reduced. ABC, like the other big networks, has not been immune to some bad apples, and going into Week 2, the network’s latest Wicked City is starting to look like a bad bet.
Wicked City airs on Tuesday nights over at ABC in a notoriously tough timeslot. That being said, the show didn’t have to compete with all of the other shows hitting the schedule this fall when it premiered, as ABC gave it a premiere date at the end of October instead of the end of September. However, ratings fell a whopping 22% from last week’s premiere. This week, Variety notes the show only pulled in 2.4 million total viewers overall. This means that the series only nabbed a .7 rating in the advertising demographic. I’d say this is a show that is just waiting to get its episode order cut, but the 1982-set drama is actually an anthology series and only 10 episodes were ordered.
As noted prior, Tuesday nights can be a rough night for TV, unless you are a breakout hit absolutely dominating the competition. ABC has had a particularly tough time with its Tuesday night timeslot at 10 p.m. ET in recent years, although it probably hasn’t helped Wicked City that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is down a bit in the ratings this season. Still, while a lead-in can really help a show, if it isn’t likable on its own, it’s hard to justify keeping it around.
To give you an idea of how bad a .7 rating is for a network like ABC, last season in the same timeslot, ABC’s 10 p.m. Tuesday series Forever was doing more than 4 million total viewers each episode and averaged a 1.2 ratings in the timeslot during its first season. Plus, it did good DVR business. With those numbers, Forever was a bubble show for the network and ultimately ended up getting cancelled by ABC. People really seemed to like the Matt Miller drama, but thanks to its Warner Bros. parent home and not-great ratings, it wasn’t brought back. Looking at Wicked City’s much lower numbers, I bet ABC’s kicking themselves a little bit for dropping the heartwarming procedural at this point, though. Yeah, we said it—heartwarming procedural.
Since Wicked City is an anthology series, we’re guessing ABC will allow it to finish out its 10-episode run on the network. Plus, the networks haven’t really been keen to cancel low-performing shows this TV season. Most of the shows that have not attracted tons of viewers—shows like ABC’s own Blood & Oil and Fox’s Minority Report--have seen their episode orders cut down to make room for something else at midseason. It’s not the worst strategy I’ve ever seen the networks use.
If you do want to see Wicked City eek its way slowly to cancellation or actually like the serial killer-oriented drama, you can catch new episodes on Tuesday nights at 10 p.m. ET.