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Sanctuary‘s Monday ratings peak with season finale

Thursday - June 23, 2011
Category: RATINGS | Tags: ,

Sanctuary has experienced a massive ratings recovery on Monday nights for the final three episodes of its third season, thanks to the conclusion of the major broadcast networks’ 2010-2011 season and the start of the summer.  Monday’s season finale turned in the show’s highest ratings since Syfy moved it off of Friday nights.

“Into the Black” earned an estimated 1.283 million viewers (Live + Same Day), an improvement of 7 percent from last week.  In the Adults 18 to 49 demographic, Sanctuary stayed even with a 0.4 rating.

The three summer episodes have averaged 1.13 million — compared to 0.787 on Monday nights during the spring broadcast period (April-May), an average improvement of almost 44 percent.

By contrast, the show immediately lost around 40 percent of its audience when the network moved it from Friday nights during the spring period. It eventually fell to a low of just 656,000 live viewers, off 54 percent from the last episode to air on a Friday.

The show couldn’t regain all of its lost (live) viewers even when the competition went off the air, though. The highest-rated Monday episode was still 10 percent off from where the show left off on Friday nights in the spring.

EPISODE (air date) VIEWERS (million) CHANGE
Pax Romana (Apr. 15) 1.217
Hangover (Apr. 22) 1.424 + 17%
Move to Monday
One Night (Apr. 25) 0.868 – 39%
Metamorphosis (May 2) 0.838 – 3%
Wingman (May 9) 0.756 – 10%
Awakening (May 16) 0.815 + 8%
Normandy (May 23) 0.656 – 20%
Carentan (June 6) 0.915 + 39%
Out of the Blue (June 13) 1.201 + 31%
Into the Black (June 20) 1.283 + 7%

This is as close as Stargate Universe fans will get to conclusive proof that Syfy mishandled that show, airing it in the highly competitive fall season (it was originally announced as a summer show) and then moving it to the even more competitive Tuesday nights before finally cancelling it.  (SGU‘s first season ratings — on Friday nights in the fall season — already put it in the cancellation danger zone, according to Syfy.)  As much of its viewership as SGU lost during its first season, its second season seems to have performed quite well considering how significantly it was handicapped — airing in the fall, off of Friday nights, without a lead-in (and without any companion show after Caprica was cancelled in October).

Next up for Syfy Channel (and our continuing ratings coverage): The new Monday night block of original scripted programming launches on July 11, with new seasons of Eureka (8/7c) and Warehouse 13 (9/8c) leading into the new superhero drama Alphas (10/9c). Then Haven will return for its second season on Friday, July 15, taking up that post-wrestling time slot.

Since summertime is what Syfy does best, we expect good things from the ratings — even on a Monday. It’s also the first time (that we can recall) that the network has put three of its shows together on the same night since Stargate SG-1, Atlantis, and Battlestar Galactica ran together.

Darren created GateWorld in 1999, and today is the owner and managing editor. He lives in the Seattle area with his wife and three children.

COMMENTS (17):Rules | Report Comment | Trackback

  • I’ve totally agreed with your analysis of SYFY’s disastrous and unfair handling of Stargate Universe. And now, with Sanctuary off until its new season, all SYFY has to offer is soft Scifi series and more Reality shows. By “soft scifi” I mean shows that may use a scifi gadget or something like that – such as Warehouse, but at bottom, are barely really scifi. So, SYFY has basically moved itself out of focusing on Science Fiction. I don’t consider Alphas to be much beyond a police show jazzed up with tricks from Heroes.

  • I am very frustrated that with the millions of people that watch the show, there is not a coherent path of action to bring back the shows we love. I see people argue and yell back and forth, with little to no real action either positive or negative taken at the channel or production studio’s we help build. a few hundred tissue boxes or rocks, intercepted and disposed of at the mail room do not have any affect on does…people have pleaded and been nice but that has gotten us where? It did not save Farscape, Jim Hennson saved money is what drives them..we can point out their programming flaws but so what? people still come back and advertisers still take out adds…Unions work because the hold together and boycott, they make noise, they cost companies money..I for one have boycotted SYFY and anything are you going to help?

  • I just wanted to point out that “Eureka” is NOT a new season. It’s just the second half of Season 4, which started last summer. I’m getting really irritated with these nearly-a-year-long mid-season breaks.

  • Notice how their sister network is smart enough to run its shows at times that generally don’t conflict with new episodes of network TV. When Syfy was successful, that’s exactly what they did. The current staff mistakenly thinks you can go up against shows like NCIS or Castle.

  • “since Stargate SG-1, Atlantis, and Battlestar Galactica ran together.”

    Ah, yes, the good ol’ days. Syfy really hasn’t been the same since.

  • I thought the ratings for the finale would be higher, especially the with Edge on the show, but it only went up a little bit, and it’s more than likely it’ll go back down again hard in S4 if it’s on Mon. Syfy ruined part of S3, so we can’t let them ruin all of S4. Syfy is a dangerous network, and it was doing better business with the show on Fri. When it comes to certain things, I think long term, and if it stays on Mon, it has almost no chance of a S5.

    The night the finale aired, at the end of the episode, when Syfy announced Sanctuary would be back in the fall, I got a little worried that they would say Monday. Also, during the commercials, I got a little annoyed that they were promoting Eureka and maybe W13, and they called Monday the most powerful night if the week. WHY couldn’t Syfy have aired Sanctuary in the summer with those, why? I feel that Sanc isn’t getting the fair deal, and Eureka and W13 could have an easy ride in the summer.

    The only, ONLY thing Syfy can do to redeem themselves in my eyes is put Sanctuary back on Fri where it belongs. And I know I said I wouldn’t mind seeing the show in the summer, because it seems Syfy has better ratings there, but I don’t think fans or the cast and crew would want to wait, like, a year to air the show again.

  • Come on , Do you really think that those fools at syfy had no idea Sgu would fail when they moved them to those competive days? They knew and probably planned it that way to have a reason to cancel it.

  • I agree with Darren about moving SGU, because his facts are logical and sound to me. Maybe SGU would still have been canned, but I feel it would have been better off on Fri. Someone said somewhere that one thing that works for Sanctuary is that it’s not as expensive. SGU and Caprica cost Syfy a LOT of money, and they weren’t bringing in good ratings. Syfy was loosing more than they were gaining with them, whereas Sanctuary funds itself mostly.

    When Darren wrote “with no competition on Mon, the ratings rebound”, it’s exactly that. The show had competition on Fri, in the fall, and it always did good. Again, as a little annoyed I am about Eureka and W13, Syfy will ONLY be able to redeem themselves to me by putting it back on Fri. That’s it. The show deserves every chance to succeed, and Fri is one of them it has for over 3 years. IMO, Smackdown was a good lead-in, because it’s a “Syfy” show, it’s not “sci-fi” but it’s a Syfy show, and Sanctuary deserves better than what it got on Mon. I want the show back on Fri in S4, in it’s old time slot, and I don’t want a season of bad ratings.

  • Sorry but +7% was not going to save SGU. 25% Was not going to make a difference. The first season outside the first 3 episodes were pathetic and the season final was not all that. SG1 and SGA had Far better finals and season 1 episodes compared to SGU season 1. Season 2 was better but by then people did NOT like the show. Ratings for SGU would not of been enough to save it unless it was about 250% better which would NOT of occurred by different times.

  • While its still highly possible that SGU would have gotten the ratings it did had it aired in the summer, the thing that will be debated for years to come is the fact that SYFY DIDN’T TRY IT! If SyFy had TRIED airing it in the summer and the ratings had been poor, THEN moved it to the fall and it suffered similar results I would have been okay with them canceling it over ratings, but now this is unacceptable.

    What if SyFy had tried airing SGU alongside their most popular shows, Eureka and Warehouse 13 during the summer? How much do you wanna bet that the ratings would be better? It doesn’t help SGU’s case either that it just had a TERRIBLE lead-out during season 2 in the form of Caprica, which in itself was just in its first year and untested in the ratings department. That in itself would have been a huge gamble for SyFy even if they had aired both shows during the summer. No, SyFy should have aired SGU during the summer after Eureka/Warehouse 13. I would have loved to see what those ratings would have been and maybe we would not have been left with a dead franchise that has no conclusions to either of its spin-offs and never will.

  • Personally I feel if they’d just quit changing what day they are on and times they show, these shows would do better, they keep changing what day and times, makes it hard to schedule anything!

  • While Syfy’s summer shows have done best ratings-wise, IMO it’s worth noting that Sanctuary S1 through 3.0 aired during the fall and did well enough for renewal. So I find it quite a stretch to say the fall premiere for SGU S1 is what ‘doomed’ it’s ratings.

  • @tb1342 If boycotting worked, then we would have been able to save SGU by watching it. Unfortunately none of us here matter one way or another.

    But for the record, I will never watch another new SyFy show again. I will, however, continue to watch Sanctuary up until the point SyFy kills it (and we all know its just a matter of time until SyFy kills it).

  • I agree. It really must be true. The folks at SyFy can’t be brain dead. They knew SGU and Sanctuary would suffer with the move away from Friday nights. I don’t buy for a minute the idea that they moved it there for the viewer’s sake. Every sci-fi fan knows Friday night is the night! I think it says a lot about where the new leadership wants to take the network.

  • Even though I don’t mind these ratings reports (they are quite news worthy but not more so than reports about actors activities, anything new scifi or old interesting SG stuff) I find it utterly strange that people apparently like to read them extensively and comment… Guess it’s our inner nerd. I would also like more philosophical pieces or whatever, anything really. By the way when *is* the next podcast due. Simply love them and miss audio interviews too :(

  • I like Sanctuary, but it’s not like there are dozens of GREAT Sci-Fi shows for it to compete against. It’s only a matter of time now, and the powers that be WILL drop the “C” word on Sanctuary too. No worries though, we have lots of wrestling to take its place. :/ Come on, give us a break. Save Eureka, Save Stargate Universe, and at very least, Save Future Stargate Travel!

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