Ratings aren’t always the only factor in a show getting canceled. There are others to consider, including the show’s production costs, if the desired demographic is tuning in, whether the network owns it outright, and whether the network is choosing to move in a different direction with its lineup.
Plus, even if millions of people are tuning in, those numbers might still not be up to snuff compared to what the network is aiming for on a particular day or in a particular time slot. That has been the case this year, as there have been a number of shows that have been canceled, even though they were earning higher or equal ratings to other shows that got renewed by the same network.
We took a look at every show canceled this season so far and picked out the ones that had the highest number of average viewers, leading up to the axed show that had the most people tuning in every week.
15. The X-Files — 3.7 million
One would imagine that a show as iconic as The X-Files returning would equal guaranteed ratings gold. But while the first season of the reboot earned an average of 9.5 million viewers per episode, the follow-up season had an astonishing drop down to 3.7 million.
That number alone isn’t so horrible that it must automatically equal cancellation, and some shows survive with ratings like that. But the drop from season to season was quite a bad sign, as was Gillian Anderson deciding to leave the series. So now, Fox says there are no plans for another season.
Next: This new ABC procedural did not last long.