This is hitting a lot of material that is over a year old, because many of these shows were only part-way through a split season as of the last time I did cable War updates. I'm including the new split-season halves on these updates, but still not doing grades yet for the material that is technically an incomplete season.
Though American Dad! had some trouble finding its Fox audience in the move to TBS, it held up quite well in its second season on the new channel. It was also extremely consistent; aside from the 0.64 high, every single other episode went between 0.48 and 0.59. Grade: B+. The new season is just underway with fairly similar raw numbers again (0.54 and 0.49 in the first two weeks).
Just wrapped last week, this season of AHS was a nice bounce-back for the franchise after a somewhat disappointing fifth installment. We're using a projected Plus above but unless the league average miraculously gets over 1.3, it is basically certain to be a new series high for AHS. The shorter season (and lack of holiday breaks) definitely helped the trend here, which was actually -1% if you just compare with the year-ago first ten episodes. Even in raw is still outstanding, especially on cable, but I'll nick it a bit just to denote it was less impressive than Game of Thrones. Grade: A-.
The FX animated staple will be making the move to FXX in January, and finished its FX run last spring on kind of a soft note. Grade: C.
Season five in 2015 was the first time Game of Thrones ever declined in raw numbers, but the show got back on a raw growth track this year, and went deep into megahit territory by broadcast standards. The premiere was actually down 5%, but every subsequent point was up, including a new series high 4.35 for the finale. Grade: A.
|Hell on Wheels (summer 2015)||0.25||0.30||0.38||-18%||18||detail|
|Hell on Wheels (summer 2016)||0.19||0.22||0.28||-28%||15||detail|
AMC's drama continued to deteriorate in its last two runs, which were actually one season split across 2015 and 2016. Grade: C+.
|Pretty Little Liars (summer 2015)||0.72||0.89||1.39||-5%||53||detail|
|Pretty Little Liars (winter 2016)||0.55||0.70||1.06||-20%||48||detail|
|Pretty Little Liars (summer 2016)||0.53||0.58||0.68||-35%||40||detail|
In summer 2015, Pretty Little Liars looked extremely healthy, keyed by a huge 1.39 summer finale. That heat alone helped it premiere healthily in the winter. But the show pretty much collapsed across that winter 2016 run, from 1.06 as low as a 0.55, and a surprisingly meh 0.59 to wrap it up. The trend for the full season looks OK... so, Grade: B. But it clearly left the season in much worse shape, and that was clear with a very poor trend for the summer 2016 half-season. Should be interesting to see who comes back for the final ten eps this spring.
|Rizzoli and Isles (summer 2015)||0.57||0.70||0.82||-27%||42||detail|
|Rizzoli and Isles (winter 2016)||0.36||0.43||0.50||-32%||29||detail|
|Rizzoli and Isles (summer 2016)||0.50||0.58||0.70||-17%||40||detail|
TNT's crime drama staple took a tumble in its 2015-16 season, dropping 30%ish both in the summer and the regular season runs. Grade: C-. However, the final season last summer held up OK, and allowed it to remain an upper-level cable drama to the end. Grade: B.
It was once one of the faces of scripted programming on cable, but Royal Pains limped to the finish over the summer without ever even hitting a rounded 0.4. But most of the damage to this show was really done in the previous couple years, and this was actually its smallest drop in a few seasons. Grade: B-.
The Showtime staple had another strong hold in its winter 2016 season. Grade: B+. It's moved to the fall this year and seen a slightly steeper decline, down 22% as of this writing.
|Suits (summer 2015)||0.55||0.61||0.68||-21%||36||detail|
|Suits (winter 2016)||0.46||0.50||0.54||-3%||34||detail|
|Suits (summer 2016)||0.39||0.48||0.54||-21%||33||detail|
The USA veteran picked up a little steam at the end of the summer 2015 run, and parlayed that into a winter 2016 run that was the healthiest in the history of the show. Grade: B+. That grade is only for the 2015-16 season, and doesn't include summer 2016 (which fell back to the show's fairly typical -20%ish decline rate).
|The Walking Dead (fall 2015)||6.17||6.72||7.43||-10%||462||detail|
|The Walking Dead (winter 2016)||5.83||6.33||6.92||-13%||434||detail|
Season six went down as the end of The Walking Dead's lengthy run of raw numbers growth, but it still dropped less than the 2015-16 league average and still easily dwarfed everything else entertainment on television. So it's hard to go much worse than a Grade: A-.