We’ve said all along that there is a reasonable shot of a Dark Matter season 4, and the season 3 finale ratings prove that. Any improvement is a good sign, and while the improvements were small, they mark a step in the right direction while we wait for Syfy to make their decision.
The 18-49 demographic – Let’s begin with this, given that in so many different outlets this is defined as the measure that will save the show the most. (Advertisers often look to buy towards this market.) The finale drew a 0.2 rating in said demo, which is the best rating the show has posted there since early August. This also is perfectly in line with the season 3 average.
In terms of the season overall, this means that Dark Matter is down just over 12% versus season 3 in the demo — that’s a little more of a decline than we would’ve liked to see, but it’s still reasonably safe territory. (Remember, the majority of network shows tend to fall more than 15% year-to-year on average.) There are also extremely strong DVR numbers with this show, which should give it an added lift. Unfortunately, advertisers don’t covet these numbers as much given that the majority of people who record a show aren’t doing so to also watch the commercials.
Total viewers – While they may not be as important to a show’s long-term future as the demo, they do very much still matter. Here, the news is even better for Dark Matter and its future. The finale generated over 680,000 viewers, which is the best that it has performed since late July. Clearly, there were some viewers who either DVR’ed prior episodes and caught up for the finale, or were watching live after missing a few here or there.
This number helps to boost the season average here to just over 610,000 an episode, which is down less than 10% year-to-year. This decline is even more impressive than what we got with the demo.
Will any of this help to convince Syfy?
Yes and no. Even if the network is reasonably satisfied with the show’s performance, there are so many other factors that the programming heads need to consider. For one, there are questions regarding the rest of their roster, if they still want to do a Friday summer lineup, or if there are some other stories for whatever reason that they want to tell. Personally, we do feel like Dark Matter is probably more up their alley than almost any other show they could possibly have, but networks often make whatever decision that they want for whatever reason that they want. Their decisions don’t always have to make sense. (It’s certainly easier when they do make sense, but there are never any guarantees of that.)