Ratings debate: Does ‘Nikita’ have a shot at lasting beyond season 3?

NikitaLast year, we certainly received a great deal of flak from “Nikita” fans for suggesting that their show would likely be canceled, mostly because the ratings were at the time lower than the majority of the shows on The CW’s schedule. However, we have also said over time that if the show managed to be renewed for a third season, it was almost inevitable that it would last until the following year. Why? Thank the syndication gods. While a show like “Nikita” is probably not going to garner much revenue on this market, it is still something that the studios want to have in their back pockets.

While we make our arguments both for and against “Nikita” in the paragraphs ahead, be sure to have the statement above in your mind.

Most-recent performance – 0.4 in the 18-49 demographic for the March 15 episode; show ranges typically anywhere between 0.3 and 0.5.

Why it should go – The simple reason to cancel “Nikita” is because when you look at all of the show’s on the network, it and “90210” are the weakest ones that are not first-year series. You have to cut older shows sometimes to make way for the new, and this is an easy candidate to cut. After all, the network has another action show now in “Arrow,” and “Nikita” has to carry with it a certain price tag in order for Maggie Q and company to do what they do. The cost may just not be worth the ratings.

Why it should stay – We already mentioned syndication, so how about reliability? Friday nights are traditionally the place where TV shows go to die, and at least The CW knows that they can get a 0.3 or higher from the show at this time. If you put “90210” on Fridays instead of Mondays, do you really think that it would do this well? If you consider the downward trend that all networks have on Fridays, then the “Nikita” ratings really don’t look that bad. After all, the show finished only two-tenths behind “Touch” and “Rock Center” for its last new episode, and three tenths behind “Fashion Star.” By comparison to the competition, “Nikita” is closer than most of The CW’s other programs.

The verdict – We would be shocked to see “Nikita” make it to a season 5. However, we for the time being believe that a season 4 renewal will happen thanks to that syndication threshold. Now, there are still a good many episodes of this season still to air and this could change, but considering the fan loyalty thus far despite the network jostling around the schedule, we don’t have any reason to expect it will fall lower than a 0.3.

The other thing to remember is that The CW is trying to program more in the summer, and it would not stun us to see them trying and move “Nikita” to some times off-schedule in order to capitalize on the lack of competition. If the fans are loyal enough to watch on Fridays, wouldn’t they be loyal enough to watch in June or during the holiday season?

What do you think will happen to “Nikita”? We want to hear your thoughts in the poll below, and be sure to check out some of our other ratings debates for the season over here.

Photo: The CW


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