First off, apologies for skipping a week of the Power Rankings - last week being New York Comic Con, it was just impossible to get these done at the same time. The good news is, that means there are a TON of changes this week.
Second, we've decided that we're retiring Fear the Walking Dead. Technically run as a summer series, it wasn't really fair to have it in this, except that the last couple episodes were still running during it. If we wind up doing a year-ender (we probably will) for the calendar year, expect to see it there. Every other show on the list is one that's currently airing, so it's off for now, finishing at a high of 6 when up against even the fall behemoths.
This was a tough Power Ranking to pull through. Since our week 2 rankings, we've had season premieres for The Flash, Arrow, iZombie and The Walking Dead. Supergirl and Jessica Jones were screened for excited NYCC audiences (they're both very good, and about as opposite ends of the comic book/superhero spectrum as they could possibly be), building buzz for both.
Ratings have been interesting, as well. The Walking Dead is once again the top-rated show on TV, but it's still dropped since last season. The Flash is seeing more +3 and +7 boosts than it ever has, and securing a narrower demographic (up in 18-35) while seeing a small dip in the overall demo (18-49). TV watching as a whole seems to be down from a year ago, in fact, or at least for scripted shows (and definitely for comic book/superhero shows).
Nevertheless, we've combed reviews, tweets, and ratings, and come up with the new power rankings, including a maybe-surprising brand new number one.
Focusing on the criteria of ratings, fan feedback, and critical response, plus a bit of our own expert knowledge of intangibles from interviews, set visits, and more, we present to you the ComicBook.com Comic Book TV Power Rankings. We’ll be updating these throughout the season. Bear in mind a couple of caveats: 1, we’re only including shows on the air in Fall 2015 in this initial set. That means that while there are some really incredible comic book shows coming back this spring, they’re not on this list. This isn’t the NFL, and not all the teams start (or play) at the same time. The good news is, once this gets working, it’ll eventually add on those spring returning and new series, and be a year-round ranking of all things comic book TV. Check back each Sunday for a new edition.
1 The Flash - Up 2 Ladies and Gentlemen, your new #1. The first two episodes of season two have been transcendant. Somehow, this show introduces increasingly crazy concepts, like Earth-2 and The Multiverse, calling them out by name, and doesn't alienate anyone. For its contributions to the way comic books are looked at by the general public alone, it would be a contender for #1; the fact that it's also outstanding storytelling, great, charming performances, heart-wrenching, laugh-inducing... The Flash has found something unique that has not been replicated anywhere, and that makes it take the top spot.
2 The Walking Dead - Down 1 Yes, it's the top-rated show on TV, a momentous feat for a cable scripted drama, but a couple things still made it lose its lead on the power rankings. The first is that once you've established yourself as the ratings leader, if you lose a bit of yours (but stay #1), you fall anyway. Heavy is the head and all that. The second is that while The Walking Dead is well-established and still getting great reviews, it's not currently revolutionizing comic book TV the way The Flash is. The thing about this show, though, is that it could flip that switch again any second, and probably will.
3 Gotham - Up 2 This is our first Power Rankings since the crazy third episode, featuring the surprising death. If we had done one last week, it might've been #1, to be honest (and a case could be made for at least all of the top 3 to be in the top spot). This week's follow-up and introduction of Captain Barnes (Michael Chiklis) was great, and kept the momentum going strong. Gotham has absolutely become a must-watch show, and with the very quick twists and turns, is making itself appointment television.
4 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Down 2 The first of a few victims of circumstance here. This week's S.H.I.E.L.D. was excellent, and held more emotion than just about any other drama on TV. It's doing what it does extremely well, it just so happens that a few other shows are doing what they do a little bit better.
5 Arrow - Down 1 This was a tough one - as was the entire top five, really. Personally (and critically) the second episode of the season was a real return-to-form for the show, but some aspects of it also seem to be spinning the wheel of a stationary bike. Still, a lot of setup has been done to make the Green Arrow relevant - and a leader - again, and by the time we hit the Legends of Tomorrow / Flash crossover episodes, we should see this pop back up.
6 iZombie - Up 3 A 100% Certified Fresh rating on RottenTomatoes so far this season is nothing to sneeze at. iZombie has an extremely loyal - and more importantly extremely satisfied viewership. Despite the strong lead-in from our new number one, though, it loses about 2 million of those viewers. What can boost its ratings up? Well, keep making an awesome, critically acclaimed show and hopefully we'll get a little Field of Dreams effect.
7 Jessica Jones - Even Jones stays at 7, but kind of moved up, with Supergirl falling below it. The pilot is DARK with a capital everything, and full of heart. It doesn't hurt that the cast and crew clearly love what they've done here. Buzz is higher for this than it's been yet, even if it was a tiny bit overshadowed by a few seconds of Daredevil season 2 footage.
8 Supergirl - Down 2 Buzz continues to grow for this series, and grow well - but with the premiere still over a week away, it fell by necessity more than any fault of its own.
9 Heroes Reborn - Down 1 Heroes Reborn is a victim of circumstance here, as the last two weeks of episodes have actually been pretty good. The last five minutes of each episode of this show are unlike any other, with so much packed into them that it feels like you watched an entire episode in five minutes. The problem is, today's TV viewer is less likely to watch the first 39 minutes with such a slow burn.
Spring Shows to keep an eye on: Lucifer, Marvel’s Agent Carter, Legends of Tomorrow, Daredevil, Luke Cage, Powers, Other notable future shows (no timeline): Outcast, Preacher, many more.
Biggest Jump: iZombie up 3 spots (four if you count Fear the Walking Dead leaving the list).
Next Week's One to Watch: Heroes Reborn is down but not out - next week sees the return of Masi Oka as Hiro Nakamura. He's saved the cheerleader, and the world, so can he bring the show back up in the Power Rankings?