Freeform has picked up a third season of its drama series “Stitchers,” which may have you asking, “What is ‘Stitchers,’ and how did it get to a third season?”

We’re here to help on both counts.

First, the what: “Stitchers” is a procedural centered on Kirsten Clark (Emma Ishta), a hacker who joins a “covert government agency” that investigates murders by essentially hacking into the brains of the recently deceased. The program, naturally, has a larger secret purpose that’s kept closely guarded by agency head Maggie (Salli Richardson-Whitfield).

The “how did it get to a third season” part is a little more complicated. The first season, which aired in summer 2015, performed reasonably well, averaging a 0.3 same-day rating in adults 18-49 and 823,000 viewers.

Season 2, however, suffered a fairly sizable drop in ratings, averaging a 0.15 in adults 18-49 and just 387,000 viewers. It took a week of DVR and on-demand viewing to push the show back to the ratings it got overnight in Season 1.

Still, Freeform notes in its announcement of the pickup that “Stitchers” had the second-best debut season in the past two years on Freeform, behind “Shadowhunters” (same-day 0.4 in 18-49, 960,000 viewers). It’s also the No. 3 performer on Freeform’s digital platforms, behind “Pretty Little Liars” and “Shadowhunters.”

With both “Pretty Little Liars” and “Switched at Birth” nearing the end of their runs, Freeform also needs to keep feeding the pipeline. “Stitchers” Season 2 outperformed new series “Guilt” and was close to the numbers for “Dead of Summer,” so it makes some sense to keep the show around from that perspective.

Posted by:Rick Porter

Rick Porter has been covering TV since the days when networks sent screeners on VHS, one of which was a teaser for the first season of "American Idol." He's left-handed, makes a very solid grilled cheese and has been editor of TV by the Numbers since October 2015. He lives in Austin.

  • http://prettylittleliarsfannpage.wordpress.com alainnoujaim

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  • Kelsey

    why didn’t they just renew SAB for one more season instead? Or even a full 5th season, It was getting better ratings.

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  • http://www.cancelledscifi.com/2016/10/07/cancellation-watch-breaking-news-stitchers-renewed-for-a-third-season/ Cancellation Watch Breaking News: Stitchers Renewed for a Third Season | Cancelled Sci Fi

    […] it is “strong ratings performer for the network” (TV by the Numbers actually give a much better assessment of the show’s performance). It might be Freeform’s Number 2 performing new series for […]

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