CBS Renew/Cancel Preseason Predictions

Hello! I'm Jordan, and I'll be here posting weekly Renew/Cancel predictions for CBS throughout the season. Below are my preseason predictions, followed by a short analysis of each.

Certain to be Canceled
  • Angel From Hell
  • Code Black
  • The Good Wife
Likely to be Canceled

  • Life in Pieces
  • Limitless
On the Bubble
  • CSI: Cyber
  • Hawaii Five-0
Likely to be Renewed
  • Blue Bloods
  • Elementary
  • Madam Secretary
Certain to be Renewed
  • Criminal Minds
  • Mom
  • NCIS
  • NCIS: LA
  • NCIS: New Orleans
  • Scorpion
  • Supergirl
Fate Determined
  • The Big Bang Theory (Renewed)


  • Blue Bloods: A sixth-season show that brings home the viewers but not in the key demographic. However, it has historically never been a self-proclaimed ratings monster and it is not expected to be in its Friday timeslot. It has consistently been a notch above fellow Friday drama Hawaii Five-0, which may give it favorable odds for renewal. 
  • Code Black: I see CBS’s latest foray into the medical drama world slipping under the radar quickly. If anything, I see it getting a decent total viewer treatment, which won’t do it many favors. Some might argue that CBS has a tendency to nurture these low-rated dramas anyhow (see: Madam Secretary and The Good Wife, and another handful of your choosing), but they can’t save them all.
  • Criminal Minds: Being a respectable performer for 10 seasons, I don’t think Criminal Minds is through yet. It’s seen a slight tumble over the past couple of years, but it should have enough fuel in it to get it through to at least 12 seasons. CBS has much bigger worries and can continue to use it as a (hopeful) launching pad for new series. (However, with Stalker failing to take off behind it, is there much hope that anything else new will do significantly better outside of a spinoff?)
  • CSI: Cyber: Cyber had a rather lackluster start in 2015 for a spinoff. While Ted Danson is transferring to the series for its “relaunch” this season, it’s stowed away on Sundays and only has 13 episodes in the can. With CSI concluding this Fall, it’s going to take some doing for CSI: Cyber to carry on the name. Does CBS value this property enough? At this time, I'm leaning towards cancellation.
  • Elementary: The fourth season drama has, on average, performed nearly on par with Blue Bloods despite having a Thursday night timeslot. However, it has an incredible syndication package that has kept CBS content with its performance over the years. There’s little reason to think it may not continue beyond the current season with the syndication value in mind, but ratings do still matter overall and it remains to be seen how low CBS will allow Elementary to go. My current bet is that CBS sticks it out for a still-profitable fifth season.
  • The Good Wife: A seven season plan is what the creators had in mind. Now entering its seventh season, I'm willing to bet CBS gives in and wraps production on the series that they have been dragging along for the past few seasons. It does have critical acclaim on its side and CBS favorite Julianna Margulies, but they have other series to show concern for. Plus, creators Robert and Michelle King have BrainDead in the works at CBS to keep them busy.
  • Hawaii Five-0: It, like Blue Bloods, has not been doing great numbers on Fridays either, but it was acceptable for CBS to give Five-0 a sixth season. It's possible that both Friday series may not make the cut again by May, possibly opening up a Friday slot for another low-rated veteran series to move into. This one seems the likelier option to conclude at the end of the season. I currently have it sitting "On the Bubble."

  • Limitless: This show has a somewhat questionable future. It has a timeslot in which it follows NCIS and NCIS: New Orleans, and it is the only scripted series of the hour. Bradley Cooper is attached as exec-producer and recurring star, and it’s adapted from a recent movie that had box office success. It has some things going for it. I have to wonder if the property on which it's based is strong enough to do much for it, or if most viewers will bypass it. For example, with 17K likes on Facebook in comparison to the official movie page’s 1.5M, which is not promoting the series, there is, again, little noticeable anticipation in the social media universe. Will the fans of the movie carry over? Will viewers actually tune into the series or instead opt to watch reruns of the 2011 movie every few weeks on TNT? This remains to be seen.
  • Madam Secretary: CBS has been defensive of Madam Secretary since its early renewal in January. The ratings were often padded by football overruns and did about on par with or slightly better than The Good Wife at other times. It will depend on stability this season to stay in CBS's good graces. At the moment, it seems like it's in a good enough place for CBS and therefore a likely renewal.
  • NCIS: The very popular procedural is still bringing in solid ratings to the network. Another season is guaranteed.
  • NCIS: LA: Although ratings may be getting lower than desired, CBS has time to kill with this spinoff.
  • NCIS: New Orleans: For a third entry in the franchise, New Orleans is doing all right. CBS will likely deal with ratings declines over the next couple of seasons to continue reaping the benefits of this very profitable franchise. One that can still actively cash in on the name (ouch, @CSI).
  • Scorpion: CBS had extreme success with Scorpion last season. It did about what CBS could realistically expect against veteran reality shows The Voice and Dancing with the Stars. Scorpion has room to fall yet and will be renewed.
  • Supergirl: It’s no longer a surprise when a network orders a superhero-centric series. Looking to capitalize on the hype, Supergirl should be set up for a respectable premiere. While I see it softening up and losing some traction before December (look at the established competition it faces on Monday nights), I don’t think it will fall to nearly dangerous enough levels that would warrant a one-and-done cancellation. Gotham made it to season two and Supergirl should be heading that way also by May.


  • Angel From Hell: Comedy has, for the most part, not done superhero numbers for CBS in recent seasons. Outside of acquiring another Chuck Lorre hit in Mom and The (lucky) Odd Couple, all we need to look at is The Millers to speak for the rest of the crop. I don’t think stars Jane Lynch and Maggie Lawson will be big enough draws to this comedy. Not to mention it doesn’t get the post-Big Bang timeslot, and there’s no social media buzz to prop it up.  

Life in Pieces

  • Life in Pieces: The new CBS version of Modern Family seems to work mostly on paper. Like Angel From Hell, there’s little talk circulating about this one. It has a super advantage of airing behind The Big Bang Theory, but that adds more pressure to produce great ratings. It’s also not produced by CBS. With 2 Broke Girls, Mike & Molly, and The Odd Couple waiting in the wings, I see this one not getting too much of a second look.
  • Mom: This comedy passed the test and has rated highly for CBS through two full seasons. It has its third season renewal in hand, the Lorre name for any bumpy weather in its pocket, and stars Allison Janney and Anna Faris are sitting pretty.
  • The Big Bang Theory: Already renewed. Another year of $1M episodic paychecks locked down.

Now that you have heard what I think, what are your predictions for CBS's Fall slate? Comment with your predictions/thoughts below and continue to check back throughout the season for my updated predictions!

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