CBS Renew/Cancel Watch: 'Madam Secretary' Likely to be Renewed

Hollywood Reporter

Welcome to the CBS Renew/Cancel Watch of the fall season! All scripted, primetime shows are included in the prediction table below once they have premiered for the season. An analysis follows. My current predictions are as of October 10, 2015.

The key to the right indicates which colors are associated with each prediction. The data in the table includes season lows, highs, and averages (Adults 18-49 demo), as well as the year-to-year changes for returning shows that have not already been officially renewed or canceled. These are provided for reasoning with and understanding my predictions. The shows are ordered by their season averages against only other scripted CBS shows.

Season Low / High / Average
Year-to-Year Change
The Big Bang Theory
2.2 / 2.5 / 2.3
Life in Pieces
1.9 / 2.6 / 2.25
Criminal Minds
1.7 / 2.0 / 1.85
1.7 / 2.2 / 1.9
1.7 / 1.9 / 1.8
NCIS: New Orleans
- / 1.7 / 1.7
Madam Secretary
- / 1.4 / 1.4
Code Black
1.2 / 1.5 / 1.35
Blue Bloods
1.2 / 1.3 / 1.3
- / 1.2 / 1.2
The Good Wife
- / 1.2 / 1.2
Hawaii Five-0
1.0 / 1.1 / 1.1
CSI: Cyber
- / 1.0 / 1.0

Madam Secretary: The show premiered its second season to a 1.4 in the demo on Sunday night, which was basically on par with its season one average overall but down 30% from its 2.0 series premiere a year ago (which, to be fair, was helped in part by NFL overrun). Madam Secretary is known for putting up rather mediocre numbers when it's not being helped by football, but it still is the best CBS currently has on Sunday nights. The Good Wife is not a ratings-getter and the 10pm hour has been weak with Battle Creek and CSI: Cyber failing to shape up the tail end of the night. CBS won't cancel the entire Sunday night line-up and, as of now, Madam Secretary is the best option to continue as CBS will hope to drive some new syndication revenue with the help of Téa Leoni.

The Good Wife: CBS and Julianna Margulies have had a good run with the show, lasting seven seasons and winning 5 Emmy's and a Golden Globe Award. However, creators Robert and Michelle King have been vocal about their seven season creative plan, which may or may not be held up by CBS come May. The decision comes down to CBS and whether another 13-22 episodes would be profitable enough to keep the sets up and running through another production season. With another batch of low-to-sub 1s in the future, I currently believe that the curtain call is near for The Good Wife. Therefore, I have it as "Likely to be Canceled." We will see how the season turns out.

CSI: Cyber: Dismal numbers all around for Patricia Arquette and CSI alum/transfer Ted Danson. All things considered, the newest spinoff in the CSI franchise premiered to an underwhelming 1.8 demo rating in March and quickly fell to a period of 1.2s as it concluded its initial 13-episode first season in May. This week, it premiered to a very low 1.0, which is down 44.5% from its series premiere. There's little reason to expect CBS to extend the life of a series that can't seem to stand on its own, especially once this ship hits 0.9 or less. The only thing working in its favor is the CSI name and whether CBS values this property enough to churn out another few seasons for syndication purposes. Why do I only have it as "Likely to be Canceled" then? Well, I would like to give every show at least two airing opportunities before making such a prediction, because some network shows have seen growth in their second episodes this season and, while it's usually unlikely that a show grows from the season premiere to the subsequent episode, you can't completely rule out that possibility.

Code Black: I thought to give Marcia Gay Harden a second chance to lure viewers into the dark medical drama. The 1.5 premiere rating was low to begin with last week, and a drop of 20% brought a dismal 1.2 this week. CBS has more low-rated dramas than they or the millionaire physicists/engineers of The Big Bang Theory know what to do with, but there's no case for this one. Code Black earns the title of my very first "Certain to be Canceled" prediction of the season.

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  • Expect new analyses and potential prediction changes for dramas Blue Bloods and Limitless
  • Will Life in Pieces stick around and make it to Thursdays behind The Big Bang Theory? Or will it become destined for certain cancellation? 
  • How CSI: Cyber fares in its second week may decide its fate. Will it rise, decline, or stay flat? Further analyses and predictions to come for this one.

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