CBS Renew/Cancel Watch: 'Mike & Molly' Cancellation Bad News for '2 Broke Girls'?

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 of any new prediction changes follows. My current predictions are as of December 23, 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.

Show Title
    Season Low High /Average     
 Y2Y Change
The Big Bang Theory
2.1 / 2.5 / 2.22
Life in Pieces
1.8 / 2.6 / 2.00
1.5 / 3.1 / 1.85
1.7 / 2.2 / 1.80
NCIS: New Orleans
1.5 / 1.9 / 1.67
Criminal Minds
1.5 / 2.0 / 1.67
2 Broke Girls
1.5 / 1.7 / 1.60
1.5 / 1.7 / 1.63
1.3 / 1.9 / 1.52
Madam Secretary
1.1 / 1.5 / 1.29
Code Black
1.1 / 1.5 / 1.28
1.1 / 1.4 / 1.26
Blue Bloods
1.1 / 1.3 / 1.19
Hawaii Five-0
1.0 / 1.1 / 1.07
The Good Wife
0.9 / 1.2 / 1.06
0.8 / 1.1 / 0.97
CSI: Cyber
0.7 / 1.0 / 0.83

In light of the sudden cancellation of CBS's veteran comedy 
Mike & Molly, I have decided to downgrade 2 Broke Girls to a more conservative "Likely to be Renewed" status. While the show is down 20 percent year-to-year and has been posting middling ratings in its fifth season, I initially expected a renewal to be certain. For one, it seemed to have the advantage over Mike & Molly and The Odd Couple because it was given 22 episodes, while M&M and TOC were each allotted 13 for midseason. 2 Broke Girls has performed decently in the past compared to most of the network's comedies and has entered syndication as of this year. Also, CBS has seemingly treated its outside studio comedies with somewhat better care than its in-house comedies in recent years. However, when you are working with low-rated shows with little to no critical acclaim to benefit from, like The Millers and The McCarthys, who can blame CBS for ditching them? 

Mike & Molly's
cancellation, in general, wasn't totally unexpected. It is aging, has never been a total breakout, and it's long been questioned whether Melissa McCarthy would want to continue doing this beyond its 100th episode paycheck. What was unexpected was its cancellation announcement coming this late in the season, after it produced almost all of its episodes, and not at all coming across as a "final sendoff season" type of network courtesy. Not to mention the fact that the network apparently didn't even formally have a sit-down with the show's creator (namely, Chuck Lorre, a modern comedy legend for producing hits like The Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men for CBS) when they inquired about the show's future. This all led to the stars of the show announcing that their show wouldn't be going ahead, even though McCarthy would be happy to keep it on. 

OK, OK. What does Mike & Molly have to do with 2 Broke Girls? Well, they both are produced by an outside studio - Warner Bros. TV. They rated similarly last season, as 2 Broke Girls averaged 2.02, and Mike & Molly averaged 1.95. If a Chuck Lorre comedy can get such an abrupt cancellation from CBS, anything is possible for its other comedies, especially 2 Broke Girls, which is currently the network's #4 (out of 4) comedy of the fall season. Although, time will tell if Angel From Hell and The Odd Couple will rank lower.

Regardless, I stand firm in thinking that 2 Broke Girls gets at least a 13-episode sixth season. I don't think CBS axes two relatively long-running comedies in one season. The Big Bang Theory has been renewed already, and Mom is very comfortable in securing at least a fourth season. Beyond the bare minimum syndication point for Mom might be a big question as to whether CBS and Chuck Lorre will continue the partnership, but it's got critical acclaim to back it up. Life In Pieces is also from an outside studio, and while it's averaged 2.0 thus far, it's still a weaker link behind The Big Bang Theory. CBS seems to be content with its performance, though, so it just might squeak out a second season, which could very possibly result in two-and-done if it is moved (almost assuredly) next season. 

Clearly, CBS renewing TBBT, Mom, 2 Broke Girls, Mike & Molly, AND The Odd Couple last season, coupled with two new comedies in Life In Pieces and Angel From Hell, was a poor decision because of the inability to schedule them all reasonably. Also, in deciding to order Supergirl as a Monday 8-9 replacement series, CBS didn't have the available scheduling for so many half hours as they did in previous seasons. With Supergirl getting 20 episodes, it's possible they will keep it around and make Monday nights strictly three hours of dramas for the most part going forward and ditching the comedy hour. 

Ultimately, CBS probably won't be as order-happy with comedies next season. I think they take the risk on another round of 2 Broke Girls, in addition to Mom and already-renewed TBBT, while The Odd Couple and Angel From Hell get sidelined. Life In Pieces might escape the chopping block this season, but I sense it could be two-and-done if it does get a renewal. 

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