Predicting the 2016-17 Ratings: CBS Veterans

Now the the ABC portion of the series is published, it's time to make predictions about the CBS veteran shows.

NCIS: LA will inexplicably have the privilege of airing Sunday at 8 in the post-football time slot. Which is strange to say the least when we're talking about a show entering its eight season, unless it's earning a lot more money than we might think. This move will probably help it stop the bleeding that it took on Mondays thanks to being boosted up by football.

Prediction: -4% to a 1.27

Madam Secretary
Madam Secretary never really took advantage of football overrun, and moves to the much harder Sunday at 9pm time slot. My guess is it would rate about what The Good Wife did this season, then add in a league average drop to get:

Prediction: -23% to a 0.92

Elementary is in the right time slot; aka, the dreaded Sunday at 10 time slot. It's stuck around solely because of the deal WGN made with CBS where they paid $3 million an episode for this low-rated dud. Many fall episodes won't even start until 10:30pm or even 11pm. First-run ratings are not the reason this one is sticking around.

Prediction: -20% to a 0.77

2 Broke Girls
2 Broke Girls continues to drop around 20% each season. It did OK in raw numbers considering how it kept getting bounced around the schedule, but my guess is this is the final season, regardless of how the shows around it do. It'll probably be the Monday night anchor, but they don't own it and no one said they have to stick with a two hour Monday comedy block. I want to go more optimistic than the below prediction, but history tells me not to.

Prediction: -22% to a 1.26

The Odd Couple
The Odd Couple seems to be a time slot hit. When aired after The Big Bang Theory, it looks bad. When aired on Thursdays after reruns of The Big Bang Theory, it looks great. When aired on Mondays after reruns of The Big Bang Theory, it looks bad again. It was down 36% this season, and they probably are hoping that its 2 Broke Girls lead-in will be roughly equivalent to the Big Bang rerun lead-in it had on Monday this season and will give it a shot at success. I think it's just as likely though that The Odd Couple and one of the 8pm comedies doesn't make it out of midseason alive and they condense the block to one hour, though.

Prediction: -24% to a 1.07

Scorpion was CBS's #3 drama this season, behind only NCIS and Criminal Minds (1.79 vs 1.77).  I'm a little surprised they decided to move it to 10pm to make way for a two-hour comedy block. In fact, it got the same treatment as Marvel's Agents of SHIELD on ABC; the difference being the former is a hit and the latter is a show that's always going fractional. It did indeed fall 23% this season, and with the move to 10pm and the fact that the lead-in probably won't be any better, it'll probably fall some more. In improvement in both raw and relative ratings over NCIS: LA, but not as high as it could have been.

Prediction: -19% to a 1.44

Michael Weatherly is leaving NCIS, and apparently he was a big draw to the show. ABC will also be more competitive in the hour, bringing its oldest-skewing weekday comedy against it (though NCIS may be the one hurting The Middle instead of the other way around). It'll see another season over a 2.0 in the A18-49 demographic, but not by a whole lot. Overall another solid performance for the mothership coming up.

Prediction: -8% to a 2.03

NCIS: LA lost 35% of its live + same day audience when it moved from its post-NCIS time slot. What's to stop this one from doing the same? Some shows are just better together, though it's understood they wanted to use their #1 drama on a new show. I'll say it doesn't decline as much as LA did given it'll still air on the same night and with less competition, but there's nothing to think it will do better than the -16% this season.

Prediction: -27% to a 1.28

Survivor really is, well, a survivor. It's amazing how well this show still does, dominating its time slot every week. This season, it was CBS's #3 show. I don't think it'll crash anytime soon, but there will be some viewer fatigue as always. It won't hurt that FOX's time slot occupant will likely be weaker and ABC is 99% gaurenteed to be weaker. Probably NBC too. Due to lessened competition (not even American Idol!), I think it'll see a great season ahead.

Prediction: -3% to a 1.99*

*this average will be the average of the fall and spring cycles

Criminal Minds
After four seasons in a row of remarkable steadiness, Criminal Minds has declined more than the league average for the next four seasons in a row. With the same time slot and same competition, it'll probably keep declining.

Prediction: -14% to a 1.54

Code Black
Many were surprised when this medical drama was renewed, but CBS must see something in it (international revenue? package deal from ABC Studios with the Criminal Minds duo?). It was supposedly between Pure Genius and Code Black per the pilot buzz, though that turned out to be an incorrect assumption. I actually think that CBS plans on investing into it, and if the episode order is indeed 17 it'll stay away from most of spring.

Prediction: -8% to a 1.17

The Big Bang Theory
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that this will be Big Bang's final season. It's getting very expensive, and the fact that they doubled their comedy hours may be telling that they're looking for other shows that could survive long-term. With that in mind, the decline might not be all that much.

Prediction: -4% to a 3.58

Last season, Mom enjoyed a string of post-Big Bang episodes, so it's a little bit more understandable why it fell 26% this season (though I'm sure CBS thought and wished it kept some of the audience that found it through Big Bang). With a more compatible lead-in coming, I don't think the decline will be as bad.

Prediction: -12% to a 1.49

Life in Pieces
Life in Pieces' lead-in will be about half the size next season, and will be just as incompatible. CBS doesn't often cancel shows after their second seasons, though if this one collapses it could get pulled from the schedule. It looked promising when aired behind Big Bang reruns, but its 9pm season finale was not promising at all.

Prediction: -34% to a 1.31

Hawaii 5-0
Hawaii 5-0 will be getting a more compatible lead-in next season in MacGyver, though many aren't too high on its chances to succeed. At this point though, I don't think it needs it a ton. We may be seeing its ratings go a little lower naturally, though I don't predict it will go fractional either.

Prediction: -9% to a 1.04

Blue Bloods
Blue Bloods deserves a lot more respect than it's getting. It's one of the most-watched shows on all of television (sometimes beating Empire in that aspect), and it's a very respectable player on Fridays in the A18-49 demographic (and huge in the 55+ one). I think it'll see another rise in relative ratings.

Prediction: -6% to a 1.17

Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders
This one depends on time slot. If it remains Wednesday at 10 (probably will with Code Black finishing early), it will continue to be a modest player after the mothership. Anywhere else will see huge declines. But let's assume it stays where it was this spring.

Prediction: -16% to a 1.04

60 Minutes
60 Minutes is just like any other newsmagazine when it comes to ratings. Oh, except for the fact that it constantly gets boosted to hit numbers in the fall due to football. Not sure if they'll actually air it after a football playoff game this upcoming season, but assuming the same schedule, there's no reason to think 60 Minutes won't be on the same trajectory as this season.

Prediction: -5% to a 1.52

The Amazing Race
It appears that The Amazing Race, which while resettable for Friday is nothing to write home about, will only be one cycle this season. I'm guessing it'll be Friday at 8, though it could also bridge for Survivor if MacGyver clicks with viewers. I think it'll still have an average above fractional numbers.

Prediction: -6% to a 1.02*

*this average will be the average of the fall and spring cycles

Undercover Boss
No telling where this one is airing. Although it's not so much a draw with viewers anymore (the concept can get tiring quickly and its business-reality catch has been replaced by Shark Tank at this point), it still provides for great spackle. I'm guessing it will continue to do the same. If MacGyver is a huge flop, it may bridge the gap between MacGyver and The Amazing Race. It may also see some winter Sunday airings, or airings against events, or even summer airings. I predict a decline larger than the league average, maybe enough to give it a temporary rest.

Prediction: -17% to a 0.96

What do you think of these predictions? What are yours? Let us know in the comments below!

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