CBS Renew/Cancel: Changes for 'Man with a Plan,' 'Code Black,' + '2 Broke Girls'

Welcome to the second edition of the TV Ratings Guide's CBS Renew/Cancel Watch. 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 or observations follows. My current predictions are as of January 8, 2016.

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     
 Y2Y Change
 The Big Bang Theory 
3.1 / 3.8 / 3.41
1.7 / 2.2 / 1.86
Kevin Can Wait
1.3 / 2.7 / 1.82
1.5 / 2.2 / 1.63
The Great Indoors
1.1 / 1.9 / 1.57
Criminal Minds
1.3 / 1.9 / 1.48
1.2 / 1.7 / 1.48
1.2 / 1.7 / 1.42
2 Broke Girls
1.2 / 1.7 / 1.38
Life in Pieces
1.0 / 1.5 / 1.31
Man with a Plan
1.1 / 1.6 / 1.29
NCIS: New Orleans
1.2 / 1.5 / 1.27
1.1 / 1.5 / 1.25
Hawaii Five-0
1.1 / 1.4 / 1.23
Blue Bloods
1.1 / 1.3 / 1.20
0.9 / 1.7 / 1.15
The Odd Couple
0.9 / 1.1 / 1.02
Madam Secretary
0.7 / 1.1 / 0.99
Code Black
0.7 / 1.2 / 0.98
Pure Genius
0.7 / 1.0 / 0.87
0.6 / 0.8 / 0.70
0.4 / 0.8 / 0.63

It's definitely a good Friday for CBS comedies, with Kevin Can Wait gaining 2 additional episodes (24 total), and Man with a Plan and The Great Indoors getting 3 more each (22 total). Kevin Can Wait has been the strongest new sitcom on CBS this season, averaging a 1.82 so far. The Great Indoors hasn't fully utilized its lead-in (The Big Bang Theory), but it still pulls above-average ratings for a CBS comedy with a 1.57 seasonal average. Comparatively, fellow freshman Man with a Plan has had the least help out of the three and it shows in its mediocre 1.29 seasonal average. However, it hasn't been rating too far behind Kevin Can Wait in recent weeks, with the former scoring a 1.4 this week to MWAP's 1.2.

Recently, I've been starting to reconsider the comedy situation on CBS, most importantly in regards to the value of 2 Broke Girls to the network. It is a sixth season series from an outside studio that has been on a gradual decline in the last couple of seasons, averaging a 1.38 this season behind The Big Bang Theory, Kevin Can Wait, The Great Indoors, and Mom, respectively. Despite not being in the same predicament Mike & Molly was in last season (held for midseason and then rushed out as a final sixth season of 13 episodes), there's an argument to be made that it could be this season's big sitcom cancellation for the network. How I Met Your Mother ended in 2014, Two and a Half Men wrapped in 2015, Melissa McCarthy closed out 2016, and a 2017 veteran ending wouldn't be all that surprising. The Big Bang Theory is heading towards an ending in the next couple of seasons most likely, but most anticipate that it'll at least see an eleventh (at least to help launch the likely fall TBBT spinoff series, Sheldon). Mom hasn't performed as well as other Chuck Lorre staples, but it is helping keep up the backend of Thursdays, it gets rare awards attention for the network with star Allison Janney, and that's enough to keep it around for now.

In direct competition for 2 Broke Girls is the slew of new comedies. It's obvious that CBS really went all out for freshman sitcoms this season, expecting something (or things) to stick that can help build a new brand for the network once they lose their staples in the coming seasons. The three freshman have all done at least OK, proving to the network that The Odd Couple isn't needed anymore as filler. The episode extensions for all three lead me to believe they're feeling confident in what they brought to the table this year, and that perhaps all three (even Man with a Plan, which I've long had On the Bubble in an 'at best' situation), have viable futures for second seasons. That's all before Superior Donuts even has a chance to premiere in February, which could be a threat to the more vulnerable Man with a Plan and 2 Broke Girls.

As of now, I've decided to promote Man with a Plan to Likely to be Renewed status. It's time for it to move out of the Bubble, and I feel that it's chances are 60/40. In addition, I downgraded 2 Broke Girls to the Bubble, as it's truly a 50/50 scenario with this one arguably being a reliable player for the network for years, yet aging and being challenged by newbies that might have more potential for CBS as they try to develop a new lot.

As for Code Black, the drama continues to chug along with just short of a 1.0 average for the season. It's really not great, or even good, but there's something to be said about the stability a sophomore drama like this could perhaps provide to the network going forward. It would need to move next season, perhaps to Sundays where it could pair with Madam Secretary. Having 34 episodes in the can after this season wraps (18 for season one, 16 for season two) is something they can perhaps work with, but getting it another 2-3 seasons to make it past 80 for syndication (they co-own it with ABC Studios) might be a struggle if its audience wanes.

*Update 1/8: As the CBS TCA is this week, I've decided to leave nothing "On the Bubble" at least for the time being. As such, 2 Broke Girls has been downgraded to Likely to be Canceled and Code Black has been upgraded to Likely to be Renewed.

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