CBS Renew/Cancel: 'Donuts' Superior To 'Great Indoors'

Welcome to 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 April 7, 2017.

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 
2.6 / 3.8 / 3.20
1.5 / 2.2 / 1.78
Kevin Can Wait
1.1 / 2.7 / 1.70
1.3 / 2.2 / 1.53
The Great Indoors
1.1 / 1.9 / 1.50
1.2 / 1.7 / 1.44
Criminal Minds
1.2 / 1.9 / 1.38
1.0 / 1.7 / 1.38
2 Broke Girls
1.0 / 1.7 / 1.34
Man with a Plan
1.0 / 1.6 / 1.31
Life in Pieces
1.0 / 1.5 / 1.28
Superior Donuts
1.0 / 1.9 / 1.27
1.1 / 1.5 / 1.22
NCIS: New Orleans
1.0 / 1.5 / 1.20
Hawaii Five-0
1.0 / 1.4 / 1.19
Blue Bloods
1.0 / 1.3 / 1.18
0.9 / 1.7 / 1.11
The Odd Couple
0.9 / 1.1 / 1.02
Code Black
0.7 / 1.2 / 0.97
Madam Secretary
0.7 / 1.1 / 0.94
Pure Genius
0.7 / 1.0 / 0.86
Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders
0.7 / 0.9 / 0.85
Training Day
0.7 / 0.9 / 0.75
0.6 / 0.8 / 0.68
0.5 / 0.8 / 0.67
0.3 / 0.8 / 0.45

With the season 13 renewal of Criminal Minds this week, the exclusion of Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders for a season 3 renewal, coupled with its recent low 0.7 rating, is pretty telling that this series is of low priority for CBS going forward. They have very little use for it, the ratings aren't indicating that it'll achieve the 1.0 mark this season, and the amount of episodes produced through two short seasons don't suggest a lucrative future on the network. Beyond Borders is Likely to be Canceled.

Also excluded from recent mass renewals were 2 Broke Girls and The Great Indoors. The former isn't surprising as it's an aging veteran that the network doesn't own, and it recently hit a series low (1.0). The costs are likely a key factor here, and whether or not the popular series gets a "final season," limited in episode order or not, is highly questionable. There's a case to be made for a Mike & Molly-esque 13-episode final season order, but there are a lot of variables that we likely don't know working for and/or against it. For the moment, I am leaving 2 Broke Girls as Likely to be Canceled, considering its exclusion from the mass renewal, its aging costs, and CBS's decision to renew three returning sitcoms and three freshman sitcoms to fill its schedule, along with the already-ordered Sheldon

For similar reasons, I have decided to downgrade The Great Indoors to Likely to be Canceled status as it was similarly excluded from the season two renewals for Kevin Can Wait, Man with a Plan, and midseason entry Superior Donuts. The fact that the post-TBBT series that launched in the fall got sidelined by Superior Donuts says quite a bit about its value to the network, and its recent airing on Monday didn't help prove its ability to perform outside the Thursday block. The fact is that The Great Indoors has had a pretty unremarkable performance as it's dragged on when compared to the series on Monday that have to basically self-start every week. While the likes of Man with a Plan and Superior Donuts might have a foreseeably tough future if they are already hitting 1.0s, at least CBS has evidence of their performances under tough circumstances. With The Great Indoors, a renewal (and definite timeslot move) would be very questionable and a huge test of faith that they may not have at this point in time. 

Elementary and Code Black were excluded from the renewals as well. The former is not surprising as it has seen an extreme decline in the ratings since it first aired five years ago. Its highly lucrative syndication deal with WGN ($3 mil/episode) had many heads spinning, and still does, but the details of that deal are unclear as to how extensive it is for the current season and beyond. Since we don't know the intricate business details, we have to assume that WGN and CBS have had or will have lengthy talks/negotiations about its current and future prospects, where the first-run ratings and syndicated data don't suggest that a season 6 would be worth $3 mil/episode if WGN isn't currently signed on for that. Its exclusion from the mass renewal suggests that there's less assurance with it continuing, so I will leave it as Likely to be Canceled.

Code Black, while also excluded from the mass renewals, is an interesting case. It has never been a strong performer in its two seasons, but it's proven fairly reliable for averaging around a 1.0 in a 10pm timeslot, which is increasingly less terrible for network television standards. I've heard that CBS internally supports the show, which says why they retooled a bit with cast changes and have kept their options open since season two ended rather than making an immediate decision on its fate. It also may be so that they wanted to see Beyond Borders' data before deciding on the future of Code Black. With that show performing worse in its replacement of Code Black, perhaps CBS will be interested in bringing the medical drama back for a third season on Sundays, where they can afford to have modestly performing series like Madam Secretary run out their orders without much expectation or disappointment. 

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