CBS Renew/Cancel: '9JKL' Likely to be Canceled

Linda Lavin, Mark Fuererstein ("9JKL") | CBS
Welcome to the CBS Renew/Cancel Watch. All in-season, scripted primetime shows airing on CBS in the 2017-18 season are included in the prediction table below. My current predictions are current as of October 31, 2017.

The key to the right indicates the colors associated with each prediction. The data in the table includes current season lows, highs, and averages (Adults 18-49 demo), as well as the year-to-year changes for returning shows. The shows are ordered by their season averages against other scripted CBS shows.

    Season Low High /Average     
 Y2Y Change
Young Sheldon
- / 3.8 / 3.80
 The Big Bang Theory 
2.8 / 4.1 / 3.15
1.4 / 1.6 / 1.45
Kevin Can Wait
1.1 / 2.3 / 1.41
0.8 / 1.5 / 1.38
1.2 / 1.3 / 1.23
1.0 / 1.5 / 1.20
Criminal Minds
1.0 / 1.3 / 1.11
NCIS: New Orleans
1.0 / 1.1 / 1.06
  Wisdom of the Crowd  
0.7 / 1.3 / 1.06
0.8 / 1.3 / 1.05
Hawaii Five-0
1.0 / 1.1 / 1.04
Me, Myself & I
0.7 / 1.6 / 1.01
Blue Bloods
0.9 / 1.1 / 0.97
0.7 / 1.0 / 0.82
- / 0.8 / 0.81
Superior Donuts
- / 0.8 / 0.80
Madam Secretary
0.6 / 0.8 / 0.77

NCIS, NCIS: LA, NCIS: New Orleans, Bull
I've decided to upgrade several reliable dramas to Certain to be Renewed status this week. These four shows continue to offer the most stability to the schedule. NCIS is the net's longest-running drama currently on the air, and it continues to rate highly as their #1 drama and #3 series overall. NCIS: New Orleans has impressed me with its ability to pull consistent 1.1s in the 10pm hour this season, with a light 10% decline y2y, and it looks stronger than the other dramas from its class: Scorpion and Madam Secretary. It will likely secure a syndication deal at some point due to its franchise association and CBS's master procedural-selling skills, which will make it much more valuable in the years to come. Lastly, Bull has maintained solid ratings this season and doesn't fall too much from its NCIS lead-in. It's shaping up to be a fairly good investment for the network going forward.

Criminal Minds, MacGyver
While I'm still hesitant to claim these shows are near-certain to return in any way, I'm feeling generous this Halloween and have upgraded both to Likely to be Renewed territory. Criminal Minds has done better than I anticipated Wednesdays at 10, highlighting more of the weaknesses in SEAL Team and its inability to do much better in the earlier hour. MacGyver impressed with a slight uptick to a 0.9 on Friday, and even its string of 0.8s has been very consistent if nothing else this season. With so much uncertainty in CBS's new dramas, and the network already more or less expecting MacGyver to deliver what's it currently getting, it seems safe right now.

9JKL, Wisdom of the Crowd
The two freshman series have been downgraded from the bubble to Likely to be Canceled status this week. 9JKL dropped significantly, as expected, to a 0.8 last night. It fell heavily from last week's episode (1.4) and from its Kevin Can Wait (1.2) lead-in last night. There doesn't seem to be much of an audience for it when it's scheduled without The Big Bang Theory. It's really dragging down the night, as evidenced by Superior Donuts (0.8) and Me, Myself & I (0.7). A positive is that it is owned by CBS, but I don't know how far that can ultimately take it if it remains fractional. Wisdom of the Crowd is looking weaker by the airing, with this week's episode bringing in a 0.7 rating, its lowest yet. It doesn't take advantage of a typically football-inflated night, while NCIS: LA has grown several times from it, suggesting viewers are rejecting the new drama in the line-up. CBS has yet to give it a backorder like they've done with SEAL Team, and that's perhaps indicative of a lack of long-term confidence. They have plenty of options with which to replace it, so I don't feel comfortable with its chances. 

Superior Donuts
The second season premiere of the 2016-17 midseason comedy rated horribly: a 0.8 in the 9:00 hour, half an hour earlier than it was supposed to premiere up until a week ago. CBS was hopeful that an upgrade to the top of the hour would help it, but unfortunately there's no real upside to this result. 9JKL didn't do any better, and Me, Myself & I did even worse, but that's not good enough to justify Superior's second-to-last ranking across the network and a fractional season premiere. I truly think CBS made a bad decision in bringing back so many of these comedy players that weren't hits. The two hours on Monday really ought to be cut down to one again, and I don't know that Superior Donuts has a place in that alternative slate, or any future slate for that matter. It may be early to say, but I'm starting the show in Likely to be Canceled territory. 

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