CBS Renew/Cancel 9/21/20-2/26/21: Mom and NCIS: New Orleans Bid Adieu as Bobishola and The Neighborhood Hang Out

 


The late start of the season means the renewals and axings are a bit delayed for the 2020-21 season.  CBS started the game a solid 5-9 weeks later than usual for several shows.  But CBS has always been fairly prompt handing out passes and pink slips in early 2021.  Without hesitation (and overdue anticipation), The Neighborhood and Bob Hearts Abishola were handed deserved renewals.  This is promising as sitcoms are disintegrating off the schedule this season as ratings sink and sports and football are raking in the higher ratings.  The Neighborhood successfully became CBS' first show to earn a solid 1.0 rating without Football Inflation as well as a strong following.  

And delightfully following is an updated rom-com with Bobishola (that damn heart makes for difficult titling!).  Both are ultra-compatible and also potentially hold the key to restoring CBS' Monday sitcom lineup which was destroyed twice in the late 2010's.  From 1986-2014, CBS always boasted strong sitcoms and had 4 on display.  That changed as heavy players either migrated to Thursdays or faded out.  From 2015-16, there were zero sitcoms on display for Monday evenings, the first time since 1951 a laugher wasn't on the schedule that evening.  Both were predicted as Certain Renewals.

Sadly, CBS also announced longstanding series Mom and NCIS: New Orleans were checking out.  The writing was on the wall after Anna Faris left before Season 8 of Mom began, and NCIS: New Orleans moved to the 10pm timeslot on Sundays (often a sign a series was in its last lap).  Prior seasons displayed solid for NCIS: NO moving the opinion of the R/C to lean a Likely Renewal, and last season's configuration had NCIS: Los Angeles in the hot seat at 10:00, creating concern as it holds 5 more seasons.  Last fall, CBS announced development of NCIS: Hawaii, indicating perhaps space was needed.  After Equalizer displayed strong results, NCIS: New Orleans had to go.

As for Mom, it is a pity it is ending as it is on a creative upswing due to the talents of Allison Janney and the fiery energy Kristen Johnston added to the cast.  However, Janney stated in an interview with Ellen Degeneres the feel was never the same after Anna Faris left.  Whether people liked Faris' Christy or not, she is missed by the cast and crew.  It is saddening to see go out in good shape, but far better than exiting well past their expiration dates (think of Family Guy and The Simpsons).  And hope Johnston is handed an opportunity for a spinoff or another series.


The Equalizer made an underwhelming debut post-Superbowl.  However, it roared back to solid in-season ratings in episode 2, making it a Certain Renewal despite losing a tenth the following week.  Kudos to CBS for locating a show to carry them into the next era despite it is another reboot of an 80's show.  Elsewhere, Clarice is holding slow and steady on Thursdays.  The ratings are in the lower reaches of the dramas on CBS but also housed in a difficult timeslot at 10:00 behind a failing sitcom.  For now, Clarice is a Likely Renewal.

The remaining 3 series not in the Likely Renewal or Certain Renewal are in opportune spaces for next season's pilots.  The Unicorn failed to retain a softened Mom's ratings, and too many other sitcoms are succeeding in updating CBS' brand.  Mom's exit also beckons the question if CBS will hock the 9:00 hour on Thursdays as it no longer possesses megahits to populate the minimum 2 successful sitcoms in a block of 4.  Which leads to All Rise's mediocre delivery.  It is not the lowest-rated drama on the radar.  However, there is a steep drop after the ultra-successful Neighborhood/Bobishola lead-in.  As in they hemorrhage tenths off of soft or high-rated evenings.  

Bull has the political star favor of Michael Wetherly, so next to go may be All Rise.  Bob Hearts Abishola has become a visible entry in the lineup, and CBS may consider sliding back 30 minutes and opening the floor for more sitcoms  to return.  Elsewhere, SWAT performs best when paired with SEAL Team.  It rates on the lower end of the lineup, and Wednesday has become a weakened evening against FOX and NBC.  Stay turned as the undetermined areas of the table grow narrower and shows are renewed or cancelled.

Amazon Prime Video Renew/Cancel: A Prediction On Tell Me Your Secrets On A Streaming Service Dominated by The Expanse

  

Thursday Cable Ratings 2/25/21: NBA Leads, Go-Big Show Slips, Tucker Carlson Tops Cable News

Below are the top 25 programs on cable on Thursday, 2/25/21. Items of note include Impractical Jokers on TruTV, Grown-ish on Freeform and Go-Big Show on TBS.

(Note: Click the names of the shows written in purple or blue to be taken to their pages in the TV Ratings Guide Cable Database.)

Off Topic - March 2021

It's nearly a new month, which means it's time for a new Off-Topic! It's March, so this thread will be enhanced by the luck o' the Irish! Good luck everyone, and let's get talking!

Thursday TV Ratings 2/25/21: Mr. Mayor and The Hustler Slip for Finales, SVU and Hell’s Kitchen Also Slip, Young Sheldon and B Positive Rise (UPDATED)


Preliminary Analysis: NBC's 'Mr. Mayor' (0.4) lost a tenth for its season finale, dropping to a new series low at the worst moment imaginable. Barring an upward adjustment in finals, this is a particularly sour note for the Ted Danson sitcom to go out on. Later in the night, 'Superstore' (0.4) held steady in its return while 'Law & Order: SVU' (0.6) inched down. The 10pm edition of 'Dateline' (0.4) was a tenth shy of week-ago occupant 'The Widower' (0.49). The news was much more positive on CBS as 'Young Sheldon' (0.9) gained a tenth and tied its season high. Comedies 'B Positive' (0.7), 'Mom' (0.6), and 'The Unicorn' (0.5) were all at high-end levels as well. 'Clarice' remained frozen at last week's 0.4 rating at 10. On ABC, 'Celebrity Wheel of Fortune' (0.8) and 'The Hustler' finale (0.4) were both down by a tenth while 'The Chase' (0.6) was stable in the middle. After six-straight weeks of garnering a 0.7 rating, 'Hell's Kitchen' (0.6) fell to a new season low on Fox. Despite the slippage, 'Call Me Kat' (0.5) and 'Last Man Standing' (0.4) were unchanged on a week-to-week basis. The CW housed reruns of 'Walker' (0.1) and 'Legacies' (0.1). 

Finals Update: Young Sheldon (+0.1), Mom (+0.1), Mr. Mayor (+0.1), Superstore (+0.1), Law & Order: SVU (+0.1), Hell's Kitchen (+0.1), Last Man Standing (+0.1) and the repaet of Walker (+0.1) adjusted up.

NBC Renew/Cancel Week 12: Week Two Slippage Leaves Kenan on Thin Ice

NBC's Tuesday sitcom lineup enters its second week, and changes in their ratings makes for a prediction change. Which show is moving? Keep reading to see!

The CW Renew/Cancel Part 3: Superman & Lois Looks Super

The CW has been busy since our last renew/cancel update! Aside from a mass renewal, they also debuted a new series very recently. Read on for my thoughts on Superman & Lois.

Wednesday Cable Ratings 2/24/21: Snowfall Returns Near Series Low, Resident Alien Hits Series High, Maddow Leads Cable News as Tucker Goes Low

Below are the top 25 programs on cable on Wednesday, 2/24/21. Items of note include the season premiere of Snowfall on FX, Good Trouble on Freeform, Resident Alien on Syfy.

(Click the names of the shows written in teal or blue to be taken to their pages in the TV Ratings Guide Cable Database.)

Wednesday TV Ratings 2/24/21: American Housewife Rises for 100th Episode, Name That Tune Stable for 8 PM airing, For Life Ends Steady (UPDATED)


Preliminary Analysis: The ABC Wednesday lineup was entirely in originals for the first time in a few weeks, with bottom-of-the-hour sitcoms 'American Housewife' (0.6) and 'Call Your Mother' (0.5) showing the most promise. 'Housewife' was up a tenth from its last episode while 'Call Your Mother' rose by two-tenths to its highest rating since the premiere (0.53). 'The Goldbergs' (0.6) and 'The Conners' (0.6) remained flat, as did the season finale of 'For Life' (0.3) at 10. With 'The Masked Dancer' out of the picture, Fox went with a double-pump of 'Name That Tune' (0.5/0.6). The musical game-show had its strongest performance since January for the 9pm episode. On CBS, 'Tough As Nails' (0.5) matched its previous installment and led into low-rated encores of 'SEAL Team' (0.3) and 'SWAT' (0.2). NBC's 'One Chicago' trio (0.5/0.5/0.4) was in repeat-mode as well. The CW got a little weaker as 'Riverdale' (0.1) lost a tenth at 8, 'Nancy Drew' was frozen at 0.1 once more. 

Finals Update: The Goldbergs (+0.1), the repeat of SWAT (+0.1) and Riverdale (+0.1) adjusted up.

American Housewife - Season 5, Episode 10 Review - Getting Frank with the Ottos





AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE hits a milestone 100 episodes with "Getting Frank with the Ottos," one of the zestiest episodes in a long while.  Beleaguered by cast changes, behind-the-scene scandals, time slot changes and indifferent ratings, the show needed to hit one out of the park, and they did with a cleverly structured story that brought the best and funniest out of the family.  

Franklin (Evan O'Toole) wants to do something special for his 100th podcast, aptly called "Getting Frank with Franklin" so he decides to interview each member of the Otto household. But before you can say "George Stephanopoulos" the Ottos uncomfortably discover that Franklin's friendly podcast interview turns into an ambush gotcha segment.

Greg is lambasted for not having any backbone, especially as his election battle heats up. Oliver and Cooper - interviewed together, by the way - are criticized for being too dependent on each other.  Taylor, agonizing between boyfriend Trip (Peyton Meyer) and TA Andre (Chibuikem Uche) is called a 'ho.' And Katie is cut down for being a bad, discouraging mother. Katie, of course, blames this in turn on her own mother, Kathyrn (Wendie Malick).

What works in this episode? Pretty much everything. It's great to see family members interact with each other at long last.  The past episodes had the new Anna-Kat actress silo'd, but here she and Franklin team up as the podcast inquisitors. There are some fun surprise cameos and a flashback scene that will demand Malick get her own series. 

This is also one of few episodes where the show is coyly self-aware: Oliver calls his friendship with Cooper "Cooliver" (using a much used Internet fan term for the could-be couple) and describes himself to Coop as "your boy." Taylor's relationship with Trip gets some blunt advice from grandma Kathryn, "The best time to go job-hunting is when you already have a job." And in a poke at the fourth wall right into some ABC exec's eyes, Katie tells Franklin, "It doesn't matter what time slot you're in, your fans will always follow."

Yeah, that's the stuff!

Next week will be the last episode of a shortened season.

Harrison Cheung is the author of the award-winning biography of Christian Bale (BenBella Books) and a contributor to Brave New Hollywood and The TV Ratings Guide.


Tuesday Cable Ratings 2/23/21: Queen Sugar and The Oval Collapse in Week 2, The Misery Index Soars to Season High, Maddow Remains First in Cable News, BTS Unplugged Does OK

Below are the top 25 programs on cable on Tuesday, 2/23/21. Items of note include Queen Sugar on OWN, The Misery Index on TBS, and The Oval on BET.

(Note: Click any show with its name in green or blue to be taken to its page in the TV Ratings Guide Cable Ratings Database.)

Tuesday TV Ratings 2/23/21: Superman & Lois Starts Below Walker, Young Sheldon and Kenan Have Large Drops, Nurses Ends Steady Behind Fractional This Is Us (UPDATED)

Preliminary Analysis: The series premiere of 'Superman & Lois' (0.3) began on solid footing by CW standards but fell a bit short of what 'Walker' (0.37) garnered in January. Nonetheless, seeing a number above a 0.1 rating on this netlet is a rather impressive feat. A 'Legacy of Hope' special (0.3) followed the 'Superman' debut at 9:30. Over on NBC, it was an absolute bloodbath as new sitcoms 'Young Rock' (0.7) and 'Kenan' (0.5) each lost three-tenths after their strong starts from last week. Although 'Rock' still remains in respectable territory, 'Kenan' will have to stop the slippage fast to strengthen its renewal chances. 'This Is Us' (0.9) took a two-tenth dip and dropped to a new low at 9 while 'Nurses' (0.3) held even for its 10pm finale. ABC's 'Black-ish' (0.5) inched down as 'Mixed-ish' (0.4) tied its week-ago episode in the 9pm hour. The two sitcoms were sandwiched by an 8pm and 10pm edition of 'To Tell the Truth' (0.5/0.4). The latter was down markedly from its previous outing (0.65). CBS had repeats of 'NCIS' (0.4), 'FBI' (0.3), and FBI: Most Wanted' (0.3) that trounced Fox's 'Resident' (0.2) and 'Prodigal Son' (0.2) encores. 

Finals Update: 'Young Rock' (0.8, +0.1), the 8pm 'To Tell the Truth' (0.6, +0.1), 'Superman & Lois' (0.4, +0.1), 'Kenan' (0.6, +0.1), 'This Is Us' (1.0, +0.1), and repeats of 'The Resident' (0.3, +0.1), 'NCIS' (0.5, +0.1) and 'FBI' (0.5, +0.1) all adjusted up. The 'Legacy of Hope' special (0.2, -0.1) adjusted down.

Monday Cable Ratings 2/22/21: Spring Baking Championship Rises from 2020 Premiere, Snowpiercer Ticks Up, Rachel Maddow Leads Cable News

Below are the top 25 programs on cable on Monday, 2/22/21. Items of note include the premiere of Spring Baking Championship on Food, Snowpiercer on TNT, and Tucker Carlson Tonight on Fox News.

(Note: Click any show with its name in yellow or blue to be taken to its page in the TV Ratings Guide Cable Ratings Database.)

Sunday Cable Ratings 2/21/21: Allen v. Farrow Starts Weak, When Calls the Heart Returns Down, Last Week Tonight and American Gods Rise, 90 Day Fiancé Leads


Below are the top 25 programs on cable on Sunday, 2/21/21. Items of note include the series premiere of Allen v. Farrow on HBO, Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy on CNN, and the premiere of When Calls the Heart on Hallmark.

(Note: Click any show with its name in orange to be taken to its page in the TV Ratings Guide Cable Ratings Database.)

Saturday Cable Ratings 2/20/21: Mix Up in the Mediterranean Modest on Hallmark, College Basketball Leads, Bridesmaids Solid for A&E

Below are the top 25 programs on cable on Saturday, 2/20/2021. Items of note include College Basketball on ESPN, Mix Up in the Mediterranean on Hallmark, and Bridesmaids on A&E.

(Note: Click the name of any show with its title in red to be taken to its page in the TV Ratings Guide Cable Ratings Database.)

Monday TV Ratings 2/22/21: Ellen’s Game of Games Slips for Double Episode, The Neighborhood, Bob Hearts Abishola and All Rise Slide After Week Off, The Bachelor Also Down (UPDATED)

 

Preliminary Analysis: ABC's lineup took a sizable hit as 'The Bachelor' (1.2) lost two-tenths and 'The Good Doctor' (0.5) ticked down to brand-new series low. 'The Bachelor' was essentially on-par with its season low from January 11th (1.17). Fresh off their renewals, 'The Neighborhood' (0.8) and 'Bob Hearts Abishola' (0.6) shed two-tenths apiece on CBS. Dramas 'All Rise' (0.4) and 'Bull' (0.4) were only a tenth below their previous episodes at 9pm and 10pm. On NBC, a double dose of 'Ellen's Game of Games' (0.5/0.6) was a good bit behind last week's episode (0.65). 'The Wall' (0.5) managed to hold steady at 10. Fox's '9-1-1' (1.0) tied its previous installment while '9-1-1: Lone Star' (0.8) inched down. 'All American' (0.2) fell by a tenth but 'Black Lightning' (0.1) matched its week-ago outing on the CW.

Finals Update: The Bachelor (+0.1), The Good Doctor (+0.1), Bob Hearts Abishola (+0.1), Ellen's Game of Games (+0.1) and 9-1-1 (+0.1) adjusted up.

ABC Renew/Cancel Week 14: Big Sky is a Big Hit

Big Sky entered hiatus last week after a string of highly-rated episodes. This week on the ABC Renew/Cancel, I dig a bit deeper into one of the strongest new shows of the season.

Friday Cable Ratings 2/19/21: RuPaul’s Drag Race and Secrets of Sulphur Springs Tick Up, Gold Rush Tops NBA for the Win, Tucker Carlson Leads Weaker Cable News

Below are the top 25 programs on cable on Friday, 2/19/21. Items of note include Secrets of Sulphur Springs on Disney, and RuPaul's Drag Race on VH1.

(Note: Click the name of any show with its title in purple or blue to be taken to its page in the TV Ratings Guide Cable Ratings Database.)

Thursday Cable Ratings 2/18/21: NBA Dominates, Cuomo Prime Time Takes Cable Lead, Go-Big Show Rises, Impractical Jokers and Grown-Ish Steady

Below are the top 25 programs on cable on Thursday, 2/18/21. Items of note include Impractical Jokers on TruTV, Grown-ish on Freeform and Go-Big Show on TBS.

(Note: Click the names of the shows written in purple or blue to be taken to their pages in the TV Ratings Guide Cable Database.)

Sunday TV Ratings 2/21/21: The Simpsons and The Great North Return Down, Cherries Wild and Bless the Harts Bomb, American Idol and The Equalizer Slip (UPDATED)


Preliminary Analysis: Fox's traditional Sunday lineup was back for the first time in over two months but there was simply nothing to write home about. The series premiere of game show 'Cherries Wild' (0.2) bombed out the gate in the 7pm hour while a reshuffled 'Bless the Harts' (0.2) crashed to a new series low for its 7:30 debut. Veteran sitcoms 'The Simpsons' (0.5), 'Bob's Burgers' (0.5), and 'Family Guy' (0.5) were either at or near their lows but remained relatively on-par with their non-NFL deliveries from the fall. In the midst, newcomer 'The Great North' (0.4) had a resoundingly mediocre  timeslot premiere, losing a tenth from its 'Simpsons' lead-in and dropping well below its first (0.7) and second (2.1) preview.

On ABC, 'American Idol' (1.0) lost two-tenths from its week-ago return (1.17) while 10pm drama 'The Rookie' (0.5) shed a tenth. 'AFV' (0.8) seemed immune to the slippage in the 7pm hour, matching its previous episode and tying its season high. CBS's 'The Equalizer' (0.7) fell by two-tenths after a promising start. Surrounding programs '60 Minutes' (0.7), 'NCIS: Los Angeles' (0.6), and 'NCIS: New Orleans' (0.5) all lost a tenth. NBC had encores of 'Weakest Link' (0.3), 'The Wall' (0.3), and the final installment of 'Dateline' drama 'The Widower' (0.4). The CW held steady with 'Batwoman' (0.1) and 'Charmed' (0.1)

Finals Update: The Rookie (+0.1), The Equalizer (+0.1), NCIS: New Orleans (+0.1), Cherries Wild (+0.1) and Bless the Harts (+0.1) adjusted up.

Saturday TV Ratings 2/20/21: Saturday Night Live Holds Steady, Weakest Link Repeat Tops NBA (UPDATED)


Ratings Analysis: With host Regé-Jean Page and musical guest Bad Bunny, 'Saturday Night Live' posted a 1.20 A18-49 rating at 11:30, matching last week's installment in the process. Repeats of 'Ellen's Game of Games' (0.29), 'Weakest Link' (0.34), and 'SNL Vintage' (0.35) led into the main attraction. ABC's 'Heat v. Lakers' NBA game (0.59) was about a tenth lower than the week-ago 'Nets v. Warriors' one (0.70) but was still the highest-rated broadcast in primetime. The game led out of an 8pm 'NBA Countdown special (0.28). CBS went with reruns of 'NCIS: Los Angeles' (0.26) and '48 Hours' (0.27) that led into an original '48 Hours' (0.36) at 10. Fox was once more uncompetitive with encores of '9-1-1' (0.13) and 'Name That Tune' (0.20). 

Finals Update: SNL Vintage (+0.1), 48 Hours (+0.1), NBA: Heat v. Lakers (+0.2) and repeats of NCIS: Los Angeles (+0.1) and 48 Hours (+0.1) adjusted up. Repeats of Ellen's Game of Games (+0.1) and Weakest Link (-0.2) adjusted down.

Friday TV Ratings 2/19/21: MacGyver and Magnum PI Hold Steady, Shark Tank and 20/20 Slip (UPDATED)


Preliminary Analysis: ABC was down a tenth with 'Shark Tank' (0.6) and '20/20' (0.5) but 'Tank' continued to be the top-rated program. 'WWE Smackdown' (0.5) also shed a tenth on Fox while 'Whose Line Is It Anyway?' (0.2) and 'Penn & Teller' (0.1) held even on The CW. 'MacGyver' (0.5) and 'Magnum PI' (0.5) were flat on CBS as 'Blue Bloods' (0.4) went into repeat-mode at 10. Night two of 'Dateline' crime show 'The Widower' (0.4) was a tenth shy of Thursday's debut on NBC. Its 'Blacklist' lead-in (0.3) inched down at 8.

Finals Update: Shark Tank (+0.1), WWE SmackDown (+0.1), MacGyver (+0.1), Magnum PI (+0.1) and The Blacklist (+0.1) adjusted up.

Wednesday Cable Ratings 2/17/21: Good Trouble Returns Up from Finale, Resident Alien Ticks Down, Rachel Maddow Leads Cable News

Below are the top 25 programs on cable on Wednesday, 2/17/21. Items of note include the season premiere of Good Trouble on Freeform, Resident Alien on Syfy, and Tucker Carlson Tonight on Fox NEws.

(Click the names of the shows written in teal or blue to be taken to their pages in the TV Ratings Guide Cable Database.)

Thursday TV Ratings 2/18/21: Law & Order: SVU Steady After Break, Mom Slips After Cancellation, Clarice and The Hustler Also Tick Down (UPDATED)


Preliminary Analysis: A week after their triumphant return, CBS was down across the board with 'Young Sheldon' (0.8), 'B Positive' (0.6), recently-canceled 'Mom' (0.6), 'The Unicorn' (0.4), and 10pm drama 'Clarice' (0.4). 'Unicorn' shed two-tenths while all the other programs were down a tenth. On ABC, 'The Hustler' (0.4) inched down while 'Celebrity Wheel of Fortune' (0.8) and 'The Chase' (0.6) were flat. On NBC, 'Law & Order: SVU' (0.7) held even after a month-long break and led into the first installment of 'Dateline' multi-part crime drama 'The Widower' (0.5). The latter was a good bit above the 0.34 that 'Dateline' itself posted a week ago. Earlier in the night, 'Mr. Mayor' posted its third-straight 0.5 rating and was followed by a 'Young Rock' encore (0.3). Fox was steady all-around with 'Hell's Kitchen' (0.7), 'Call Me Kat' (0.5), and 'Last Man Standing' (0.4). The CW's 'Walker' (0.2) matched its previous episode but 'Legacies' (0.1) lost a tick. 

Finals Update: Celebrity Wheel of Fortune (+0.1), The Hustler (+0.1), Mom (+0.1) and The Unicorn (+0.1) adjusted up.

NBC Renew/Cancel Week 11: Young Rock Rocks in Debut

NBC finally premiered a few new shows this week, expaning comedy to Tuesdays with Young Rock and Kenan. Keep reading to see how these new entries fared!

NCIS: Los Angeles S12E10 Review

 


It seems like an age since the last episode of NCISLA was broadcast. The gap is actually a week less than last year - maybe living in the COVID-19 era just makes it seem longer?  The last episode, A Fait Accompli ended with Sam’s daughter Kamran being abducted and The Frogman’s Daughter utilises the ‘previously on NCIS Los Angeles’ as a reminder.  The cold opening shows Kamran Hanna in some kind of unofficial jail, with more youths held in other cells.  Post credits, the story picks up the following morning, with Sam at work and being unable to make contact with his daughter.

The Frogman’s Daughter is written by Jordana Lewis Jaffe and Indira Gibson Wilson. Wilson is married to former NCISLA writer and producer Joey Wilson and has twice played Sam’s wife, before she was given proper form and a voice with actress Aunjanue Ellis. Jaffe’s episodes are now synonymous with over the top guest characters, often tipping into becoming outrageous caricatures...and not of the positive type (unless that type of humour floats your boat).  Thankfully here, the exaggerated characters are kept to a minimum. The cafe worker/protester is a little odd in her demeanour, Fatima is portrayed as shallow and unsympathetic and the DHS Agent is named Megan Merkel (an inside joke as the actress Tiffany Smith actually played Meghan Markle in the 2019 film, Harry & Meghan: Becoming Royal). 

Sam has had more than his fair share of pain, caused by Tahir Khaled and culminating in the murder of his wife Michelle, and it is natural that Sam would overreact when he can’t reach Kam. The opening showed her predicament and her alertness, and the episode promises an intense ride which it never fully delivered. There is a distinct lack of urgency, particularly during the first half of the episode, and concern for Kam’s safety is not shared by the team. Fatima makes throwaway comments about texting and shared that when she was Kam’s age, she just did not want to talk to her father. The scene falls flat and her lack of empathy and inability to read Sam shows an immaturity and shallowness which counters the agent she was when she was introduced to the team.  She later warns Rountree to avoid ops, where she left Sam trying to persuade Eric to invade his daughter’s privacy and use government resources to locate her.  Surely the new agents are aware of Sam’s history?  Eric refusing to help Sam when he witnessed Michelle’s painful death firsthand, was odd. There may have been no evidence but Sam’s gut instinct is rarely wrong. It took  Rountree to assess the situation and realise they have to trust Sam. He also stepped up and did his best to fill a Callen-sized gap, temporarily partnering with Sam, talking sense into Sam when he loses his temper with Kamran’s secret boyfriend in the boatshed, appealing to Sam’s empathetic nature.

Kensi and Deeks began their journey to parenthood, with Kensi prescribed hormone therapy.  The storyline furthers their relationship but feels totally out of place, particularly when several times, Deeks tries to encourage Kensi to talk about her feelings.  She made it clear she needed to process the IVF news, prepare her mindset for the working day and would talk with Deeks later.  Such attempts at conversation show a lack of concern at Sam’s predicament although mid-episode he does comment about bringing a child into such a world. Despite evidence Kam has been kidnapped, his comments fall flat and do not have the same seriousness of impact as they did during a similar conversation in The Seventh Child (S07E19). 

Callen’s absence is felt keenly and is one of the reasons the episode feels off. Sam shouldn’t be going through this angst without his partner by his side.  Half way through, Eric mentions that Callen’s on his way back from his trip, which prepares for his reappearance shortly after. This is a late reminder that season 12 has adopted a serialised narrative and at least Sam takes the time to ask about his trip (a story for another time). It would have made more sense if a line had been written for Sam earlier, for example that he’d called Callen who was leaving Santa Cruz immediately.  His return brought renewed urgency to the case, chasing down suspects, and facilitating a higher level of understanding - in the bullpen, Sam questions his parenting skills, reflecting on Kam as a little girl and being her only protector. 

A decent proportion of the episode is dedicated Kamran’s imprisonment. In the cold open, she is already assessing her predicament, asking questions of her fellow inmates and exploring her cell for opportunities. There is no shortage of evidence that she is her father’s (the frogman’s) daughter. Under the cover of tortuous flashing lights and loud metal music, Kam exploits the weakness she identified around the sink and chips away to create an escape route. Instead of leaving to seek help, she steals keys from her captors office and returns to rescue the others. Even after being recaptured and hosed, Kam plays dead to entice the bad guys closer so she can attack them. 

The premise of the episode is a common one for NCISLA: how well you really know someone. The established field agents have all experienced this, whether it be Kensi in season one, hiding her profession when a friend came to town, to Deeks killing his former partner, through to Callen and Joelle. It’s much more hard hitting when it involves Sam and his teenage daughter, and how easily she hid her secret life.  This lends to the repetitive (and now weary) comments about age which permeate every episode this season.  Fatima’s naively insulting comments to Sam were the start and culminated when the teen protester at the cafe accused Kensi and Deeks of being over 40. Kamran’s secret life as a protest organiser allows a political agenda which is tackled by Rountree and the DHS Agent.  A peaceful protest for equality and racial injustice has attracted the attention of militia groups and agitators who are travelling to LA to purely incite violence, and Homeland Security has drafted help from as many federal agencies as possible. Peaceful protests and the presence of law enforcement already seems like a recipe for disaster, especially when the agitators and the fact Kam’s peaceful protesters has a breakaway faction who believe the only way their voices will be heard is through violence, are added to the mix. Rountree’s argument that the protest could just be peaceful, is thrown to the wall when the DHS confirm a person of interest was found at a previous rally with a rucksack full of C4. It’s a progressive move, featuring such topical issues but there is little real substance when the message is reinforced that the law is there to support the peaceful protesters; the violence stemming from external agitators and a minority of violent protesters. 

The Frogman’s Daughter is a slow builder of an episode, hampered by Fatima and Eric failing to grasp the severity of Sam’s concerns over his daughter’s welfare, particularly exemplified by their out of place conversation in Ops, instigated by Fatima about Eric's yellow lensed glasses. This was not helped by the lack of urgency emanating from Kensi and Deeks. The hormone treatment was bad timing (could it ever be good?) but to watch this episode as a standalone, you would not realise that Eric, Kensi and Deeks were all heavily involved in rescuing Aiden from Tahir Khaled and the frantic race against time to find Sam’s wife Michelle.  Also puzzling is the ongoing case of the missing Nell Jones, AWOL for two consecutive episodes and not referenced at all. Maybe she really has morphed into Hetty..?  Another curious element are the Hanna household rules, mentioned for the first time in twelve seasons and rather reminiscent of Gibbs’ rules, from the mothership, NCIS.  The episode improved as it progressed, ably assisted with Kamran’s scenes, demonstrating the missed potential. She is engaging, determined and resourceful; a force to be reckoned with in a few years time. The return of Callen also lifted the episode, providing some gentle banter. The most light-hearted moments were saved for the final scenes, between the reunited Sam and Kamran, who drops her brother into trouble for helping her buy a car, and her father ribbing her for losing her voice when challenged on her secret boyfriend.   

A Virtual Scrawl

Tuesday Cable Ratings 2/16/21: President Biden Town Hall Leads, The Misery Index Nears Low, Queen Sugar and Temptation Island Return Lower

Below are the top 25 programs on cable on Tuesday, 2/16/21. Items of note include the Presidential Town Hall with Joe Biden on CNN, the season premiere of Queen Sugar on OWN, and the season premiere of Temptation Island on USA.

(Note: Click any show with its name in green or blue to be taken to its page in the TV Ratings Guide Cable Ratings Database.)

Wednesday TV Ratings 2/17/21: The Masked Dancer Ends Steady, One Chicago Shows Dominate (UPDATED)


Preliminary Analysis: The eight-episode run of 'The Masked Dancer' came to a close on Fox with a clip show at 8 (0.5) and a stable finale at 9 (0.6). While 'Dancer' never came close to the heights of 'The Masked Singer', it has remained firmly in the 0.5-0.7 vicinity since its January 6th timeslot premiere. This spinoff series never really exploded in popularity but ratings never fell into awful territory either. Over on NBC, 'Chicago Med' (0.9), 'Chicago Fire' (0.9), and 'Chicago PD' (0.8) all lost a tenth on a week-to-week basis. ABC's 'For Life' clung to its 0.3 rating for dear life, looking marginally better than last week as it had to lead out of comedy repeats (0.5/0.4/0.4/0.3) this time around. The crime drama will air its season finale next week. 'SEAL Team' (0.5) and 'SWAT' (0.4) were even after two weeks off on CBS while 'Tough of Nails' (0.5) ticked down from its week-ago return (0.55). The CW's 'Riverdale' (0.2) gained a tenth while 'Nancy Drew' (0.1) matched its previous episode.

Finals Update: 'Chicago Fire' (1.0, +0.1), 'Chicago PD' (0.9, +0.1), 'The Masked Dancer' finale (0.7, +0.1), 'The Goldbergs' repeat (0.6, +0.1), and the 'Call Your Mother' repeat (0.4, +0.1) all adjusted up.

NCIS: New Orleans Canceled After 7 Seasons

CBS is leaving the Big Easy. NCIS: New Orleans, the most recent series in the NCIS franchise, is coming to an end this season, after seven seasons on the air. The drama was a staple of the Tuesday lineup for nearly six seasons before shifting to Sundays partially though the sixth season. This season, the new slot took a toll on it, and it's down 27% from season six. However, with a 0.5 18-49 rating average to-date, the show was still in the middle of the CBS ratings pack. It will be the first NCIS series to come to an end, and will run for at least five season less than NCIS: Los Angeles and at least eleven less than NCIS. This news comes amid news that CBS is developing a new NCIS series set in Hawaii. NCIS: New Orleans premiered in 2014 and has aired 147 episodes thus far. Its seventh and final season will run for sixteen episodes, and the series finale will air May 16. Scott Bakula, CCH Pounder, Rob Kerkovich, Daryl Mitchell, Vanessa Ferlito, Necar Zadegan and Charles Michael Davis star in the series. You can find the ratings for Season 7 here.

Mom to End After Current Season

The CBS comedy family is about to lose its mom. Mom, the long-running Allison Janney-led comedy that's been a staple of their Thursday comedy lineup since 2014, will end its run at the end of its current eighth season. The sitcom is one of the most recent shows on broadcast television to pick up a Primetime Emmy Award in a major category, with two back-to-back wins in 2013 and 2014 for Allison Janney. Its positive critical reception has continued to this point, with three Critics Choice Award nominations for its current season. An episode count for the final season is yet to be announced, but the series finale is set to air on May 8. To-date, Mom has aired 159 episodes. Ahead of the final season, longtime star Anna Faris departed the series, leaving Janney as the only remaining main cast member from the first season. Mimi Kennedy, Jaime Pressly, Beth Hall, William Fichtner and Kristen Johnston also star in the series, which centers on a group of friends in Alcoholics Anonymous. The series has remained a strong performer for CBS throughout its run, averaging a 0.62 this season and rating as the #4 comedy on the network. It is co-created by Chuck Lorre, and currently runs in syndication.

Monday Cable Ratings 2/15/21: Kids Baking Championship Ends Much Higher, Snowpiercer Ticks Up, Tucker Carlson Leads Cable News as MSNBC and CNN Collapse

Below are the top 25 programs on cable on Monday, 2/15/21. Items of note include Snowpiercer on TNT, the finale of Kids Baking Championship on Food, and Tucker Carlson Tonight on Fox News.

(Note: Click any show with its name in yellow or blue to be taken to its page in the TV Ratings Guide Cable Ratings Database.)

Sunday Cable Ratings 2/14/21: Last Week Tonight Premieres with a New Low, Your Honor Finale Matches Shameless, Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy and Lincoln: Divided We Stand Decent for CNN

Below are the top 25 programs on cable on Sunday, 2/14/21. Items of note include the season premiere of Last Week Tonight on HBO, the finale of Your Honor on Showtime and the series premiere of Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy on CNN.

(Note: Click any show with its name in orange to be taken to its page in the TV Ratings Guide Cable Ratings Database.)

2020-21 Drama Scorecard (2/1-2/13) -- Black Lightning Strikes a 4th Time in Its Final Season


 Lots of apologies are in place for missing last week's entry.  However, let's enjoy the windfall of 3 new entries into the scorecard.  Superbowl LV allowed Queen Latifah's The Equalizer to enjoy a strong (albeit historically weak post-Superbowl) debut.  It shall of course slide in upcoming weeks but is now down for the count.  Black Lightning also made a sturdy debut for its penultimate season and gives CW something new to write home about after a trying season.  A pity Black Lightning could not hang around for another season but CW viewers need to ask themselves a valued question.  Would they rather mourn Black Lightning leaving them too soon, or overstay their welcome and lose the freshness that made Black Lightning special?

As for CBS' grim entry of Clarice, it may perhaps be a fluke due to Superbowl advertisement and a comedy windfall.  However, it like Equalizer has reinvigorated a tired lineup of CBS franchise procedurals that spawns off shows in all-too-familiar premises.  Clarice is dark and icky, a custom CBS welcomed last year when Evil entered the Thursday 10:00 timeslot.  Perhaps a little ickiness is what the network needs as it seemed to have produced stronger results than the oh-too-predictable SWAT gave them in prior years.

Surprise.  CW renewed a shitload of shows, again.  Does this represent they are lazy, or are avoiding the politics of finding their next "hit?"  Most networks are after shocking viewers to get them to invest and in recent seasons have failed too many times to count.  CW takes a differing approach and instead gives their viewers shows they cannot wait for to return.  If one cannot shock or surprise, why not give something viewers long await?  The lowest-rated network knows they will never be able to topple the Nielsen system but succeed by exploring new avenues and moving past an outdated Nielsen system.  Only two shows stand as needing a renewal status, and is anyone sweating?  CW commits to year-round scheduling so there's plenty of space and opportunity.