CBS Renew/Cancel: 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.

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