CBS Renew/Cancel: United States of Al On the Bubble, B-Positive Downgraded to Likely Cancellation

 United States of Al entered CBS' successful sitcom arena to middling ratings.  Its 0.58 out of a weaker Young Sheldon 0.69 is passable.  But again, B-Positive would have likely registered a similar rating had it been positioned in its 8:30 timeslot.  For now, it debuts as On The Bubble as more performances are needed to measure the trajectory.

Elsewhere, B-Positive moved to the 9:30 timeslot behind a weakened Mom's 0.55 rating and registered a 0.42, losing 0.17 of blood.  This performance was similar to Sophomore Unicorn's performance when Mom registered similar numbers.  B-Positive's swift downgrade is ode to CBS handed its freshman sitcom a test of strength and the sitcom did not demonstrate to built an audience.  CBS wisely decided to revert back to only allowing its "show builder" timeslot to to used for a partial season.

Back when The Big Bang Theory was the mammoth and the 8:30 timeslot was open, several shows only enjoyed partial exposure and were expected to demonstrate growth.  This came at the start of the 2014-15 season when The Millers squandered the lush lead-in, and five episodes in CBS axed the freshman series and handed it over to neglected sophomore Mom.  The power-up was brief, and CBS only allowed Mom enough time to gain an audience before affording the same opportunity to The Odd Couple, and Mom passed the grade demonstrating it had an audience.  

Another season CBS used this strategy was 2016-17 when Joel McHale marqueed The Great Indoors.  The show underperformed so low it barely met half of The Big Bang Theory's extreme ratings, so low that lead-out Mom beat it on several weeks.  CBS tested the sitcom's strength and farmed it to Monday, where it tanked (and repeats of TBBT outperformed it).  CBS recognized the series was not sustainable and cut their losses.  The network opted away from this strategy when Young Sheldon debuted to shiny numbers and the network opted to keep it planted to build an audience, forecasting TBBT would soon end.

Imagine if CBS would have implemented this strategy last season and tested The Unicorn at 9:30 vs burning off freshman series Broke in the back.  The Unicorn could have likely flown, and Broke may have been given more exposure to grow.  Mom is on its way out, and CBS likely tested B-Positive to see if it could potentially sustain the 9:00 hour in its exit.  That is unlikely now, leaving the future of sitcoms in this hour in question.

A number of shows changed in predictions this week.  Young Sheldon was handed a 3 season renewal (surprise), NCIS: Los Angeles, SWAT and All Rise received upgrades while Clarice was downgraded again.  So why the changes?

All Rise: The sophomore drama recently raced past Bull and demonstrated an audience is there.  The numbers are weak, but perhaps a new timeslot may give the series some new life or fill another scheduling need.  All Rise finally upgraded to Likely Renewal after a season of doubt.

Clarice: The Silence of the Lambs based drama has shed nearly 55% of its debut audience in 6 episodes from 0.54 down to 0.24 and ranks 109th of the 162 shows that have aired this season.  B-Positive posted similar results as Unicorn and the series has never grown on evenings when the earlier hours enjoyed windfalls from Young Sheldon.  Little hype and publicity has come from this series which will likely get the axe and is downgraded to Certain Cancellation.

NCIS: Los Angeles: The 12 year veteran has had its tired moments, and many questioned if a move to Sunday demonstrated CBS had lost interest.  However, its numbers have held steady, and compatible scheduling with Queen Latifah headlined The Equalizer has helped the show forge sturdy against softer spring numbers.  The team finally earned a Certain Renewal upgrade.

SWAT: The 4th season has been a rough one due to a disastrous move to Wednesdays.  Earlier performances appeared the series was fledging.  However, SWAT grew on evenings when NBC's Chicago PD aired repeats.  So much so its last outing of 0.55 bested its usually stronger lead-in SEAL Team.  SWAT could take more batterings at Wednesday at 10:00, so CBS may want to consider relocating it to another timeslot to help it regrow.  For now, it has been upgraded to Likely Renewal.

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