CBS Renew/Cancel (9/21-12/8): Can Paramount+ Save 6 Struggling Shows?

Streaming services such as Paramount+ and Peacock leave options for shows who do not meet the mark on broadcast television the opportunity to succeed elsewhere.  NBC attempted this strategy with AP Bio which failed on broadcast television but enjoyed 2 additional seasons on Peacock before the curtain dropped again.  This last season, CBS did the same with 2 low-rated series (Evil, Clarice) as well as a middling procedural (SEAL Team) and crossed them over to Paramount+.  Flash forward to late 2021 and 4 shows remain on the bubble in this table: newer sitcoms United States of Al and B-Positive, middling Magnum PI and struggling CSI: Vegas.  All are performing under bar in various elements, but have marketability in their finished product.

In addition, there are 2 other candidates which may migrate to Paramount+ -- anemic Bull, and resurging SWAT.  Strong ratings do not equal instant renewal for SWAT, and poor ratings do not undermine CBS's relationship with Michael Weatherly and a 6-season veteran.  The odds are up in the air, so read further below the table for insight.

JPG Bull -- The series has dropped since moving to Thursdays and is currently CBS' lowest-rated drama.  However, a 7th and final season may be the ticket to adding another show to Paramount's vast library.

B-Positive -- The sophomore sitcom revamped the premise from being about kidney transplants to the plucky lead running a retirement home with the energy.  And the opening title cleverly spelled out the premise of "you have to be positive!"  Still, the ratings are underperforming out of his season's blockbuster hit Ghosts, and shelf space is needed on CBS.  Where B-Positive may prove lucrative to Paramount+ (who discriminates less on demos due to paid subscriptions) is it holds a robust cast of senior veterans including Linda Lavin, Jane Seymour and Hector Elizono among others.  This premise could provide a niche for online viewers once Grace and Frankie concludes on Netflix.

CSI: Vegas -- The ratings are poor, but international demand is high.  This dynamic may provide a new incentive for international subscriptions so CSI: Vegas may find a new niche online if drama space is needed for CBS to belt out another boiler plate franchise spinoff.

Magnum PI -- If readers follow the Friday ratings, the valley in the schedule is noticeable as Magnum PI underrates its neighbors in its 4th season.  MacGyver and Hawaii: Five O's afterthought cancellations in recent seasons shows CBS is playing aggressive to shake up their lineup.  The jury is still out as CBS seems to slightly favor it more than SWAT.

SWAT -- Having performed middling to struggling in its first 4 seasons, the Shemar Moore-based procedural surprised all by experiencing a mild rebound on Fridays anchoring the lineup in fall 2021.  However, CBS appears to care less about the series as it will be farmed out to Sunday at 10pm in January in its worst timeslot.  If SWAT somehow can retain their renaissance, this may be a non-issue.  Otherwise, SWAT could be joining CBS' last season discard SEAL Team on Paramount+.

United States of Al -- Slightly stronger in delivery than B-Positive, its numbers are still disappointing.  Considering it rests between sturdy sitcoms Young Sheldon and Ghosts, it should rate closer to Ghosts.  However, current affairs worked in the series' favor due to conflicts in Afghanistan presenting a rich story opportunity.  CBS has been known to play aggressively in recent seasons and may opt to blade out 2 of its weakest sitcoms.  In that event, the series is marketable for B-Positive

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