CBS Renew/Cancel Week 2: CSI: Vegas Gets No Help From Todd


Welcome back to CBS Renew/Cancel. Since the last edition, CBS premiered their Thursday block of Young Sheldon, Ghosts, So Help Me Todd, and CSI: Vegas. Below is this week’s table, with prediction changes marked in italics. Below the chart is an analysis. First, here are the changes from last week:

-CSI: Vegas gets downgraded from Leans Renew to Leans Cancel
-So Help Me Todd gets downgraded from Tilts Cancel to Likely Cancel

Young Sheldon
Young Sheldon starts the season at a 0.51 Live + Same Day A18-49 rating, down 27% from the year before. Sheldon is no stranger to year-to-year drops of greater than 20%, though last season’s 15% drop indicated it may have been stabling a bit. Regardless of the drop, it remains one of their highest-rated shows, and is already renewed. 

Ghosts did what every 8:30 show is supposed to do, but few actually do in practice: grew from its lead-in. With a 0.55 rating, I am more confident in a renewal for Ghosts than I am for any other CBS show at this point in time. So far it is only down 2% from its Season 1 average on a network where every show except FBI and one of its spinoffs is shedding at least a quarter of their year-ago audience. If the trend keeps up and Ghosts finishes the season ahead of Young Sheldon, this will be the first time the Thursday at 8 pm show gets out-rated by its lead-out on CBS since the original CSI did it to Survivor in the 2008-09 season. In other words, you would have to back further than when there were comedies on Thursday. 

So Help Me Todd
Just about every year, there seems to be at least one new show that has an amusing name as well as a person’s name in the title. Arguably, none of them are quite as amusing as So Help Me Todd. Known in pilot season as Untitled Mother/Son Legal Drama and given its name toward the end of development, So Help Me Todd is the reason why CBS no longer has three hours of comedy on their schedule, with no chance of that hour returning this season barring unexpected off-cycle pickups. The end result was a 0.37 A18-49 L+SD premiere, a rating lower than all airings of the comedies they canceled in favor of it except one out-of-time slot airing of United States of Al. The fact CBS placed their bets on So Help Me Todd indicates just how important holding the distribution rights to a show is; they have them for Todd, but did not for the canceled comedies. Still, it took a steep decline from Ghosts and is bound to fall further from here. It moves to a Likely Cancel this week. 

CSI: Vegas
Airing after the premiere of So Help Me Todd, CSI: Vegas posted a 0.27 rating, down 41% from last season. As of now, it is their lowest-rated show, with a rating roughly half that of the average show on ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC. CSI: Vegas is now much further away from the league average rating than even CSI: Cyber was, which was widely considered a flop when it premiered and CBS cut ties with it after two seasons. It’s also weaker than the original CSI was when it went out with a whimper in the Sunday at 10 pm death slot. Needless to say, the CSI brand is not doing well on linear television right now. Long gone are the days where a CSI can grow from Survivor. There’s still a slight chance CBS tries to drag this to syndication, especially if it levels off and So Help Me Todd does not. That would require buyers being interested in taking it, though. It takes a steep drop to Leans Cancel this week. 

NCIS and NCIS: Hawai’i
This week, NCIS and NCIS: Hawai’i flip spots on the table, with NCIS now considered a more confident renewal prediction than NCIS: Hawai’i. NCIS’s ratings decline this season is absolutely brutal, and it wouldn’t surprise me if it ends within the next year or two. However, if CBS sees these ratings and decides it’s time to phase out the NCIS franchise, canceling NCIS: Hawai’i and giving NCIS a short final season would be dignified thing to do. 

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