CBS Renew/Cancel Week 3: East New York Headed In The Wrong Direction


Welcome to Week 3 of CBS Renew/Cancel. In this edition, there are three prediction changes followed by an analysis. Since the last edition, we saw the premieres of The Equalizer and East New York on Sunday, and CBS’ full Friday lineup of S.W.A.T., Fire Country, and Blue Bloods. 

Here are this week’s prediction changes:

-Fire Country is upgraded from Tilts Cancel to Leans Renew
-East New York moves from Likely Renew to Tilts Renew
-NCIS: Los Angeles moves from Leans Renew to Tilts Cancel

This week’s column also sees ranking changes for Blue Bloods, which is up one spot, and Bob Hearts Abishola, which is down one spot. Both remain in the Leans Renew category. 

Fire Country
Todd may not have helped out CBS, but their attempt to recreate the success of NBC’s Chicago Fire, ABC’s Station 19, and FOX’s 9-1-1 seems to have gotten a solid sampling on Friday night. In prelims it was right in line with veterans S.W.A.T. and Blue Bloods, both reliable performers for the network (whether they actually renew both veterans is a different story). With East New York also disappointing given its football-boosted Equalizer lead-in, CBS has to be happy Fire Country didn’t completely flop. It shoots up four spots to Leans Renew, ahead of Blue Bloods because of expenses and ahead of their lowest-rated comedy in Bob Hearts Abishola. 

East New York
East New York premiered to a 0.46 A18-49 Live + Same Day rating out of The Equalizer’s 0.66, a far cry from what it needed to do to maintain the pre-season Likely Renew prediction. Maybe East New York defies the odds and holds well, even on non-football nights. However, the chances of that happening are about the same as CBS airing 60 Minutes somewhere other than directly after football. It’s expected this will sink further and look like a weak link, hurting NCIS: LA in the process. Of course, a 0.46 in and of itself is a fine rating these days, so I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt and keep it as Tilts Renew for now. Whether it stays in a Renew category or not depends on how it does in future weeks, particularly on non-football nights. 

NCIS: Los Angeles
Is it fair to downgrade NCIS: LA from Leans Renew to Tilts Cancel before its season even begins? It’s a painful thing to do, but with how badly the other NCIS shows are underperforming combined with how East New York is looking weak, the writing may be on the wall for NCIS: LA. It was always seen as one of the most vulnerable veterans on a network that routinely cancels long-running shows without much advanced notice, if any, but its ratings ceiling is starting to look increasingly smaller. Plus, even if it holds well from East New York, it wouldn’t be the first time CBS cancels an NCIS show in the Sunday at 10 pm time slot. The NCIS franchise is starting to feel like an afterthought in general to CBS, with NCIS getting kicked out of its usual Tuesday time slot in favor of an all-NCIS night. If they start to phase out some of shows, they’ll almost certainly start with the one bound to be the lowest-rated. For now, it’s a true bubble show that lands in the Tilts Cancel column. 

S.W.A.T. performed solidly for its premiere on Friday, paving the path to a solid sampling for Fire Country. It’s been thrown around the schedule and has proven to be a reliable, albeit not high-rated, program wherever it is placed. 

Does this really even matter though? S.W.A.T is airing on the same night and on the same network as Magnum P.I., MacGyver, and Hawaii Five-0, all of which were unexpectedly canceled in the past three years despite posting solid ratings. What’s more, S.W.A.T. is one of the few shows where CBS’ parent company Paramount does not have the full distribution rights; they have the domestic rights while Sony holds international rights. Ironically, S.W.A.T. allowing Fire Country to show promise may only make S.W.A.T.’s prospects worst. This is the ultimate don’t-shoot-the-messenger situation where a show arguably deserves to be upgraded, but is not being upgraded regardless. If renewed, it will likely be at the expense of Blue Bloods. 

Blue Bloods
Like S.W.A.T. and Fire Country, Blue Bloods premiered at a 0.4 Live + Same Day A18-49 rating. While it may seem surprising that they are not all in the same prediction category, as already mentioned, CBS has not been known to be kind to some of their Friday dramas in the past few years. Blue Bloods has always been a great performer in the key demo for Fridays at 10 pm, and as one of the oldest-skewing shows on broadcast television tends to bring in an abnormally high number of viewers for its time slot. Still, it’s hard to believe it just entered its 13th season. How much longer can Blue Bloods, a show that has aired all but a few episodes in 2010 on Fridays, stay on the air? Surely it is getting expensive by now and lead Tom Selleck could call it quits. CBS seems to always have a bunch of aging dramas on the air with numbers renewable on the surface yet moved closer to the bubble due to expenses, and Blue Bloods fits that criteria now more than ever. Where things stand right now, I am predicting one of S.W.A.T. and Blue Bloods gets renewed, with Blue Bloods starting off by having the clear advantage due to Paramount having the full distribution rights. 

Bob Hearts Abishola
Due to Blue Bloods looking respectable for its premiere, Bob Hearts Abishola and its 24% ratings decline from last season moves down a spot. It remains in the Leans Renew category, but appears to be entirely reliant on The Neighborhood. I don’t think CBS should take Bob Hearts Abishola for granted, as they could easily end up with a dud in the time slot. The big question is how many comedies they plan on airing next season. Unless So Help Me Todd gets an unexpected renewal, the Thursday at 9 pm time slot could be fair game for comedies again. However, if CBS wants to stay with four comedies and sees a pilot they really like, Bob Hearts Abishola is first in line for cancelation. 

What do you think of these predictions? Let us know by leaving a reaction and comment!

Share this

Related Posts

Next Post »