CBS Renew/Cancel Week 5: CBS May Not Heart Bob Hearts Abishola


Welcome to Week 5 of CBS Renew/Cancel! Below are the latest predictions followed by an analysis for key shows. This edition comes after CBS has handed full season orders to all three of their new fall series: East New York, Fire Country, and So Help Me Todd. This week sees two category changes:

-East New York moves from Tilts Renew to Leans Renew
-Bob Hearts Abishola moves from Leans Renew to Tilts Renew

Bob Hearts Abishola
In a world where CBS had kept six comedies on their fall schedule, Bob Hearts Abishola would probably be looking fine right now. However, CBS only has four comedies on their fall schedule, with nothing saved for midseason. With The Neighborhood, Young Sheldon, and Ghosts doing as well as they are, Bob Hearts Abishola is set to be CBS’s lowest-rated comedy this season. Unless something changes, it won’t be particularly close either. This week’s showing was especially weak, getting a 0.44 A18-49 rating out of The Neighborhood’s 0.59, with NCIS growing a tad from it. Perhaps more importantly, CBS does not have any distribution rights to Bob Hearts Abishola, whereas they hold partial or full distribution rights to every other scripted series except East New York. Given all this, it is being downgraded to Tilts Renew this week. Ultimately, its chances rest mainly on how many comedies CBS is planning on airing next year, which we should get a better sense of during pilot season. 

East New York
After a disappointing series premiere rating, East New York looked immediately vulnerable. It had a pretty strong Week 2 hold given the lack of an NFL halo, and easily hit a series high this past Sunday for its third episode with the football halo back in effect. It’s possible it fades in the spring, and as mentioned above CBS holds no distribution rights to the show. Given this, they don’t have the incentive to try to drag the show to syndication the way they may with NCIS: Hawai’i. Still, it’s done more than enough to prove worthy of an upgrade, bumping it up to a Leans Renew. 

Fire Country
Fire Country just received a full season order, and arguably earned it more than any other new show. I don’t want to get too confident and move it to Certain Renew just yet, but it is starting very promising and could very well make that category in a future edition. 

So Help Me Todd
Along with East New York and Fire Country, So Help Me Todd received a full season order this week (exact episode count still TBA). Even in the press release, it was clear that So Help Me Todd is simply not performing at the same level as the other two shows are. It did look a bit better this week, falling significantly less than its Ghosts lead-in, but a 0.32 out of a 0.51 is hardly anything to write home about. When it comes down to it though, CBS does not have all that much to replace So Help Me Todd midseason even if they wanted to. They have a drama True Lies, based on the movie, which they have been trying to get off the ground for years now. They also have two new game shows: Superfan and a revival of Lingo, as well as returning competition series Tough As Nails. Chances are most if not all of that is headed to Wednesdays or summer. So Help Me Todd could be saved by network favoritism, given they upended their comedy block for it. However, at this point its ratings are too weak for a full season announcement alone to warrant a category upgrade. 

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