CBS Renew/Cancel Week 8: CBS Has Found A Hit In Ghosts


Below is a table with the current predictions for every CBS scripted show’s fate. Let us know what you think by leaving a reaction or a comment!

There are no prediction changes this week, as most shows did not air original episodes, the exception being the Thursday night lineup of Young Sheldon, Ghosts, So Help Me Todd, and CSI: Vegas. There is also no change in rank for any show. In lieu of discussing shows with prediction changes or rank movements, this week I will discuss a show that has often been overlooked in this year’s column: Ghosts. 

The reason Ghosts has seldom been mentioned this season is there has been no movement with it since the first week. It has been in the Certain Renew category ever since the pre-season column, and moved up two spots in CBS Renew/Cancel Week 1 to be the top show in said category. It has stayed there ever since, a true testament to the sitcom’s strength. It is currently averaging a 0.55 A18-49 Live + Same Day rating, and is even year-to-year on a network where every other sitcom has declined by at least 17%. Part of this can be explained by the time slot upgrade; it currently gets to air after fellow single-cam Young Sheldon instead of the much lower-rated multi-cam United States of Al. It is taking full advantage of this situation, nearly tying Young Sheldon’s seasonal average and rating higher on average than every other show that has yet to be renewed. It’s also significantly outpacing both already-renewed FBI spin-offs, and will likely be competitive with The Equalizer once the NFL season is over. 

What’s unique about Ghosts is that it’s one of a few broadcast TV shows that is also a favorite of TV show critics. It’s the only CBS sitcom that Rotten Tomatoes has taken the time of day to give a critics score to, where it achieves a 96% fresh rating. It’s also been nominated at the TCA Awards, Hollywood Critics Association TV Awards, and Saturn Awards. It was also widely considered in the media to have been snubbed from this year’s Emmy Awards, a ceremony that has been increasingly shutting out broadcast television. 

High ratings, critical praise, and award nominations all make Ghosts a clear all-around hit. However, the biggest reason why Ghosts is on track to stick around for a while is Paramount Global Distribution Group has full distribution rights for the show. This is something that cannot be said for any of the shows CBS has already renewed, nor can it be said for fellow bottom-of-the-hour sitcom Bob Hearts Abishola. There’s a lot of potential for backend revenue to be made off Ghosts for Paramount, meaning its path to profitability is not mostly limited to first-run ad revenue. 

Looking to the future, one thing that Ghosts still has to prove is that it is capable of launching a show. Its first lead-out was Season 2 of multi-cam B Positive, which had just been moved away from the post-Young Sheldon time slot that Ghosts is currently occupying. While B Positive’s ratings weren’t terrible per say, CBS ultimately canceled the show. In the late spring, it was tasked with launching the short-lived multi-cam sitcom How We Roll. Now, So Help Me Todd airs after Ghosts, which has a name reminiscent of ABC’s late 2000s sitcom Better Off Ted but is actually a legal drama. While CBS may very well renew So Help Me Todd for a second season, low ratings have had it in one of the Cancel categories all season long. Given the incompatibility, it’s not really the fault of Ghosts that none of these shows capitalized on the lead-in. Perhaps in the future CBS will take note of Ghosts’ high ratings and choose a program to air after it that can better capitalize on the lead-in. 

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