CBS Renew/Cancel Special Edition: A Look Back At How The Predictions Have Changed This Year


Welcome to a special edition of CBS Renew/Cancel! While CBS was in repeat mode for the holiday season this past week, here is a look back at how each show’s prediction has changed from the pre-season predictions through Week 13. Let us know what you think by leaving a comment!

Ghosts, The Neighborhood, and Bob Hearts Abishola

Given how strong CBS’s comedy brand is at the moment, it’s hard to believe they only have four sitcoms on the schedule with nothing on the bench. Ghosts, The Neighborhood, and the already renewed Young Sheldon make up the top 3 live action comedies on television so far this season. The only thing getting in the way of them being the top 3 comedies overall is six football-inflated episodes of The Simpsons; they all easily rate higher than The Simpsons on non-football nights. With The Neighborhood now in syndication and Ghosts taking full advantage of the Season 2 time slot upgrade, combined with Paramount having full distribution rights for both shows, both are considered no-brainers for renewal. While The Neighborhood’s seasonal declines were looking rather rough at first, it has since improved to being down 16% in the A18-49 demo; not spectacular, but still one of the better trends on CBS. Meanwhile, Ghosts is actually up year-to-year, one of only a handful of shows across all networks.

Bob Hearts Abishola’s future is a bit more questionable. As it has become clear that Bob Hearts Abishola will finish the season as CBS’s lowest-rated comedy and that The Neighborhood still looks more than healthy enough to launch a new show, it has been downgraded three times. It started as a Likely Renew in the preseason predictions before being downgraded to Leans Renew in Week 1, Tilts Renew in Week 5, and Tilts Cancel in Week 9. Note that when it was downgraded to Tilts Renew in Week 5, 77% of those who voted in our poll predicted Bob Hearts Abishola would be renewed, proving many are more bullish on its future than I am. 

NCIS, NCIS: LA, and NCIS: Hawai’i

NCIS has had a rather disappointing season, currently down 32% in the A18-49 demo this season. It is also rating slightly below the league average, which is stunning for a long-running show like NCIS with two spin-offs. Still, for as ruthless as CBS has been in the past with suddenly canceling long-running shows, I’ve been saying all season that it’s unlikely they cancel (or even give a final season announcement to) NCIS so long as they have two lower-rated spinoffs on the air. 

As much as I hate to remove a show from the Certain Renew category, NCIS: Hawai’i also underperformed for its premiere and is yet to prove it can bounce back. In fact, the only scripted show lower rated than it on CBS is CSI: Vegas. Not only has it seen time slot downgrades twice, but it also slipped at least one spot in the rankings on four separate occasions. It started off as predicted to be the 2nd-most-safe show on CBS; now, it’s #6. I can see CBS try to get NCIS: Hawai’i to syndication, though its overall run will almost certainly not match the 14+ season run of NCIS: LA or even the 7-season run of NCIS: New Orleans. 

NCIS: LA, meanwhile, has seen one category change, moving from Leans Renew to Tilts Cancel in Week 3. It has been considered a pure bubble show all season long, with it being ranked either below all other shows predicted to be renewed in Weeks 0-2, or above all other shows predicted to be canceled since then.  Spring ratings should give a clearer picture to NCIS: LA’s current value on CBS’s schedule ratings-wise. 

New Shows

In recent seasons, CBS has set a precedent of not canceling new fall series. However, now that CBS is overhauling their top programming executive team, it’s very plausible that could change. After all, CBS used to be known as the network to regularly pull new fall shows from the schedule, never mind renew all of them. 

East New York is the only new show that has been in a Renew category for the entirety of 2022. With late afternoon NFL games boosting CBS’s Sunday prime time lineup on certain weeks, it’s tough to get a clear read on this show’s true performance. It has bounced around the chart, starting in Likely Renew before being downgraded to Tilts Renew in Week 3, upgraded to Leans Renew in Week 5, and downgraded back to Tilts Renew in Week 9. It’s had a total of two upwards movements and two downwards movements, starting as the #5 show in the Renew category and currently the #8 show out of 8 in the Renew category. The fact East New York isn’t a clear frontrunner for renewal despite the comfortable time slot could be cause for concern for the spring. 

So Help Me Todd started out with a Tilts Cancel prediction in the pre-season column, meaning I’ve always had low expectations for its performance. An underwhelming premiere even for those standards landed it in the Likely Cancel category for four weeks, during which it was the lowest-ranked show on the entire table. Its prospects have since improved, but barely, with a Leans Cancel prediction starting in Week 6. So Help Me Todd has the dishonor of being the only show that has been in a Cancel category for the entirety of the season so far. 

Despite airing on Friday nights, Fire Country is easily this season’s biggest success story when it comes to new shows. In fact, it’s tied for the highest-rated new show across all networks with East New York, which airs in a much more favorable time slot. It was predicted as Tilts Cancel in the preseason edition and stayed in that category in the future columns before it premiered, only rising two spots in Week 2 because of downgrades for CSI: Vegas and So Help Me Todd. Once it premiered, it jumped up four spots to the Leans Renew category. After being upgraded again to Likely Renew due to stable ratings, it ended up as only the third show in the Certain Renew category. 

Other Shows

Blue Bloods is one of only two shows not in the Certain Renew category that has been in the same category for the entire season. What’s remarkable is that even though Blue Bloods moved up in the rankings three times, it was never upgraded from a Leans Renew prediction. Its position has clearly improved, going from the 8th-most-safe show in the preseason column to currently being the 5th-most-safe show. It was almost upgraded to Likely Renew, but non-ratings factors such as the show’s age prevented that from happening so far. 

S.W.A.T. started off the season at the very bottom of the table, and remained in the Leans Cancel category through Week 9. It soared up to Tilts Renew in Week 10 after getting a rating higher than all other CBS scripted series that week — including the ones they have already renewed. I’m still not overly optimistic on S.W.A.T. this season due to Paramount only having domestic distribution rights and CBS’s recent fixation on canceling Friday dramas, which is why it has not advanced past Tilts Renew and could be downgraded in the future. 

CSI: Vegas had a Leans Renew prediction in the pre-season predictions column, based on the likelihood of CBS trying to get the show to syndication. It plummeted to Leans Cancel once it premiered, as CSI: Vegas is still a long way from syndication and the CSI brand is not what it once was. After failing to improve and being decisively CBS’s lowest-rated scripted show, it was downgraded again to Likely Cancel in Week 6. It is currently the only show in the Likely Cancel category or worse (no show is in the Certain Cancel category). The only other show on CBS to have hit the Likely Cancel category was So Help Me Todd, which was in it for four weeks, while CSI: Vegas has been there for eight weeks. 

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