CBS Renew/Cancel Week 17: CBS On Course To Add A Third Hour Of Comedy Back Onto Their Schedule


Welcome to Week 17 of CBS Renew/Cancel. Below is the updated table of predictions along with analysis for key shows. First, here are the changes from last week’s chart:

-The Neighborhood moves from Certain Renew to Renewed
-Bob Hearts Abishola moves from Leans Cancel to Renewed

The Neighborhood and Bob Hearts Abishola
The Neighborhood’s Season 6 renewal was arguably a no-brainer. Now in syndication, it is fully distributed by Paramount and posts consistently high ratings. In fact, it says a lot about the strong state of CBS’s sitcom department that two sitcoms were renewed before The Neighborhood. 

It says even more about the state of CBS’s sitcom department that they handed an early renewal to Bob Hearts Abishola. It is their lowest-rated comedy and Paramount has no distribution rights, but solid Live + Same Day ratings were enough to get it renewed. CBS has now renewed all four of their comedies, signaling a comedy expansion is likely on the way. These early renewals prove CBS has confidence in all four shows; there would be a difference if they handed The Neighborhood and Bob Hearts Abishola last-second renewals after passing on all their comedy pilots. 

As mentioned in several previous CBS Renew/Cancel columns, I had always thought the fate of Bob Hearts Abishola would be tied to if CBS would expand comedies or not. So far, it’s too early in the development cycle to look assume they will indeed expand comedies. Bob Hearts Abishola was predicted to be canceled because of the (likely false) assumption that CBS would not be expanding comedy. Knowing there will likely be six comedies on CBS’s fall 2023 schedule, a Bob Hearts Abishola renewal becomes a no-brainer. Since hindsight is 20/20, I certainly picked the wrong week to downgrade Bob Hearts Abishola to its bleakest outlook to date of Leans Cancel. 

How A Comedy Expansion Could Affect CBS’s Schedule
This all begs the question of where that (likely) third hour of comedy will go on CBS’s schedule. While that’s anyone’s guess at the moment, the most likely option is they expand on Mondays or Thursdays, as they already have an hour working for them on both nights. If on Thursdays, this could align with a So Help Me Todd cancelation. If on Mondays, we’re looking at a scenario where NCIS and NCIS: Hawai’i don’t air as a block next season. One plausible scenario would be to move NCIS: Hawai’i to Sundays at 10, the same time slot where CBS sent NCIS: New Orleans and NCIS: Los Angeles to die, while sliding NCIS to Mondays at 10. Another would be to move NCIS itself to the Sunday at 10pm death slot, which would minimize the number of shows moving but intuitively sounds less likely. The third scenario involves a cancelation for one of those two shows — almost certainly NCIS: Hawai’i. I’m not ready to predict a cancelation for NCIS: Hawai’i as I think CBS could easily drag it to syndication on Sundays, but a comedy expansion does make it more vulnerable. This is why NCIS: Hawai’i slips behind Blue Bloods in this week’s chart. 

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