CBS Renew/Cancel Week 4: Evaluating Buddy Games vs. Raid The Cage vs. Lotería Loca


Below is the table of predictions of Week 4 of CBS Renew/Cancel for the 2023-24 TV season. What follows is an analysis of CBS’s three new reality series: Buddy Games, Raid The Cage, and Lotería Loca. Let me know what you think by leaving a comment and voting in the poll!

Here are the prediction changes from Week 3:

-Buddy Games is upgraded from Leans Cancel to Tilts Cancel
-Lotería Loca is upgraded from Likely Cancel to Leans Cancel
-Raid The Cage debuts as Leans Cancel
-The Amazing Race is up one spot in the rankings while The Price Is Right At Night is down one spot

Buddy Games vs. Raid The Cage vs. Lotería Loca
Buddy Games, Raid The Cage, and Lotería Loca are all in the same boat. All three are new unscripted shows that made the fall schedule as a result of the WGA and SAG-AFRTRA strikes. Also, all three are not doing particularly well. Right now, CBS needs the likes of Buddy Games, Raid The Cage, and Lotería Loca to fill up schedule space. Once scripted shows start coming back, there won’t be much of a need for these shows. At best, a renewal would likely be for summer; almost certainly not for a fall 2024 time slot. 

Buddy Games is arguably in the strongest position of the three series. It was ordered back in mid-April, before it was a done deal that there would be a WGA strike. Meanwhile, Raid The Cage wasn’t ordered until the end of June, roughly two months into the WGA strike and while SAG-AFTRA was authorizing their then-upcoming strike. Lotería Loca was ordered in between, in early May right after the WGA strike began. CBS was seemingly most eager in developing and ordering Buddy Games, which could bode well for it going forward if one of the three shows were to survive this season. Plus, it is the highest-rated of the three in the Live + Same Day Adults 18-49 demo. I’m still not convinced CBS has much of a reason to renew it, but if they feel the need to renew one of those three series, Buddy Games likely has the edge. 

Lotería Loca held up well in its second week, getting a 0.22 Live + Same Day Adults 18-49 rating compared to the premiere’s 0.23. It had considerably lower retention from its Price Is Right At Night lead-in (55% vs 64% for the premiere), but I had expected a greater decline from the premiere. It’s upgraded to Leans Cancel for its Week 2 stability. If it appeals to the Latino demographic the way CBS is likely hoping, it could manage to get a second season. However, its ratings are a sore spot even on a strike-proof schedule, which does not bode well. 

It’s too early to tell where Raid The Cage will stabilize. It did just about all it could do given the circumstances, premiering to a 0.22 out of The Price Is Right At Night’s 0.26 on Friday. Perhaps CBS expected more out of The Price Is Right At Night, but given the 0.26 lead-in, there’s not all that much Raid The Cage could do. Raid The Cage has an uphill battle for renewal given how lucky it is to be on the schedule to begin with. It wasn’t ordered until mid-summer and was given a Friday time slot. Maybe if Raid The Cage’s ratings improve it could come back; for now, it’s in the Leans Cancel category.

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