CBS Renew/Cancel Week 11: CBS Hearts Canceling Shows

Below are the Week 11 predictions for CBS Renew/Cancel, followed by an analysis. This edition also features a table with ratings for NCIS: Sydney, Ghosts UK, and SEAL Team for reference. Let us know what you think by voting in the poll and leaving a comment!

The Price Is Right At Night and Let’s Make A Deal Primetime
Last week, I ran a poll on if the primetime versions of The Price Is Right and Let’s Make A Deal should remain on the renew/cancel table. The vote was an overwhelming ‘Yes’, 73% to 27%. Both shows are down drastically in the ratings from their prior airings, Let’s Make A Deal Primetime even more so than The Price Is Right At Night. I still believe both will ultimately return to CBS’s schedule at one point or another, as they are cheap filler that can and will be scheduled anywhere and any time. The low ratings should still warrant an evaluation on CBS’s part on if it’s really necessary to keep both in production for prime time airings, as well as how often they want to air them. 

NCIS: Sydney vs SEAL Team
NCIS has been a declining franchise for the past few years. NCIS itself took a hit when it moved to Mondays, NCIS: New Orleans and NCIS: Los Angeles are now off the air, and NCIS: Hawai’i is one of CBS’s lowest-rated scripted series. In fact, NCIS: Hawai’i’s performance this past season wasn’t all that much better relatively speaking than SEAL Team’s was when it was announced that it would be moving to Paramount+. So why is NCIS: Sydney doing so much better than SEAL Team?

Viewers are arguably sending CBS a clear message: they want new content. Even though NCIS: Sydney wasn’t meant to be aired in the United States, it’s still a new series, and still feels fresh to viewers. Meanwhile, CBS is airing episodes of SEAL Team that have been available for a long time; the vast majority of people who wanted to watch them have already seen them. NCIS: Sydney is also in a much better time slot and would almost certainly not be doing 0.3s after Ghosts UK (its average is very inflated from a Thanksgiving football halo), but it’s unrealistic to expect SEAL Team to match what NCIS: Sydney is doing Tuesdays at 8 pm. Imported content from streaming services is not the answer to filling schedule space. CBS has already seen this happen before when they tried and failed to introduce new audiences to The Good Fight and Star Trek: Discovery. 

Bob Hearts Abishola
CBS made their third cancelation/final season announcement in November with Bob Hearts Abishola. It follows the prior cancelation/final season announcements of Young Sheldon and Blue Bloods. All three shows were predicted as such in the pre-season predictions. Bob Hearts Abishola was the most confident of the three predictions, as it faced massive budget cuts going into this fifth season. It’s mostly around so Warner Brothers can try to get it a syndication deal; due to COVID, it’s only at 82 episodes compared to the 88 episodes typically needed to be sold into syndication. While last season I took the stance that 82 episodes was close enough to 88 and CBS wouldn’t see the need to renew it, this season is indeed the end of Bob Hearts Abishola. It’s also quite possibly the end of Chuck Lorre’s decades-long stint on the network. Bob Hearts Abishola will likely continue to put up good-not-great ratings in Season 5, depending on how its Neighborhood lead-in holds up after the long hiatus. CBS is understandably ready to move on to Poppa’s House, which due to ownership could be more lucrative even if lower rated. 

CBS’s Cancelation Spree
After a season light on the cancelations in 2022-23 that led to a few incorrect predictions, CBS is starting to look like their old selves. Young Sheldon, Blue Bloods, and Bob Hearts Abishola join S.W.A.T. as shows that are already announced to be heading into their final seasons. While that does start me off with a 3-for-3 record, I’m all out of shows in the Cancel category. This is the opposite from last season, where every incorrect prediction came from a show CBS renewed that I predicted would be canceled. 

It’s unclear if this is where the cancelations end, or if there will be more to come between now and May. CBS and NBCUniversal will likely get caught up in tense renewal negotiations over the FBI trio and The Equalizer. As mentioned previously, NBCUniversal has every reason to advocate for renewals of all four series and will likely try to make their renewals a package deal, whereas CBS would likely get by with FBI and two of the three others. The jury is also still out on new shows, like the unowned Tracker (yes, CBS has canceled post-Super Bowl shows after one season before) and Good Wife spinoff Elsbeth (which could easily be Paramount+-bound). 

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