CBS Renew/Cancel Week 12: Let’s Not Make A Deal For A Scripted Purge


Below is the Week 12 table for CBS Renew/Cancel, followed by an analysis. Let me know what you think by voting in the poll and leaving a comment! The following change has been made to the predictions this week:

-The Price Is Right At Night is downgraded from Likely Renew to Leans Renew

The Price Is Right At Night and Let’s Make A Deal Primetime
In the winter/spring, you could almost argue The Price Is Right At Night and Let’s Make A Deal Primetime had the ability to usher in a new era for CBS. They had Live + Same Day ratings higher than most scripted shows and could be produced at a fraction of the cost.

Now, neither show is anywhere near where they were earlier in the year. At best, they’re passable filler on a schedule compromised by WGA and SAG-AFRTRA strikes. There’s not much of a reason to schedule them outside of filler or summer anymore. While I do think that has a solid chance of happening, their decline in just one year is remarkable. 

Can CBS Afford A Scripted Purge?
The sharp declines in The price Is Right At Night and Let’s Make A Deal Primetime makes CBS face what could be a harsh reality: they do not currently have the depth in their unscripted department to afford a scripted purge.

With costs of scripted shows rising combined with ratings and ad revenue declining, it’s not a stretch to assume the networks are at least considering cutting back on their slate of scripted shows. CBS is already cutting three of their four longest-running shows in Blue Bloods, S.W.A.T., and Young Sheldon. The outgoing Bob Hearts Abishola is also one of their longer-running series. While CBS is usually unafraid to end multiple veteran series at once (save for last season), it’s rare for so many long-running series to go out at once. It’s clearly a cost-cutting move, as shows have always gotten more expensive as they’ve aged. As it stands right now, though, CBS isn’t going to get away with replacing these shows with cheap unscripted filler. 

It’s not just the declines of The Price Is Right At Night and Let’s Make A Deal Primetime that should concern CBS. They were quick to pull the plug on the low-rated Lotería Loca, and fellow newcomer Raid The Cage usually hasn’t performed much better than it in recent airings. Survivor is really the only unscripted show CBS can call a ratings force, unless they decide to give up on summer and move Big Brother into the regular season. 

This is a stark contrast to some other networks — ABC, for example, has The Bachelor franchise along with Dancing With The Stars and American Idol. CBS has tried to replicate the success of the more successful unscripted shows on TV, but none have sustained high ratings in the long term, if ever. They need a plan, and fast, if they want to replace scripted with unscripted. For now, the plan appears to be replacing their scripted series with cheaper scripted series; not a bad idea, but what happens when said scripted series grow older and more expensive themselves? There’s only so cheap you can start a scripted series out at that viewers are willing to take. 

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