CBS Renew/Cancel Week 14: The Ghosts of Christmas Past and Present are Not the Ghosts of CBS’s Future


Below are the predictions for Week 14 of CBS Renew/Cancel, followed by an analysis. There are no changes to the predictions this week.

Ghosts UK
BBC One’s hit comedy series Ghosts is set to end after a five-season run on Christmas Day with its annual Christmas special. As shows in the UK tend to have shorter seasons (or series as they are referred to), the final episode of Season 5 will be the show’s 34th overall. Like what is happening so far in the United States with the US adaptation, Ghosts was an undeniable success for BBC One.

The same cannot be said on CBS, where it is dubbed Ghosts UK to avoid any confusion with the US adaptation viewers have become accustomed to. The Season 1 average is inflated by airing on a night that benefitted from a late afternoon NFL game, while the Season 2 average is more in line with the show’s overall performance so far. It’s not doing quite as embarrassingly bad as lead-out SEAL Team, but holds little value to the schedule other than as schedule filler. CBS gets to air it for little cost and they do need programming to get them through the WGA and SAG-AFRTRA strikes, which delayed production of shows like the US adaptation of Ghosts. 

This begs the question: If CBS can’t get the original Ghosts series to work, what internationally produced sitcom would they be able to crossover into the United States? Between Ghosts UK and The CW’s mostly failed attempt to launch a sitcom block, so far it’s looking like the US is more more successful at exporting hit sitcoms than importing them. Airing internationally produced sitcoms is becoming appealing to networks looking to reduce costs, but so far, viewers are not interested.

Hopefully, CBS wasn’t expecting much more out of ‘Ghosts UK’ than what they ended up getting. Unlike potential simulcasts of a second season of NCIS: Sydney, it’s tough to envision them ever airing the third, fourth, or fifth seasons of this version of Ghosts. 

Ghosts US
What is easier to envision is CBS airing a third, fourth, and fifth season of the US adaptation of Ghosts. Season 3 premieres in February, and the cast just negotiated big pay raises. CBS Studios will presumably share the increased costs with co-producers Lionsgate and BBC Studios. While the UK version of Ghosts may not have worked out for CBS, the US version is likely here to stay for some time to come. It’s one of two shows that was listed as a Certain Renew in the pre-season predictions, and I haven’t changed my mind about that as we come closer to the return of scripted shows.

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