CBS Renew/Cancel Week 22: Tracker’s Ratings Should Not Be Tracked Just Yet


Below are the predictions for Week 22 of CBS Renew/Cancel, the first week after the return of many scripted shows.

This edition also debuts a brand new prediction table. The predictions in this table will be solely color-coded, meaning shows won’t have the ‘Likely Renew,’ ‘Leans Renew’, etc. monikers next to them; they will simply be highlighted in the respective colors. 

Further, the factors listed in this table will be this week’s Adult 18-49 Live + Same Day rating (if applicable), the season average in the same metric, and the number of fixed factors favoring the show. As explained last week, those fixed factors are if they have less than 7 seasons, if all seasons are available to stream on Paramount+, if the show is owned by Paramount, and if it’s part of a franchise or other pre-existing Paramount-owned IP. This column is not featured in the separate reality show table due to their renew/cancel decisions being almost entirely first run ratings-based. Tracker’s season average will not include its post-Super Bowl airing in order to fairly compare its performance to those of other series. This table also introduces the Renew/Cancel Power Ranking to more clearly organize shows within categories. It’s also a way to combine the traditional Renew/Cancels with the Power Ranking format some preferred from the pre-season edition over the summer. 

Finally, year-to-year changes in ratings have been taken out of the table; while originally planned to be replaced by CBS show ranking on Paramount+, this can fluctuate and is unfair to shows that air earlier in the week due to this column being published on Sundays. Instead, there may be more emphasis on perceived Paramount+ performance in the analysis. 

The following prediction change has been made this week from Week 21: 

-FBI: International is downgraded from Tilts Cancel to Leans Cancel

My expectations for Tracker were rather low from the start, making its sub-4.0 Adult 18-49 Live+Same Day rating not all that surprising to me. With the late start time, this only cemented how tough it would be for Tracker to capitalize off the Super Bowl lead-in. If CBS wanted to optimize ratings in the time slot, they should’ve and likely would’ve aired a familiar show like Ghosts, Young Sheldon, NCIS, or FBI. Survivor would’ve been a good bet as well, but is in between seasons at the moment. They also could’ve premiered the second season of Fire Country there given their intent to turn it into a franchise. Tracker was not a great choice ratings-wise, but at least CBS generated a lot of ad revenue on a show they don’t own. Its renewal chances won’t depend on its post-Super Bowl performance, but on its time slot performance and schedule space. For now, it leans renew, behind the fully-owned Elsbeth and high-rated FBI. Its 1.5 fixed factor number sticks out like a sore thumb for a show not already canceled and likely needs the ratings and internal support to make up for it. 

FBI: International
I said last week FBI: Most Wanted and FBI: International are true bubble shows. Ratings performances like what we saw on Tuesday might chance that. While FBI: International’s 0.44 looks trong by itself, it really should be capitalizing off its FBI lead-in’s 0.57 better. Paramount doesn’t have the streaming rights to the show, and the strikes delaying the start of this season means it’ll need one additional season to potentially get a syndication deal. FBI: Most Wanted 0.42 looks stronger, especially given it’s on the brink of a potential syndication deal. While half-hours for finals are unknown, Most Wanted in the 10 pm half-hour actually grew from International’s 9:30 pm half-hour. 

International really isn’t any less invaluable than NCIS: Hawai’i on the linear schedule, but Paramount not having the streaming ratings behind the current season might just be the dealbreaker that gets it canceled. With only one episode available, both spinoffs are barely being featured on Paramount+ and not being featured at all on the CBS app’s home page or the Popular page. The Equalizer, Bob Hears Abishola, and even the yet-to-premiere Elsbeth are being prioritized over them on streaming. That’s a terrible sign. 

Unscripted Update
Below is the new table for unscripted series. Only two aired this week: The Price Is Right At Night and Let’s Make A Deal Primetime. While most that can be said about these shows has already been said in previous editions, it should be noted that The Price Is Right At Night out-performed both FBI spinoffs this week on the linear schedule. That is something CBS may keep in mind if they consider cutting down on scripted; especially shows they don’t fully own. 

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