CBS Renew/Cancel Wrap-Up Part 2: Early Pre-Season Predictions + Reader Survey


What follows is the final edition of CBS Renew/Cancel for the 2023-24 TV season. Below are early pre-season renewal and cancelation predictions for the 2024-25 season, followed by an analysis. At the bottom is a reader survey where you can leave your opinions on this column in general. Thank you everyone for reading!

FBI has been renewed for three more seasons, through the 2026-27 TV season. What happens after that is anyone’s call, as it’s not uncommon for a three-season renewal to ultimately be the final renewal (Young Sheldon is an example of this). For now, what’s more important is FBI: International and FBI: Most Wanted cannot be included as a package deal with a renewal for FBI. That makes both spinoffs inherently more vulnerable than they otherwise would have been had FBI not already been renewed. 

Certain Renewals
Three shows start off in the Certain Renew category: Fire Country, Tracker, and Ghosts. Fire Country’s renewal for a fourth season was de facto secured when CBS announced the series order for a spinoff, Sheriff Country, for the 2025-26 TV season. Barring a collapse and a revoking of the series order for Sheriff Country, a renewal for Fire Country is only a formality at this point. The network is also fully behind the high-rated breakout freshman drama Tracker, moving it to the lucrative Sundays at 8 pm time slot over any of their three new dramas. Ghosts also enters the summer in the Certain Renew category, one of only two returning sitcoms on the network and a strong player on both linear and multi-platform. While cast salaries are getting higher on the sitcom, it’s young enough where renewals should still be no-brainers.

Likely Renewals
Five shows, including three of the four new fall series, start off in Likely Renew: NCIS, NCIS: Origins, Matlock, S.W.A.T., and Georgie & Mandy‘s First Marriage. CBS is seemingly fully behind the original NCIS series, whose renewal prospects can only be complicated by its age. NCIS: Origins, meanwhile, should be safe so long as the ratings are in line with the typical NCIS spinoff. Origins is a clear attempt to get ratings akin to the recently-canceled Los Angeles and Hawai’i, only for cheaper. At least, they’d be unrealistic to expect much better.

In a similar position to NCIS: Origins is Matlock. Like NCIS: Origins is replacing a solidly-rated fellow NCIS spinoff on the schedule, Matlock is replacing a (less) solidly-rated fellow legal dramedy on the schedule. If NCIS: Origins and Matlock can perform in line with NCIS: Hawai’i and So Help Me Todd, they should be good for renewals. However, both will be interesting to keep an eye on. Matlock is bound to skew significantly outside of the key Adults 18-49 demo, something that got fellow Kathy Bates-starring drama Harry’s Law canceled on NBC in the 2010s. CBS is likely well aware of this though, and will be looking more at overall viewership and total costs of the program. 

CBS clearly wants to keep the Big Bang Theory universe alive on the network with the creation of a Young Sheldon spinoff, Georgie & Mandy’s First Marriage. This one’s a risk, as the multi-cam format puts the characters in a new element. It does keep costs down, though, and will be a lock for renewal even if it loses a quarter of Young Sheldon’s audience. 

S.W.A.T. also starts off in the Likely Renew category, its first time in the category since the 2021-22 TV season. After getting uncanceled twice, it’s hard to justify betting against S.W.A.T. anymore. Both lead studio Sony and star Shemar Moore have proven multiple times to do whatever it takes to get this show brought back from the dead, making a third cancelation in three seasons seem unlikely. Plus, S.W.A.T. actually has other factors going for it this season that it didn’t previously. It has a full 22 episode season, Sony might end up with a stake in Paramount Global, and a lot of the shows that CBS plausibly could’ve moved to Fridays got canceled instead. If it holds up okay in the low-priority Fridays at 10 pm time slot midseason, I could see it potentially staying there until the second Fire Country spinoff is fully developed and placed on the schedule. From Sheriff Country being delayed until 2025-26, we know that won’t be that same season.

Leans Renewals
Underneath the certain and likely renewals are four shows in Leans Renew: FBI: International, The Equalizer, Poppa’s House, and Watson. There was much discussion whether or not FBI: International and The Equalizer would return for the 2024-25 TV season, with both ultimately renewed. However, FBI: International only received a one-season renewal compared with FBI’s three-season renewal, and The Equalizer enters the season as the last show renewed. Both will be incredibly close to the episode count traditionally needed to reach a syndication deal, so NBCUniversal will likely try to keep licensing fees as low as possible for an additional season. 

Poppa’s House and Watson are both getting the benefit of the doubt for now, as neither show has aired a single episode. Watson won’t premiere until Sundays at 10 pm midseason, a time slot where CBS historically sends shows to die. Poppa’s House, meanwhile, is in a similar position to both Matlock and NCIS: Origins; replacing a show with solid ratings that got canceled, presumably at a cheaper cost. (Georgie & Mandy’s First Marriage also fits this bill, though Young Sheldon reached its natural conclusion.) Poppa’s House should do fine on the linear schedule, but multi-platform will be a tougher challenge. 

Tilts Renewal
For years now, CBS has had a love-hate relationship with the NCIS franchise. Practically every season, they’re ordering a spinoff and canceling another one, all while NCIS itself keeps chugging along. If precedent holds, NCIS: Sydney could be the next spinoff on the chopping block. Its ratings were on the lower-end of the scale despite being the only scripted show to air on CBS in the fall, and got to air at 8 pm. If the ratings are ugly on Fridays midseason, expect to see it swiftly moved to 10 pm with S.W.A.T. right back to its old time slot. 

Leans Cancelations
Outside of Blue Bloods, which is returning for the final eight episodes of its final season, there are three returning shows that are currently predicted to be canceled in 2024-25. Two of those three, Elsbeth and FBI: Most Wanted, start off in the Leans Cancel category. Elsbeth was CBS’s lowest-rated scripted show this season, not counting strike filler like Ghosts UK and years-old episodes of SEAL Team. It enters next fall a full tenth back in the key demo from the next-lowest-rated returning series, which is FBI: Most Wanted. Elsbeth has to be on the cheaper side, and CBS likes working with the show’s creators, but its low ratings complicate its path to a third season renewal. FBI: Most Wanted is aging, and will likely have over 100 episodes by the end of its upcoming sixth season. Without the ability to be packaged in with a renewal for FBI, it could find itself in trouble come next spring.

Likely Cancelation
Also predicted to be canceled after the 2024-25 season is The Neighborhood, which has led off Monday nights since fall 2018. The Neighborhood does have a syndication deal and brings in reliably strong linear ratings, but it’s also entering its seventh season. Any future seasons are bound to get significantly more expensive, and it’s one of CBS’s lowest-rated shows when accounting for multi-platform viewing. The Neighborhood has had a nice run on CBS, and every renewal was fully deserved, but I’d be rather surprised at this point if it’s run continued past the 2024-25 season. 

Blue Bloods is in a unique position in that it’ll spend two consecutive seasons in the Canceled category. Despite a campaign to extend the final season and push the total episode count past 300, CBS is ending Blue Bloods after its eight fall episodes air. Blue Bloods is still one of CBS’s highest-rated shows on multi-platform, but has found itself falling behind in the Live + Same Day Adults 18-49 demo. As the show ages, even budget cuts can only prolong its run for so long. The writing was on the wall for Blue Bloods when that fourteenth season renewal came with massive budget cuts. A lack of an episode order extension ultimately is not a surprise, even if they technically had schedule space for it. 

Reader Survey
As this is the final edition of CBS Renew/Cancel for the 2023-24 TV season, below is a short survey on your thoughts about this column. I appreciate all feedback. 

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