'

CBS "On The Bubble" No More

Categories: '

Written By

March 31st, 2008

cbs.gifOur Renew or Cancel? posts have been on hiatus since the new fall shows went dormant. Now we've got some data on the spring shows as well, and it's time to look at the numbers and take some guesses on who's coming back next fall and who's going away permanently.

I'm going to do this on a network by network basis, so that the different shows that are in question can be looked at vs. their competition both outside and inside their own network.

In the spirit of the NCAA Basketball tournament, the shows "On the Bubble" for CBS are fan favorites Jericho (Update: on 3/21/08, CBS announced it would not renew Jericho), Moonlight and Cane 5/13 Update: Both Cancelled.. Let's take a look at their chances for being renewed or cancelled.

UPDATE: Go here to see the 2008 Fall Schedule for CBS.

 

CBS "Bottom 20" Ranked by Season to Date Adults 18-49

Rank Show STD Adults 18-49, Live+SD (000) Adults 18-49, STD Timeslot position STD Viewers, Live+SD (000) STD Viewers, STD Timeslot position
20 SHARK 3,301   10,863  
21 KID NATION 3,224   7,773  
22 GHOST WHISPERER 3,221   8,716  
23 NUMB3RS 3,161   9,008  
24 PRICE IS RIGHT PRIMETIME 3,137   9,761  
25 Big Brother 9-SUN 3,125   6,462  
26 CANE 3,125 3 8,934 3
27 JERICHO (cancelled) 3,025 2.4* 6,863 2.8*
28 48 Hours Mystery TUESDAY 2,999   7,577  
29 WELCOME TO THE CAPTAIN (assumed cancelled) 2,891   6,308  
30 MOONLIGHT 2,887 2 7,495 2
31 Big Brother 9-WED 2,840   5,778  
32 Dexter 2,786   7,284  
33 48 Hours Mystery 2,290   6,680  
34 CRIMETIME SATURDAY 2,031   6,870  
35 POWER OF TEN (assumed cancelled) 1,803   5,316  
36 CBS MOVIE SATURDAY 1,717   5,554  
37 48 Hours Mystery 9PM 1,528   4,820  
38 VIVA LAUGHLIN (cancelled) 1,518   6,504  
39 CRIMETIME SATURDAY 8PM 1,456   5,188  

*since Jericho hasn't had the same competition in its timeslot this spring, this is an average of its 5 broadcasts.

The Case for Moonlight

[UPDATE: Moonlight has been cancelled by CBS]

  • Moonlight ratings put it #30 at CBS for season to date adults 18-49, and #26 for average viewers.
  • Moonlight aired in a lightly viewed timeslot on Fridays, so its relative timeslot ratings matter. There it was very slightly behind Friday Night Lights [18-49, 2.90m, Viewers, 6.21m] for the 18-49 lead, but solidly in second place for average viewers behind Women's Murder Club [18-49, 2.63m, Viewers, 8.94m].
  • Moonlight gets another chance to prove itself this spring with 4 new episodes starting April 11.

The Case for Cane

[UPDATE: Cane has been cancelled by CBS]

  • Cane ratings put it #26 at CBS for season to date adults 18-49, and #20 for average viewers.
  • Cane's Tuesday timeslot is more highly viewed than Moonlight's. There it was a consistent third, trailing both Law And Order: SVU [18-49, 5.79m, Viewers, 12.01m] and Boston Legal [18-49, 3.95m, Viewers, 9.89m] by significant margins, particularly in the 18-49 demo.

The Case for Jericho

[UPDATE: Jericho has been cancelled by CBS]

  • Jericho ratings put it #27 at CBS for season to date adults 18-49, and #29 for average viewers.
  • Jericho hasn't had the same competition in its timeslot for its 5 outings so far, so comparisons are a bit trickier. It has consistently finished very far behind reruns of Law & Order: SVU in both total viewers and adults 18-49. Jericho typically edged out the ABC competition of either Boston Legal or Primetime in the 18-49 demo for second place, but consistently finished third for total viewers except the one night it moved up to second against the pathetic Quarterlife.
  • Unlike Moonlight & Cane, which ran their new episodes generally vs. other new competition, Jericho had no new episode competition from NBC [except, Quarterlife] and faced Primetime specials 3 nights from ABC. So it needs to be noted that Jericho's performance comes against much weaker competition from the other broadcast networks.

My Guesses

It's possible that all 3 of these shows get the axe, but I think that's unlikely. But even with CBS scrambling after the writer's strike, I think there's is no chance they're all coming back.

My money is on a Moonlight renewal and Cane and Jericho cancellations.

Fans, what do you think will happen?

________________________________________________________

Nielsen TV Ratings Data: ©2008 Nielsen Media Research, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

 
  • suan

    I’m a fan of both Moonlight and Jericho. I’ve never seen Cane before. I’d love to see Moonlight and Jericho both come back for new seasons.

  • suan

    I’m a fan of both Moonlight and Jericho. I’ve never seen Cane before. I’d love to see Moonlight and Jericho both come back for new seasons.

  • Lighthope

    It is difficult to say which would be renewed and which would be cancelled without knowing how much each episode costs to make vs. ad revenue. This is ultimately what doomed the original Battlestar Galactica.

    Theoretically, a show can have few viewers, but if the costs to make said show is only ten dollars, then the ad revenue will make this show a winner in any accountant’s book.

    So for Jericho fans (beyond asking what possesses you to like this hack-written show), how much does it cost to make? How much is it making in revenue? If it isn’t making enough money, then kiss this show good-bye.

    Likewise, if the show only makes for the network X dollars profit, yet another show will make X+Y profit, then again goodbye Jericho.

    It’s all economics. True, sometimes networks will save or kill a show because they like it or hate it (see the original Star Trek), but mostly it’s economics.

    Lighthope

    Pearls of Wisdom – “When a man steals your wife, there is no better revenge than to let him keep her.” – Sacha Guitry

  • Lighthope

    It is difficult to say which would be renewed and which would be cancelled without knowing how much each episode costs to make vs. ad revenue. This is ultimately what doomed the original Battlestar Galactica.

    Theoretically, a show can have few viewers, but if the costs to make said show is only ten dollars, then the ad revenue will make this show a winner in any accountant’s book.

    So for Jericho fans (beyond asking what possesses you to like this hack-written show), how much does it cost to make? How much is it making in revenue? If it isn’t making enough money, then kiss this show good-bye.

    Likewise, if the show only makes for the network X dollars profit, yet another show will make X+Y profit, then again goodbye Jericho.

    It’s all economics. True, sometimes networks will save or kill a show because they like it or hate it (see the original Star Trek), but mostly it’s economics.

    Lighthope

    Pearls of Wisdom – “When a man steals your wife, there is no better revenge than to let him keep her.” – Sacha Guitry

  • Suziq

    Thank you for the analysis. I agree with you. Of the 3 shows, Moonlight is the most likely to receive a renewal.
    Moonlight is the only one of the 3 that was asked to produce more episodes this spring. Also Moonlight’s numbers have been very consistant week to week. I think CBS likes that.
    Considering Moonlight was given the “death slot” of 9pm Fri nights it has done pretty well.

  • Suziq

    Thank you for the analysis. I agree with you. Of the 3 shows, Moonlight is the most likely to receive a renewal.
    Moonlight is the only one of the 3 that was asked to produce more episodes this spring. Also Moonlight’s numbers have been very consistant week to week. I think CBS likes that.
    Considering Moonlight was given the “death slot” of 9pm Fri nights it has done pretty well.

  • tecc

    I also believe Moonlight will be renewed. It has won the 18-49 demo more often than not and it helped November sweeps as well.

  • tecc

    I also believe Moonlight will be renewed. It has won the 18-49 demo more often than not and it helped November sweeps as well.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com/ Bill Gorman

    Lighthope, I completely agree. But while age demo ratings are a reasonable predictor of advertising revenue potential, we can only guess as to the costs for any show. Not surprisingly, the networks aren’t telling :)

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    Lighthope, I completely agree. But while age demo ratings are a reasonable predictor of advertising revenue potential, we can only guess as to the costs for any show. Not surprisingly, the networks aren’t telling :)

  • http://www.moonlightline.com Leeser

    I strongly believe that Moonlight will receive its coveted second season pickup.

    However, fans need to keep passing on word of the show to people they know…pull out the iPod and share the episodes you’ve downloaded (since CBS’ streaming vids of the show appear to be down) and Turn them onto the show.

    Keep the word out and good about Moonlight. It has more than earned our support.

    In vampire solidarity…rah rah rah! (And all that).

    Leeser
    MoonlightLine
    http://www.moonlightline.com
    MoonlightCon
    http://www.moonlightcon.com

  • http://www.moonlightline.com Leeser

    I strongly believe that Moonlight will receive its coveted second season pickup.

    However, fans need to keep passing on word of the show to people they know…pull out the iPod and share the episodes you’ve downloaded (since CBS’ streaming vids of the show appear to be down) and Turn them onto the show.

    Keep the word out and good about Moonlight. It has more than earned our support.

    In vampire solidarity…rah rah rah! (And all that).

    Leeser
    MoonlightLine
    http://www.moonlightline.com
    MoonlightCon
    http://www.moonlightcon.com

  • KIC

    What is interesting is that as a niche product, Moonlight has a smaller chance of growth than Jericho. There really is a limited amount people interested in vampire lore (though I will say Moonlight is the first vampire show to ever interest me in any capacity, so it IS good at it) than speculative political/action drama. It can happen. I know two people who have become interested in Jericho on the strength of just the last two shows. So, me, I say keep two loyal fanbases happy. Split the season. Keep two sets of niche loyal fans. Jericho proved you can do a lot with a shorter season. Why could’t Moonlight too?

  • KIC

    What is interesting is that as a niche product, Moonlight has a smaller chance of growth than Jericho. There really is a limited amount people interested in vampire lore (though I will say Moonlight is the first vampire show to ever interest me in any capacity, so it IS good at it) than speculative political/action drama. It can happen. I know two people who have become interested in Jericho on the strength of just the last two shows. So, me, I say keep two loyal fanbases happy. Split the season. Keep two sets of niche loyal fans. Jericho proved you can do a lot with a shorter season. Why could’t Moonlight too?

  • Sirensong

    Considering that Jericho re-premiered up against almost all reruns and STILL did so poorly in the ratings does not bode well for its future. Cane has a lot of high profile stars, but their ratings seemed to be inconsistent and actually slipped quite a bit from its premiere stats. Moonlight alone has come close to maintaining its premier numbers. And as someone else said, given its “death slot” on Friday nights, I think it has done rather well. Women’s Murder Club may have beat it in total viewership, but Moonlight consistently beat WMC in the all important Demo.

  • Sirensong

    Considering that Jericho re-premiered up against almost all reruns and STILL did so poorly in the ratings does not bode well for its future. Cane has a lot of high profile stars, but their ratings seemed to be inconsistent and actually slipped quite a bit from its premiere stats. Moonlight alone has come close to maintaining its premier numbers. And as someone else said, given its “death slot” on Friday nights, I think it has done rather well. Women’s Murder Club may have beat it in total viewership, but Moonlight consistently beat WMC in the all important Demo.

  • http://www.moonlightfans.com Moonlight Chances

    Moonlight has performed very well and I am confident that it will be back for a second season.

    There has been so much going on with the writers strike, and behind the scenes changes that the show could have just not made it through all of the turmoil.

    It did make it however, and I am looking forward to many more episodes. This show is a winner, and it has earned and deserves a second season.

    Moonlight is a solid favorite with a loyal and devoted fan base that will be here for every single episode starting with the return on 4/25.

  • http://www.moonlightfans.com Moonlight Chances

    Moonlight has performed very well and I am confident that it will be back for a second season.

    There has been so much going on with the writers strike, and behind the scenes changes that the show could have just not made it through all of the turmoil.

    It did make it however, and I am looking forward to many more episodes. This show is a winner, and it has earned and deserves a second season.

    Moonlight is a solid favorite with a loyal and devoted fan base that will be here for every single episode starting with the return on 4/25.

  • PV544

    Sorry, folks,if CBS only chooses one show to renew, I think it should be JERICHO. There’s really nothing new about CANE (which I could not bear to watch) or MOONLIGHT (vampires again? Give us ANGEL!). JERICHO has an interesting premise, excellent writing, direction, production and acting.

  • PV544

    Sorry, folks,if CBS only chooses one show to renew, I think it should be JERICHO. There’s really nothing new about CANE (which I could not bear to watch) or MOONLIGHT (vampires again? Give us ANGEL!). JERICHO has an interesting premise, excellent writing, direction, production and acting.

© 2014 Tribune Digital Ventures