CBS: What Does A Full Syndication Warehouse Mean For the CSI's, 'Good Wife,' 'Person Of Interest' & Others?

Categories: Cancel/Renew CBS Shows,Cancel/Renew Index

Written By

November 1st, 2011

Click this link for the latest CBS renewal / cancellation information:


Our Renew / Cancel Index predicts potential renewal or cancellation for scripted broadcast primetime shows by the end of the 2011-12 season in May, 2012. (includes results through October 30, 2011):

Program Status Renew/ Cancel Index
A Gifted Man (F) :oops: 0.37
CSI:NY (F) :| :| :| 0.51
Blue Bloods (F) :) :) :) :) 0.55
The Good Wife  :| :| :| 0.62
CSI: Miami  :| :| :| 0.67
How To Be A Gentleman canceled 0.74
Unforgettable :| :| :| 0.75
The Mentalist :) :) :) :) 0.77
Person Of Interest :| :| :| 0.82
CSI  :) :) :) :) 0.85
Hawaii Five-0 :) :) :) :) 0.93
Rules of Engagement :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.02
NCIS: Los Angeles  :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.04
Criminal Minds  :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.14
NCIS  :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.22
Mike & Molly :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.25
How I Met Your Mother  renewed 1.33
Big Bang Theory renewed 1.43
2 Broke Girls :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.45
Two And A Half Men :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 2.03

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I noted a few weeks ago that, particularly for scripted dramas, CBS seems to operate its primetime schedule as a warehouse for shows awaiting the money fountain that is syndication.

If you figure that dramas need to get to 88 episodes in order to be syndicate-able, then each show needs to survive four seasons to reach the promised land of syndication. However, older shows that already have syndication deals (like the CSI's) improve their future financial returns by adding even more episodes, so it's not a simple case of "four years and out" for scripted shows.

And that's the rub for CBS, and the problem for our prediction of their drama cancellations. CBS needs to clear out scheduling warehouse space to premiere new dramas each season, but they also need to keep existing dramas in the warehouse to get to their fourth season, and they have some motivation to keep older, already syndicated, dramas on the schedule to increase their returns.

Where does it all end?

Typically CBS cancels three dramas that are on its schedule each spring to make room for new dramas the following Fall. Last year they threw me a curveball by canceling only two (Chaos, Criminal Minds:SB)  and removing Undercover Boss from the Fall schedule (effectively enlarging the warehouse).

I don't think they're likely to remove either of their two remaining reality shows, but they could expand the warehouse to Saturdays again (they had slotted Rules of Engagement into a Saturday warehouse space originally).

Fans for all the shows currently rated lower than CSI will be on pins and needles all year awaiting the moves later this spring.

Notes:

  • :oops: - certain to be cancelled by May, 2012
  • :cry: :cry:- more likely to be cancelled than renewed by May, 2012
  • :| :| :| - toss up between renewal or cancellation by May, 2012
  • :) :) :) :) - more likely to be renewed than cancelled by May, 2012
  • :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: - certain to be renewed by May, 2012

The Renew/Cancel Index is the ratio of a scripted show's new episode adults 18-49 ratings relative to the new episode ratings of the other scripted shows on its own network. It's calculated by dividing a show's new episode Live+Same Day adults 18-49 average rating by the Live+Same Day new episode average of all the new scripted show episodes on the show's own network. The network's average ratings in the calculation are not time weighted (ex. hour long shows are not weighted twice what 30 minute shows are).

(F) -Fridays: Shows airing on Fridays were renewed with significantly lower than average Indexes.

How would the Renew / Cancel Index Have Done Predicting Last Season's Scripted Show Fates? Check out how the Renew / Cancel Index predicted renewals and cancellations from the 2010-11 broadcast television season.

 
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