What Does 'The Mentalist' At 10pm Sunday & 'The Good Wife' At 9pm Tell Us?

Categories: 1-Featured,Broadcast TV

Written By

May 16th, 2012

The typical amount of carping from fans of The Mentalist about its announced move away from the Thursday 10pm timeslot, but if you figure that CBS's two best timeslots to launch a new drama are 10pm Tuesday and 10pm Thursday, moving The Mentalist makes complete sense.

But why move it to Sunday at 10pm instead of Sunday at 9pm (an hour with more people viewing TV, and where the best rated shows of the night typically slot)?

Two possibilities:

1. CBS puts an absolute premium on making as few changes to their schedule as possible. Likely a factor, but they did make other moves (CSI:NY to 8pm) that weren't essential.

2. CBS doesn't own The Mentalist (Warner Brothers does), and they do own The Good Wife, and still haven't been able to sell it into syndication, and they're going to do everything in their power to give it the best ratings they possibly can as they try and get it sold, current ratings consequences be damned.

I think it was probably 10% reason 1 and 90% reason 2.

  • cbanks

    CBS is stupid. I mean they want to give TGW a chance, then why not move it off of Sunday. And if this Sunday 11pm show of TM kills it I will be upset, yes I said 11 because that is mostly when CSI Miami started because of all the over runs. I feel they should put nothing on Sundays.

  • Fred


    Just DVR the show following what you want to watch. Last year, we DVR’d the Good Wife and CSI: Miami. We’d fast forward through whatever was left of the Amazing Race, watch the Good Wife, and then delete the 2nd recording once the Good Wife was finished.

  • greenf

    The Good Wife is THE CBS’ best drama by a large margin. It is also one of the best drama of broadcast television along with Fringe, Parenthood and Revenge.

  • J. Abel


  • bobjfs

    With millions upon millions of DVRs in American homes, does all this juggling of schedules really make that much of a difference? Neilsen counts DVR views provided they happen within 48 hours of airing a program, right? Most of us can do that, so how does moving a program to a new date and time improve a show’s ratings?

  • Ultima

    I never understand why CBS doesn’t schedule their football games @ 12:30 or 12:00. Is an hour earlier gonna prevent the heavy west coast partiers from having some Budweiser with their Cheerios?

    Simple, the NFL won’t let them. By rule, games cannot start earlier than noon local time.

    Given that many of the early tiemslot games are in the central time zone, the start time has to be 1:00 ET. This causes the late timeslot to be 4:05 ET for single games and 4:15 ET for doubleheader games, causing the late games to run into primetime.

  • Ultima

    . And if this Sunday 11pm show of TM kills it I will be upset, yes I said 11 because that is mostly when CSI Miami started because of all the over runs

    If you have to exaggerate, your point probably isn’t very good.

    Football overruns tend to be 15-30 minutes, depending on if they have a regional or doubleheader Sunday. If there’s overrtime, it might be longer. Very rarely is it anywhere close to an hour, and when it is, they repeat the 10pm show within a week.

  • Ultima

    Why CBS can’t move 60 Minutes to the later spot for the Eastern and Central time zones on the days of huge overruns is a mystery

    No, it’s not a mystery. They want all four hours of primetime. Here’s what you’re suggesting…

    7 – football overrun / repeat (joined in progress)
    8 – 60 Minutes
    9 – race or drama
    10 – drama

    7 – repeat
    8 – 60 Minutes
    9 – race or drama
    10 – drama

    Even if they only do that on doubleheader weeks, they still need to buffer 30 minutes of overrun on the other weeks. The result is that they only get three hours of primetime on Sunday for much of the broadcast season (overruns happen as late as April).

    Because FOX programs in 30 minute blocks instead of 60 minutes on Sunday, they are able to shift stuff around (which irritates some people – AD and TCS are off every third week and change timeslots every week), they permanently give up the 7-7:30 half hour and they give up a full hour on the west coast every other week.

    Neither solution is better, the networks have different goals for their Sunday lineups. However, neither is complaining that the top rated program on TV is bleeding into their primetime…

  • Jenny

    It tells us that The Mentalist should have stop the Red John episodes this year. The red john story line had a great ending last year.
    By trying to continue the red john story line this year ruined the show for the viewers and they slowly stopped watching. CBS knew this and that is why they switched it to another night, a night were the ratings will obviously fall, but the will get more episodes for syndication.

    Sadly, I use to like The Mentalist, but this years red john episodes turned me off of it. And the last episode of the year totally turned me off.

  • Mary

    It tells us that either they don’t know what they’re doing or they don’t know what they’re doing.

    Seriously, moving The Mentalist Sunday 10 pm?? And then what? Next year they’re going to cancel it because of bad ratings?
    I love The Mentalist and I feel like they didn’t know where to put it and they just chose random.
    This show has great stories, writers and actors that should deserve more recognition since it always made good ratings, even if this last season they dropped comparing to past years. Still not so much to move it where no one will watch it.

    “Great” move CBS, really… I’m speechless.

  • Mary

    @Ultima, it doesn’t happen very often but there were two times this year when CSI: Miami was delayed by almost an hour. Most overtimes though have been 20 – 30 minutes (most closer to 20)

  • Christy

    I.m really upset about The Mentalist going on Sunday nights. Even if CBS don’t own the show they still could put it on a better night. I’m just glad there not
    putting the show on Friday nights, that’s even worse.

  • Christy

    The rerun’s of the Mentalist is showing on TNT on Monday nights.

  • Joanne

    People who watch Good Wife also watch Mentalist. Both intelligent shows.
    CSI NY was moved to 8:00 ET to bookend Friday so they could debut a new series in between CSI CBS has totally revitalized Friday night viewing by having two good shows on Friday. I never watched Friday night television. If I am at home I watch and if not I DVR both CSI NY and Blue Bloods.

  • Ultima

    I love The Mentalist and I feel like they didn’t know where to put it and they just chose random

    Once they decided that they wanted to have a new drama on Thursday nights, the options for the Mentalist were Sunday at 10, or Friday. If they chose randomly, seems like it ended up with the better outcome!

    it doesn’t happen very often but there were two times this year when CSI: Miami was delayed by almost an hour

    It does happen occasionally if there is a lengthy overtime. If the overrun is in excess of ~50 minutes, CBS usually reairs the episode within the next week if it was an original (e.g. after The Masters went into a playoff, they reaired the series finale of CSI Miami the following Saturday; in the past, I recall them just bumping new episodes back a week a reairing the super late episode a second time).

    Even if The Mentalist takes a 20% year-to-year hit from the move, that’s still the same as what CSI Miami did this year and should be enough to get it renewed. CSI NY and The Good Wife are the much more likely candidates for cancellation this upcoming year.

    Six or seven seasons of a drama not produced by CBS is a good run.

  • Ryan

    Honestly I love The Good Wife but if it gets preempted as much as it did last season I will be tuning into Revenge. The only place I can see TGW airing in syndication is maybe Lifetime, AMC and possibly TNT. But nonetheless I think it will be TGW’s final season unless the ratings go up and let’s be honest their not going too.

  • SmG

    “People who watch Good Wife also watch Mentalist. Both intelligent shows.”

    %100 agree ;)

  • Ultima

    I should add that while fans are worried that The Mentalist will see the same kind of drops as CSI Miami did (33%, from 3.6 to 2.4), that seems very unlikely. Remember, in its final season on Monday, CSI Miami was following the #1 scripted show on TV at the time (The Big Bang Theory @ 5.3).

  • David Brown

    The question will be can the “Mentalist” outsmart the Cancellation Bear? With both hands tied behind his back (“The Good Wife”), and (Football (BOTH CBS & NBC)), the answer will be elementary…. Simon Baker will suffer the same fate as David Caruso… Another tasty meal for Mr. Bear.

  • a p garcia

    It tells me the IQ of the CBS person in charge of putting a TV schedue together!

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