Shocker: CBS Hopes To Renew Its Second-Highest-Rated Show! ('Two and a Half Men')

Categories: Broadcast TV

Written By

January 12th, 2013

I was amused this morning by my Twitter feed lighting up with the "news" that CBS hopes to figure out a way to bring back Two and a Half Men next year. So far this season, 'Men' is CBS's second-highest-rated scripted show with adults 18-49, and by a wide margin.

While it's easy to give some of the credit for that to its lead-in, The Big Bang Theory - those with longer memories will remember that despite premiering well, Rob did not finish as CBS's second-highest-rated scripted show (despite its strong start, it fell to 8th-best by season's end). What was CBS's second-highest-rated show last year? You guessed it, Two and a Half Men.

While the longer a show goes on, the trickier it gets to negotiate renewals, it was clear even before Nina Tassler's comments this morning at CBS's winter TCA press tour executive session that the stakes are big enough for "Men" that it's in both Warner Bros and CBS's interest to figure out how to keep going with it.  Desire to renew does not seem newsy.

The great job the CBS schedulers (we're looking at you, @CaliBadger and team) have done creating a Thursday foothold, at least from 8-10p is probably not getting its due credit. Sadly for us at TV by the Numbers, we live in a world where "CBS wants to renew its highest rated shows!" makes for better headlines and readership. But I'm guessing the ratings results are the only credit Kelly Kahl (chief CBS scheduler) and his team really care about.

  • DeanW

    Ashton Kutcher probably wants the salary Charlie Sheen had (around 1.2 million per episode). The only is: Does Two and a Half Men really needs an 11th Season ? After all 10 is a good number to end. Other Shows like Friends which got higher ratings 2.5 Men stopped after 10 season.
    I wonder if CBS already heard about quality ? The current season is not as good as the 9th or the other. I think it would be a good decision to end Two and a Half Men once for all.

  • Ryan Schwartz

    You’re right. CBS has done a fantastic job with Thursdays this year. It’ll be interesting to see how “Elementary” does post-Superbowl push. Next year, they have to worry about Mondays. They need to have a show ready to fill HIMYM’s shoes, and it’ll likely be “Mike and Molly.” If I was in charge, I’d have this schedule next season:

    8:00pm – HIMYM
    8:30pm – Mike & Molly
    9:00pm – 2 Broke Girls
    9:30pm – Mom (new C Lorre series starring Anna Faris).

    If it’s a hit at 9:30, the following season, it’s quite simple.

    8:00pm – Mike & Molly
    8:30pm – Mom
    9:00pm – 2 Broke Girls
    9:30pm – NEW COMEDY

    I also think CBS should consider sliding Five-O to Tuesdays at 10 next season or Sunday nights if they cancel either GW or Mentalist or have the NCIS LA spin off ready for Tuesdays. They should try and launch something new, potentially higher-rated on Monday nights. Either that, or sliding a higher rated show there to help boost Mondays.

  • Robert Seidman

    I wonder if CBS already heard about quality ? The current season is not as good as the 9th or the other.


  • RJ

    The quality has gone way downhill. I rather enjoyed the show until the past two weeks. The musical number on Thursday was the worst piece of crap I’ve seen in quite some time.

    I’m hoping one of the castmember says no and the show ends.

  • mike

    i think 2 and half men would be more suited on another channel if cbs decides not to renew it maybe fox abc or tbs like cougartown and conan

  • Fed

    (Facepalm)(Facepalm)(Facepalm) – Says it all!

  • MJDB


    I heavily agree about that musical number.

  • debsafan

    The actors are wanting more money as always. The show is more dirty than funny. If CBS can’t come up with the money to pay the greeded, I will not die if the show goes goodbye.

  • Sax

    Musical episodes are often noted as when shows ‘jump the shark.’ It’s a wonder why they did it in the first place unless someone is trying to push down the ratings…

  • TV Gord

    Ashton Kutcher has the dubious distinction of being a part of two of the worst musical sitcom episodes of all time (this one and That 70s Show), but that one slip doesn’t mean the whole series has (I hate this idiotic term, but I’ve seen it this week) Jumped The Shark. I think of it as a new show since Ashton joined and so I think it’s got a lot more life left in it than another sitcom heading toward its second decade.

    It seems a lot of commenters confuse their growing tired of a show with a drop in quality. Just because YOU don’t like it anymore doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the show’s fault. Maybe it’s you. I see this all the time with The Simpsons, too. You grow tired of watching it, and so the automatic conclusion is that the quality has gone downhill. Yet, those same people will catch one of the later shows in reruns and then comment on how funny it is.

    My final comment is one I’ve made before, but it never ceases to amaze how many small-minded people think a show is no good anymore and therefore they want to see if off the air, even though millions upon millions of people are still watching it. Once and for all, if you don’t like a show, all you have to do is stop watching it, and leave the rest of us to enjoy it as long as it remains successful.

  • Austin Lauran

    Short story short:

    Viewers care about quality while the CBS, ABC, & NBC execs care about ratings & millions of dollars in ad revenue

    If a sitcom on its 10th season is still making millions of dollars in ad revenue & people are saying it should end it just because they don’t like it, they probably don’t know how CBS works (Ad revenue & ratings trump artistic integrity)

    Anybody agree?

  • jake3988

    The show did not have a very good run last season, at least to start. Ashton was terrible (no surprise there) but he’s really grown on me this season and the recent episodes with Kate have been awesome.

    So long as they keep her around, keep ’em comin.

  • Bitter Ringer Fan

    Two and a Half Men is cbs’ 2nd highest show for a reason, and not just because of the TBBT lead in. Yes, it helps the show but not as much as to think that it wouldn’t survive without it. Actually i think both shows don’t have compatible audiences, and Two and a Half Men is on its 10th season, it already have a big loyal fan base, give the show some credit! if CBS wants to continue the show i say go for it! at this point it’s stupid to say the quality is bad cancel it!!! Don’t you get it’s all about the ratings!!! if it were about quality Jersey Shore would have never even aired a single episode, if u want to learn something then go to school or whatever, stop blaming TV for it. Anyway, Friends got cancelled because the actors wanted to move on, so there’s nothing NBC could have done. This case is different.

  • Dinaminjo

    It’s a question about money..

    They pay enormous amounts of money to the stars and the only way they can get a return is in a slot behind TBBT. Those two are a beast and advertisers get squeezed for every last cent.

    Any other slot, CBS would cancel it 100%..
    No, it would not have these ratings. No way.
    And they would not get similar money for it and it would be at a loss and it would get canceled. No question about it.

    The question they have to answer is that is it worth it to keep 2.5men just to make a “bit of money” or should they cancel it and use TBBT to launch a new moneymaker.

    Ofc only CBS knows how much is that “bit of money”

  • tjw


    Viewers care about quality while the CBS, ABC, & NBC execs care about ratings & millions of dollars in ad revenue

    I don’t get what you’re saying here. Ratings are a measure of viewership. So if viewers care about quality and ratings a measure of the number of viewers, then ratings are a measure of what viewers think is good.

    That aside, this show makes bank in syndication. WB could probably give this show away and still $20-40 million in syndication revenue for the season. They’ll figure something out.

  • DeanW

    @ Robert Seidman

    Sucess doesn’t mean quality !

  • Robert Seidman

    @DeanW: nope, it doesn’t. Success just means success, which in this instance translates to “your opinion of the show’s quality matters to you, but it doesn’t matter to CBS.”

  • Patrick Ausgewahlt

    I admit that I am enjoying this season for than the last. Same with the Office. They both made it past their first season without their big star, so they won’t be remembered just for that. The Office is ending, so should Two and a Half Men. I love HIMYM, but I was hoping it would end this year. It’s better to end with some fight left in you.

  • William

    2.5 Men just is not what it used to be. Charlie Sheen was the show. Ashton is doing a right but seems stiff. I really don’t like what they did with the Alan and Jake characters. I used to cheer Alan for things to get better. But now he has been repulsive in his behavior and so diverted with his character. I hate what they did to the Jake character. A pot head, barely competent member of the military. I would have have him going to college after a suprise revelation that he is really a gifted student. I would had him adjusting and the usual college adventures at say, UCLA. Jake would be Jake but not in the current way. From what I understand, you could not tell Chuck Lorre this stuff because he is some kind of over sensitive hot head if his would be facebook page a year ago indicated.

    I would not make it goody goody but yet show some redemption of sorts for Alan and Jake. Plus the girlfriends they had a year ago are both mean spirited. It just showed some negativity since Charlie left. I wonder if Sheen kept it more up beat than it now showed? Look at Anger Management. Yes it is kind of like his Charlie character in 2.5, but in this case,a little more kinder and gentler (still a bit of a player with the gals) but ALOT more responsible than the careless cruel drunk on Men. I still watch Men but it is not as funny and just wish some more positive redemption can come to the remaining characters.

  • William

    On another note, does Chuck Lorre have some exclusive deal with CBS? I have often wish he and NBC would hook up for a comedy series.

© 2015 Tribune Digital Ventures