CBS: With Its Low Ratings, Why Is 'Blue Bloods' Certain To Be Renewed?

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

Written By

January 15th, 2013

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

Our Renew / Cancel Index predicts the network's decision on renewal or cancellation for scripted broadcast primetime shows by the end of the 2012-13 season in May, 2013. (includes results from December 31, 2012- January 13, 2013):

Program Status Renew/ Cancel Index
Made In Jersey (F)* canceled 0.36
CSI:NY (F) :cry: :cry: 0.50
Blue Bloods (F) :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 0.50
Vegas :cry: :cry: 0.56
The Good Wife :| :| :| 0.64
The Mentalist :| :| :| 0.73
Partners* canceled 0.79
Elementary :) :) :) :) 0.87
NCIS: Los Angeles :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.04
Person Of Interest :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.16
NCIS :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.22
Two And A Half Men** :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.51
The Big Bang Theory renewed 2.17
Hawaii Five-0 :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: pending
CSI :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: pending
Criminal Minds :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: pending
Mike & Molly :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: pending
How I Met Your Mother :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: pending
2 Broke Girls :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: pending

With Vegas in the headline last week, and no other changes this week, or likely any week, until Golden Boy premieres in more than a month, I figured I'd focus, once again on a question that gets asked at least a few times each week on our comments.

With such low ratings, why is Blue Bloods "certain to be renewed"?

CBS is a well oiled money printing syndication machine, and has shown that it will sacrifice low current ratings (and ad revenue) for the  bounty (or even the potential bounty, hello The Good Wife!) that the syndication gods provide I christened a new rule: If a CBS produced & aired scripted show reaches a third season it is certain to receive a fourth. That fourth season typically ensures at least the minimum number of episodes (~88) needed for stripped syndication.

That's why Blue Bloods has been "certain to be renewed" since the very start of the season. This is its third season, and it must see a fourth to reach 88 episodes.

That's also why Hawaii Five-0 was "certain to be renewed", but after a very slow ratings start, it finished the Fall reasonably well for a 10pm show, so it doesn't provoke the same level of questioning.

Note to the nitpicky commenters, although its just about as certain as it gets, How I Met Your Mother has not yet been officially renewed.

Better to Follow The Bear, Than Be Chased By Him. This season you can follow the Cancellation Bear on Twitter via @TheCancelBear. The Cancellation Bear will retweet all the Renew/Cancel Index post titles and links as well as engage in a little more back and forth banter than we do on our standard @TVbytheNumbers Twitter feed.
*shows no longer on the air have their Renew/Cancel Index "frozen" at the point they left the schedule.

** The Renew/Cancel Index does not attempt to predict shows ending because the cast or production company chooses to end them. These shows have the ratings for renewal, but rumored cast/production company moves may end the shows.

From now through the end of the broadcast season in May, the Renew/Cancel Index values will only be calculated using new episodes airing during 2013. However, until new episodes of a show air in 2013, I will keep the "old"  Fall predictions in the table.

Want to know what the CBS Renew/Cancel Index table looked like at the end of the Fall season? Click here.


  • :oops: - certain to be cancelled by May, 2013
  • :cry: :cry:- more likely to be cancelled than renewed by May, 2013
  • :| :| :| - toss up between renewal or cancellation by May, 2013
  • :) :) :) :) - more likely to be renewed than cancelled by May, 2013
  • :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: - certain to be renewed by May, 2013

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 past television seasons.

  • Anna Bones Clarkwood

    Does anyone have any idea how much ads cost for >.3 demo/1mil total viewers?

    I understand that these shows are aired more than once during Syndication. Heck, in a very few short year span I rewatched about 5 or more E.R. & L&O Original episodes (though the early 90s were the hardest to be reshown) This was in the early 00s.

    But, the daily 100 cable list only has so few different series listed & ~95 are .4 or higher, the rest are less than that. As far as viewers, which I don’t know if syndication advertisers care about, gets to 1mil & even less early than that a lot.

    Spotted Ratings website roughly estimates for Broadcast Primetime, that for each full (18-49) demo rating point (1.0) a 30sec ad spot is equal to (again roughly) $53K. Which means that for instance, that a show that gets a 3.0 that has 18min of ads generates $5,724,000 ad revenue per aired episode. Note that each show is highly different from each. For instance, TBBT has $55,437.99 per 30sec slot (demo 4.97 aka ) where as 2 Broke Girls has $63349.41 (demo 4.25). Modern Family’s demo was rated @ 5.05 & got a $65526.34. Which, basically means that advertiser speculators (who have to buy months in advance) underestimated TBBT even though it was showing growth last year and yet overestimated slightly 2 Broke Girls & Modern Family. I get them underestimating Revolution, though I don’t know why The Mob Doctor was such a hot ad commodity that ended up failing…they wanted 2.8 & got 1.2.

    NOTE: All data as of Oct 22nd & from SpottedRatings

    I know since these are Broadcast Prime time (63 shows) that made up the rough $53k. I know that the variance btwn shows is a lot (Simpsons & New Girl almost get $100K per 30sec spot, though the 5th highest is American Dad @ just under $70K…the bottom 9 get btwn $30K & $39K). I know that the advertisers themselves are different or get deals that include Broadcast Prime time & 3am on a Friday. So all these numbers are way too variable to really come up with anything sound.

    However, taking that $53K figure in regards to .3 demo, & an hour long show (wonder what Fringe, for example, is getting as I don’t see it getting .4 or higher) equates to $15.9K per 30sec spot times 36 spots equates to $572,400.

    I bet that a lot of shows get 1/3 of that or even less b/c of .1 demo & it’s not Broadcast Prime time, but just any random cable, usually non prime time hour, will probably get a .1 demo & as such even for the local mom & pop business, not that in demand.

    So as far as buying Syndication Packages @ a relatively high price doesn’t seem like that good an idea. Shows in their season 3 that are getting bad ratings can’t just expect the Syndication gods will bail them out. They may take a decent chance if they think it might repeat well if treated well aka in a row with no random breaks. It doesn’t make fiscal sense to hope for the next Seinfeld/Friends/L&O & now TBBT. And, since basically anything will get them a .1, it would make more fiscal sense to go with programming they already have (unless they are very limited on number of repeats allowed in a given day/month/year etc) & only go after those shows that are doing well in their Broadcast Prime time run esp those that repeat well during Broadcast Prime time.

    This is why I really don’t understand why I’m reading how Networks rely so heavily on Syndication to save them and thus a 4th season is almost a given once a 3rd season is announced. USA/TNT etc can’t be overpaying them that much. Otherwise, 1. Why would they do that? 2. They have so much of their own Original Programming, probably b/c they were both fiscally smart & got lucky a few times with Syndication.

    Note: I may have done my math incorrectly, though I tried to make sure I analyzed it properly.

    I hope someone can help explain this to me. Maybe even we have an example that we can work with. Not a “Friends/TBBT” example but a >.3/1mil run of the mil Syndication Deal. I understand that for instance we don’t see C# ratings often @ all…but they aren’t the Dodo Bird, so I wonder if there is an example out there that can be used.

    If this site wants to get Nikita to Syndication with such dreadful ratings & heck Blue Bloods not that good, even for non CBS Networks. Also, why The Good Wife still w/o a Syndication Deal still has a decent shot of a renewal even if no deal is given this May. Then, I think an article with an example or two on run of the mill Syndication returns (low low demo/viewers) can get Networks to push a struggling show to Syndication numbers (& beyond) would be worth the effort in compiling some data to work with & a thought out article explanation. More than a buried post short reply would do.

    For me, I hope I can get some answers. For the rest, I hope ppl want to know or will appreciate the lesson.

  • DD

    Blue Bloods will live:

    1) Syndication
    2) CBS would be stupid to move something established or a new show in that 10pm Fri slot. BB gets decent numbers considering its bad timeslot and older skewing audience.

  • Mon

    2) CBS would be stupid to move something established or a new show in that 10pm Fri slot. BB gets decent numbers considering its bad timeslot and older skewing audience.

    You mean when Blue Bloods premiered there 3 years ago? BB should be cancelled after next season. It’s got no formidable competition at all since it premiered but still continues to drop in the ratings.

  • Herb Finn

    The fact they are showing a Hawaii 5-0 after the AFC Champtionship game shows they are trying to keep the momentum going for 5-0.

    I think 5-0 might go beyond four if it stays stable, or grows.

  • Nick

    What CBS should do for 2013-2014:

    8: How I Met Your Mother (full final season)
    8:30: Mike & Molly
    9: 2 Broke Girls
    9:30: Two and a Half Men
    10: Elementary

    8: NCIS
    9: Untitled NCIS: LA spinoff (new)
    10: NCIS: Los Angeles

    8: CSI
    9: Criminal Minds
    10: Darkness Falls (new)

    8: The Big Bang Theory
    8:30: Mom (new)
    9: Person of Interest
    10: Intelligence (new)

    8: Undercover Boss
    9: Hawaii 5-0
    10: Blue Bloods

    8: Intelligence (R)
    9: The Mentalist (R)
    10: 48 Hours Mystery

    7: 60 Minutes
    8: Survivor
    9: The Amazing Race
    10: The Mentalist

    Midseason – CSI: NY, The Good Wife

  • Petar Ivanov

    Good. POI close and close to NCIS and hit sitoms. Already past nsic la and CM.

    What CBS must do now to make POI even bigger hit and drama beast is heavy and properly advertising during super bowl and grammys. And before that of course. In that period we will have 4 POI episodes in a row – 31, 7(after super bowl week), 14(after Grammys week), 21(Jonathan Nolan debut as director and Sarah Shahi series debut). If they can build solid and even stronger fanbase will be great. POI was insane stable 2.9 all fall episodes. If they can make 3.5 new 2.9 will be perfect. Sarah Shahi role sound like future POI spin-off so CBS have a lot in stake here.(more money and one more drama hit) POI is hit and fresh much better chance for successful spin-off than one more ncis. “Relevance” deserve TBBT lead-in. Its major episode with Nolan and Shahi debuts. Not many Nolan level (oscar winners) on tv these days.

  • Petar Ivanov

    @But I’m not saying CBS won’t be able to sell Blue Bloods ever. Somehow, some network will buy it maybe for a low price. I just think networks should invest their money wisely on hot shows like POI.

    I agree. I hope USA or TNT buy it. They are best cable chanels and will boost POI ratings even more. POI reruns this season are #1 reruns on CBS. With one POI rerun hit 1.9. No other from dramas rerun hit these or better ratings on rerun this season.

  • Fan

    What CBS should do for 2013-2014 Season:

    8:00 – How I Met Your Mother
    8:30 – 2 Broke Girls
    9:00 – The Big Bang Theory
    9:30 – Mom
    10:00 – Hawaii Five-0

    8:00 – NCIS
    10:00 – NEW DRAMA

    8:00 – Survivor
    9:00 – Criminal Minds
    10:00 – CSI

    8:00 – Mike & Molly
    8:30 – Two and a Half Men
    9:00 – Person of Interest
    10:00 – NCIS: Los Angeles

    8:00 – NEW DRAMA / Undercover Boss
    9:00 – CSI: NY / The Good Wife
    10:00 – Blue Bloods

    8:00 – Crimetime Saturday
    9:00 – Crimetime Saturday
    10:00 – 48 Hours

    7:00 – 60 Minutes
    8:00 – The Amazing Race
    9:00 – Elemetary
    10:00 – The Mentalist

  • Petar Ivanov

    By the way TBS turns crazy with TBBT. They rerun it almsot every day now.
    Sunday – 3 hours
    Tuesday – 3 hours
    Wednesday – 2.5 hours
    Thursday – 3 hours
    Saturday – 3 hours

    Its insane. And this is ALL YEAR LONG. In the summur during soring in the fall. I guess they rerun one episode over and over over and over again.

  • Art

    I love blue bloods good show CBS stop take good show csiny is good show to love.

  • William

    How much will the Super Bowl help CBS the rest of the season?

  • Young

    Here’s what I see CBS doing:

    Canceling: CSI: NY and Vegas. This is CSI: NY’s lowest rated season, and it’s expensive; it’s not bringing in #s like the flagship CSI (which is murdering Chicago Fire & Nashville), and it has minimal competiton really, Grimm mostly, which beat it in the 18-49 demo every week until it went on hiatus (hopefully it’s audience returns to it in March).

    Renewing for final seasons: The Good Wife and The Mentalist. These two shows declined in the #s real quick; I love both, but I’d rather CBS “end” them than to “axe” them. And for 2014-15, if I were CBS, I’d be ready to end Blue Bloods with a short season 5 if there’s no major improvement. I get that it [and CSI: NY] is on Friday night but golly gee, Batman, there’s trouble afoot!

  • Mon

    Grimm is the one having minimal competition when it faces Nightline (instead of Shark Tank) and Golden Boy once it returns on March.

  • Even Steven

    The lowest rated show out of CSI: NY and Golden Boy will be cancelled. The Good Wife and The Mentalist will both be renewed. Vegas will be cancelled. Hawaii Five-0 will and The Good Wife will swap time slots next season.

  • Mark

    8:00: How I met Your Mother (final season)
    8:30: New Comedy
    9:00: 2 Broke Girls
    9:30: Mike and Molly
    10:00: Hawaii Five-O (As long as ratings can remain consistent for the remainder of the season)

    8:00: NCIS
    9:00: New Drama/Spin off Show
    10:00: NCIS LA

    8:00: New Drama
    9:00: Criminal Minds
    10:00: CSI

    8:00: The Big Bang Theory
    8:30: Two and 1/2 Men
    9:00: Person of Interest
    10:00: Elementary

    8:00: Undercover Boss
    9:00: The Mentalist
    10:00: Blue Bloods

    8:00: Criminal Minds (R)
    9:00: New Drama (R)
    10:00: 48 hours

    8:00: Survivor
    9:00: Vegas(13 Episodes)/Midseason Replacement Reality Show
    10:00: The Good Wife (Last Season)

  • Dan

    Blue Bloods is a conistent show for Fridays at 10, ever since Ghost Whisperer and Numb3rs were axed and Medium was cut, CBS has had lower numbrs on Fridays but even after CSI NY is cancelled this May, I can see CBS keeping the consistent Blue Bloods Fridays at 10 for a few more years. CBS has various problems on other nights.

  • Anna Bones Clarkwood


    Vegas s not going to be renewed & even if it is then 1 more of NY/TGW/TM has to be let go or at they very least hold off for mid season or even replace a flop like Made In Jersey.

    Where is The Amazing Race?

    Hawai-Five-O will get renewed at least for 13-14 season, after that it’s ratings, how well are the remaining of this years 3 & Blue Bloods plus the 3 new dramas dependent.

  • omar

    i see the mentalist fo final season on friday and csi:ny good bye

  • Mon


  • B. Saget

    All my CBS shows are doing great now lets get HIMYM back for 1 one year.

    When’s ROE coming back? I thought it was coming back after January.

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