CBS: 'Hostages' Is Certain To Be Canceled, But It Would Have Been Back If Its Ratings Weren't Terrible

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

Written By

November 18th, 2013

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 2013-14 season in May, 2014. (includes results from September 16-November 17, 2013):

Program Status Renew/ Cancel Index
Hostages :oops: 0.55
Blue Bloods (F) :) :) :) :) 0.59
The Mentalist :cry: :cry: 0.60
Hawaii Five-0 (F) :) :) :) :) 0.63
The Good Wife :| :| :| 0.63
We Are Men* canceled 0.74
Elementary :) :) :) :) 0.78
CSI :) :) :) :) 0.83
Person Of Interest :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 0.89
Mom :) :) :) :) 0.92
Two And A Half Men :) :) :) :) 0.99
Mike & Molly :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.05
The Crazy Ones :) :) :) :) 1.07
2 Broke Girls :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.11
NCIS: Los Angeles :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.12
Criminal Minds :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.12
The Millers :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.20
NCIS :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.34
How I Met Your Mother final season 1.36
The Big Bang Theory :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 2.28

Frequent readers of the cancellation bear will note that the prediction that Hostages is certain to be canceled is nothing new, and far short of brain surgery, but most of the bear's readers aren't frequent ones, and stating the "obvious" to some is "news" for many.

That obvious, that Hostages would be canceled and not return next season is met by some with a "So, it was only a one season limited series anyway" reply. Such is the confusion among many.

"Limited" refers to the number of episodes per season, not the number of seasons. If Hostages had good ratings it would have come back next season (like Sleepy Hollow). Since its ratings are terrible, it will be one and done (like Betrayal).

With its terrible ratings, why is it still on the schedule? CBS' Les Moonves, in a bit of PR lemonade making, called it "patience". The cancellation bear calls it "no better alternatives available at the moment".

Better to Follow The Bear, Than Be Chased By Him. 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.


  • :oops: - certain to be cancelled by May, 2014
  • :cry: :cry:- more likely to be cancelled than renewed by May, 2014
  • :| :| :| - toss up between renewal or cancellation by May, 2014
  • :) :) :) :) - more likely to be renewed than cancelled by May, 2014
  • :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: - certain to be renewed by May, 2014

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 have the Renew / Cancel Index Worked Out In Past Seasons? See all the Renew / Cancel Index predicted renewals and cancellations from recent past television seasons.

  • Jeff (Canada)

    Also, there is NO exec out there that would badmouth a show that is currently on the air. Every show will always be a “hit”, or “we’re giving it more time”, but in reality they’re just human beings, and like us they see it as either “we’re renewing it” or “we’re gonna cancel it”, but they aren’t allowed to say that in public.

  • Patrick Ausgewahlt

    I know you have a solid reason for so many smiles on a second year show at 78% of the scripted average (Elementary) Bill, so can you explain it to me? Is it just because CBS produces it?

  • omabin

    I agree with most of the drama predictions, although I would put Blue Bloods on the bubble. TGW has an insane syndication deal that scores $2,000,000 per episode. Can Blue Bloods really beat that and make a season 5 that is more profitable than that? In addition, I am sure CBS would prefer to cancel a Sunday and Friday show than to rebuild Sundays all at once. Regardless, it’s probably a mute point because if Intelligence flops, both will get renewed.

    But I disagree with you on the comedies. I think the advantage that they have over dramas is inflating its index numbers. I think Two and a Half Men, The Miller, Mom and The Crazy Ones are all bubble. 2 will be renewed for sure. Maybe 3, but certainly not all 4 as CBS is certain to premiere 1/2 comedies next fall and I doubt they hold Mike and Molly again.

  • Bill Gorman

    “I know you have a solid reason for so many smiles on a second year show at 78% of the scripted average (Elementary) Bill, so can you explain it to me? Is it just because CBS produces it?”

    As noted many times, CBS hasn’t canceled a second season drama in 6 seasons. Elementary ratings would have to be catastrophic to get it canceled, and it’s not remotely near catastrophe levels.

  • Bill Gorman

    “I think Two and a Half Men, The Miller, Mom and The Crazy Ones are all bubble. 2 will be renewed for sure. Maybe 3, but certainly not all 4″

    I’d agree. No chance that The Millers gets canceled at current relative ratings levels, but one or two of the others going wouldn’t be a surprise.

    No hurry to make that call now. Unlike The Mentalist/The Good Wife call, where their current ratings are nearly irrelevant (and unlikely to vary much for the rest of the season), I’d expect the comedies to put some daylight between each other before the end of the season.

  • ludotv

    Hostages running through new eps during the usual break is as good as a cancellation in my books. Short of sending it to Saturday night, hard to make it more obvious…
    I was surprised at The Good Wife renewal last season (but welcomed it as a fan) – I’d be surprised if it comes back again but then CBS seems so cavalier about the Sunday night shows getting pushed around due to football, I wonder if they just don’t care about the numbers TGW/The Mentalist get… If they don’t I guess it’s because they’ve either given up entirely or they will renew them regardless… Conclusion: I have no idea

  • Scandalicious

    I was so sad to see The Good Wife slip this week again! It has been such an awesome season. Unfortunately I think that The Good Wife, The Mentalist and Hostages will all end up cancelled this season. However, the is hope for The Good Wife if CBS midseason dramas fail and they don’t have anything strong in development.

    I would love to see Mom and The Crazy Ones renewed and The Millers and Two and a Half Men cancelled, but the odds of that are not very likely. Any change CBS will do some schedule shuffling at midseason?

  • omabin

    @Bill Gorman,

    Yes, I also expect the ratings gap to increase between all the 4 comedies so as to make the decision more clear but that’s why I would keep them on the bubble and not as likely renewals. Anyway, I would very much put The Millers on this group. I know this sounds retentionista but I think networks do judge the half hour shows airing after its mega hits a bit differently. It’s like the post MF shows. How to Live was cancelled at a ratings level higher then 100% of the comedies average and Super Fun Night just had the same thing happening to it (well, not cancelled yet, but it’s the same for this purpose).

    Any idea about where will CBS place two two other comedies? Or are we assuming they will just burn them off in the summer?

  • John K.

    The Good Wife’s syndication deal, in addition to the high audience numbers, will save it.

  • davejostef

    How long can you hold a family “Hostage” after all? One season? Two seasons? Just doesn’t hold water. Plus, the leading lady (Toni Collette) is so stiff and dull, she’s hard to look at. I think a better leading lady would have helped that show considerably. She just doesn’t stand up to Dylan McDermott, IMHO.

  • Dan B

    Typical, I start getting into this show and it gets cancelled. I must be the biggest jinx for TV shows… If I start watching a show it gets cancelled.

  • TV Viewer

    I think the Good Wife will be saved, because it’s an excellent program, and there are probably a lot of CBS executives who want to keep it on the air to show they can renew quality shows that get low ratings opposite animation domination on Fox.

  • Tonya

    Maybe The Mentalist would be doing better if it wasn’t in such a horrible time slot. You can’t count on what time it’s going to come on because of Sunday night football. I DVR it and miss most of the show because DVR doesn’t realize that it has been postponed or is starting late due to the football game running late. It’s very annoying to say the least.

  • Stylish

    I said it weeks ago and I’m saying it again, Hostages will get a SURPRISE renewal. I don’t buy that they kept it because there was nothing else to show. They could’ve done NCIS reruns in its place.

  • Don

    Beats me how these numbers are figured. Seems like time slots are etched in stone at CBS. One of these days the execs will figure out that while programming is superior to the other channels, the reason some shows do better than others is the time slots. It also seems any show on Sunday is doomed because CBS just cannot figure out the football schedule!

  • Charmed

    Running out of titles already, Bill? :p


    THE GOOD WIFE is such a good show & its prospects for renewal makes good coversation as well. Long live Alicia!

  • A

    As it always goes…most of the shows that I like end up getting canned! First, to above comments – Blue Bloods is a great show. No, it is not the most action packed or the most original, but it’s a great family cast. There’s something about that!
    Now to Hostages…ahh, Hostages. It started out kind of rocky. However, it’s getting better! It’s kind of silly at times and drags out, but it is NOT predictable. Every week, things have happened and I’m like “okay, okay…what’s happening?” Then WHAM.
    The cast is good. Toni Colette has major acting talent, so I really am guessing her character is meant to be that way.

  • JustSayin

    One of these days the execs will figure out that while programming is superior to the other channels, the reason some shows do better than others is the time slots.

    Network execs are well aware of this. The problem is they are trying to protect an entire weeks worth of shows and they only have limited “good” slots to work with.

    Execs have to consider a number of factors when scheduling programs and those factors do not include protecting your personal favorite show above all else.

  • shogun

    One other reason a recent press release article mentioned for keeping Hostages around is that CBS wants to build confidence that these limited series shows would stay on the air. We hear constant complaints about how people don’t want to watch a show live if they think it’s going to get cancelled, so maybe the networks are finally starting to listen.

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