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.

  • shogun

    @John K.

    What ‘high audience numbers’ are you talking about. TGW has one of the lowest demos on CBS.

    And on the subject, how is the syndication deal going to save it? The mentalist, H50 and Blue bloods are all going to have those too.

  • Zoobs

    “It Would Have Been Back If Its Ratings Weren’t Terrible”

    Seriously? Isn’t that how television works? High school journalism class dropouts could have penned a better headline.

  • Stylish

    It’s one thing for Hostages to have remained on schedule, it’s another for them to have kept it on the same night. I thought CBS sends its under performing TV shows to Friday or Saturday nights.

  • John K.

    @shogun I’m talking about total viewers. Also, the syndication value per episode for The Good Wife is about 2 million. Higher than the three shows you mentioned.

  • Carol_R

    Total viewers don’t count. It’s only demo ratings since advertisers don’t pay for viewers outside of their desired demographic age range.

  • Dan

    I think even if Hostages ratings were even OK it wouldnt be back. Unlike Under the Dome which was a breakout hit, Hostages probably would have been cancelled even if it performed modestly, only because unles something is a breakout hit, CBS always believes that it can do better. Which is why so few dramas have been renewed over the years.

    Of the current bubble comedies my guess is Mom, The Millers, and Two and a Half Men will return (along with veterans Mike & Molly, 2 Broke Girls and The Big Bang Theory) The Crazy Ones will probably be cancelled only because its single camera, more expensive than the other 2 new comedies and Men has the edge over it for more syndication episodes.

    If its Two and a Half Men Vs. The Crazy Ones, I’m going with Two and a Half Men for a final season.

  • milo

    “Isn’t that how television works?”

    Way to miss the point. Did you actually read the article?

  • Bad Wolf


    – CBS doesn’t own/produces The Mentalist, syndication is irrelevant in this case.
    – Go read omabin’s earlier post about CBS produced The Good Wife and its 2,000,000 $ per episode deal. I don’t even if there is already a deal for Blue Bloods.


    While the drama side isn’t all that hard to determine (Mentalist/Hostages out) the comedies are tougher…

    Most of their shows besides HIMYM/BBT are at similar ratings…how do you choose? 2BG’s is probably the strongest of the lot so IMO its in as is M&M which has been consistent for years now. That leaves the newbies of MOM, TCO and The Millers plus 2.5 Men (not to mention those new comedies waiting to debut) but if we were only going with what is on now I would think that 2.5 Men and TCO’s would be out (and I really like TCO’s too)…the only way this would change is if CBS would add another hour of comedy next fall say Fridays at 8pm where old titans can open up the night with decent numbers (like 2.5 Men)…if that does not happen then expect Men to be gone.

  • Bad Wolf

    Also, about The Good Wife’s insane critical acclaim, I’m convinced it will be a factor in the renewal decision. I’m not saying it’ll be a big one or single-handedly save the show, but I’m certain CBS is not going to cancel their best show in many years ‘just like that’.

  • Kit

    Two and Half Men has the luxury of CBS’ new comedies not being break out hits and one of their veterans leaving. It also was their biggest hit of the 2000s and has done a lot for the network. I think they should move it back to Mondays or behind the BBT, where it retained a lot higher numbers than The Millers does.

  • Holly

    @Bad Wolf,

    CBS doesn’t own/produces The Mentalist, syndication is irrelevant in this case.

    No, it’s not irrelevant… maybe less significant than if they did own it, but still a factor. CBS won’t get any more money out of syndication, but if Warner Brothers really wants more episodes, they can lower the license fee for CBS. That’s how ‘Til Death survived for so long with such low ratings.

  • PurpleDrazi

    Seriously? Isn’t that how television works? High school journalism class dropouts could have penned a better headline.

    There are still many people on this site who are confused as to what the term “Limited Series” means. Bill was simply addressing that confusion in the title. Of course, you would have know that had you bothered to read the article.

  • steven

    TAAHM’s ratings are the lowest they have ever been. It deserves to be canceled.

  • Alex

    i love the R/C indexes you do for the other networks except for cbs. you have too many shows as renewal predicted/certain IMO. elementary, csi, two and a half men and mom should all be toss ups.

  • Matthew

    Perhaps CBS could do something a little different to return both The Good Wife and The Mentalist for additional seasons? I’m thinking a 13 episode order for each with one running in the fall and the other in the spring. Even remotely possible?

  • iSayso

    I’m elated for Elementary and standing by The Good Wife. I’ll finish Hostages but, meh, don’t see how it can be anything but one and out. And, oh poi, H5-0 is still a turd.

  • John K.

    @Holly CBS is not FOX and Warner Bros. is not Sony. Warner Bros. will not “give” CBS “The Mentalist” the way Sony did with Til’ Death. If The Good Wife is still getting 2 million per episode, another 22 episode season would give CBS an additional 44 million, in addition to the ad revenue it gets from the original broadcasts. The same cannot be said for The Mentalist. Moreover, The Good Wife has critical acclaim, and (for what it’s worth) great total audience numbers. Likely the only broadcast drama that is even in contention for Drama Series at the Emmys, it gives CBS credibility. It will not be cancelled without an announcement of a final season.

  • Dan

    Lets see how history repeats itself. CBS always cancels their lowest rated veteran drama every season.

    2009 – Without a Trace, The Unit
    2010 – Cold Case, Ghost Whisperer, Numb3rs
    2011 – Medium
    2012 – CSI Miami
    2013 – CSI NY

    If CBS cancels 1 drama it will be The Mentalist, if two than also The Good Wife. Mentalist is the lowest rated drama (not counting Hostages), its Red John storyline is wrapping up, and CBS doesnt own it. So they can easily get rid of it. CBS could give The Good Wife a final season but since its CBS who knows. They never announce final seasons but did so for HIMYM because of the shows structure.

    I’m split with The Good Wife, history says final season because it already has a syndication deal yet CBS still cancels shows that are low rated.

  • Hugo

    I think The Good Wife will be renewed and the fate of Elementary depends on the success or failure of the midseason dramas.

    I doubt all fall sitcoms (other that HIMYM) will be renewed at the end of the season, I think at least one will be cancelled.

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