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.

  • CBSviewer

    @ Dan

    CBS always cancels their lowest rated veteran drama every season.

    In 2012, CSI: NY was CBS’ lowest rated Drama (1.6 average) while Miami averaged 2.1 but Miami was cancelled.

  • Gregg

    From the way POI and Elementary have dropped this season, it appears they’re both better off when paired up. Instead of having a solid Thursday and a 1 hour problem on Tuesday (10:00), they now have a weak Thursday and a 1 hour problem on Tuesday.

  • Zoobs

    @Milo and Purple,

    Yep, sure did read the article. Several times in fact. Here’s a direct quote:

    “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).”

    Again I say, limited series or not, good ratings = renewal. Bad ratings = cancellation. If anyone reading this site doesn’t already know that, they should go back to the kids table. It’s as obvious as saying “good ratings mean people are watching a show, bad ratings mean people aren’t watching a show.”
    Anyway I’ll take my graduate degree in journalism and leave the discussion.

  • gerry

    total viewers, critical acclaim, etc ARE factors in comparing shows that are essentially equal in the demo. that, coupled with the fact that CBS would be silly to risk their syndication deals by have a roughshod finale written at the in the last few months of the show means that TGW gets a final season.

    unless one of the spring dramas is a hit, cbs will have two drama hours open for new shows. if they want a third, it could be dicey for something on cbs, but unless the numbers take a HUGE dive in spring, i don’t see it being TGW.

  • PurpleDrazi


    Well clearly you missed this part of the article:

    “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.”

    Many people mistakenly think that a limited series means it was only supposed to run for one season anyway. Bill is simply saying that is not the case.

    Reading your post above I see now your problem is not with Bill, it’s with the people on this site that “should go back to the kids table” as you put it. At least Bill is trying to explain things to them instead of just insulting everybody.

  • AP076

    This is probably a topic for a future post but I am left wondering when The Mentalist is cancelled what show will take it’s place on the Sunday retirement track?

    I would probably put CSI, original recipe, there and maybe consider moving Criminal Minds to the Wednesday 10pm spot (as CSI was for a few seasons as a pre-retirement move for the ABC/CBS co-production) opening up the Wed at 9pm for a new show.

  • Rob

    You guys have been underestimating Good Wife’s renewal chances for as long as it’s been on the air. Here’s a prediction: It won’t be canceled, ever. When the show’s run ends, you’ll hear about it via an announcement from the creators. And that will be at the end of season 6, not the end of season 5.

  • ron

    I agree with Rob; for the last few years The Good Wife has been on the certain to be cancelled list of this site and those commenting have agreed with its demise; but as usual, this site and the majority of those commenting did not have a clue then, and they don’t now. The Good Wife has excellent writing and superb acting and that is a rarity on regular tv today.

  • ron

    For the past several years the networks have had very little to crow about in regards to their new shows; most have failed and were carted away, only a few achieved good results. If a batter had their average he would also be sent packing so the networks will think long and hard on their decision to cancel established shows, as finding a suitable replacement has been a disaster.

  • JSG


    Um, you make it sound like The Good Wife is *more* likely to be renewed than Elementary is (i.e. TGW gets renewed, while Elementary has to wait to see how the mid-season dramas do). You’re aware that Elementary, while certainly not lighting the world on fire, has *significantly* better ratings than The Good Wife does, right? That Elementary needs two more seasons for syndication purposes, while The Good Wife needs none? Look, I like both shows. But either they both get renewed or The Good Wife gets canceled (or I guess both get canceled if Elementary’s ratings utterly collapse). There is no realistic scenario in which The Good Wife is renewed at Elementary’s expense.

  • AP076


    Other than on the new and drastic Bubble Watch, you would be hard pressed to find Bill as having categorized The Good Wife as “certain to be cancelled”. More often that not it has been in the toss-up category or in the “more likely to be cancelled than renewed” category. But NOT in the certain to be cancelled category.

    There having been posts stating that whether it survivor or not was tied to the fates of other shows, The CSIs or The Mentalist.


  • KJ Styles

    The Millers is a TERRIBLE show. The only reason it’s getting ratings is because of TBBT as it’s lead in. What sucks more than the Millers getting renewed is that a new Netflix season of Arrested Development isn’t going to happen.

    I hope and pray that The Crazy Ones is renewed. It’s the only rookie sitcom that I watch every week. If it stays ahead of Mom and 2.5 Men though, it’ll get a season 2.

    All my other CBS favs are certain to be renewed so I’m good.

  • Janice

    “good ratings mean people are watching a show, bad ratings mean people aren’t watching a show.”
    Uhm…… no. Sorry to contradict your graduate degree, but good ratings just means “people falling into in the advertirsers demo are watching a show live (or on the same night)”. Some shows have nearly 100% ratings bump if you count time-shifted viewing

    how low do you think elementary ratings shoud get for it to be in actual danger? it got a few 1.6/1.7 so I guess 1.4 would be its floor?

  • Tyler

    The Thursday comedy block is really good. The two new shows are pretty good. I am a big Two and a Half Men fan and I wish they get moved to 7:30c time because it will get better viewers than The Millers, which has actually turned out to be a pretty good show. I just think that Two and a Half Men should end after this season because I think they are running out of stories to tell. Mike and Molly is such an underrated show. More people should be watching that show. If next season CBS puts that show after The Big Bang Theory, it will thrive.

  • Adam Decker

    With not many shows in the three smilies or less range, I predict that some of the four smilie shows will get less viewers and possibly get cancelled. CBS is too popular for its own good. Partner’s 10 million total viewers last season still resulted in a cancellation. Of all the veteran shows, The Mentalist is most likely to get cancelled. I don’t know if another network would be interested in picking it up if it is, but this site probably doesn’t keep track of scheduling like that. Without a Trace, Three Rivers, The Unit, Cold Case, NYC: 22, and CSI: Miami all had the Sunday at 10 timeslot and all of them were cancelled. It’s just a matter of time before that happens to The Mentalist as well. As for the midseason shows, I’d say that there’s no way that either drama gets renewed and it’s extremely likely that the midseason comedies get cancelled as well.

  • Ultima

    It also seems any show on Sunday is doomed because CBS just cannot figure out the football schedule!

    There’s nothing for CBS to figure out about their football schedule. It is what it is and it’s not changing.

    However, it does seem that some people just cannot figure out how to spend the ten seconds of extra effort it requires to watch or record a CBS Sunday primetime show.

  • Gee

    Two and a Half Men is now garbage and should be canceled. Hostages is a good show, but obviously a mini-series.


    with last nights ratings elementary up. the mentalist and good wife are now tied for being worst performing drama after hostages bye bye to both

  • Hambone

    If the leaked episode 8 “Red John” reveal of The Mentalist turns out to be legit, Mentalist is sure to be cancelled.
    I hear it was terrible, and few are satisfied with much of anything. Considering it is supposed to be the culmination of 5 and a half seasons of search for this mastermind serial killer, the ep definitely sounds underwhelming, if not entirely comedic.

    I can only hope it is a Red Herring, with a bunch of outtakes spliced in and maybe a different suspect.

  • Hambone

    @Adam Decker – I agree.

    The definition of insanity is to continue to do the same thing and expect different results. What show has actually succeeded in that 10 PM time slot on CBS? Fox doesn’t have that problem because they dont generally have a 10 PM network lineup.

    Meanwhile, Mentalist gets a large bump from DVR viewings, one of the largest percentage increases. So it seems people can adjust their DVRs, but it doesn’t help the live ratings.

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