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.