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CBS Renew/Cancel: 'Kevin Can Wait' Likely to be Renewed

CBS
Welcome to the second edition of The TV Ratings Guide's CBS Renew/Cancel Watch. All scripted, primetime shows are included in the prediction table below once they have premiered for the season. An analysis of any new prediction changes or observations follows. My current predictions are as of October 8, 2016. *Apologies for the delay in getting this updated for the new season. From now on the watch column will be updated regularly.

The key to the right indicates which colors are associated with each prediction. The data in the table includes season lows, highs, and averages (Adults 18-49 demo), as well as the year-to-year changes for returning shows that have not already been officially renewed or canceled. These are provided for reasoning with and understanding my predictions. The shows are ordered by their season averages against only other scripted CBS shows.

   Rank     
Show Title
    Season Low High /Average     
 Y2Y Change
1
 The Big Bang Theory 
3.5 / 3.8 / 3.61
-3.3%
2
Kevin Can Wait
2.2 / 2.7 / 2.49
--
3
NCIS
1.9 / 2.2 / 2.07
-6.5%
4
Bull
1.9 / 2.2 / 2.05
--
5
Criminal Minds
1.4 / 1.9 / 1.63
-8.9%
6
NCIS: LA
- / 1.5 / 1.52
+15.2%
7
Scorpion
- / 1.5 / 1.50
-15.3%
8
MacGyver
1.1 / 1.7 / 1.37
--
9
NCIS: New Orleans
1.4 / 1.5 / 1.45
-16.3%
10
Hawaii Five-0
1.3 / 1.4 / 1.33
+17.0%
11
Blue Bloods
1.2 / 1.3 / 1.27
+2.2%
12
Madam Secretary
- / 1.1 / 1.10
-8.3%
13
Code Black
1.0 / 1.2 / 1.09
-14.2%
14
Elementary
- / 0.8 / 0.80
-16.7%

Why is "The Big Bang Theory" Certain to be Renewed?
Despite the uncertainty surrounding contract negotiations, especially involving million dollar weekly paychecks for three highly desirable leads, there's little reason to believe that a deal won't be made for The Big Bang Theory to return for an 11th season. Creator Chuck Lorre and CBS President Glenn Geller have said that it's likely to happen, and they want it to happen. I wouldn't think that the biggest comedy of the past few years would abruptly end; rather, I foresee a final season being announced prior to that season's premiere, which could be 12 or beyond.

Why is "Kevin Can Wait" Likely to be Renewed?
Kevin James' return to television has been embraced warmly, as the show has averaged a 2.5 demo in its first three episodes. It dropped half a ratings point in the last two weeks, but it's still above a 2.0, which is great for CBS, even for the post-TBBT timeslot occupant. The real test for the sitcom will be when it anchors Mondays in a few weeks. 

Why is "Bull" Likely to be Renewed?
The freshman drama has one of the cushiest slots on network TV right now, airing behind NCIS and before NCIS: New Orleans. Michael Weatherly jumped from one hit show to another, if its 2.0 average keeps up. 

Why is "Criminal Minds" Likely to be Renewed?
Criminal Minds just debuted its 12th season. That's a huge achievement for a drama these days, and it's still chugging along with mid-to-high 1s as CBS's #3 drama and #5 scripted series. However, it did drop half a ratings point from week one to week two (1.9 to 1.4), which is something to watch as it's also a series low. While still a popular and iconic show, it's certainly no longer in its prime and there will come a point where the costs of keeping it on air become evident and outweigh the benefits. Also, the show is co-owned by ABC Studios which makes licensing fees a definite concern for renewal purposes like it's been in the past. For now it doesn't seem to be in too much immediate danger.

Why is "NCIS: LA" Certain to be Renewed?
Moving NCIS: LA to Sundays was the best decision CBS could have made. The show is thriving right now, scoring a string of 1.5s over its first three episodes of its 8th season. Its currently up 15.2 percent Y2Y and is outperforming Madam Secretary and Elementary, making it the staple for CBS Sundays that neither of the other two have shown to be. 'Certain' renewal might be a bold prediction to make, but I think its chances are very strong as part of an important franchise to CBS.

Why is "Scorpion" Certain to be Renewed?
Third guarantees fourth.

Why is "MacGyver" On the Bubble?
I'll admit to being completely floored that MacGyver managed to pull out a 1.7 premiere rating. Social media engagement is difficult to analyze for CBS shows, but apparently there was a base for this and they tuned in on a Friday night at 8:00. Week one was a major success and CBS had to be thrilled. Things looked pretty good in week two with a slight drop to a 1.4, but things got worse in week three with a slide to a 1.1. To be safely in the green the show really needed to hover above the 1.3-1.4 range. That would've been solid and something CBS could work with, but a future at or below 1.1 puts it below Blue Bloods and Hawaii Five-0 and just makes it hard to support. We'll see if it continues to drop or if it hit its bottom. 

Why is "NCIS: New Orleans" Certain to be Renewed?
Third guarantees fourth.

Why is "Hawaii Five-0" Likely to be Renewed?
This one could've gone any number of ways throughout the past few seasons and the same flux could very well happen again. It's not a young show, currently in season 7. It consistently ranks in the bottom half of CBS's slate, but it doesn't collapse either. Its afterlife on Fridays has been consistently solid on a night of lower expectations. It's super compatible with Blue Bloods and the duo has made a strong case for renewal in the past few seasons with freshman crops that haven't been outstanding. I'm betting on its continued success this season until something proves me otherwise.

Why is "Blue Bloods" Likely to be Renewed?
Literally everything said above about its sister show is applicable here.

Why is "Madam Secretary" Certain to be Renewed?
Third guarantees fourth.

Why is "Code Black" Likely to be Canceled?
Should it even have been renewed in the first place? The medical drama had an 18-episode first season that ended in February and averaged a 1.27, and somehow got saved. I don't expect the same fate after what is likely to be another short season. Apologies out to Rob Lowe, who was added to the show after The Grinder was canceled; with his addition came a 14 percent decline in ratings from an already-low performance. Not to mention, CBS also has the medical drama Pure Genius slated for premiere soon, which gives Code Black some direct competition that it doesn't need.

Why is "Elementary" Likely to be Canceled?
The only reason the show is still on the air is because of its lucrative syndication deal with WGN America, which, by most accounts, seemed like a far premature deal to make for this show ($3m/episode for 0.8s). CBS did the best they could to make this show seem moderately successful long-term by keeping it in a cushy Thursday timeslot for 4 seasons, until they finally moved it to the Sundays at 10 death slot earlier this year. There, it's shown its true value to the network. It was the second-lowest rated show on CBS last season and is currently on track to remain the lowest this season.