CBS’s Bubble Shows: An Analysis

Last week, I took a look at ABC’s list of shows that had yet to be renewed. CBS has actually already renewed most of their shows, so these really truly are the “bubble shows”.

2 Broke Girls- Should Be Renewed
It’s odd that 2 Broke Girls is a bubble show considering that CBS already renewed Superior Donuts and Life IN Pieces, which are both under 2 Broke Girls in terms of audience and demographic. 2 Broke Girls is one of the few CBS shows that skews younger, and I can’t believe CBS would just ignore that. It is a strong utility player, often having to plug a hole in the lineup. It has been running now for six seasons, and the creators would like a seventh season. They’re not done, and I don’t believe CBS will be either.

The Amazing Race- Will Be Renewed
CBS has two reality shows on the bubble right now, and a writer’s strike looming. I would say that Amazing Race has a much stronger chance of being renewed, considering it has a stronger history with CBS. As a multi-Emmy winning reality series, Amazing Race has the edge on Undercover Boss. It has started a new life as a utility player, being held till CBS needs a hole filled in its lineup, and the ratings are OK. Not great, but not awful. CBS will wait until the absolute last minute, but if the writer’s strike is still looming, I fully expect at least one of CBS’s reality shows to come back, and this is my pick for the “sure thing” between the two.

Code Black- Should Be Cancelled
CBS tried to bring new life to this sophomore drama, which was kind of a surprise renewal in the first place. Honestly, the ratings just aren’t there. Maybe if this was an Emmy nominated drama, I could see CBS sticking with the prestige, but I don’t see an upside in keeping Code Black around. It’s not close to syndication, and it’s actually further away due to not producing full 22 episode seasons in the first place. This likely wouldn’t sell in syndication until Season 5, and I can’t imagine CBS is going to drag this drama along for three more low rated seasons.

Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders- Should Be Cancelled
This was kind of a disappointing spinoff. With Criminal Minds itself being a bubble show (which did eventually get renewed), I don’t see there being much reason to push this spinoff along. It’ll be the second failed spinoff to the franchise, but not every series can be NCIS (or JAG if you really want to get technical).

Doubt- Already Cancelled
Yeah, this is dead. Sorry.

Elementary- Should Be Renewed
I’m leaning toward a renewal for Elementary, which actually makes bank for CBS in the international markets. If CBS is going to drag a low-rated drama along, there has to be a reason, and CBS loves to tout how much money Elementary makes for them in other markets. Because of that, I think we’ll see another season of Elementary.

The Great Indoors- Should Be Cancelled
With CBS having picked up so many of its sitcoms, perhaps not the right ones, leaving only a small handful on the bench, you have to wonder which ones still have a shot. I think 2 Broke Girls is the only one left with a real shot. I also think The Great Indoors should have gotten a second season over Superior Donuts, but that’s just me. Still, this one does have a better shot than The Odd Couple.

The Odd Couple- Will Be Cancelled
This isn’t coming back. When you start being used as a utility player in your second season, that doesn’t bode well for your long-term future. It’s hard to not have a consistent timeslot in which to build your audience, and Odd Couple never really had that chance. CBS basically has buried this show already, and there’s no chance it’ll get a fourth season. Again, like Code Black, because this show doesn’t do full 22 episode seasons, it wasn’t really eligible for syndication anyway (which most shows hit after their 4th season).

Pure Genius- Already Cancelled
CBS already ditched this. It’s not coming back.

Training Day- Will Be Cancelled
To be fair, even if Bill Paxton hadn’t passed away, I don’t think this shows ratings were strong enough for a second season. Now that the lead actor is gone, there is no chance CBS would order a second season.

Undercover Boss- Should Be Renewed
I think CBS will keep both of it’s reality shows, but should they only keep one, I think Undercover Boss has less of a chance than Amazing Race. Still, Boss is a decent utility player, and relatively inexpensive for CBS. It wouldn’t kill them to pick up this show and have it on the bench for when they need it. Sometimes, you have a show like Doubt or Pure Genius that just isn’t performing right out of the gate, and you need to slide something in that slot, and you don’t want to launch a new drama quickly, so you plug it with something like Undercover Boss.

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