After picking up five new drama series and two new comedy series yesterday — plus previously ordered straight-to-series Battle Creek — CBS proceeded with cancelling all of its freshman bubble shows. That includes fall comedy The Crazy Ones, which marked the TV return of Robin Williams; drama Hostages, and midseason entries Friends With Better Lives, Bad Teacher and Intelligence. That means that the only freshman CBS series to make it to Season 2 are comedies The Millers and Mom. Meanwhile, the only returning series still on the bubble, veteran The Mentalist, has been renewed.
The demise of Intelligence and the long-forgotten Hostages was fully expected as neither made a mark in the Monday 10 PM time slot though there was some argument made about procedural Intelligence. Friends With Better Lives, which had been envisioned as a potential successor to How I Met Your Mother and launched behind the series finale of the long-running CBS comedy, had a shot at a renewal and had supporters at CBS. I hear producer 20th TV may shop it elsewhere. For Bad Teacher, the cancellation comes only three episodes into its run. The comedy, based on the hit movie, exceeded ratings expectations in its debut but dropped off in Episodes 2 and 3. Still, some thought CBS would wait until after the upfronts to make a decision on its future to give it more time.
For The Crazy Ones, the single-camera comedy never quite fit into CBS’ multi-camera-dominated Thursday comedy block. Creator David E. Kelley pitched a second season, which he would’ve overseen, and CBS brass had been intrigued by the idea of keeping Williams on the air. But, after a very soft first season following a big premiere, a renewal was considered a long shot.
CBS made its biggest ever push in single-camera comedy this past season with We Are Men, The Crazy Ones and Bad Teacher. All three had been cancelled. The two half-hour pilots picked up to series, The Odd Couple and The McCarthys, multi-camera as are all returning CBS comedies, The Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men, The Millers, Mike & Molly, 2 Broke Girls and Mom. It appears that the network’s current foray into single-camera comedy has been short-lived.
With the cancellation of The Crazy Ones and Friends with Better Lives and no pickup so far for the How I Met Your Mother spinoff How I Met Your Dad, 20th TV may not have a series on CBS for the first time in decades.