CBS has given early renewals to 11 returning series: dramas Blue Bloods, NCIS: Los Angeles, NCIS: New Orleans, Hawaii Five-0, Madam Secretary, Elementary and Scorpion; comedies Mom and 2 Broke Girls; and reality veterans Survivor and The Amazing Race. They join flagships NCIS and The Big Bang Theory, which already have deals for next season.
CBS opted not to address its freshmen series including Supergirl, Life In Pieces, Limitless and Code Black, which bowed in the fall. Of the returning players, there are two major omissions in veteran crime procedural Criminal Minds and sophomore CSI: Cyber.
While CSI: Cyber is a classic bubble series, Criminal Minds continues to do solid business for CBS, coming off a high 2.1 Live+Same Day 18-49 rating for the Wednesday episode featuring the exit of original cast member Shemar Moore and launching a second spinoff series, Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders. But now in its 11th season, it is an expensive show, with the network covering the costs full freight, while the leading studio, ABC Studios, which co-produces the series with CBS TV Studios, is reaping most of the benefits, including sales internationally where Criminal Minds is very strong. It is also conceivable that CBS would wait to see how Beyond Borders does and renew the two shows together. Meanwhile, being part of the formidable CSI franchise, CSI: Cyber is making a lot of money for CBS TV Studios internationally to offset the show’s soft ratings performance on CBS.
The moneymaking part is true for all seven drama series renewed by CBS today. They all are fully owned by CBS and have potent off-network/international deals.
As for the freshmen shows, CBS Corp. chairman Leslie Moonves indicated recently that the network intended to renew five first-year series. While his breakdown was a little off, it is believed that he was referring to Limitless, Code Black and Beyond Borders — which are owned/co-owned by CBS — and Life In Pieces and Supergirl — which come from outside studios.
Still, the network is waiting for more ratings data on Beyond Borders, which just premiered, and for the debut of fellow newcomer Rush Hour to make final decisions. Of the five listed above, Code Black and Limitless appear somewhat vulnerable, though the latter got a nice shot of ratings adrenaline from the return this week of executive producer/occasional guest star Bradley Cooper.