Neither BrainDead nor American Gothic performed well in the ratings. Supernatural political satire BrainDead averaged 2.6 million viewers and 0.4 in adults 18-49 (Live+same day). The series had great pedigree, coming from The Good Wife creators Michelle and Robert King. But, with its quirky tone and absurdist take, it failed to gain traction despite solid reviews. CBS signaled the show’s fate when the Kings recently signed on as full-time showrunners on The Good Wife spinoff series for CBS AllAccess.
BrainDead‘s fate was complicated by the show’s streaming deal. Under a 3-year pact between CBS and Amazon, the SVOD service is to add one CBS summer drama series in 2016, 2017 and 2018, starting with BrainDead.
American Gothic, a twisty family drama from creator Corinne Brinkerhoff and Amblin TV, drew 2.7 million viewers and a 0.5 in 18-49 (L+SD).
Both series hail from CBS TV Studios under the studio’s model for summer dramas that are done on a lower license fee thanks to international sales and deals with Amazon (Under the Dome, Extant, BrainDead) or Netflix (Zoo), which air the episodes four days after their CBS premiere.
While Under the Dome and Zoo — both based on popular book properties by authors known around the world, Stephen King and James Patterson — have done well, the CBS summer series based on original concepts have struggled.