11:30am PT by Lesley Goldberg, Michael O'Connell, Kate Stanhope
CBS Renews 'Good Wife,' 'Person of Interest,' 'Odd Couple,' 12 More as 'CSI' Plots Endgame
Ahead of its Wednesday presentation to Madison Avenue, CBS firmed up its 2015-16 slate by renewing 10 scripted series, three unscripted shows and two newsmagazines. Left out of the mass renewal — which typically comes in March — was veteran procedural CSI, with the network working on a finale plan to wrap up the series next year.
Scripted renewals are NCIS, Blue Bloods, Hawaii Five-0, NCIS: Los Angeles, Criminal Minds, Elementary, The Good Wife, Person of Interest, CSI: Cyber and The Odd Couple. Unscripted staples Survivor, The Amazing Race and Undercover Boss will also return, as will newsmagazines 60 Minutes and 48 Hours.
How flagship CSI will conclude is still being worked out as the network and its sibling studio mull a potential send-off for its billion-dollar franchise. An announcement is expected to come Wednesday during CBS' formal presentation, though sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that the drama will wrap up with a two-hour movie after season 15 concluded with a cliffhanger — and no advance warning for die-hard fans of the drama.
Here's what's coming back:
NCIS and NCIS: LA
The Mark Harmon-led drama from CBS Television Studios is still the most watched scripted drama on broadcast, and averages 3 million viewers among adults 18-49. The drama, returning for its 13th season, ranks as the most watched show in the world, with the franchise becoming increasingly important as CSI has seen its fortunes fade to bubble status. NCIS' most recent spinoff, NCIS: New Orleans, earned a season two renewal in January, so the writing seemed to be on the wall for the flagship procedural. CBS will continue to host all three NCIS series for a second year in a row with the seventh-season renewal for NCIS: Los Angeles, which has endured a rough season after moving from Tuesdays at 9 p.m., behind the flagship series, to Mondays at 10 p.m. opposite ABC stalwart Castle and — at least for a few months — NBC's buzzy hit The Blacklist. The spinoff, starring Chris O'Donnell and LL Cool J, fell from a 3.3 rating among adults 18-49 to a current average of 2.3. The renewals will continue to keep the franchise strong with three shows on the air.
The CBS Television Studios procedural Blue Bloods, headlined by Tom Selleck, has been a sturdy performer on Fridays throughout its five-season run. The drama averages 1.8 million viewers among adults 18-49 and 13.5 million total viewers, making it the most watched scripted series of the night.
It has been smooth sailing for the Alex O'Loughlin-Scott Caan procedural, which hails from CBS Television Studios, on Fridays paired with Blue Bloods. Hawaii Five-0 is averaging a 2.0 rating during season five, which saw the drama reach the 100-episode milestone.
Despite heavy competition from Fox's freshman smash Empire, Criminal Minds continues to draw eyeballs to CBS on Wednesdays. The ABC Studios-produced procedural is averaging a 3.6 rating in the demo — the highest among CBS' scripted dramas — and 14 million viewers going into season 11. CBS clearly believes the show has plenty of steam. The network ordered to series Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, starring Gary Sinise, following the short-lived 2011 spinoff Suspect Behavior.
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After having to battle Scandal on Thursdays at 10 p.m., Sherlock and Watson faced a tougher opponent this season in ABC's new powerhouse How to Get Away With Murder. Elementary is averaging a 2.3 demo rating, and will be one step closer to the episode count needed for syndication when it returns for season four in the fall. Also helping matters is the huge syndication deal the show snagged in 2014.
The Good Wife
Although The Good Wife continues to be one of the network's lowest-rated dramas — it averages 1.8 million adults under 50 — it continues to bring accolades to the network. Julianna Margulies earned her second Emmy for the legal drama in September, and the show most recently received three Golden Globe nominations. This season, the drama lost another series regular when Emmy winner Archie Panjabi exited, making it unclear whether next season will be the drama from Robert and Michelle King's swan song.
Person of Interest
Produced by Warner Bros. Television, Person of Interest has proven stable for CBS — holding its own going up against NBC's Chicago Fire and ABC's niche entry Forever. The Jim Caviezel-Michael Emerson drama, which will return for a fifth season, lost another series regular this past season in Sarah Shahi, but averages a respectable 2.2 rating with adults under 50.
The third spinoff from the flagship series boasts a name cast (toplined by Oscar winner Patricia Arquette), opened midseason to 10 million viewers and added another 4 million with seven days of delayed viewing. The timely cyber crime–themed drama from CSI masterminds Anthony Zuiker, Carol Mendelsohn and Ann Donahue and CBS Television Studios has fallen off since but averages a respectable 8.5 million total viewers. While the procedural has not performed the way its predecessors — CSI: Miami and CSI: NY — have, given viewer erosion, its average 2.5 rating with adults 18-49 and 12.5 million viewers is nothing to shrug off in a time when franchise spinoffs have proven increasingly hit-or-miss.
The Odd Couple
A midseason entry for CBS, Matthew Perry's remake of The Odd Couple is a steady performer on Thursdays following The Big Bang Theory. The CBS Television Studios multicam comedy is averaging a 2.9 rating in the demo, good enough to tie with fellow Thursday sitcom Mom for third among CBS' comedies in the demo.
The Amazing Race
Shifting time slots yet again during the 2014-15 TV season, Emmy's winningest reality competition recently landed on Fridays to little ratings fatigue. Naturally, it's not as big of a showcase as Sunday, but the show currently averages a 1.8 rating among adults 18-49 and 7.7 million viewers.
Survivor might be one of the few fatigue-proof reality flagships on broadcast television. It hit highs with its fall return before coming back again in the spring cycle to ratings that now regularly eclipse direct competition American Idol, and this season boasts a 3.1 in the key demo with 11.5 million weekly viewers. The renewal will bring the CBS series two additional runs, bringing its count to a whopping 32 seasons.
The workplace docuseries, which continues to enjoy a healthy life in syndication on OWN, wrapped its sixth season on CBS with a steady 1.6 rating with adults 18-49 on Fridays. Older-skewing, it still brings in a robust 9.1 million weekly viewers. The numbers don't make it a lock for automatic renewal, but its feel-good premise of bosses posing as employees fits nicely with the current aspirational trend among unscripted shows, and it has fared better than any of the network's other reality plays in the last two years.
The 10 scripted series join previously renewed freshman dramas Madam Secretary, NCIS: New Orleans and Scorpion as well as returning scripted comedies 2 Broke Girls, The Big Bang Theory, Mike and Molly and Mom.
CBS has already ordered seven new series for 2015-16, including big DC Comics swing Supergirl to go with adaptations of feature films Rush Hour and Limitless. Overall, the network has five dramas and two comedies coming (down one and even versus a year ago, respectively) and few holes to fill on its schedule.
The network also officially confirmed cancellations of freshman series Battle Creek, Stalker and The McCarthys, which were dropped last week. Of CBS' 2014-15 freshman class, the network will return five of eight series.
Keep up with all the renewals, cancellations and new series orders with THR's handy Scorecard.