11:30am PT by Lesley Goldberg, Michael O'Connell
CBS Renews 'The Mentalist'; Cancels 'Crazy Ones,' 'Intelligence,' Three More
Already having picked up six new dramas and two comedies for next season, CBS cleaned house Saturday, granting an eleventh-hour renewal for veteran The Mentalist and cancelling rookies Hostages, Intelligence, The Crazy Ones, Friends With Better Lives and Bad Teacher.
Simon Baker's The Mentalist will return for a seventh season after hitting series low ratings in its sixth run. It's unclear how many episodes the green light is for -- or if it will be the show's final season, though a shortened run to wrap it up. The Sunday night procedural was the only returning CBS series to not get an early renewal this year but was granted a pickup after producers Warner Bros. Television had been shopping the series around. With time-shifting, The Mentalist is averaging a 2.3 rating with adults 18-49 and 12.5 million viewers. That's a notch higher than the already renewed Good Wife. The news comes after a creative reboot that saw the Bruno Heller drama answer its seasons-long Red John mystery. Heller, meanwhile, will have two series on the 2014-15 schedule with WBTV's Batman prequel series Gotham already ordered to series at Fox.
As for the departing series, Hostages was essentially canceled months ago when it wrapped its limited event run with very modest ratings and after lead Dylan McDermott boarded the network's Kevin Williamson pilot -- in first position. (That's now been ordered to series, keeping McDermott in the CBS fold.) Heavily serialized, Hostages averaged a 2.0 rating with adults 18-49 after seven days of DVR use. It was CBS' first series to try to follow in the footsteps of Under the Dome's successful "limited" run, but it was hindered by never scoring a strong sampling out of the gate. Hostages'time slot heir Intelligence -- featuring the return of Lost's Josh Holloway -- saw a solid sampling in its Tuesday premiere but faltered when it moved to the 10 p.m. Monday hour. Season-to-date, it's taking a 2.2 demo rating and 10 million viewers. Both of those figures it owes to robust DVR growth.
The Crazy Ones was the real comedy wild card at CBS. Modest in the ratings, expensive with a big cast (Robin Williams, Sarah Michelle Gellar) and produced by 20th Century Fox Television, what it did have going for it was a warm critical reception and Williams' clout. The first season, which completed a full 22-episode order but left the schedule a little early to accommodate midseason comedy Bad Teacher, averaged a 2.8 rating in the key demo and 10.5 million viewers.
Friends With Better Lives, the new comedy from Friends scribe Dana Klein,had the benefit of How I Met Your Mother's record-breaking finale as its premiere lead-in, but subsequent episodes dropped with 2 Broke Girls opening its Monday hour. Season-to-date, the comedy starring James Van Der Beek and Kevin Connolly is averaging a 2.7 rating in the key demo and 7.8 million viewers.
Bad Teacher had a rough road making it to the air. Originally passed over during 2013 pilot pickups, CBS backpedaled and ordered it for midseason a week after its upfront presentation. An adaptation of the 2011 film, the Sony Pictures Television/CBS Television Studios production made one of the season's latest entries on the schedule. The Ari Graynor comedy debuted to a so-so 2.1 rating with adults 18-49 and 7.8 million viewers. Week two promptly fell 35 percent -- well below where comedy The Crazy Ones had been performing in the Thursday 9:30 p.m. time slot.
Of CBS' freshman class of six comedies and three dramas, the network has returned only two -- half-hours Chuck Lorre's Mom and Greg Garcia's The Millers. Still yet to be determined is drama Reckless, which bows in June.
The news comes after the network has already ordered dramas Battle Creek, NCIS: New Orleans, CSI: Cyber, Stalker, Madam Secretary, Scorpion as well as comedies The McCarthys and The Odd Couple. They join an impressive 20 returning scripted and reality series -- the most of any network.
As for the remainder of CBS' pilot crop, it's unclear if the network has completed its pickups yet. Still waiting for word is How I Met Your Mother spinoff How I Met Your Dad as well as comedies Cuz-Bros, Good Session, Alyson Hannigan's More Time With Family, Save the Date and Gaffigan. Remaining in the mix on the drama side are John Cusack's Wall Street entry, Jamie Lee Curtis' family medical/reality effort and Anthony LaPaglia's Red Zone.