Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The "True" Bubble, CBS

Now that I have a full (if not final) formula for True Strength, it's time to emerge from the depths of my massive spreadsheet and start actually doing something with it. I thought I'd start by examining the bubble shows on each network and see what True Strength has to say about the shows that got renewed and axed. Next up: CBS.

CBS Comedies A18-49 TRUE Sitch
Mike & Molly 3.36 2.79 +20%
$#*! My Dad Says 2.97 2.77 +7%
Rules of Engagement 2.88 2.75 +5%
Mad Love 2.28 2.15 +6%

Though Mike & Molly had a clear edge over $#*! and Rules in raw numbers, the show's post-Men timeslot brought it much closer to the pack. As new shows do, Mike and $#*! both suffered as the season progressed, with Mike particularly getting hurt when Men went into extended repeats. $#*! was the highest-rated show axed on any network by a pretty wide margin; perhaps it should've gotten a better shot? Mad Love is a better example of what a real CBS comedy failure looks like.

CBS Dramas A18-49 TRUE Sitch
CSI: Miami 2.41 2.08 +16%
Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior 2.33 2.07 +13%
CSI: NY 1.75 2.03 -14%
Blue Bloods 1.77 1.98 -10%
The Good Wife 2.22 1.86 +19%
The Defenders 1.89 1.74 +9%

The CBS drama bubble was one of the more interesting on TV and the True Strength calculations certainly make it look that way. Throwing out The Defenders, which isn't that far from the pack itself, there are five other shows within 0.22. I think the combination of expectations, bad buzz and about a 0.1 inflation from Suspect Behavior's premiere made the show weaker than it appears. With all the shows that close, you can really renew what you want, and CBS clearly wanted The Good Wife back. Maybe a bit of a reach, but not too egregious. Its solid results late in the season when The Voice entered the hour didn't hurt either.

Nothing exciting in unscripted: Undercover Boss averaged a 2.55, clearly worthy of a renewal compared to the dramas, but it was kind of all over the place and weak at the end of the year (as it was in raw A18-49 ratings). As I said last time, will the 2.0 version or the 3.0 version show up?

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