These rankings include results through Sunday, November 2.
More November True Power Rankings: ABC | CBS | NBC | Fox | CW
|1||The Big Bang Theory||4.34||4.40||-10%||37%||47%|
I never remembered to mention this at the time, but in late October I thought CBS should have given some real consideration to leaving The Big Bang Theory on Monday. It seemed to be helping Scorpion, a series with more early potential than pretty much any new comedy CBS has aired alongside Big Bang. Fortunately, Scorpion has been all right so far, but I'm not sure this idea should be all the way off the table if CBS stays in the Thursday Night Football business. That in-season move is going to have to keep happening if Bang stays on Thursday, and the jerk-around might become more detrimental as the show gets past its peak. It hasn't gone all that well even this season.
|The Other Anchors|
|2||2 Broke Girls||2.54||2.40||-14%||36%||42%|
|3||Two and a Half Men||2.14||2.40||-17%||30%||50%|
Dangerous to say this with more 2BG ratings coming out just an hour after publication, but... if there's been a "winner" in the very early returns from the CBS comedy department this season, it's 2 Broke Girls. Its average above will drop a good bit from where it is now since only the premiere is included, and still probably won't be much better than projected preseason. But it's looked like a worthy comedy anchor so far, continuing how it fared after How I Met Your Mother ended last season. Once Two and a Half Men ends, comedies on this level will be in very short supply on CBS (and on broadcast TV, for that matter).
|M is for "Meh"|
Mom has done better with a Big Bang lead-in than The Millers, but that is really not saying much, and only the premiere is included above. If it ends up just a bit ahead of The Millers, I could see CBS following through on its announced January switch. Mom is still looking like second-tier, bottom-of-the-hour material right now.
|The Proven Elites|
It's worth noting that the formula might be a teeny bit biased against 9:00 shows in general, as seen in the large discrepancy here between NCIS and Criminal Minds. But perhaps the bigger problem is I've never felt Minds is as compatible with Survivor as the formula says, a problem that has persisted for years. The gender numbers illuminate this a bit; Minds is the network's most female-skewing show, while Survivor leans a bit more male than average. I would say the gap between these shows is probably "truly" somewhere between A18-49's one tenth and True's four tenths. Either way, they're both still doing fine, though NCIS seems past its peak and Minds had a weak outing against the CMAs last week.
|The Potential Elites|
|4||NCIS: New Orleans||2.16||2.35||18%||41%|
CBS loved its 2014-15 drama class, and so far it's lived up to the hype pretty well. The network hasn't developed many dramas in the last seven years that showed even a glimmer of hope to become an NCIS/Criminal Minds-level player (the last one was probably Person of Interest), and Scorpion is still hanging in that vicinity. Plus-wise, it's pretty close to the fall episodes of PoI's first season. That show had a big surge in January, but the same thing probably shouldn't be ruled out for Scorpion. The Voice and Dancing will leave the mix in favor of The Bachelor and Celebrity Apprentice, much more favorable competitors skew-wise.
Meanwhile, I will maintain that the premiere rating for NCIS: New Orleans was a disappointment, but that was probably the worst point in the trajectory of the show thus far. It has held very well since then, perhaps even settling a little bit better than where Los Angeles would've been here. Even if LA's Monday 10/9c ratings haven't been great, the huge improvement vs. Hostages/Intelligence plus another LA-sized player in this slot is a win for CBS.
|The Syndication Factory|
|5||NCIS: Los Angeles||1.71||1.65||-37%||24%||41%|
|9||Person of Interest||1.59||1.60||-22%||21%||47%|
|11||The Good Wife||1.58||1.43||-6%||17%||40%|
This is what happens when a network goes at least seven years without developing an elite drama, yet the network is hesitant to cancel veterans because cable/streaming entities keep (in my relatively uninformed opinion) egregiously overpaying for syndication rights. There's a sense that CBS is not really programming for first-run ratings anymore, and who can blame them when people are shelling out three million bucks an episode for friggin' Elementary? Throw in upcoming The Mentalist and CBS has literally a double-digit number of shows in this territory, and it probably won't be small first-run rating differences making the decisions here. And yet, I still have a lot to say...
If anything might separate itself from this pack in a good way, the smartest money could be on NCIS: Los Angeles. It already grades out the highest due to competition from The Blacklist and Monday Night Football, and it may be poised to benefit once they depart.
If history is any indication, the show most likely to end is CSI, mostly because of tea leaf-reading its reduction to 18 episodes. I could make an argument about this show's rotten situation the same way I often did for The Mentalist last year (though last Sunday's 1.2, not included above, hurts). And just speaking from a general historical perspective, it's pretty surprising that this iconic show wouldn't get multiple Sunday seasons if CSI: Miami and The Mentalist both did.
But there may be a more pressing need for that Sunday hour: namely, CBS may need a really low priority slot in which to burn through the rest of Elementary's run. Its 1.2 start was such an epic disaster that it seemed like a potential redux of Hawaii Five-0's premiere a couple seasons ago: a blip that would end up being the lowest point for most of the season. But the 1.2 held last week. Maybe it will rise eventually; after all, How to Get Away with Murder and football (and The McCarthys) won't be here forever. Right now, it's looking like a very long season.
Speaking of Sunday, let's talk about Madam Secretary. This show's performance has gotten a bit overblown because of how low the expectations were; it's still about 25% behind what CBS was getting out of The Amazing Race last year. But there are some things to like here; it makes up some of that deficit vs. TAR because it really seems to have stabilized The Good Wife. (Only Big Bang-inflated Mom is faring better year-to-year among CBS returnees!) I don't have hard data on this, but it seems pretty likely that a good bit more of the 60 Minutes audience is now staying tuned all the way through the end of The Good Wife. The flow is maximizing the potential of these shows, whereas a more demo-leaning series in this slot would be mismatched with its surroundings and thus not maximized. In other words, if CBS insists on surrendering Sunday to some degree, they could do worse than this setup. Barring a 60 Minutes cancellation, at least there's not a major opportunity being lost, which is more than can be said for...
...Stalker. The show didn't hold up that badly post-premiere, but there's really no denying it's just another member of this ten-drama logjam at best, and CBS doesn't really need more shows at this level. And Wednesday 10/9c still seems ripe for a new show with potential. I thought this show could've easily ended after 13 eps. When it got the back nine, it still seemed quite possible it could air out the last couple months on Friday. But with The Amazing Race slated for another Friday run (another iffy decision), Stalker has apparently got Wednesday 10/9c for the season. I can't really imagine that CBS is feeling positive about Stalker, so I can only read it as a lack of confidence in the Battle Creeks and CSI: Cybers of the world...
|3||The Amazing Race Fall||1.47||1.05||-43%||25%||41%|
To loop this back around to the Monday/Thursday Big Bang discussion from the beginning: if CBS gets Thursday Night Football again (maybe even for 16 weeks) and thus keeps Big Bang on Monday all season, what does that leave them with on Thursday? Not much. They certainly can't throw two hours of comedy on and call it a day. Unless something big changes, they can barely scrape together two competent-rated hours of comedy on the whole schedule. (And the only thing that could really change is The Odd Couple popping at midseason.)
So what would they do? The short answer is "get creative." In the last years of ABC's relationship with Monday Night Football, they threw on seasonal and short-order stuff like Wife Swap, Supernanny and Dancing with the Stars. CBS may have to develop something new, but they also have pieces like The Amazing Race and Undercover Boss that could fit that bill as well. (Survivor could eventually qualify, but it's too strong to limit to one season right now.) It'd also be a potential spot for limited-run dramas, though that may have to be restricted to the 10/9c hour as long as Scandal and The Blacklist are tangling at 9/8c.