Monday, June 20, 2016

The Breakdown: CBS Tuesday in 2015-16 (NCIS, NCIS: New Orleans, Limitless)

It's time for a journey through the CBS Tuesday schedule in 2015-16...


2014-15NCISNCIS: New OrleansPerson of Interest126
2015-16NCISNCIS: New OrleansLimitless124 (-2%)
152 (+0%)115 (-14%)104 (+11%)

NCIS made a healthy recovery in the fall, but the same could not be said for its spin-off at 9/8c. New Orleans had stumbled in spring 2015, and it was down double digits from last year in the next fall. However, the network still nearly broke even in this block thanks to a very solid fall from newbie Limitless, which opened as a double-digit improvement on year-ago Person of Interest.


2014-15NCISNCIS: New OrleansPerson of Interest129
2015-16NCISNCIS: New OrleansLimitless126 (-2%)
162 (+2%)132 (+1%)84 (-13%)

As mentioned around the upfront stuff, Limitless mysteriously became a much different show after the new year. That's a nice way of saying it became a much weaker one, shedding about 20% of its fall audience and suddenly becoming a double-digit decliner from PoI. It was all the more brutal for Limitless since New Orleans actually got its act together in the 9/8c hour, starting with a series high cross-over episode.


2014-15NCISNCIS: New OrleansPerson of Interest103
2015-16NCISNCIS: New OrleansLimitless113 (+9%)
142 (+15%)118 (+14%)78 (-5%)

The NCIS twins went from healthy to on fire in the spring months, holding their numbers post-DST far better than last year. Limitless' declines relative to PoI lessened in the closing months, but it was still a considerably worse trend than its teammates.

The Shows

NCIS* hit+5%detail
NCIS: New Orleans1.51.752.5-16%120solid-3%detail

NCIS: I didn't think we'd see this show back into big hit territory, but here were are. It's a touch inflated by the Michael Weatherly departure, and it faced softer competition than usual at times, but it was still a legit win. Grade: B+.

NCIS: New Orleans: It's riding the mothership's coattails, but considering how the fall went, this definitely could've been worse. It's getting a timeslot downgrade much earlier in its run than Los Angeles did, heading for 10/9c while Weatherly's Bull will follow NCIS. Grade: B-.

Limitless: The "rule" that short-extension newbies get cancelled appeared to work not because it was an actual rule, but because it's rare that a show's ratings picture meaningfully changes between the late fall and the upfront. With Code Black and Limitless, it apparently did. It's debatable whether Code Black actually heated up enough to deserve the nod. But incompatible pairing or no, it's not debatable that Limitless cooled down a lot.

The names in this last table link to the shows' War of 18-49 pages. Links with an asterisk(*) have been updated with the new info. Updates to younger shows will come later in the summer.

Check back tomorrow for this day's new Schedules Plus! Till then, you can refer to the old version.

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