'The Mentalist' and 'The Good Wife' on the bubble at CBS: Keep 'em or kill 'em? [Updated]
It's day 2 of Zap2it's annual Bubble Watch, and it's time to adjust the idea of what the bubble means for shows on CBS.
The network is the healthiest of the broadcasters by a long shot. It has the most stable schedule and the best numbers of the season, even if you subtract the gargantuan Super Bowl numbers. Its strength also means, however, that some of the shows it cancels at the end of the season pull ratings that any other network would die to have.
In other words, a marginal show on CBS would, in a number of cases, be a lock for renewal elsewhere. So it could be a nail-biting few weeks for fans of "The Mentalist," "Golden Boy" and a handful of other shows. Vote on which of the following you'd like to stick around next season, and which ones should be cut (and while you're at it, weigh in on ABC's bubble shows too). Polls will be open until April 7.
The case for it: In its ninth season the crime drama was far and away the leader of its Friday-night time period in viewers and finished a solid second (to NBC's "Grimm") in adults 18-49. Audiences have followed it to several time periods over the course of its life.
The case against it: Its 18-49 rating clocks in at just 1.9, tied for the lowest of any CBS scripted series save the already canceled "Made in Jersey." It's also a fairly expensive show after nine years and was widely seen as just surviving last year when the network canceled its counterpart "CSI: Miami."
The case for it: The freshman series got a vote of confidence when CBS decide to keep it on Tuesday nights rather than shipping it to Fridays as initially planned. That has to be worth something, right?
The case against it: Only if it delivers. So far "Golden Boy" is drawing the same 18-49 rating as "CSI: NY" (1.9) and losing a sizable amount of its lead-in audience from "NCIS: Los Angeles."
"The Good Wife"
The case for it: Its ratings are not great but are fairly stable compared to last year, its first airing on Sunday nights. A passionate audience and its status as a perennial Emmy contender help too.
The case against it: Stable or no, "The Good Wife" is near the bottom of CBS' rankings among scripted shows. It seems pretty safe, but it's hard to give it "lock" status right now.
The case for it: It remains a Top 25 series in total viewers and draws a decent 2.4 rating among adults 18-49. Its numbers are in line with what "CSI: Miami" scored in the same timeslot last season.
The case against it: Well, "CSI: Miami" was canceled last year with similar ratings. Moving from Thursday to Sunday has meant a decline of almost 3 million viewers and 0.8 points in adults 18-49.
"Rules of Engagement"
The case for it: "Rules" has been the ultimate utility player for CBS in recent seasons. It has plugged holes wherever the network has needed it to and performed solidly each time. This year, it averages 8.6 million viewers and a 2.9 rating in the 18-49 demo.
The case against it: The show has never really broken out, hence its off-the-bench status for several seasons running. Several cast members have sought other work in pilots, which is not a good sign.
The case for it: The 1960s-set drama put up solid numbers on Tuesday nights for CBS, which thinks it will work equally well as a lead-in for "Blue Bloods" on Fridays. It's one of the season's most-watched new shows with just under 13 million viewers.
The case against it: Even though the show matches up well with "Blue Bloods," it's hard not to see the Friday move as a bit of a downgrade.