CBS Gets Chummy With Full 'Shark' Season

When is a show that loses 8 million viewers from its lead-in not a failure? When it's CBS' "Shark."

CBS has ordered up a full season of the James Woods-driven legal drama despite the fact that it retains only a chunk of its powerful "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" lead-in.

On a positive level, CBS touts "Shark" as the season's top drama, at least in total viewers. The series averages 14.36 million viewers, including a 4.1 rating among adults 18-49. Of course, "Shark" has a lead-in that averages closer to 22.9 million viewer were week and a demo rating above 7.

But back to the positives, as "Shark" has reliably finished within shouting distance of NBC's "ER" in total viewers. The Imagine Television production has routinely thrashed ABC's new "Six Degrees," averaging roughly 4 million viewers per week more than the J.J. Abrams produced relationship drama, which has "Grey's Anatomy" as its lead-in.

"Shark" is the second freshman CBS drama to get a back-nine order, following the solidly performing "Jericho."