What is going on with CBS these days? While we do think that their Tuesday lineup is still going strong when it comes to shows generating big audiences, their Monday and Wednesday lineups are looking all the more like a hot mess with every passing day.
Earlier in the week, CarterMatt chronicled the questionable performance of Kevin Can Wait and some of their sitcoms. Now, we have to look at some of the lowest ratings to date for two of their other scripted shows.
First, let’s look at SEAL Team. With a 0.9 rating in the 18-49 demographic, the David Boreanaz series lost almost a good half of the lead-in that it had following a new episode of Survivor. How is that happening? Well, it may just be another reminder that the appetite for military shows isn’t what networks thought it would be. The presumption before the series seemed to be that this was going to be a way in order for networks to secure big viewership numbers from conservative and pro-military households and that hasn’t happened. Military shows don’t serve as some Pied Piper for the audience you covet, no matter what networks may think.
SEAL Team does have David Boreanaz, so it does have that going for it. We’re just not sure any of these military shows — which include Valor and The Brave — will be around for another season.
What’s going on with Criminal Minds?
For the record, we do still feel reasonably confident about the show’s renewal chances — it has a few more caveats than SEAL Team does. It has a pretty ho-hum rating (clearly), it’s airing at a later timeslot, and last night it may have been dinged by the CMA Awards and their large conservative viewership. With CBS’ expectations, it’s probably going to be fine to come back for at least one more year.
Still, a 0.9 for Criminal Minds is pretty poor for this show. Just three years ago this was a show averaging a 2.2 rating in the demo — four years ago, it was averaging a 2.5. Five years ago it was a 2.9, and six years ago a 3.4. Some of this is just because there are more options for viewers than ever before — this is a procedural show and with so much competition, procedurals are hurt pretty bad in live viewing. There’s no incentive for most people to watch live since they’re not going to be spoiled by other people if they miss it. The show’s gradual decline and the change in television viewing the past few years seem to have hurt the show. The same goes for the focus on the cases more so than the characters. That’s the reason why Grey’s Anatomy, (another long-running show) is keeping more of its viewership. Both series have lost big cast members over the years but Grey’s has maintained their audience a little bit better. (Granted, Grey’s also does still have its lead actor, so it’s apples and oranges slightly in that sense.)
What do you think about the ratings for SEAL Team and Criminal Minds? Which show do you feel more confident in coming back? Share below!