When CBS chose to move Bull season 3 so that it aired on Monday nights, we understand that there were a number of people worried — we even understand why! Nobody wants to see the series go the way of the dodo anytime soon and over the past few years, this has been a tough timeslot for the network.
Yet, we’ve tried to contend that, in some ways, the move of Bull to Mondays is a vote of confidence by the network rather than a sign that they are interested in seeing it struggle. Over the past two years, CBS has seen the show develop a loyal following — season 2 was outstanding in that it really gave you a chance to get to know these characters so much better than you ever did before, and we really think that this is when the series started to really figure things out and prove itself.
We really think that the best proof of Bull season 2’s greatness comes via the ratings: The season was down less than 7% in total viewers from season 1 in live+same-day averages. We cannot even begin to tell you just how remarkable that is for a show still early on in its run! Typically, new shows lose somewhere between 15 and 20% in total viewers between season 1 and 2 on average, mostly because season 1 numbers are often inflated by people who watch a couple of episodes and never check out any others.
While we do expect a larger decline for season 3 given the shift to a tougher timeslot, the main goal that CBS has here is this: Just perform better than they did with Scorpion last year. Given that Scorpion only averaged 5.2 million viewers last season in the same live metric, there’s a chance for CBS to significantly improve this timeslot with Bull. Our feeling right now is if they can get season 3 to average somewhere between 8 and 9 million viewers a week, they will be more than thrilled with that. (Season 2 brought in more than 10.6 million an episode.)
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