In this edition of our ongoing Ratings Bubble Report article series, we’re talking about a show in Bull that has a complicated future, to say the least.
Related Bull video – You can check out some more thoughts on the show at the bottom of this article. Meanwhile, remember to subscribe to CarterMatt on YouTube for more and take a look at our series playlist.
Let’s start off this article by saying this: No decision has been made on the future of the series. Meanwhile, we also have to note that it’s fairly hard to separate the show from the Michael Weatherly stories of the past months. Since they are a factor in a possible decision on the part of CBS, they have to be acknowledged.
The state of the ratings right now – So far, season 3 is averaging a 0.8 rating in the 18-49 demographic. Depending on how you look at this, it could be either good or bad news. The good news is that the series is averaging about 1.5 million viewers more per episode that Scorpion did in that timeslot last year. Yet, the bad news is that the two shows are about even in the demo and Scorpion is canceled. Bull is down significantly in the demo and viewers versus season 2, but that was likely expected given A) the change of timeslot and B) it airing without anywhere near as good of a lead-in as it had in NCIS.
The factors playing into a decision – On a positive side of things, Bull could make it into syndication at the end of season 4 — something that any network / studio loves since that means higher potential ratings. Syndication isn’t a monster like it once was, but it does still help shows like SVU and NCIS to a certain degree. Most shows that make it to season 3 and are only 22-24 episodes away from the syndication threshold likely make it there.
Yet, here’s where the Weatherly saga comes into play. We’ve written plenty already about the reaction and commentary to what happened between him and Eliza Dushku; the question for this article is what it will mean for the show’s numbers. Bull has yet to air a new episode since the story first broke and it remains to be seen what the public response is versus social media. Beyond that, from a CBS vantage point they could be more inclined to end the series if it is a ratings toss-up, just to spare themselves from having to deal with future headlines. We never like talking about a show’s cancellation (remember that there are a lot of actors and crew members employed in a production), but we do have to recognize it as a possibility.
The current renewal odds – It honestly feels like it’s 50-50, but we will say this: If CBS wanted to end the show after the Weatherly headlines, they could have announced it then and there. A backlash could be a factor, but there are several different things that will likely be weighed and we don’t expect a firm decision until later in the spring.
As always, we do welcome some of your thoughts on this story below. (Photo: CBS.)