Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

CBS renews 80 percent of its current shows, because what else was it going to do?

Freedom is an illusion
Freedom is an illusion
Photo: Smallz + Raskind (Warner Bros. Entertainment)

You’ll be shocked to learn, dear reader, that CBS—a network playing host to a collective 34 seasons of NCIS-branded content at the moment—has responded to the current uncertainties of the COVID-19 era with a shrugging “Hey, let’s just keep doing that thing that already works.” Indeed, the network that put the “More of this!” in “moribund” issued a press release today, announcing that it’s renewed a whopping 80 percent of its current roster for the 2020-2021 television season, totaling some 23 series saved from the chopping block.

Some of these were obvious no-brainers, as with the aforementioned NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, and NCIS: New Orleans, which, between the three of them, pull in something like 25 million viewers every week. (Also, it would take you 4.75 weeks to watch them all; that’s neither here nor there, we just like doing math.) There’s also the inescapable Young Sheldon, which continues to pull in 10 million viewers or more weekly in worship of their bow-tied child king.

But the renewals were also exceptionally kind to CBS’s freshman shows, with Evil, All Rise, Bob Hearts Abishola, The Unicorn, and FBI: Most Wanted all getting renewed for a second season, presumably out of a mixture of general good performance, and also an acknowledgement that nobody really wants to screw around with putting new pilots together at a time when television production is almost entirely shut down. (And if that crisis helped secure a second season for genuinely fun stuff like The Unicorn, then, hey, we’ll take it.)


CBS didn’t highlight them in the press release, but there were a few noted exceptions from the list; Patricia Heaton’s Carol’s Second Act was reportedly canceled earlier today, as was Edie Falco’s Tommy, Broke, and the Matt Leblanc-starring Man With A Plan.

Still, though: A pretty robust slate of “it ain’t broke (or Broke), don’t fix it”s. Other renewals announced today by the network: FBI, Blue Bloods, 60 Minutes, Bull (ugh), Mom, The Neighborhood, Survivor, S.W.A.T., 48 Hours, Magnum P.I., MacGuyver, The Amazing Race, and Undercover Boss (ugh, again).

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