CBS’ recently appointed entertainment president Glenn Geller had to make his first appearance at a Television Critics Association Press Tour as the bearer of bad news, at least for people who get antsy if they have to wait more than a week for a Melissa McCarthy fix. At his inaugural executive session before the TCA, Geller announced the cancellation of Mike & Molly, the McCarthy-Billy Gardell sitcom, which just launched its sixth (and final) season this month. Like all television presidents, Geller buried the lead a bit, using the platform to crow about CBS’ continued ratings dominance on the strength of unassuming performers like Blue Bloods, The Big Bang Theory, and Survivor.
“You may not think it’s a sexy show, but in season six, Blue Bloods has more viewers every week than any other scripted show on any other broadcast network, outside of Empire,” said Geller. “And I think 14 million viewers is actually pretty damn sexy.” But when the victory lap was cut short by a question about the future of Molly, Geller confirmed the show’s current 13-episode run will be its last. “These decisions are really challenging, and I have a tremendous amount of respect for [executive producers] Chuck Lorre and Al Higgins, for Melissa and Billy, the whole cast and crew,” said Geller. “Everyone works so hard on these shows. They literally put blood, sweat, and tears into the programs.” The effort wasn’t enough to save Molly, in part because Theory has so ably anchored CBS’ comedy slate for nine, soon to be 10 seasons.
There was better news for Person Of Interest, another one of CBS’ bubble shows, which was picked up for its own ominously brief 13-episode order. Though CBS has yet to schedule Interest, further suggesting a narrow path forward, Geller assured the show will air in the spring and won’t become a summer burn-off series. There’s also the potential of more Interest in the future, as Geller said the network has yet to decide on a renewal. (Though, to be honest, his tone wasn’t reassuring.)
Later in CBS’ portion of Press Tour, the network’s sports chairman, Sean McManus, took to the stage to address the rumors that this year’s Super Bowl is also being canceled due to lack of viewer interest. As it turns out, those rumors were baseless, and CBS is even investing in some pretty insane-sounding technology to enhance the viewing experience. The Super Bowl will feature 360-degree replay technology, thanks to three-dozen high-tech cameras mounted around the field to capture the play action from every angle. “We tried it on a couple regular-season games and it looks remarkable,” said McManus. The announcement gets us one step closer to seeing an all-hologram Super Bowl within our lifetime.