Did CBS Make the Grade? We Hand Out its Mid-Season Report Card

The Good: Thanks to a stable schedule of hits, CBS once again looks poised to finish the critical November Sweeps ratings period in first place among total viewers. And while the Network may not have been able to claim — as it did last fall with PERSON OF INTEREST — the season’s buzziest breakout hit (Paging NBC’s REVOLUTION line one), newcomers ELEMENTARY and VEGAS certainly have left their mark by consistently walking away with a time slot win in both total viewers and those that fall within in the coveted 18-49 demographic. And since we’re on the subject of shows that continue to leave a lasting impression, six season in, THE BIG BANG THEORY still has yet to hit its ratings plato, while veteran performers NCIS, NCIS: LOS ANGELES, CSI and CRIMINAL MINDS continue to attract the kind of double-digit numbers rival execs would kill for.

The Bad: Despite that aforementioned November Sweeps victory in total viewers, CBS’s roster of hit shows has begun to show a few vulnerabilities as a result of increased competition. Or to be more specific, CBS’ Monday night downward trend is no laughing matter thanks to a resurgent NBC’s one-two combo of THE VOICE and REVOLUTION, while Sunday night’s sked of THE AMAZING RACE, THE GOOD WIFE and THE MENTALIST continue to not only get slaughtered in the face of Sunday Night Football, but plagued with wonky start times as a result of their networks’ own interminable NFL overruns. Also falling under the category of “Bad,” is that CBS has yet to find their next big reality franchise in the face of a roster of aging ones such as SURVIVOR, THE AMAZING RACE and UNDERCOVER BOSS. That and, no decision — at least publicly — has been made about the future of HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER. Which has us longtime fans slightly concerned that co-creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas won’t be left with the amount of time needed to properly wrap up a mythological-dense story that is in desperate need of an ending.

The Future: Is positive. Which is to say, CBS holding the dubious distinction of two of the fall’s biggest flops — with both PARTNERS and MADE IN JERSEY having been sent packing after being summarily rejected by the viewing public — should be easily remedied thanks in no small part to a stable schedule littered with popular hits that have a history of delivering eyeballs to almost anything CBS puts on the air.

Grade: B-

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