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May 18, 2010

CBS cancels seven shows, including 'Ghost,' 'Case'

Upfronts_blogCBS is going to have some open slots for next season after all.

In a year where CBS was expected to only lose a few shows, the network has canceled four dramas and three comedies. 

Season-3-ep18-ghost-whisperer-1455578-450-300 Crime procedurals "Cold Case," "Ghost Whisperer" and "Numbers" will not be renewed for next season. Jerry Bruckheimer's drama "Miami Medical" is likewise canceled, as is fellow freshman "Accidentally on Purpose," which mainly aired in the network's Monday night comedy block. Veteran Wednesday night comedies "New Adventures of Old Christine" and "Gary Unmarried" are also cancelled. 

The network picked up "Medium" and "Rules of Engagement" for next season, as expected.

At least two of the cancelled titles could have easily returned and, indeed, were expected to return. Opening up nearly six hours on the CBS schedule will signal to ad buyers that TV's most-watched network is not being complacent and that executives have faith in the network's new shows. 


The most surprising outcome is canceling "Ghost Whisperer." The Jennifer Love Hewitt drama consistently won its Friday night time period and was expected to return.

Another surprise: "Old Christine," which has been a stable, if low-rated performer on the network's Wednesday night lineup.

The Warner Bros.-produced "Christine" and ABC Studios/CBS Prods.-produced "Ghost" both are considered to have a shot at moving to ABC, which has expressed interest in both shows. "Ghost" would make more sense for the network since ABC has dramatically improved its comedy offerings this season and the average rating for "Christine" is low compared to the network's Wednesday night comedy block. While "Ghost" would be an ideal lead-in for ABC's new Friday night 9 p.m. drama "Body of Proof."

In the case of "Cold Case," CBS was on the fence on this seven-year-old drama for months. On Sunday nights, "Case" ratings were admirably stable, if fairly modest.

Since debuting midseason, "Miami" nosedived on Fridays at 10 p.m., then showed some signs of improvement in recent weeks once it was offered a lead-in from original episodes of "Medium." Last Friday, the momentum seemed to stall, with the drama backsliding once again to a 1.2 rating.

"Accidentally" may wind up with the highest average rating among any canceled show this season. As part of CBS' comedy block, the show posted a number that would have been perfectly acceptable in most time periods. But once CBS sample the show on less protected Wednesday nights, its ratings fell sharply, showing the network its Monday audience was mainly built on momentum. 

As for "Numbers," the drama's cancellation has been considered a foregone conclusion since its episode count was reduced.


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