It's been a pretty song season for TV thus far. After strong starts to some of its fall programs and a few good weeks of follow-up, CBS has already announced that three of its freshman shows have earned full season orders. New dramas Bull and MacGyver along with new comedy Kevin Can Wait have all added a bunch of new episodes to their orders.
Bull is the least surprising of these three big fall winners. The show had a lot going for it heading into the premiere. First and foremost, it stars Michael Weatherly, an actor who until recently starred in CBS' popular drama NCIS. He left for another high-profile show with a courtroom bent that actually airs alongside NCIS on Tuesday nights. It's no wonder Bull has been a good fit with audiences, averaging 17.3 million total viewers at this point in the season---although these numbers do not seem to be Live+ Same day numbers and instead seem to be a tally of total viewers over time.
Kevin Can Wait is another high-profile series. The only comedy on this full season order list, Kevin Can Wait marks Kevin James' return to television for his first lead role since King of Queens. It's also been pulling pretty big numbers for CBS. It's currently averaging 11.26 million total viewers over at the Eye Network.
CBS announced that each of the three shows have done exceptionally in the ratings. MacGyver is the real surprise, here, as the freshman drama exceeded expectations. Friday can be a tough night to air, and MacGyver's premiere managed to bring in 10.9 million total viewers on Friday night. The performance was actually an 11-year high in the timeslot and the numbers have continued to be steady in the weeks since.
Over the past few seasons, networks have been quicker to order full season orders for fall shows. They've also been slower to cancel underperforming series. So far, there hasn't been an outright disaster for new fall TV. In fact, shows on other networks, including Lethal Weapon on Fox and This Is Us on NBC, have also already gotten full season orders at this juncture.
It should be noted that a full season order does not guarantee that a series will eventually be renewed for a second season. A lot of TV shows on the bubble have earned elusive 22-episode orders so that networks can finish out the season, but have still gotten cancelled afterward. Hopefully, this will not be the fate of the aforementioned shows.
If you want to keep tabs on how shows are panning out, check out our ratings roundup to see how the new freshman shows have been stacking up.