In years past, making it all the way to the holidays before a network officially cancels a series would never have happened. We're living in a new age, where the major networks often cut a show's order before the channel outright cancels a drama or comedy series. The move happened again this week over at CBS with new series Pure Genius. The medical drama isn't officially cancelled, but it certainly just got bad news. Pure Genius will not be getting any additional episodes past its original pick-up.
If you keep tabs on network TV each year, you may already know that the major networks often withhold a full order for brand new shows. While most network comedies and dramas produce upwards of 22 episodes, a freshman drama or comedy might only get 13 or so episodes for its first season. If the show does well, the network will often order a few more episodes or even a full back nine order. Per Deadline, however, Pure Genius will not be getting any sort of back order and will only get 13 episodes for its first season.
It's no real wonder the network has made this decision. Pure Genius hasn't really been pulling in good numbers for CBS standards. The show premiered to over 6 million viewers---which would be a good total number for a lot of networks. However, the show also skews older and only did a 1.05 in the 18-49 demographic--which is not a good rating at a lot of networks. In addition, those numbers have dropped a bit during the episodes Pure Genius has aired in November. As numbers traditionally continue to drop as the weather gets nicer in the spring, this isn't a great start for Pure Genius, and now its first season likely won't even get the chance to wrap up in the spring.
CBS has a ton of programs headed to the schedule at midseason, and most of its fall fodder has done fairly well, including Man With A Plan, Kevin Can Wait and even the Friday night series MacGyver. Of course, the Michael Weatherly-led Bull has also done well sandwiched between two NCIS programs early in the week. With this in mind, it's not like the network absolutely needed a win in Pure Genius, although I'm guessing Dermot Mulroney and newcomer Augustus Prew were hoping for a full season pick-up.
Eventually most of these shows are likely to be cancelled by their respective networks, but for now, they live on in limbo. We'll let you know as soon as the networks make final decisions on each of these shows; until then, enjoy them while they last. You can take a look at what else is probably getting cancelled here. Or check out what is coming at midseason with our premiere schedule.