SEAL Team on CBS has been a series with a dedicated fanbase for the past four seasons on the Eye Network. It sports a notable cast, including Bones star David Boreanaz, and it generally has done decently in the ratings. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the shows that CBS has kept in limbo over the last few weeks, and now some new info is coming down the pipeline, explaining why SEAL Team may not be cancelled, but it doesn't seem to be getting renewed at CBS either.
Along with the cancellation of a slew of long-running comedies, one of the recent trends for network television has been shipping some of its content to streaming services in order to attract new subscribers there. A lot of CBS content runs through Paramount Plus (formerly CBS All Access). According to a new report, SEAL Team is unlikely to get cancelled, but it’s very likely to air Season 5 as a Paramount Plus exclusive.
Though not confirmed by the network yet, Deadline reports that SEAL Team, along with newcomer series Clarice, will be shifting off of CBS and onto Paramount Plus for the 2021-2022 TV season. So, why the reported move? Allegedly CBS likes SEAL Team and it’s a viable property for the brand, but it has a couple of issues.
First and foremost, Seal Team is expensive to produce, so the thought process is that keeping the series needs to justify the cost to create it. The good news for the show is that at 80 episodes, it’s already approaching the 100-episode mark that would mean it's still a good candidate for syndication. Shifting it to Paramount Plus will hopefully shift some more eyeballs over to Paramount Plus as well as boost the show's episode count, at least if the SEAL Team fanbase is as avid as it claims. This sort of show also tends to do well streaming, as binge-watches for CBS shows like Criminal Minds are apparently all the rage these days.
Meanwhile, David Boreanaz (and some of his co-stars) have been tireless promoters of SEAL Team. This is particularly true in recent weeks as the network has hovered over a cancel or renew decision. Boreanaz has sent messages of support to the real-life veterans who were heroes and who came home and have supported his network show. He also simply is active about the series in general, bringing up his feelings when Season 4 of the series wrapped production and supporting the network’s weekly release schedule. Season 5 felt sort of like the show’s destiny over the past few weeks, but I’m not sure I anticipated the Paramount Plus twist coming.
It’s worth noting that Clarice is expected to go straight to Paramount Plus with its first Season 2 episode. That may not be the ultimate decision for SEAL Team, which allegedly may get a few more episodes on CBS -- whereupon I assume the network would have to warn people the shift was coming -- at the beginning of Season 5 before becoming a full-fledged Paramount Plus show, which would add another interesting wrinkle to its renewal status. I’m not sure if that’s a clever way to get people who haven’t tried Paramount Plus to give it a whirl or if it will just make SEAL Team fans remarkably angry, or both, but we’ll have to wait and see if this becomes the tact.
Meanwhile, CBS has yet to make the official announcement about any of this, but we’ll probably get confirmation about the series neither being cancelled nor heading back to CBS soon. Meanwhile, there’s a lot of other original TV content on Paramount Plus, from The Good Fight to Star Trek: Discovery. We’ll keep you updated as more decisions are made. If you’re considering Paramount Plus for your family, here’s what you need to know.