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CBS is having a pretty good fall season. Just two short years after Made in Jersey was the first network show to be canceled, CBS has announced it will give complete Season 1 episode orders to not one, but all of its fall freshman dramas. That’s right, Scorpion, Madam Secretary, Stalker and NCIS: New Orleans have all received 22-episode pick-ups from CBS.
It should have been a no brainer for CBS to pick up a couple of these programs. NCIS: New Orleans, for example, has been another NCIS franchise winner for the network. As CBS notes, it’s this fall’s #1 new series, averaging 18.16 million total viewers. It also benefits from some Scott Bakula, so it has that going for it.
Scorpion has also been doing well, ranking #2 in new shows and averaging 15.17 million total viewers. Katharine McPhee should be pretty stoked about those numbers, considering NBC’s Smash debacle (not to be confused with that Smash debacle).
As part of CBS' Sunday night lineup, Madam Secretary is averaging 13.53 million total viewers—numbers which are well up from what The Amazing Race was doing in the same timeslot last year (although Race is doubtless cheaper to produce than the Tea Leoni vehicle). The bad news is that Madam Secretary’s audience skews a little older, although it probably doesn’t help that the critically acclaimed but also older skewing drama The Good Wife airs in the 9 p.m. slot.
For Stalker the 22-episode pick-up is a big deal. The show has an all-star cast led by Dylan McDermott (not to be confused with Dermot Mulroney) and Maggie Q. However, of the four, Stalker is averaging less than 10 million total viewers. Those numbers might be enviable on any of the other big networks, but for CBS that can be cancelation territory, depending on how the show is doing in the 18-49 demographic. Luckily, Stalker has stayed pretty steady in the advertising demo, pulling in a 2.1 rating on Wednesday nights.
A full season pickup is not the same thing as a renewal, but it’s certainly better than the treatment Manhattan Love Story got earlier this week. ABC’s new romantic comedy was the first series to be canceled this season when the network announced it had dropped the show last Friday after airing just four episodes. There will most certainly be more cancellations to come down the pipeline, but for now NCIS: New Orleans, Madam Secretary, Scorpion and Stalker are sitting pretty.