Of all the broadcast networks with the exception of The CW, CBS had the least amount of cancelled shows. It’s really surprising given the bloodbath the network held the previous season. Of those seven cancelled shows, only three were in their freshman year. “The McCarthys,” “Battle Creek” and “Stalker” were among the casualties this season.
“Stalker” starring Maggie Q and Dylan McDermott had huge potential. The network wasn’t stingy with marketing, it had a solid cast and definitely a good formula for a successful police procedural. In my opinion, the multiple subplots that began to dominate the series is what may have played a role in viewer tune out. It really difficult for a new series, especially a police procedural to dive into the personal lives of the cops before gaining stability in the ratings. Example, it was several years before “Law & Order” delved into the lives of the detectives and district attorneys. They were well established by the time we learned more about the characters.
Another unexpected causality was the show that made the acronyms DNA and CSI household names. “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” the mother ship to two previous and one current spin-off was allowed to slip away with a no frills, heavy on surprise finale. The final season number 15 excluded original cast member Paul Guilfoyle. Also in recent years the show had been juggled on the CBS schedule with Sundays at 10 being its final spot. However that timeslot proved to be problematic and CBS also cut the episodes down to 18. For some viewers “CSI” ended up being preempted when NFL programming pushed the schedule past the late news for many CBS affiliates on the East coast. Presumably this was a hint that or the so called “Writing on the wall” that the network really didn’t much thought into the time change and local affiliates bore the brunt of viewer frustration by not warning that the show was preempted before or during their nightly newscasts. The finale did wrap up loose ends with Nick leaving for San Diego to run his own lab. However, we never saw William Petersen on the series after his departure and one episode reprisal in season 11.
“Battle Creek” was a police procedural that tried to be quirky and add a bit of unrealistic characters to make it either a show you love or hate. The series starring Josh Duhamel as the all ways right and by the book F.B.I. agent and Dean Winters and a cynical harden small town police detective. The chemistry between the two leads were great, playing off of one another… however the premise was a bit weak. It’s either a comedy not to be taken seriously like “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” or a drama; I suspect people were really not able to connect with the show because of the quirkiness. Maybe if it had a touch of supernatural or even a hint of sci-fi it could have made all the difference.
The Simon Baker series “The Mentalist” which was always one of my Sunday favorites, however after seven seasons it was dismissed earlier this season. Also “Two and a Half Men” wrapped up its epic run on CBS. “The Millers” the sophomore series rounds out the list of CBS cancelled shows.