The network canceled four low-rated shows Friday to make room on its fall schedule for new programs. Rules of Engagement, CSI: NY, Vegas and Golden Boy have all been axed.
With two months to go until the networks present their fall schedules to advertisers at the upfront, it looks as though a handful of veteran shows are at risk of getting the ax. Most of them are on CBS like The Mentalist.
They don’t get the ratings of American Idol or Big Bang, but they’re still important to their networks, whether winning timeslots or awards.
CBS has cut the order to veteran comedy Rules Of Engagement from 18 to 13 episodes. Rules was originally picked up for 18 episodes, with two leftover episodes from last season bringing the total order to 20 half-hours. (Rules, which wraps production December 6, will now air 15 episodes.)
CBS seems to have made the right decision in booting new comedy How to Be a Gentleman from Thursday night in favor of veteran Rules of Engagement. Last night Engagement drew much stronger numbers for its sixth-season premiere than Gentleman did in two Thursday outings. Engagement averaged a 3.7 adults 18-49 rating, up 19% over last year’s premiere, when it aired on Monday, and easily winning its timeslot.
Starting in fall 2012, the CBS sitcom Rules of Engagement will be shown on WPIX New York, KCAL Los Angeles and WCIU Chicago as well as stations owned by Belo, Sinclair, Hearst, Local, Meredith, Capital and Titan.
A month after Rules of Engagement landed a full-season renewal by CBS, bringing its episode count to 96, the veteran comedy series has been sold in broadcast syndication. Sony Pictures Television has cleared Rules in 45% of the country, including the top three markets, in a series of barter deals with station groups.
CBS has ordered two additional episodes of Monday sitcoms Mike and Molly and Rules of Engagement to help cope with scheduling issues arising from the absence of Charlie Sheen from the hit show Two and a Half Men, according to sources. These extra shows will fill in a schedule with sudden holes caused by the absence of Sheen, who reportedly is attempting a rehabilitation program at home with a trained expert in addiction.