Sci Fi TV Schedules: CBS Kicks MacGyver Reboot to Fridays, Puts Limitless on Lifeline




macgyver-revivalThe eye network has long had an aversion to sci fi / fantasy shows which it clearly demonstrated after unveiling its schedule for the 2016-17 season prior to its Upfront presentation to the sponsors today. Supergirl has been shifted to The CW, Person of Interest is in its final season right now (shuffled off to a late year run), and Limitless is getting shopped around (more on that below). And the one (very marginal) genre pickup for the network, a reboot of MacGyver, is getting shuffled off to the Friday 8 M EST timeslot. What is it offering instead? Procedurals, sitcoms, and reality shows mostly. It’s not a huge surprise, though, and genre shows have not had a good history on this network, so probably best that they land someplace else. The MacGyver scheduling is rather puzzling, though, as it gets dumped into an hour where it has little chance to succeed. Sure, that network’s Hawaii Five-0 and Blue Bloods have done well enough on that night for several years, but they had already established themselves before taking residence on that low-viewership night. AndMacGyver will almost certainly appeal to a younger crowd than those long-running shows, so it certainly seems like a mismatch. When the reboot was first announced, I thought it might pair up nicely with similarly younger-skewing shows Supergirl and Scorpion on Mondays. But with Kara Danvers flying off to The CW (in order to avoid cancellation), that plan is out the window. The MacGyver reboot seemed like a stretch anyway, but why even bother with it if you are going to set it up to fail out of the gate?

Then there is freshman entry Limitless which has pulled moderate ratings on Tuesdays based on the overnights, but has seen very good gains from delayed viewing. But apparently that was not enough for the network (hey Mr. Moonves, remember when you said those overnight ratings were “meaningless”?), and the show will not be returning to CBS next season. It’s not cancelled yet, though. The network claims there are shopping it around to the cablers and the streaming services, though for some reason the new CBS All Access streaming service is “not an option” (why not?). I don’t like the show’s chances at this point, but it could still hang on. Interestingly, last season ABC cancelled Forever which also pulled moderate ratings in that Tuesday 10 PM EST timeslot and also saw decent DVR gains. This season, though, the alphabet network hasn’t even come close to the modest 1.1 score that Forever averaged based on the overnights last year with the shows they have used to fill in that hour. In the current ratings-pocalypse environment, these networks need to learn that being too picky will cost them in the long run.

You can see the full rundown of the end of year renewals and cancellations at this link.  Youcan read about NBC’s and FOX’s schedules at this link and the ABC schedule at this link.  And be sure to stay tuned for any breaking news on Limitless as well as coverage of The CW’s schedule which should be released tomorrow.