The list of canceled TV shows in 2016 may be growing, with rumors that 2 Broke Girls may fall victim to sinking ratings.
The show has been reliable for CBS over the last few years, hitting the average for scripted series on the network. But there may be a troubling sign in the network’s cancellation of Mike & Molly, a show with similar ratings and demographics that had a similar ratings drop.
— CBS Tweet (@CBSTweet) December 18, 2015
— 2 Broke Girls (@2BrokeGirls) December 18, 2015
As the Zap2It blog TV By The Numbers noted, 2 Broke Girls could be headed to the list of canceled shows in 2016.
“Given that news — and the puzzling winter schedule the network unveiled a couple weeks ago — it’s hard not to wonder if ‘Mike & Molly’s’ soon-to-be Wednesday cohort, ‘2 Broke Girls,’ is headed the same direction.
“‘2 Broke Girls’ had a stronger first season than ‘M&M’ did (4.3 vs. 3.4), but their ratings profiles have been nearly identical in subsequent years. So far this fall ‘2 Broke Girls’ is averaging a 1.6 rating, somewhat behind the 1.95 ‘Mike & Molly’ drew in its fifth season last year. It’s already running in syndication and will hit 100 episodes with its first show of 2016.
If the show does end up on the chopping block, it would have good company. A number of long-running series are coming to an end this year, either by design or the result of low ratings. This includes a number of shows with big fan followings, including NBC’s Hannibal. Network executives decided to cancel the show midway through the third season, one that was hailed by critics for pushing artistic boundaries.
There are rumors that some other popular shows could be headed to cancellation in 2016. At different points during the fall season critics have identified Bones, Castle, and Scream Queens as shows on the bubble for next season.
But many of these appeared to benefit from a new, more hesitant trend among network executives. While new shows came with a short leash in the past, new dynamics in the entertainment world have given them a bit more wiggle room to show success.
As the Los Angeles Times noted, executives know that people are more likely to be watching shows online or on mobile devices, which drives down traditional ratings.
“The absence of cancellations is another sign of the tectonic shifts underway in the television industry. Thanks to digital recording and streaming, millions of viewers no longer watch shows when they are first telecast — making network executives reluctant to kill a program that may be quietly building an audience that’s not being counted by traditional ratings.”
While it has enjoyed steady ratings in its first few years, 2 Broke Girls has also brought some controversy to CBS. The show led to a number of viewer complaints to federal regulators, mostly for crude sexual humor.
As the New York Post noted, some of the complaints were for racy language including “penis alerts”
and “girl-on-girl porn.”
“From constant comments about sexual positions and ejaculation in every orifice to menstrual cycles in much more vulgar terms…Two Broke Girls is unrelenting,” wrote one viewer from Texas who said CBS should be more responsible about the content it puts on the air. “I don’t know when TV censorship died in this country but we need it back.”
It’s still not clear if 2 Broke Girls will join the list of canceled TV shows in 2016. TV By The Numbers officially lists it as a tossup to be canceled or renewed at the end of the season, and the show’s steady ratings and good performance among scripted shows could lead CBS to hang on, at least for another year.
[Image via Twitter/CBS]