This week has been crazy for networks and upfronts. If you missed it, The CW’s bloodbath and NBC’s axe have been pretty brutal. CBS followed suit with their slate of cancellations. Of the five shows getting cut, one is a stand-out in terms of high ratings. “Good Sam,” “How We Roll,” “B Positive,” “United States of Al,” and “Magnum P.I.” have been cancelled.
The new iteration of the Tom Selleck classic “Magnum P.I.” will not go past its fourth season. The show has been pulling in consistently strong ratings, with an average viewership of 7.4 million on a Friday night. Perhaps that just isn’t enough for CBS given that its the highest rated broadcast network, and has been for over a decade now. Based on the strength of “NCIS,” “The F.B.I.,” “Blue Bloods,” and “Young Sheldon,” the channel may have a higher threshold for what they consider a ratings success compared to say, The CW. A viewership of 7.4 million for a program there would make the shareholders collectively crap out a litter of kittens.
Two possible explanations come to mind. The first being that the show is filmed on location in Hawaii. That could easily inflate production costs. Granted, the rebooted version of “Hawaii Five-0” was also shot on location, but was pulling in higher ratings. The other possibility could be linked to the showrunner, developer, and producer Peter Lenkov. Lenkov was fired by CBS in 2020 due to allegations of creating an incredibly toxic work environment. Lenkov’s other programs, the aforementioned “Hawaii Five-0” and reboot of “MacGyver” both ended in 2020. Maybe this is CBS’s way of cutting the last of their ties with Lenkov.
Naturally, all of this is just speculation. The other cancelled shows “Good Sam,” “How We Roll,” “B Positive,” and “United States of Al” were all either freshman or sophomore comedies that weren’t pulling their weight in ratings or critical appraisal. That being the case it once again leaves “Magnum P.I.” as the odd man out, especially given it fits the kind of action/drama mold that CBS has so much success with.
But hey, maybe it’ll just make room for another “CSI” or “NCIS” spin-off.