CBS Yanks 'The McCarthys' as It Shuffles Thursday Night Lineup

Another Casualty in an Increasingly Rough Development Season

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'The McCarthys.'
'The McCarthys.' Credit: CBS

The New England Patriots may have won the Super Bowl, but at least one Boston family isn't having a wicked awesome time this morning, as CBS has canceled its freshman comedy, "The McCarthys."

Effective immediately, CBS has yanked the sitcom, which focused on the eponymous tribe of sports-crazy Southie residents, from its Thursday night comedy roster. Through the 11 episodes that aired, "The McCarthys" averaged 6.79 million viewers and a 1.5 "demo" rating, representing a weekly audience of 1.9 million adults 18-to-49, per Nielsen live-plus-same-day data. A ratings point represents 1% of TV households.

While "The McCarthys" didn't live up to CBS's exacting standards -- by comparison, the network's second-year comedy, "Mom" is drawing a 2.4 demo rating in its Thursday 8:30 p.m. slot -- it was still the season's second highest-rated new sitcom. (ABC's new "Black-ish" is averaging a 2.5 in the dollar demo of 18-to-49-year-olds.)

"The McCarthys" also out-rates every veteran live-action comedy on NBC and Fox, a virtual junk drawer that includes the likes of "About a Boy" and "The Mindy Project," both of which are averaging a mere 1.1 in the demo.

Per Ad Age's annual survey of media buyers going into the season, the going rate for a 30-second chunk of ad time in "The McCarthys" was $122,475 a pop. That was 28% more than the $95,660 per 30 seconds that NBC charged last fall for "A to Z," which ran opposite it on Thursdays at 9:30 p.m. "A to Z" was canceled on Halloween, and NBC burned off the final episode on Jan. 22.

For all that, the writing was on the wall for "The McCarthys" back in early December, when CBS elected against giving the show a full-season order. The cancelation nudges four produced but unaired episodes into limbo; it seems unlikely that CBS will run them before the end of the season.

In what has already proven to be an historically weak development cycle, comedy has been the toughest nut to crack. Since the 2014-15 broadcast campaign kicked off last September, no fewer than 6 of the 10 new sitcoms have been canceled outright, while three stragglers are all but certain to be dismissed before the networks present their fall schedules in May. Only "Black-ish" seems assured of a return ticket.

CBS will replace "The McCarthys" with repeats of "The Big Bang Theory" for the next two weeks, whereupon the Thursday night lineup will shift around to accommodate a reboot of "The Odd Couple" starring Matthew Perry and Thomas Lennon. The multi-cam effort bows Feb. 19 after "The Big Bang Theory."

While CBS preps the return of Felix and Oscar, its rivals also have a few final comedies left to launch. ABC on Wednesday night will air two special premiere episodes of Eddie Huang's "Fresh Off the Boat," before installing it in its Tuesday 8 p.m. time slot the following week. Fox has a pair of newbies in the hopper in the Will Forte vehicle "The Last Man on Earth" (March 1) and "Weird Loners" (March 31), and NBC will roll out the Ellen DeGeneres-produced "One Big Happy" on March 17.

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