CBS kept the tradition of renewing most of its slate in one fell swoop. Demonstrating its signature stability, the network has picked up most of its current series for next season, with two major exceptions: veteran Criminal Minds, which is in the midst of renegotiations with the cast, and freshman Vegas, which will get a tryout on Friday later this spring. Renewed for next season are freshman drama Elementary; critical darling The Good Wife; comedies 2 Broke Girls and Mike & Molly; and drama procedurals NCIS: LA, Person Of Interest, The Mentalist, Hawaii Five-0 and Blue Bloods. The nine join previously renewed The Big Bang Theory (part of a three-year pickup), How I Met Your Mother for a final season, and veterans NCIS and CSI, picked up when their stars Mark Harmon and Ted Danson, respectively, re-upped their contracts. Additionally, CBS said it continues negotiations with Warner Bros TV for another season of Two And A Half Men. Parallel negotiations with stars Ashton Kutcher and Jon Cryer are underway too and progressing. Also picked up for next season are unscripted series The Amazing Race, Survivor and Undercover Boss and newsmagazines 60 Minutes and 48 Hours.
Not surprisingly, MIA from CBS’ early renewal list again is perennial bubble comedy Rules Of Engagement. With the series recently hitting the 100-episode mark, the deals for the main cast up and most of them off to do pilots, it seems highly unlikely that Rules would continue, though I hear a short final installment is a possibility. With the key players on Criminal Minds, including stars Thomas Gibson and Joe Mantegna, all embroiled in difficult negotiations as their contracts come up this season, CBS is playing it conservatively with no early renewal, though the crime drama is fully expected to return. As for Vegas, a lot will depend on how the series does in the Friday 9 PM slot this spring. The series Vegas will succeed on Friday, CSI: NY, is not expected to come back, while midseason drama Golden Boy is heavily on the bubble.