CBS trims seasons for US dramas

COVID-19 sees NCIS, Blue Bloods, Bull cut from 22 to 16 - 18 episode seasons.

CBS has been forced to trim the episode count of multiple US dramas as a result of COVID-19.

Shows including NCIS, Bull and Blue Bloods have been trimmed from 22 episodes to between 16 and 18.

That will have a knock-on effect for 10 in Australia. While it is unlikely to be alone on that front, 10 does rely more on US dramas than Nine or Seven.

CBS is hoping that these reduced series orders will carry them through to May, the end of the US broadcast season.

This is now the episode count for current seasons:

NCIS (16)
NCIS: Los Angeles (18)
NCIS: New Orleans (16)
SEAL Team (16)
Blue Bloods (16)
Bull (16)
The Neighborhood (18)
Magnum P.I. (16)

Source: Variety

5 Responses

  1. Networks don’t care much about US dramas anymore. Ten only gives NCIS and Bull prime-time slots and they don’t rate very well. Seal team and This Is Us being burnt off in double eps on Thursday night to get rid of them before Summer. Nine only buys the odds US drama. Seven sat on S2 of The Rookie for nearly a year. Less episodes means less episode fees, and they can fill in with cheaper repeats that rate little worse than new episodes.

  2. Who knows, maybe the shorter seasons could start a whole new creative culture of quality before quantity for these prime time U.S. studio productions.
    Having said that, the typical formulaic production line content of these shows is never likely to change so having long or short seasons isn’t really going to matter.

    1. These are seasons which were cut short because they had to stop filming due to the COVID shutdown. They’re not intentionally short, with condensed (quality over quantity) storylines.

      Many of these shows will have story arcs which aren’t completed until the 2021 seasons start to film.

    2. Plus it will always be done to fit around adverts (especially the NCIS’s with their black and white bits), which means you will still get the “Gee they wrapped that up quick/Gee this seems to be dragging out,” episodes regardless of how many in a season. That is opposed to the streamers where if an episode needs an hour it gets it or if that episode only needs 35 minutes that is what it gets, one of things I have like d the most no padding out or rushing through.

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