CBS are the first American tv network – but surely not the last – to announce that the episodic count for many of their primetime series are being reduced. Because of COVID, many of the dramas started production far later than normal and have had to operate under far stricter health protocols and breaking if there’s any positive tests for their cast or crew. That has also added a budget-burden to the shows.
As things stand, many of the shows that would run to between 22-24 episodes in a normal season have had that cut by as much as a third. As things stand NCIS:Los Angeles (returning Sunday 8th November) will run to 18, NCIS: New Orleans (back the same night) will have 16, Bull (back Monday 16th November) will have 16, , The Neighborhood has 18, NCIS (back Tuesday 17th November) has 16, SWAT (returning Wednesday 11th November) is expected to have between 16-18 episodes, Seal Team (returning Wednesday 25th November) will have 16, Magnum PI will have 16 (likely to be a mid-season start-date) and Blue Bloods (with no start-date announced) will have 16. There’s no firm news on dates for The Equalizer (starring Queen Latifah, Chris Noth and Lorraine Toussaint), Evil and MacGyver or a debut date for Clarice (featuring Rebecca Breeds as the Silence of the Lambs agent, but set prior to those events when she’s a rookie in 1993).
It is expected that other shows across the various networks will also have similar cuts to their new run and that some shows that might otherwise have debuted before the end of the year may well be held back because of delays to production… or simply to keep new material in primetime from mid-season onwards