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CBS Boss Sympathizes With ‘Disappointed’ Fans of the Network’s Canceled Shows: ‘We Toss and Turn’

CBS Boss Sympathizes With the Disappointed Fans of the Networks Canceled Shows
(L-R): Vanessa Lachey as Jane Tennant and LL Cool J as Sam Hanna in NCIS: HAWAI’I. Karen Neal/CBS

CBS Entertainment president Amy Reisenbach doesn’t take decisions about canceling beloved TV shows lightly.

“They’re extremely tough calls to make. I’m a big fan of TV first, and I sympathize and relate to all of the fans out there who are disappointed in the fact that these shows are ending,” Reisenbach said at the Banff World Media Festival on Tuesday, June 11, per Variety. “But at the end of the day, our job at CBS is to make those really tough calls.”

CBS announced in April that CSI: Vegas and NCIS: Hawai’i had been canceled after three seasons and So Help Me Todd had been canceled after two. The network went on to announce two new dramas for the fall schedule, the Kathy Bates-led reboot Matlock and the NCIS prequel, NCIS: Origins.

Reisenbach said on Tuesday that the CBS team has “endless discussions” about programming changes for the network.

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“We toss and turn and have sleepless nights,” she said. “But we look at all of the numbers. We look at what our projections are for the future, we look at where we see opportunities to potentially have even bigger success on the schedule. And we make those tough decisions.”

CBS Boss Sympathizes With the Disappointed Fans of the Networks Canceled Shows
Paula Newsome as Maxine Roby in CSI: VEGAS Robert Voets/CBS

According to TVLine, NCIS: Hawai’i, CSI: Vegas and So Help Me Todd averaged 7.81 million, 6.1 million and 6.2 million viewers, respectively, during their final seasons. The numbers reflected that viewership was up 4 percent for NCIS: Hawai’i and 7 percent for CSI: Vegas compared to their previous seasons while So Help Me Todd was down 3 percent from its debut season.

“It is incumbent on us to always keep the schedule fresh, keep momentum going,” Reisenbach said in May when CBS’ 2024-25 schedule was announced. “Everything came back [from the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes] really strong, but ultimately we have to look at the cohesiveness of the schedule flow. We have to evaluate the financials and the performance overall, and we make tough decisions.”

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After the network announced the three surprising cancellations, the show’s stars reacted, with NCIS: Hawai’i star Vanessa Lachey sharing several emotional posts. Lachey wrote via her Instagram Story in April that she was “gutted, confused [and] blindsided” by the news.

“Processing this news and still being present with my family. I love you all! Mahalo Nui Loa,” she added.

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The actress, who moved her family to Hawai’i after booking the series, later penned a lengthier reflection on the experience.

“I wish we had more time, I’m sorry we don’t. I wish we had a proper good-bye, I’m sorry we didn’t. I know we ALL are connected deeper than any TV show,” she wrote via Instagram in May. “I will go to the ends of the earth for my cast & crew! If you come across ANY of them … hire them! You won’t be disappointed. Salt of the earth people!”

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So Help Me Todd star Marcia Gay Harden, meanwhile, exclusively told Us Weekly in April that the cast and crew of the legal comedy-drama were “all super sad.” She noted that the show was “one of the few original comedic and dramatic shows on CBS” among a lot of “syndicated crime shows.”

As for CSI: VegasPaula Newsome, she told TVLine in May that she was “very surprised” by the cancellation.

“Our numbers were much higher than a lot of shows on other networks that had been picked up, so that was very surprising, but I know the business is tough,” she said. “[In the past] a show with our numbers would be on for a couple more seasons, no question. But yeah, it’s a good run. It should be more. I’m very proud of what we did.”

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