CBS may be the ratings leader among the networks, but that sure didn’t prevent them from making the rotten choice of adding CHAOS to their Friday night schedule. But, don’t expect to see it tonight on the network. After just three outings, the rogue spy series with many comic moments left CBS feeling the flat ratings blues and they pulled the series. Hey, CBS did a whole lot better with either MEDIUM or THE DEFENDERS in the same time slot, proving that just by adding something new to the schedule does not an immediate hit make.
Not only was CHAOS a kooky mix on the network, where most of the other shows are carefully winnowed before adding them to the schedule, but viewing audiences didn’t much care for the show either as evidenced by the rotten ratings.
CBS violated an important rule here. You can’t just throw crap at the camera and expect people to watch. The dismal ratings proved that. Even the promo shot for the show looks like a disorganized mess that only The Three Stooges could be proud of.
Friday night’s are fickle. It’s one of the most ratings soft nights of the week. At one time, ABC made good of the night with a block of family comedies, but CBS miserably failed when it spent millions of dollars to buy those aging comedy shows, FAMILY MATTERS and STEP BY STEP, and create their own instant family night. For the years since that debacle, it’s been experiment after another over at CBS to find something that works in the 8-9pm time slot. CBS had a reliable presence for a few years with GHOST WHISPERER, but strangely decided to cancel that show and now finds itself languishing in a Gehenna of perpetual ratings failures.
Gee, some programming execs at CBS must feel a little like that mythical Greek figure forever condemned to roll a big rock up a hill only to have it roll back down again. The same programming mistakes only repeat themselves at the network.