CBS has made its first big schedule change of the new season and it’s not a surprising one. The network has pulled its romantic drama, The Ex List, from the Friday night schedule effective immediately.
The Ex List tells the tale of an attractive single woman in search of a mate. Bella Bloom (Elizabeth Reaser) meets a psychic who tells her that she’s already dated her true love. If she doesn’t marry within a year, she’ll spend the rest of her life alone. The show also stars Rachel Boston, Adam Rothenberg, Alexandra Breckenridge and Amir Talai. Though the premise sounds interesting on paper, the show hasn’t found much love from TV viewers.
The show debuted on October 3rd and attracted 6.85 million viewers and a 2/6 rating/share of the 18-49 demographic. On first glance, the results appeared to be positive because Ex List won its time slot. However, on closer examination, you’ll find that 700,000 viewers changed the channel before the premiere was over and it ultimately lost 25% of the 9.3 million viewers who watched lead-in Ghost Whisperer. By contrast, Numb3rs built on its lead-in and attracted over 8.1 million at 10pm.
After its first outing, it was easy to see that Ex List was the weak link in CBS’ Friday night schedule. In comparison, Moonlight attracted 8.04 million and a 2.2/7 in the demo a year earlier.
For the following three episodes of Ex List, the news didn’t get any better. In week two, the numbers dropped to 5.71 million and a 1.9/6 rating/share. Week three bumped up to 6.35 million viewers but the numbers still reflected a nearly 30% loss from Ghost Whisperer. The most recent episode of Ex List dropped to a series low of 5.18 million viewers.
The ratings haven’t been the only problem for the series. In mid-September, Ex List co-creator and executive producer Diane Ruggiero quit her job as the showrunner because she reportedly clashed with CBS over the direction of the series. Six episodes had been shot at the time that Ruggiero left and executive producer Rick Eid took over as showrunner to finish the 13 episode commitment.
We may never know if significant changes to the show were made after episode six or if they would have helped the ratings. The latter seems doubtful. CBS has now pulled the series from its schedule. Repeats of NCIS will fill the Friday night timeslot for the next two weeks, providing a more appropriate lead-in to crime drama Numb3rs. A repeat of Numb3rs will air in the timeslot on November 14th.
The news came as the Ex List cast and crew were in the midst of shooting episode 11. It’s unclear if the 13 episode order will ultimately be completed (and hopefully give the series a conclusion) or if the shelved episodes will ever be seen again. Stay tuned!
10/29 UPDATE: CBS has deleted The Ex List from the network website, an indication that the series will not return.
Image courtesy CBS.