Last month, CBS renewed most of TV shows from the 2013-14 season. One series that was conspicuously missing from the list was The Mentalist. Does this mean that the show has been cancelled or, could it still return for a seventh season?
Starring Simon Baker, Robin Tunney, Tim Kang, Owain Yeoman, and Amanda Righetti, The Mentalist debuted in 2008 and was an immediate hit for the network, drawing an average of a 3.8 rating in the 18-49 demographic with 16.94 million viewers. The second season dropped to a still healthy 3.4 in the demo and 15.35 million. Unfortunately, The Mentalist has continued to lose viewers each subsequent year.
In 2012, the network opted to do what they’ve done in the past with other declining established shows — they sent The Mentalist to the Sundays at 10pm timeslot. Because of frequent sports-related overruns, numerous episodes of The Mentalist haven’t started until well after 10pm, making it a challenge for even the most devoted fans to watch it.
Last season, the show’s ratings fell to a 1.7 demo rating with 9.5 million viewers, a far cry from the show’s early seasons. It easily could have been cancelled but CBS renewed the series instead.
This season, the numbers have gotten even worse. The 18 episodes that have aired thus far have averaged a 1.5 in the demo and 9.21 million viewers. The show is expensive to produce and is bringing in less advertising revenue so it’s certainly in danger of being cancelled once again.
Because CBS already renewed most of their other shows, there’s not much space left for new hour shows — and the network certainly needs some of those next season. Both of their new dramas this season — Hostages and Intelligence — were ratings failures and are certain to be cancelled.
On the positive side, Warner Bros Television, which produces The Mentalist, has incentive to keep Simon Baker and company on the air. They have a lucrative $2+ million per episode deal with TNT and the series also brings in a lot of cash from overseas markets.
They are likely offering CBS a financial break if they take on another season but, according to Deadline, Warner Bros is also shopping the series to other outlets. ABC, who’s also been struggling to establish new dramas, is said to be interested. Cable channels might also be a possibility but they have less cash to spend. It will likely all come down to what kind of deal Warner puts together.
Fans of the show will have to wait to see what happens but at least they have a strong ally in the studio for also wanting the show to come back for a seven season.
What do you think? Do you think The Mentalist should be cancelled or renewed for a seventh season? Is it time for this show to end? Would you follow it to another network or cable channel?