It has become apparent that veteran series The Mentalist is in trouble. While the series is averaging around 9 million viewers per week, it is only hitting about a 1.3-1.5 in the 18-49 demographic. The show is in its sixth season, so the decline is partially because of old age. However, 9 million overall viewers is nothing to sneeze at. The show also makes a lot of money in syndication deals, as the show airs on TNT most nights of the week.
After five seasons on NBC back in 2009, the network canceled drama series Medium, that was still doing decent in the ratings. CBS, who produced the series, saw the numbers and decided to pick it up for a full 22-episode sixth season. While that brought in decent numbers, CBS renewed it for a 13-episode seventh and final season. Scrubs also jumped shipped after seven years at NBC to move over to ABC for two seasons, albeit to less than stellar results.
The main reason that Warner Bros., who produces The Mentalist would want to do this is for that additional syndication value. TNT, a cable network that is owned by Time Warner (who owns WB), could be one of those solutions. The network has many shows that would fit with The Mentalist and could easily be paired with Major Crimes or Rizzoli & Isles and do well for the network.
The move from broadcast television to cable network isn’t unheard of either. After six seasons on NBC, the Dick Wolf drama Law & Order: Criminal Intent moved to sister network USA and aired for 4 more seasons on the network. While the tone of the series shifted a bit during a few of the seasons, the show was a major win for the USA Network.
However, CBS could actually come around and renew the series as well, but as the network already renewed 18 shows, it doesn’t look well for The Mentalist.
Are you ready for The Mentalist to end? Or do you want the show to continue? Sound off!