Nina Dobrev has been encouraging fans to tweet #RenewFam to let CBS know they want to see her sitcom Fam return for Season 2. This is Dobrev’s first major TV role since The Vampire Diaries ended, and it had a strong start in the ratings — compared to timeslot predecessor Murphy Brown — but it slipped a bit after the first episode debut, as many shows tend to do.
Right now it’s not clear if CBS will cancel or renew Fam, but we can consider both sides.
Right now, I’m leaning toward a guess of renew, based on CBS giving a Season 2 chance to somewhat comparably rated shows like Superior Donuts and Instinct. Murphy Brown ended after its one-season revival, but The Powers That Be said it was always meant to just be a one-season return, as opposed to a cancellation based on ratings.
Fam premiered in January to 7.34 million viewers and a 1.2 rating in the advertiser-loving 18-49 demo. The rating still tends to be what networks look at most closely. Fam‘s premiere numbers were seen as significantly better than timeslot predecessor Murphy Brown‘s average of 6.1 million viewers and a 0.8 rating. Murphy Brown‘s finale only had 5.2 million and a 0.7 rating.
However, now that Fam is nine episodes into its run, its numbers are looking closer to Murphy Brown‘s average. Fam Episode 8 had 5.09 million viewers and a 0.8 rating. Yesterday’s March 7 Episode 9 upped that to 5.72 million and a 0.9 rating, according to TV By the Numbers.
It’s not great, but it’s not that bad — and Fam easily defeats its Thursday at 9:30 timeslot competitor Will & Grace in both overall viewers and ratings. That can’t hurt, right?
Fam currently follows the strong comedy block of The Big Bang Theory, Young Sheldon, and Mom. It’s probably never going to have a better lead-in, especially since The Big Bang Theory is ending this year. No one is going to have that lead-in for the 2019-2020 season. S.W.A.T. follows Fam at 10 p.m. and is currently seeing similar ratings to the comedy.
It looks like Fam is getting CBS’s usual 13-episode first season. Episode 9 just aired March 7, so there are still a few weeks left to see how Fam does in the ratings to get a better view of its renewal chances. Or CBS may solve the mystery by announcing a renewal before that point. But they may be playing the wait-and-see game, too.
As one of the major networks, CBS has different standards than The CW. The CW’s The Vampire Diaries/The Originals spinoff Legacies would love to have Fam‘s viewers and ratings; the March 7 episode of Legacies — which competes with Fam in its second half — earned 0.85 million viewers and a 0.2 rating. But Legacies has already been renewed for Season 2. The Vampire Diaries ended its 2009-2017 run with a March 2017 Season 8 finale that had 1.15 million viewers and a 0.5 rating.
It looks like Fam is airing two new episodes next Thursday, March 14. The first Episode 10 airs at 8:30 p.m., after a repeat episode of The Big Bang Theory. Then, after Young Sheldon also airs a repeat episode, Fam returns with Episode 11 at 9:30 p.m. ET on CBS. Here’s what else is playing on TV during midseason 2019.