CBS has pulled the plug on rookie Monday sitcom "We Are Men" after two episodes, in the hopes of shoring up a night that has also seen freshman drama "Hostages" struggle.
Veteran laffer "Mike & Molly" will come off the Eye's bench and move into the Monday lineup at 9 p.m. beginning Nov. 4, with repeats of the dominant "The Big Bang Theory" airing in the timeslot in the interim.
CBS' other new Monday sitcom, "Mom," will remain in 9:30 p.m. in an hour that will feature two Chuck Lorre shows.
The problem for "We Are Men" (1.8 rating/5 share among viewers 18-49 this week, 5.4 million viewers overall) has been that it has lost a third or more of the audience from "Mother," creating a domino effect that might be affecting the remainder of the Monday CBS sked. It was the same concern that led CBS to pull "Partners" from its Monday 8:30 p.m. slot a year ago, albeit after six episodes.
CBS clearly wants to give 10 p.m. limited series "Hostages" -- starring Toni Collette and Dylan McDermott and exec produced by Jerry Bruckheimer -- its best possible chance of recovering from a start that has seen it fall after three weeks to a 1.2 rating/3 share in the demo and 5.2 million overall. By comparison, "Hawaii Five-0" in the same hour drew 1.9/5, 8.4 million in the third week of last season.
A bounce for "Hostages," either in DVR viewing or in its November numbers, would keep it on Mondays for the duration of its planned 15-episode run. But it's not clear that CBS would tolerate its current viewership for the entire season, much less beyond. ("Under the Dome," which occupied the timeslot in the summer and was also billed as a limited series, ended up earning a renewal for a second season.)
CBS can feel better about its new Thursday comedies. Last week, "The Crazy Ones" won its 9 p.m. timeslot in total viewers and challenged ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" for the lead in the demo. At 8:30 p.m., "The Millers" has skewed older in audience but delivering sufficiently to avoid being in imminent jeopardy.
"We Are Men" starred Tony Shalhoub (in his first series regular role since the long-running "Monk"), Jerry O'Connell, Kal Penn, Chris Smith and Rebecca Breeds. Rob Greenberg, Eric Tannenbaum and Kim Tannenbaum and Bob Daily exec produced for CBS Television Studios.
"Men" is the first new broadcast comedy to be canceled in 2013-14. ABC axed hourlong drama "Lucky 7" last week, also after two episodes.