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Why did CBS cancel Broke after just one season?

CBS has made the surprising decision to cancel Broke after just one season. After such a great start, why hasn’t it been renewed?

One of the freshman comedy shows that we thought would be renewed was Broke. It got off to such a great start, so why wasn’t it on the list of renewals from CBS earlier this week?

We can’t say for certain. Right now, CBS hasn’t shared why the show was canceled. However, it always comes down to the chances of enough people tuning in for a second season compared to the chances of people checking out a new show.

Quickly falling ratings

Broke Season 1 certainly got off to a great start. However, it couldn’t hold that great start. After four episodes, the show has lost a total of 36% of its demo and 32% of its audience. While Episode 5 saw a tick up in the numbers, according to TV Series Finale, it looks like this was too little too late for CBS.

A major issue for the network is that these falling ratings were during a time many people are at home watching TV live. If people don’t want to tune in live each week when they have little excuse not to, what would things be like when things got back to normal? There will be the fear that the ratings drop even further, and on a Thursday night when CBS used to be the strongest network, that’s not a risk to take.

People want heartfelt comedy

If you look at the comedies that tend to do well across all networks, you’ll find that heartfelt seems to be the way to go. Bob Hearts Abishola and The Unicorn are CBS’s strongest new comedies and both have a lot of heart to them. They’re meaningful, as well as funny. They’re not forced in the way that many sitcoms from the 90s tended to be. At times Broke (and other comedies this season across other networks) have felt like they’re two decades too late.

There’s a chance that CBS thinks it has stronger comedies in the pilots that are still to film. After all, it’s been mostly comedies that saw cancellations this week, with Man with a Plan and Carol’s Second Act confirmed as canceled. The only drama was Tommy, although God Friended Me had recently been canceled and Madam Secretary, Hawaii Five-0, and Criminal Minds have come to their natural ends.

It’s sad for the cast and crew connected to Broke. I never want a show to be canceled because I know how many jobs are lost, but not all shows can get past one season. The ratings just aren’t strong enough, and I think that’s the case for the Pauley Perrette comedy.

What did you think of Broke Season 1? Were you surprised by CBS’s decision? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Broke is available to stream on CBS All Access and airs Thursdays on CBS.