Why was Man with a Plan canceled after four seasons?

Man With a Plan was among the list of shows canceled by CBS, and the only established comedy saying goodbye. Why was the decision made?

When CBS announced its list of renewalsMan With a Plan wasn’t there. It was the only established comedy to be canceled in the 2019-2020 season. Now the question is why the Matt LeBlanc-led series was canceled after four seasons.

This was a surprising decision when you look at the TV Series Finale rankings for CBS. Man With a Plan was the eighth most popular show in terms of the demo out of all 26 shows. It was the 13th most popular in terms of the total audience. It’s not surprising that many people thought that it would be renewed.

The problem may come with the drop in the demo. Despite ticking up 16% in the total audience from the previous season, the demo dropped almost 15%. It’s the demo that counts the most for the advertisers. With a large drop year on year, CBS may have worried that not enough people would have tuned in. Plus, the total audience rising was mostly due to people being home to watch live.

Lower risk to cancel

CBS is working on a risk assessment like it never has before. It needs to test out pilots without even seeing the finished work. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many pilots didn’t get the chance to film. Without seeing the quality, CBS has to decide whether it’s safer to keep an established or freshman show compared to bringing on a new series. In some cases, the risk assessment can prove that bringing on a new show is safer.

This could be due to the cost of Man With a Plan. Matt LeBlanc’s production could be one of the more costly comedies due to the talent involved. There will also be the fear that it won’t draw in the audience next season.

Where to put it in the schedule

This season, Man With a Plan was pushed to the spring. This was a sign that CBS was concerned about its future. With fall shows possibly not being able to film in July to be ready for September and October, they will likely need to be pushed to January 2021. That then pushes the winter shows to the spring and the spring shows to the summer. There will be questions about where to fit Man With a Plan into the 2020-2021 schedule.

Instead of bringing on another pilot, CBS may have decided to cut out a show entirely. This will help to get things back on track for the fall 2021 schedule when it comes.

MORE: Why did CBS cancel Broke after just one season?

What did you think about the decision to cancel Man With a Plan? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Man With a Plan continues on Thursdays at 8:30/7:30c on CBS and CBS All Access.