CBS Gives Full-Season Orders to ‘Person of Interest,’ ‘Unforgettable’

Network backs three of its five new series

CBS has given full-season orders to two of its new drama series, picking up nine back-end episodes of Person of Interest and Unforgettable.

Executive produced by J.J. Abrams, Person of Interest bowed Sept. 22 to 13.3 million viewers and a 3.1 rating in the 18-49 demo. The show has been the very model of consistency, drawing 12.4 million viewers and a 2.7 in the demo with its fifth installment (Oct. 20).

Person of Interest has outdelivered the competition in its Thursday 9 p.m. time slot, beating out ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy and NBC comedies The Office and Whitney in overall viewers. The paranoid procedural has also topped occasional occupant The X Factor; Fox’s Bones returns for its seventh season on Nov. 3.

The younger-skewing Grey’s beats Person of Interest in the demo.

Interest gets a nice lift from time-shifted viewing; upon application of seven days of DVR playback, deliveries for its third episode swelled 23 percent to 14.2 million viewers.

Unforgettable, a cop drama starring CBS alum Poppy Montgomery (Without a Trace), has dominated its Tuesday 10 p.m. slot, averaging 12.3 million viewers and a 2.5 rating against NBC’s Parenthood and ABC’s Body of Proof.

Montgomery stars as Carrie Wells, a former police detective from Syracuse, N.Y., who is gifted with hyperthymesia, a syndrome that causes superior episodic memory. The character is based in part on actress Marilu Henner, who was diagnosed with a similar condition.

While in development, the series was saddled with the unwieldy title The Rememberer.

With the lightest load of new series, CBS now has determined the fate of all but one freshman show. Earlier this month, CBS gave a full-season order to the comedy 2 Broke Girls; in short order, it took an ax to the dud How to Be a Gentleman, exiling the show to Saturday before killing it off altogether. 

That leaves the supernatural yawner A Gifted Man, which has averaged a meager 1.2 rating in prime-time’s no-expectations slot (Friday night at 8 p.m.). While no decision has been made as yet, it’s worth noting that the former occupant of the time slot, Medium, was canceled after falling to a 1.4 rating.

Then again, HUT levels are so low on Friday nights that Fox won the time period a week ago with a 1.4 (Kitchen Nightmares). As such, Gifted should survive through November sweeps. Anything after that is extremely unlikely.

Through the first five weeks of the 2011-12 TV season, CBS is winning the war of deliveries, averaging 11.3 million total viewers in prime time. The Tiffany network is one-tenth of a ratings point behind Fox in the demo, averaging a 2.8 to Fox’s 2.9.