Question: It seems as if CBS is trying to sabotage Shark. They took a Top 10-ish show and moved it to Sunday night opposite the NFL, where no show's ratings are as good. Now they are bringing it back with very little hype to run on Tuesdays in hardly the best time slot to see if the ratings are good enough to renew. CBS seems to want to protect the increasingly tired and boring Without a Trace (my candidate for the biggest dropoff in a TV show from its first two seasons to now). Any insight on why the network appears to be anti-Shark?
Answer: I'm not sure CBS is so much anti-Shark as it is overrun with crime dramas, and not every one is going to get an open-ended free ticket to renewal each season. It's always kind of shocking to me when CBS actually cancels one (i.e. Close to Home), and I'm not convinced CBS has given up on Shark just yet. It's probably true that CBS has shown favoritism to Without a Trace (which I haven't watched much this season thanks to the glut of Thursday programming), but I wasn't surprised when CBS moved Trace back to Thursdays, where it had worked so well with the CSI lead-in. Because of the instant collapse of that ridiculous Secret Talents of the Stars show, Shark is now taking over the 10 pm/ET Tuesday time slot that has killed every show since Judging Amy. (The Unit will return on Tuesdays with repeats in its regular time period, which is where Shark was originally scheduled.) It will be challenging for Shark against Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and possibly even Women's Murder Club on ABC (a bottleneck of procedurals), but it could do worse than airing on a night that kicks off with NCIS. And at least it won't be going head-to-head with American Idol now.