Pure Genius Cancelled Season 1 CBS

Pure Genius: No Additional Episodes Ordered for CBS Freshman Drama

CBS’ medical drama Pure Genius doesn’t have much of a pulse.

The network won’t be ordering more episodes of the freshman drama beyond the initial 13, according to our sister site Deadline. It’s not technically cancelled yet, but Season 2 looks like a real longshot at this point. Production on Season 1 wraps up on Dec. 15; the show is expected to keep airing Thursdays at 10/9c for the remainder of its run.

Pure Genius stars Augustus Prew as tech billionaire James Bell, who’s determined to use his vast fortune and high-tech expertise to solve medical mysteries. It premiered in late October to a modest 6.2 million total viewers and an anemic 1.0 demo rating, and at last count (5.3 mil/0.9) had slipped below the average that got Elementary moved from Thursday to Sunday. (Also for reference: Elementary’s immediate successor, Rush Hour, was averaging a 0.9 rating before getting designated for a Saturday burn-off.)

It goes down as a rare miss for CBS, which has had a pretty successful fall season otherwise. It’s already given full 22-episode orders to new comedy Kevin Can Wait and new dramas Bull and MacGyver. Freshman sitcoms The Great Outdoors and Man With a Plan also saw their freshman seasons extended to 19 episodes each.

Has Pure Genius shown any signs of life so far? Hit the comments and give us your diagnosis.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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720 Comments
  1. Wordsmith says:

    I’ve enjoyed the high tech medical wizardry – something that Grey’s used to do well but seems to have abandoned lately. However, I feel like this show just hasn’t been clicking, and the talented cast just isn’t allowed to shine – their characters don’t have the depth or nuanced relationships that one would expect from a Jason Katims show.
    Also, Augustus Prew seems to react to pretty much everything with “sneeze face.”

    • Patrick says:

      I think there is a reaction AWAY from science fiction with regards to medical technology. It is too depressing to see the various suffering in the world from disease and injury and then see a show were money is no object and tech is one step removed from magic.

    • JaneLane says:

      Yes, to the sneeze face. It is so distracting. And sometimes when he gets exciting, he looks like a maniac. He gets this frightening look on his face. Like a serial killer.

      Love the cast, and the medical stories are interesting, but something was definitely missing.

    • KT says:

      Sneeze face. That’s it! Good call.

    • Tannis O'Morrow says:

      I think his “sneeze face” is what gives him an excellent character!!!

      • Kathy Keene says:

        yes, why does he have to be ‘normal’? he has character, he is intense, he is brilliant, how ‘should’ he look?? that was a crazy negative comment up top there.

        • Totally agree Kathy! This show should NOT be taken off. I truly hope you guys reconsider! Keep this good one on and get rid of the other nonsense you ARE keeping! Pure Genius took pure genius to write it and it would be a bad move to destroy what could have made you a lot of money, and ratings!!

    • Shima Lee says:

      I believe this show highlights so many things that are not being done today for people who are suffering. Billionaires actually giving back to the less fortunate and doctors that actually work comprehensively as a team with other experts to critically to solve problems (not saying there aren’t few who do this). At the same time the show is somewhat unrealistic in terms of the treatment modalities. Probably it’s cancelled as it shows up a lot of people or areas lacking and people just don’t want to do anything about that. In all I really enjoyed it…a breath of fresh air in the TV show!!. I personally dont watch TV shows but this one had something to it. Hope it continues☺.

      • I love Pure Genius; I think shows like this will eventually inspire the Geniuses and billionaires out there to make it reality. I believe movies like Flash Gordon inspired Geniuses to make space travel happen. CBS should cancel some or all of its sitcoms and have more real TV shows.

  2. Emor says:

    CBS just does not know how to do medical dramas. Medical dramas skew younger in initial audience upon launch. Then they get older viewers as the show ages. The problem with CBS is that they are the ‘old’ person network. So it is a catch-22. The old people won’t watch a medical drama that skews young. And young people, (who don’t watch CBS) won’t watch a medical drama that skews old. They simply can’t win. Stick to cops, action and fat guys with skinny wives CBS.

    • Yvette from NY says:

      What do you consider old? I’m in the 55-65 age group but a big techie fangirl and I love this show. I just think it’s sad that they don’t give enough time for the characters to evolve. I love watching the younger generations grow into their acting abilities. We just need to give them a chance.

      • evelyn canton says:

        I agree

        • Joan Wright says:

          I agree, they need to give the series another chance. It’s different than most medical shows but that’s what makes it so special. If CBS doesn’t want to pick up the series again they should let some other network take it over. I’m a registered nurse and I think the shows very well put together, it shows what people can accomplish when they think, there’s no logical reason why this series should be canceled.it’s such a shame I will pray that someone else steps in and continues the series, it shows at all medical series is not it’s such a shame I will pray that someone else steps in and continues the series, it shows at all medical series does have to be the same! 🙏😔😢

          • Marlene Wright says:

            Totally agree with you, Joan. I love this show…the plot, the characters and the interaction among all of them. So much better than those reality shows and many of the comedies the networks are showing. I hope this show is given another chance.

          • Lynn Barker says:

            I AGREE WITH YOU ITS DIFFERENT THEN THE OTHER MEDICAL SHOWS, AND IF CBS IS GOING TO TAKE IT OFF, I HOPE SOME OTHER NETWORK GRABS THIS SHOW, AND ITS VERY GOOD ACTING.

            LOVE PURE GENIUS.
            LYNN SAIDS.

          • Tannis O'Morrow says:

            yes yes yes ……..give it a chance!!!!

          • Debbie says:

            I THINK THAT THE SHOW SHOULD BE GIVEN ANOTHER CHANCE

          • Doris Marchessault says:

            I agree. This show is unique and that is what makes it special. I love all the cast and hope it will be renewed. I am 63 and I watched the show each week. Have missed seeing it the past two weeks and researched it online only to see the possibility of it being cancelled.

          • CO_Jenn says:

            It was only cancelled due to the almighty dollar being the lowest rated newest show but so many people like myself are so tired of CBS ordering a couple of episodes of something and then if they cancel – they don’t even let them do a finale episode! Now I record them all my DVR and if they get a second season I start watching -which is really a sad a thing to do but I’m so tired of getting invested in these characters lives and the show and then it just being gone with no ending whatsoever and that has brought me to be more of the mind set of why bother until they have a full season ordered at least!

    • Ron says:

      Old? Maybe, maybe not. I’m 63 and thought that Pure Genius was one of the most refreshing shows on TV. I’m sorry to see it go There is very little on tv worth watching but this is one that I went out of my way to see.

      • Nikki Hess says:

        I agree with Ron! Husband and I both like the main cast of the characters. Also loved the technology. I’m 68, as if that matters! Not much else appealing otherwise.

      • wolfess says:

        I’m also 63 and I agree with everything you said! There are far too few intelligent shows worth watching, and this season seems to be worse than usual. I told my husband when this show first started that it was too intelligent so it wouldn’t last; :-( (the good news is that Duck Dynasty has also been cancelled!!!) :-)

        • evelyn canton says:

          Totally agree. And I am 64. 99 per cent of shows on tv are poor quality with no intelligence. And they keep them on forever. When a good show comes on, with quality and value, they can’t even keep that 1 per cent of good shows on.

          • wolfess says:

            O.M. Goddess are you ever right! Who gives a flying you-know-what about who is dancing with what star; or what the bachelor[ette] is doing? And don’t even get me started on Pawn Stars or Monsters Inside Me — I have literally been watching movies on my laptop b/c there is just nothing worth watching! The other show I am really enjoying this season is Timeless and I’m also worried about it :-(

          • David Fass says:

            DON’T CANCEL PURE GENIUS!!!!!

            I’m 70 and I’ve never posted anything pro or con about a tv show. I won’t watch the sadism of any of the various Criminal Minds, or Zombies, or supernatural killers, etc. I’m anatomically opposed. They make me want to throw up. In spite of all the other considerations, and there are many, Genius has a happy ending. Not a comedy ending, an ending in which caring people try to do good and usually succeed.
            I am no Pollyanna. Lest you think I sit in a rocking chair on a porch with an afghan across my lap, I’m a retired clergyman who learned to drive my Porsche at racing school, went to Cuba long before it was legal, beat the Supreme Court by thirty years in being willing to perform gay weddings. I’ve had to bury a 21 year old who blew his head off with a shotgun, a three year old toddler who died of SIDS, a father of two who pretended to go to work, stayed home and hung himself. That’s a fraction.
            This isn’t boasting (well, maybe a little) but my way of showing that I’ve see some of the worst the real world presents us with. I LIKE HAPPY ENDINGS, and there aren’t nearly enough of them. Can’t CBS market Genius that way? There must be lots of other people who want to feel good when the show ends.

            PLEASE, CBS, DON’T CANCEL PURE GENIUS.

          • wolfess says:

            @David Fass: I have seen more than my share of grief also — my first son died of cancer 2 days after he was born, and my second son is severely retarded (my husband fought in Vietnam). I’ve never driven a Porsche, but I dearly love my Honda Element (even it got cancelled, but it will probably still be running long after I am in the ground :-).

            I had an epiphany the other day — they should bring Pure Genius back as a summer show, at least that way we could get our ‘fix’ and that might be an acceptable compromise for TPTB at the station.

      • Nina says:

        Totally agree here! Not much good on to watch, I was really enjoying this one. Sad to not see it continue.

      • Pat says:

        To cancel Pure Genius would be a huge mistake. Pure Genius reaches way down deep and touches our raw emotions. The characters, especially James Bell, are compassionate and dedicated. It moves me to tears. I have to catch it On Demand because of my schedule, but I never miss it. I’ve watched some episodes multiple times.

    • David Pangallo Sr says:

      This show could make it in all networks, given a chance. Also, who is rating the programs on tv?

    • Gayle Mondt says:

      How can you say that when they had a huge hit some years back with Chicago Hope. I loved that show and it was top notch. I will be really sorry if they cancel this show. It’s terrific!

  3. Emor says:

    CBS can’t do medical dramas. The problem is that medical dramas attract young viewers upon launch. Then they get older viewers as the show ages. It’s a catch-22. Old people won’t watch a medical drama that skews young. Young people (who don’t watch CBS) won’t watch a medical drama that skews old. Just stick to cops, action and fat guys with skinny wives, CBS.

    • Kevin says:

      Ask Code Black.

      • Emor says:

        I’m not sure of your comments intent. But Code Black is a prime example. It was COMPLETELY revamped for season 2, to skew older and it has lost 20% of it’s audience and is one of the lowest rated shows on CBS.

        • Kevin says:

          What are you complaining about? This season’s Code Black did just that to rebuild the series after the departure of two main cast members and adding Rob Lowe to the cast. Who knows how far it would go whether or not a Season 3 renewal is on the horizon. If you don’t believe me or dislike me, that’s fine.

  4. Kevin says:

    If Pure Genius is done then CBS should fill the void in the 10 pm Thursday night time slot either Training Day or Doubt (both debuting until mid-season).

    • Robberey says:

      They actually seem to set Training Day there, as they don’t own it (Warner Bros. does. As Pure Genius, which is owned by NBCUniversal Television). Doubt, fully owned by CBS seems to get a better place on schedule, but not Wednesdays, as after Code Black Wraps up, CM: BB will be back like earlie this year. Thats at least what I heared.

  5. JC says:

    It’s “not technically cancelled” but you decided the url should read, pure-genius-cancelled-season-1-cbs/

    Make up your mind TVLine.

  6. Jackie says:

    CBS actively tried to kill the show by airing episodes out of order with minimal promotion. Additional episodes would never have been ordered.

  7. Lindsey says:

    Called this when I realized they were airing the episodes out of order. Last weeks episode was definitely supposed to air second but instead came in week 4.

  8. Collette says:

    Well, Prew looks like Corey Feldman turned serial killer. Hard to get onto that.

  9. I really like this show It is so different than other shows that are on. Don’t know how they keep some shows on but will give up on this one

  10. jp says:

    I want to like the show and I sorta kinda do but I don’t love it. I wanted it to succeed so that Reshma Shetty would get another good show like the previous one she was one that I loved so much – Royal Pains. But there isn’t lot of chemistry here so it has not moved beyond it’s premiere.

  11. Dulceangel says:

    I love this show. it is so sad that they will not extend it out for more seasons. Reality or not it gives many of us hope that someday in the future they will actually be able to do those kinds of technology to cure and save lives. :(

  12. Kathy Chambers says:

    i really enjoy this show since it gives us the possibility of what MAY be. Star Trek had a way-out way of looking at things and now these things (at least some) exist. this show should make the medical practice out there rethink how some things should be looked at and addressed. yes, the FDA does govern what is or is not allowed and they should open their way of thinking as well. as for the cast, ‘sneeze-face’ or maniacal excitement, it seems to me that James is somewhat autistic (possibly with Asperger’s) and this is how many react. no show has the complete meld of personalities in the first 1 or 2 episodes. it takes a little work to get everyone to see each other for who they are and how to react. please rethink and hopefully this show will go on at least for a little longer. thank you.

    • John Anderson says:

      yes, his character is definitely on the spectrum. I kind of like how they don’t advertise it on the show, but maybe it’s been to their detriment, since people just don’t seem to get it. heck, I google searched “pure genius, Asperger’s” and your comment it the only thing that came up. Interesting comments on how CBS seems to be deliberately killing the show (it’s true that I haven’t seen any commercials for it!). I’ve only seen one episode – the Christmas special that aired this evening, and I thought it was well-directed, well written, and well acted. A but schmaltzy, perhaps, but still pretty tasteful. I was actually moved to tears by the relationship between James and the young girl who is terminal. That is not common, so I’m surprised how this show has been panned.

  13. dman6015 says:

    I watched the first two episodes and decided it wasn’t worth investing any more time in it.

  14. Cat says:

    I would much rather watch this show than that JOKE of a show “Scorpion”…While starting out good, Scorpion has morphed into a comic book-style that is BEYOND ridiculous. Would much rather watch Augustus Prew and his “sneeze face” (as one comment described it) than to watch Walter’s vacant, “you’re too stupid to listen to” stare.

    • Richard says:

      Scorpion is awesome. I kinda like Pure Genius but i also find it ridiculous from a medical point of view. Scorpion also has moments that just wouldn’t work and considering the real Walter has a say in the show , it should be , well better! Pure Genius could have be such an awesome show if they just did it right. A few changes to the script is all that would be needed to fix the show but i think the reason people are losing interest is because of the way they over reach with how medicine really works, its more sci fi more than anything because of this. They should have looked into what could happen if money was no object and researched what will be available in the near future instead of things that just will never happen. Which is such a shame because the show really could have been awesome, i was really looking forward to this show when i watched the trailer. Iv watched every episode so far but to be honest iv found it hard to keep my interest. After just 2 episodes i knew it was gonna be axed. Someone mentioned Macgyver has been givin a full season and for similar reasons iv found it hard to watch as well. It should have been more like Burn Notice but i feel they’ve failed to make a good show and i cant see it getting a 2nd season

  15. Jim J. says:

    I thought “Pure Genius” had such an interesting premise that I decided to give it the “six-episode test”. Because of the disappointing ratings and critical reception for “PG”, I will quit watching it after its sixth episode. I just invested in a failure.

    • Nero tTVfiddler says:

      Don’t feel too badly – many of us do the same thing – invest time in a show, and it turns out to be a bust. Another lost series and lost time. Hit series are the exceptions, and for whatever reason, viewers didn’t tune into Genius in large numbers.

      Let’s see what CBS has in mind for the replacement for Thursday 10pm slot. As noted up-thread, more than likely Doubt or Training Day… could be looking at investing in another series that is doomed to fail.

      For some reason, some of these dramas series (and there are plenty of them), just don’t seem to jump off the screen. I watch them, give them a chance, and after a couple of weeks, I still can’t really recall what I’ve watched or how it is uniquely different than other series I’ve sampled. The exception to this rule – NBC’s “This Is Us”. That is a series that is unique, for better or worse. Nothing else like it on TV these days.

      With that in mind, in my mind, there was not enough unique about Genius, and that may have done it in.

  16. denawal says:

    I love PURE GENIUS. It’s a show that shows us what potential we could have as doctors & patients when doctors think outside of the box. If hospitals were like this in real life I wonder how many lives could be saved

  17. Vandy says:

    I like the show but do get a little annoyed with characters. It could be a good show if the writing was better.

  18. carolyn says:

    The problem is that Augustus Prew is incredibly annoying, acting like he’s doing a Saturday Night Live skit. the other primary actor (the doctor) is doing a good job. But this is a very annoying show. Deserves to be shut down.

  19. I like this show. I stopped watching Grey’s because it turned into a night time soap, this show has compassion and tech, two great combinations. I do think they need to do better at making the cast seem more of a team, right now they all seem to be individual people filling a space rather than connecting as a team.

  20. uhhh says:

    We love the series! It has some novel ideas, and the characters are very lifelike and likeable. Don’t know why they would cancel it. It’s great!

  21. Karen says:

    We love this series! Should never be cancelled!

  22. Marie says:

    I enjoy watching Pure Genius and am sorry to hear it may not be renewed

  23. annieo53 says:

    I’m sorry to hear this, I’ve been watching Pure Genius and really enjoy it. It’s a smart, intelligent, forward-thinking show, the sets are cool, the writing is smart and outside the box. Love the premise of tech and medicine melding to find new solutions, some are pretty far out there. I think if it had more time it would grow its viewership. Guess it would need fairy tale characters, zombies or prison inmates to succeed these days.

  24. I love the show Pure Genius, I would hate to see it cancelled. Its kind of a fantasy type show but also realistic.

  25. Pamela McBride says:

    LOVE pure genius and so sorry to see it will probably not be renewed. Love the cast and interesting plot. Hope someone changes their mind about cancelling.

  26. Yvette from NY says:

    I truly enjoy this show as it intertwines high tech with medical humanity. Though, of course, a bit outlandish with some story lines, but that’s what I watch TV shows for…mix of imagination and real world. If I want reality, I’d pick up a good non fiction book or watch what today we call “news” ugh or even the weather station! (Being humorous)

  27. Paul Perez says:

    Very disappointing. This was my favorite show. Very well researched and interesting characters.

  28. Lorraine says:

    Love this show What they need another bad comedy or writes house wife reality show or all sex show .Sad

  29. Dennis Peterson says:

    I really enjoy this show, it’s a lot better then other that got a comeback.

  30. Loretta Belfiore says:

    I love this show because I love science and the possibilities it offers for the future of our health! Too bad this show will end like everything else that is good and different!

  31. Sharon says:

    CBS please don’t cancel Pure Genius. This and Bull best new shows

  32. EARL PLYMEL says:

    I WISHED THEY WOULD DO A CROSSOVER EPISODE AND HELP DELIHLA ON NCIS WALK. THAT WOULD BE AWESOME

  33. Anne says:

    I love this show. It will catch on. Give it some time and put it in a better time slot. It has real potential

  34. Bonnie Robison says:

    I love this show!

  35. Elizabeth says:

    I truly enjoy this show. Though some of the high tech is exaggerated in some sense; it is brought into the public eye. I especially love the emotions I feel for the somewhat tragic hero, James Bell. This show is sure to bring the tears.

  36. Brecken Rawson says:

    Please keep this show!! It’s on of my favorite shows, and I don’t know what I would do if it was cancelled. I really look forward to this show every week, and I would really really miss it! Please renew it!!!

  37. Susan Feiereisen says:

    Best show on TV. Always cancel the good ones.

  38. The Dever says:

    Watched a few, but could not get into it. Sneeze face just could not act.

  39. JoAnne Sheehan says:

    Canceling Pure Genius? This show is a hidden gem. Give it a chance.

  40. Yvonne says:

    Sorry to hear Pure Genius won’t be extended or return for Season 2. I’ve missed some of my old shows and this one is at the top of shows that I stay up to watch. I’m disappointed by the renewal of stupid shows like The Great Indoors that just demonstrate how unremarkable Millennials are….everyone seems more focused on a generation that doesn’t really watch “tv”…so disappointed!

  41. Toni says:

    I am upset to learn that Pure Genius is going to be cancelled. I love this show and can’t understand how some of the other awful (reality) shows manage to go on year after year and a show as unique and interesting as this one doesn’t make it. I do wish CBS would reconsider giving it another chance.

  42. Soprano39 says:

    I have been watching this show and it has some fundamental flaws. I do like the medical wizardry but the characters are strange.particularly Bell who I think just is borderline creepy. It also took until last week for the writers to wake up and realize that there are such things as clinical trials, and other experimentation is illegal. And then we have the idea that the lead genius doctor must leave rural Ohio because there are no opportunities there, like maybe the Cleveland Clinic.

    So if it’s cancelled I’m not at all surprised.

  43. Amelia says:

    Loved the show , just starting watching on demand , I’m so mad they are canceling , the cast is amazing and the acting too

  44. Amelia says:

    I’m so sad they canceling this show . The cast is amazing and the acting too . I just started watching on demand . Hope that cbs reconsider , the music is also great

  45. G. says:

    My wife and I both like the show ‘Pure Genius ‘.

  46. Kathleen Kopelke says:

    I really enjoyed Pure Genius. The actors were good and very believable. The story lines were all very positive. I think it deserved another shot. I made sure I watched it every week. If it was continued the characters could be developed more and that would improve the show. Very sad to see it go.

  47. Pat says:

    Please don’t cancel Pure Genius. It’s my favorite show because it has a strong element of intelligence. We don’t need another police drama, reality show, or sitcom with questionable content.

  48. Pam says:

    Please don’t cancel Pure Genius!! We love the show and want more!

  49. Darci says:

    I love the show Pure Genuis ! At the end of every weekly show it makes me cry. No other TV show has ever done that before. I would be very sad to see this show cancelled as it is a amazing show

  50. Kimmie says:

    Ah c’mon CBS! Pure Genius is well, a pure genius show!! It’s original, creative, touching drama and medical series. The characters draw you in to their storylines as much as the guest “patients”. If only such a hospital as Bunkerhill existed! Where science and technology intertwine but money/funds doesn’t hold the doctors back from thinking the impossible into reality to heal everyone. If only hospital rooms were made for patients like Bunkerhill. Like their rooms have a wall of virtual reality so patients can be in the clouds, mountains, etc. And all records of patient in one place for all to see. Where doctors can monitor patients with technologically advanced iPad like devices!! There’s romance, family issues, even our beloved Billionare is rushing to get a cure of what a patient he has befriended has. As he watches his patient he’s watching his future if he doesn’t find a cure. And the FDA is stonewalling his efforts. (Who just happens to be one of the Dr’s wife) It’s a GREAT show!! Give it a better chance move it or run reruns advertise it more. Cmon !!!