CBS' NCIS, Blue Bloods and Others Get Shorter Seasons Amid COVID Delays

CBS Dramas Shorter Seasons COVID

More than a half dozen CBS series are set to produce shorter seasons, as the result of COVID-related delays, safety measures and other pandemic-era considerations.

As is, CBS’ returning slate won’t begin to hit our screens until Thursday, Nov. 5 (with Young Sheldon, the new comedy B Positive and Mom), since Hollywood had been shut down from mid-March until mid-September.

But even with many shows now back up and running, COVID-related safety measures have both slowed down production (adding at least a day to the process for each episode) and beefed up the expense to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars per episode (as well discussed on THR’s TV’s Top 5 podcast).

So, with the season starting later — and fewer, more-expensive-than-ever episodes needed to fill the schedule through May — CBS has trimmed several seasons as follows, with decisions on other shows (including Mom, Young Sheldon, All Rise and S.W.A.T.) still to be made. (The sophomore comedy The Unicorn, as always planned, will run 13 episodes).

18 EPISODES
NCIS: Los Angeles and The Neighborhood

16 EPISODES
Blue Bloods, Bull, Magnum P.I., NCIS,
NCIS: New Orleans and SEAL Team

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