On behalf of the three or four people out there who recap both “Survivor” and “American Idol,” I can now mark May 21 on my calendar with a malevolent skull-of-dread.
CBS announced its Spring 2014 finale dates on Thursday (March 20) morning and the major switch is that for the first time in 10 years, “Survivor” has opted not to go with a Sunday finale and will, instead, wrap the “Cagayan” season on the aforementioned May 21, sticking with the normal Wednesday air schedule.
To some degree, the Wednesday finale points to the late start for this “Survivor” season, but it's probably just as much about the newfound lack of intimidation from FOX's “American Idol,” which will presumably be airing a two-hour episode that night, whether it's the finale or the finale falls the following week. “Survivor” has now beaten “Idol” on consecutive weeks in the 18-49 demo and may post an overall win this week as well.
The rest of CBS' spring finales are a bit less noteworthy, though a trio of freshman shows will be having April finales.
As we already knew — and as CBS refuses to stop reminding viewers — “How I Met Your Mother” will be the first of the network's finales, completing its series run on Monday, March 31. “Intelligence” will be wrapping its first season on that night as well and although the “Intelligence” finale is likely a series finale as well, don't expect the same level of CBS hype.
The following week, on Monday, April 14, “Mom” will finish its first season. Based on ratings, “Mom” might have looked like it was heading for a month of nervous bubble-watching, but CBS already renewed the Chuck Lorre comedy.
One of CBS' few shows actually in limbo is “The Crazy Ones,” which will have an hour-long finale on April 17, with the network offering a warning that the finale will air from 9:01 to 10:01, just to mess with your DVR.
The rest of CBS' finales will be in May, with a mixture of staged finales and big finale blocks.
The remaining Monday comedies, “2 Broke Girls” and “Mike & Molly,” for example, will air on May 5 and May 19 respectively.
In contrast, Friday dramas “Hawaii Five-0” and “Blue Bloods” will both end on May 9, while CBS' hit Tuesday block of “NCIS,” “NCIS: Los Angeles” and “Person of Interest” will end en masse on May 13.
Wednesday will also take the piecemeal approach. As I led with, “Survivor: Cagayan” will end on May 21, with “CSI” closing on May 7 and “Criminal Minds” on May 14.
The same is true with Thursdays. After “Crazy Ones” ends in April, “Two and a Half Men” will end on May 8, followed by “The Big Bang Theory,” “The Millers” and “Elementary” on May 15.
Getting the “Survivor” finale away from Sunday means that “The Amazing Race,” “The Good Wife” and “The Mentalist” will all have finales on May 18. And yes, that appears to give “Amazing Race” an hour-long finale, rather than its standard two-hour send-off.
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