CBS Sets Shorter Seasons for ‘Blue Bloods,’ ‘NCIS’ & More

Tom Selleck Blue Bloods Frank Mark Harmon NCIS Gibbs
John Paul Filo/CBS; Edward Chen/CBS

CBS’ usual fall fare is getting off to a later start this season, and as a result, the episode orders for some of its series are a bit shorter.

Rather than air up to 24 episodes in the 2020-2021 season, CBS has set 16 for Blue BloodsBullMagnum P.I., NCIS, NCIS: New Orleans, and SEAL Team and 18 for NCIS: Los Angeles and The Neighborhood, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The Unicorn will air 13 as planned for its second season. These shows are all produced by CBS Studios.

These shorter episode orders can be attributed to the new protocols in effect to film due to the coronavirus pandemic, including testing and social distancing. It’s more expensive and takes more time to produce an episode as a result.

Exact episode counts for the rest of the network’s primetime lineup (like FBI, its spinoff FBI: Most Wanted, and Mom) haven’t been announced yet but will reportedly be along the same lines.

Jaime Pressly Allison Janney Mimi Kennedy Mom Season 8

Mom (CBS)

This news comes as CBS’ scripted shows are set to begin premiering in early November. Premiere dates for all of its planned “fall” schedule have not yet been announced; we’re still waiting to find out when Blue BloodsThe EqualizerEvilMacGyver, and Magnum P.I. will return.