When Will the Postponed 'FBI' Season Finale Air?

FBI was meant to air its season 4 finale on Tuesday on CBS. The network, however, decided to pull the episode after a Texas elementary school shooting left 19 children and two adults dead earlier that same day.

The CBS show's finale had a plot that may have come across as insensitive following the real-life events. Per the episode's synopsis, FBI Season 4, Episode 22 (titled "Prodigal Son") featured a student involved in "a deadly robbery that garnered a cache of automatic weapons for the killers."

The season 4 finale likely ended with a cliffhanger that set up the next season, so fans are anxious to see the episode when it feels more appropriate to watch it.

When Is the FBI Season 4 Finale Airing?

fbi season 4 finale
The season 4 finale of "FBI" was pulled from its original broadcast slot by CBS after the shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. The cast of the "FBI" is seen above in a still from the series. CBS

Per The Hollywood Reporter, it is not currently clear whether the episode will ever air on CBS. Variety, meanwhile, wrote that "a new airdate for the finale has yet to be determined," suggesting it will air at some point, though CBS has not announced when.

CBS will be airing reruns of FBI until at least the end of June and could theoretically replace any of these with this last remaining original episode, or air the episode after the announced slate of reruns. Alternatively, CBS could choose to shelve the episode entirely, choosing to re-edit the parts that are pertinent to the plot of season 5 into its premiere or simply write around them.

The network, however, is unlikely to announce what it is doing with the episode for the time being, for the same reasons the season finale was pulled in the first place.

This is not the first time a TV show has had to be pulled because of a school shooting. Following the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, for example, episodes of Family Guy and American Dad were pulled due to sensitive content. These episodes were eventually aired the following week.

The TV Heathers reboot, meanwhile, had to be postponed twice in 2018 following mass shootings, the first time after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida in February, and again after the shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue in October. The episodes never aired on Paramount, though can now be watched online.

Other shows postponed over the years include Hannibal (in 2013), Mr. Robot (in 2015) and Shooter (in 2016).

This phenomenon has become a common occurrence – no surprise, as there have been more school shootings in the 21st century so far compared to the whole of the 20th century. There have beenat least 180 school shootings between 2009 and 2018. Twenty-seven school shootings have occurred in the U.S. so far in 2022.

In 2017, Comedian Jerrod Carmichael spoke about the practice of censoring content in the wake of school shootings after an episode of The Carmichael Show centered on gun violence was pulled following an attack at the Congressional Baseball Game in Alexandria, Virginia.

"When things like this happen, and someone wants to talk about it in an outlet that's not the news, people will say 'too soon,'" Carmichael said on Chelsea. "But when is it not too soon? These things happen constantly."