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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

UPFRONTS 2015: CBS's Official Fall Schedule

Finally, here is the CBS schedule. Check back next week for my Season in Review features on the best of new comedies, new dramas, and other awards!

Past CBS analysis: 2014   2013   2012   2011

8:00 (Sep) The Big Bang Theory (9th Season)/(Nov) SUPERGIRL
8:30 (Sep) LIFE IN PIECES/(Nov) Supergirl cont'd
9:00 Scorpion (2nd Season)
10:00 NCIS: Los Angeles (7th Season)
CBS is once again bringing The Big Bang Theory over to Mondays for a couple months while football takes up Thursdays. It is paired with the new single camera sitcom Life in Pieces. When football ends, both sitcoms move to Thursdays and comedy will be completely off the CBS Monday lineup for the first time EVER. Since the 40s, CBS has always had at least an hour of comedy on Mondays but that tradition ends in November. In place of the comedies is the highly anticipated new drama Supergirl. I wouldn't be surprised if it gets a two night launch with the first part airing after a football Sunday. What I don't get is why they're even bothering with comedies for two months when the exact pair will move to Thursday. It's not like they're using Big Bang to prop up a different new or returning show. Season two of Scorpion continues at 9pm while NCIS: Los Angeles will remain at 10pm even though it didn't do all that well here.

8:00 NCIS (13th Season)
9:00 NCIS: New Orleans (2nd Season)
Tuesday nights are status quo from 8-10pm with another year with two of the three NCIS shows. After NCIS: New Orleans just launched last year, this was expected. At 10pm is the new thriller Limitless. Although a procedural, this seems a little more popcorn fun like the Monday lineup and I think 10pm Monday would have been a better option. I'm not convinced it will be able to tap into its correct audience with the ancient-skewing dramas ahead of it.

8:00 Survivor (31st Edition)
9:00 Criminal Minds (11th Season)
Wednesdays are staying the same from 8-10pm. This is a little more surprising than the Tuesday pair because Criminal Minds was showing some signs of aging. I'm not too excited about CBS premiering all their new dramas at 10pm because it's hard for dramas to launch there. At 10pm is Code Black, a new medical drama starring Marcia Gay Harden. This seems like it could be older skewing and would have been better fit on Tuesdays after the NCIS shows. Maybe CBS knows something I don't know but these dramas just seem illogically placed.

(Sep) 8:00 Thursday Night Football

8:00 The Big Bang Theory (9th Season)
8:30 Life in Pieces
9:00 Mom (3rd Season)
10:00 Elementary (4th Season)
As we know, football will occupy Thursdays for the first two months of the season. CBS must be hoping there's less awful blowouts this year! The comedy lineup comes back in November, but it will look quite different. The Big Bang Theory and Mom will occupy the anchor slots but two new single camera sitcoms take the 8:30pm and 9:30pm slots in what seems a little odd. Life in Pieces will be traveling over from Monday and that should help. Angel in Hell has a tougher task as it has to launch and air for a couple weeks before dealing with Thanksgiving and another football preemption in early December. CBS is hedging its bets with these new comedies (and Supergirl) by leaving 2 Broke Girls, Mike & Molly, and The Odd Couple on the bench and ready to sub in. For Mike & Molly, it's officially become the new Rules of Engagement as it's off the fall schedule for a third year in a row. At 10pm, Elementary comes back despite its low ratings. With how screwy Thursdays are in the fall for scheduling, this was probably the right move.

8:00 The Amazing Race (27th Edition)
9:00 Hawaii Five-0 (6th Season)
10:00 Blue Bloods (6th Season)
The Friday lineup stays exactly as is. Hawaii Five-0 and Blue Bloods are a solid pairing and will continue together. The Amazing Race struggled in its move to Fridays but stabilized a bit in the spring. CBS probably thinks it can't really do much better in this slot.

8:00 Crimetime Saturday
10:00 48 Hours (29th Season)
As usual, Saturdays will have repeats and 48 Hours.

7:00 60 Minutes (48th Season)
8:00 Madam Secretary (2nd Season)
9:00 The Good Wife (7th Season)
10:00 CSI: Cyber (2nd Season)
There will be no new shows on Sunday as CBS is hoping the return of football will once again boost 60 Minutes, Madam Secretary, and The Good Wife. There is a new addition to Sunday though and it's season two of CSI: Cyber which will be re-tooled and bring on Ted Danson from his CSI role. this is bound to be an ancient skewing night and I don't see much upside for CSI: Cyber on this night. Half the time, it will start at 10:30pm or later.

MIDSEASON: CRIMINAL MINDS: BEYOND BORDERS, RUSH HOUR, 2 Broke Girls, Mike & Molly, The Odd Couple, Person of Interest, Undercover Boss
CBS has more than usual on deck for midseason including the aforementioned three comedies. It's a little surprising that 2 Broke Girls and Mike & Molly were left off the fall schedule as they were solid throughout the spring. Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders and Rush Hour are two high profile dramas left on the bench so that will be interesting to see where they go. Undercover Boss will probably serve the filler role it did this year while Person of Interest has become an afterthought to CBS and will probably air in the way The Mentalist did this year.

CANCELLED/ENDED: Battle Creek, CSI, The McCarthys, The Mentalist, The Millers, Stalker, Two and a Half Men
Most of these have been known for awhile but CBS confirmed that CSI has been cancelled after 15 seasons including several as the top drama on TV. It had a magnificent run and CBS will send it off with a two hour movie on September 27, perhaps leading into the season premiere of CSI: Cyber?

This is an interesting schedule. The Supergirl placement is a big swing but I like the move. I don't get why that doesn't happen in September because if they're abandoning comedies on Mondays anyway, there's no need for Big Bang on the night at all. I also don't get the reliance on 10pm launches and the placement of them. One reason Scorpion, Madam Secretary, and NCIS: New Orleans worked is they launched at 8pm or 9pm. It's exceedingly hard to launch at 10pm and I don't think CBS is putting Limitless and Code Black in positions to succeed. On top of that, they seem placed after incompatible shows because Limitless seems like it would work better on Mondays while Code Black seems better fit for Tuesdays or Sundays. Between that and the single camera sitcoms, we may see some midseason options sooner rather than later.

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