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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

UPFRONTS 2016: CBS's Official Fall Schedule

Here is the CBS schedule! Check back next week for my end of season wrap-up posts!

Past CBS schedules: 2015   2014   2013   2012   2011

8:00 (Sep) The Big Bang Theory (10th Season)/(late Oct) Kevin Can Wait
8:30 (Sep) KEVIN CAN WAIT/(late Oct) MAN WITH A PLAN
9:00 2 Broke Girls (6th Season)
9:30 The Odd Couple (3rd Season)
10:00 Scorpion (3rd Season)
CBS is completely reversing course on Mondays in their biggest move. A year after abandoning comedies on the night completely for the first time since the 1940s, CBS is going back to two hours of comedy as it did for years. As usual, they have decided to use The Big Bang Theory to launch a new sitcom before it heads back to Thursday. It will air for a couple weeks on Monday to lead into Kevin Can Wait starring Kevin James. When Big Bang moves back to Thursdays, Kevin will slide up to 8pm and lead into the new Matt LeBlanc sitcom Man with a Plan, making a nostalgic 8pm hour. After being fillers last year, 2 Broke Girls and The Odd Couple get regular fall slots in the 9pm hour. The show getting the short end of the stick in this swing back to comedy is Scorpion, which is bumped back to 10pm. It seems to be losing some of its luster with CBS.

8:00 NCIS (14th Season)
9:00 BULL
10:00 NCIS: New Orleans (3rd Season)
CBS made a smart move by letting their new drama launch at 9pm. After his big exit from NCIS last night, Michael Weatherly will return just an hour later with his new drama series Bull. This is given an excellent chance to succeed and will have to face little competition from ABC and FOX and an unknown from NBC. It could be in position to be a big success story. To make room for the new drama, NCIS: New Orleans slides back to 10pm. It only got two years directly behind the mothership compared to five for NCIS: Los Angeles, but it does get to stay on the same night.

8:00 Survivor (33rd Edition)
9:00 Criminal Minds (12th Season)
10:00 Code Black (2nd Season)
Wednesdays look identical to the start of the 2015-16 season as Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders will take a seat again and CBS brings Code Black back to the night. This shows a lot of faith in a show that barely got a second season because it seems like they would give the show they believe in the most of the two the fall slot. As has been the case for six years now, Survivor and Criminal Minds occupy the first two hours of Wednesdays.

8:00 Thursday Night Football

(late Oct)
8:00 The Big Bang Theory (10th Season)
9:00 Mom (4th Season)
9:30 Life in Pieces (2nd Season)
Thursday nights will have football in the fall as usual. In late October, the comedy lineup will take over. It's worth noting that five of the seven nights this fall with have two hour comedy blocks by the time this lineup starts. Getting the prime post-Big Bang Theory slot is Joel McHale's The Great Indoors. It will probably have to at least equal Life in Piece's retention to have a shot. Mom continues as the 9pm anchor while Life in Pieces slides back an hour to 9:30, which will be a tall task. A new medical drama, Pure Genius, takes over the 10pm slot but the late October start in a difficult slot might prove difficult.

9:00 Hawaii Five-0 (7th Season)
10:00 Blue Bloods (7th Season)
In a very surprising move, CBS is holding off on The Amazing Race and instead going with MacGyver on the night as a lead off. The reboot of the popular 80s show is undergoing major retooling so I suspected it would be held for midseason but CBS is giving it a chance. However, they're also only giving it a chance on Fridays at 8pm so they're definitely hedging their bets. Friday mainstays Hawaii Five-0 and Blue Bloods are continuing in the 9pm and 10pm slots.

8:00 Encores
10:00 48 Hours (30th Season)
No surprise here.

7:00 60 Minutes (49th Season)
8:00 NCIS: Los Angeles (8th Season)
9:00 Madam Secretary (3rd Season)
10:00 Elementary (5th Season)
Sunday nights are not seeing a major revamp but they are seeing the arrival of NCIS: Los Angeles to the night. This show does not have the prestige that Sunday nights have been going for but it seems like it could capture the football audience well on overrun nights. Madam Secretary slides back to the slot formerly held by The Good Wife while Elementary gets the "screw you" slot that sometimes gets started close to 11pm.

MIDSEASON: DOUBT, TRAINING DAY, The Amazing Race, Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, Undercover Boss
CBS has the least amount of shows saved for midseason and they have no comedies on deck so they must hope everything works for them. Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders may share a slot with Code Black again while The Amazing Race will probably come back to Fridays at some point and Undercover Boss will be filler. The new dramas will probably air wherever something doesn't work.

CANCELLED/ENDED: Angel From Hell, CSI: Cyber, The Good Wife, Limitless, Mike & Molly, Person of Interest, Rush Hour
It's also worth noting that Supergirl is headed to the CW.

I like the CBS schedule but not as much as the ABC one. They have the most new shows premiering - six - but three of them will not premiere until late October. Overall, I think they made good changes to Tuesday and I like the ambitious swing to go back to four comedies on Monday. I think this is a coherent schedule that's right on brand for CBS. They may not be the most exciting network for their shows but there's less "big swings" than last year and that's probably a good thing. Every network needs to have an identity in today's fractured viewing and CBS does that well.

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