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Thursday, May 5, 2016

UPFRONTS 2016: What CBS Should Do

I'm ending this week of suggestions with CBS. Next week will be my actual predictions for each network!

CBS had a pretty standard year. They had several new shows that did decently - no huge hits and no disastrous flops. The best news is they are getting a little bit younger with some newer shows that have had levels of success like Scorpion, NCIS: New Orleans, and Supergirl. But these aren't the hits of CBS past and they don't seem to have any game-changers right now with their biggest hits, NCIS, Criminal Minds, and The Big Bang Theory, getting very old. They need to give their new shows a chance to succeed so they can find replacements for these veterans.

Past CBS suggestions: 2015   2014   2013   2012   2011

For a list of CBS pilots, click here

9:00 Scorpion
10:00 NCIS: Los Angeles
Looking at the CBS pilots, I think their comedies seem much stronger than their dramas. So I would try to carve out a new comedy block on Mondays, moving Supergirl elsewhere. I would bring Kevin James back to his old timeslot and pair it with Matt LeBlanc's new multi-cam pilot, I'm Not Your Friend. These are two built-in stars who could self-start. I would stop shuffling The Big Bang Theory between Mondays and Thursdays as they have the past couple years and just try it here. If it works, it may help Scorpion at 9pm as well.

8:00 NCIS
10:00 NCIS: New Orleans
I know CBS probably wants to keep their NCIS shows together but I don't think it does CBS any good to air another new drama at 10pm. NCIS: New Orleans can be competent at 10pm the way NCIS: Los Angeles is on Mondays at 10pm. They have a much better chance of launching a new hit if they launch it at 9pm and I would go with Training Day, which seems like a good pair with NCIS.

8:00 Survivor
9:00 Criminal Minds
10:00 Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders
I would leave Wednesdays as they are because Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders seems to be showing some life. I think it deserves another chance. Typically, I've suggested moving Criminal Minds to 10pm lately and I would still do that if Beyond Borders can't hack it. But for now, I'd leave it as is.

8:00 Thursday Night Football

8:00 The Big Bang Theory
9:00 Mom
9:30 2 Broke Girls
10:00 BULL
Thursdays have football to start off the season as usual. They'll be able to start their regular lineup on October 27. As I said, I would save The Big Bang Theory until then. No need to run it for four or five weeks on Mondays only to move it to Thursdays. Start it with the rest of the lineup and let it air more originals on Thursdays. I would pair it with The Great Indoors, which sounds like a promising premise and stars Joel McHale. I would leave the 9pm hour as is and lead into a new drama at 10pm with more stability in the 9pm hour. Bull, based on Dr. Phil, seems like it might be a good fit.

8:00 The Amazing Race
9:00 Hawaii Five-0
10:00 Blue Bloods
I would leave Fridays alone again. This lineup is working for them with The Amazing Race surviving and Hawaii Five-0 and Blue Bloods continuing to do well in the total viewer department.

8:00 Drama Encores
10:00 48 Hours

7:00 60 Minutes
8:00 Supergirl
9:00 Madam Secretary
10:00 Elementary
I think Supergirl should make a move to Sundays where it may be able to capitalize on the football audience lead-in it will have for the first half of the year. It doesn't make Sundays as prestigious, but I think it's the right move and Supergirl could definitely grow. I would slide Madam Secretary to 9pm and leave Elementary at 10pm because it has to go somewhere and this is a slot that often gets a late start in the fall.

MIDSEASON: Code Black, Life in Pieces, The Odd Couple, Undercover Boss, WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND, DREW, BUNKER HILL
CBS often does not need as much on the bench but they do have the Survivor and The Amazing Race hiatuses to contend with as usual. Life in Pieces and new single-cam What Goes Around Comes Around could be paired together, possibly on Wednesdays at 8pm in January? Drew seems promising but I'm not sure where to put it. Bunker Hill and Code Black are both medical dramas so it's likely only one is going to get picked up but I left both here because I think Code Black deserves a renewal (more than Limitless) and I like Jason Katims so I'd like to see Bunker Hill picked up. The Odd Couple can fill a gap if one of the new comedies doesn't work out.

CANCELLED/ENDED: Angel From Hell, CSI: Cyber, The Good Wife, Limitless, Mike & Molly, Rush Hour

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