Armchair Scheduling: CBS Fall 2011

As I noted in my piece on FOX’s fall schedule, and Kelly Kahl (Senior Executive Vice President, CBS Primetime) stressed in a tweet last week, any armchair scheduling done this early is largely guesswork. Even still, people seemed to enjoy my post on FOX, so I plan to continue issuing my thoughts as @BigTVFan doles out his.

Last Wednesday, he posted some thoughts on how Kahl and his associates might shape CBS’ fall schedule. Be sure to read that HERE, and venture down below for mine.

Sunday Night

8pm: The Amazing Race

9pm: Undercover Boss

10pm: Ringer

CBS has the venerable combo of The Amazing Race and Undercover Boss on Sunday nights, which they’d be silly to mess with. CSI: Miami, however, has underwhelmed since CBS moved it from the cushy Monday spot it once called home. Were it on any other network, CSI: Miami would be guaranteed a pick-up, but CBS isn’t any other network and its standards are notoriously different. That leaves the 10pm hour open to debut a new show or relocate an existing drama. Ringer is distinctly different from any of the networks’ other programs. In fact, it strikes me as something that would be more at home on FX. But, CBS greenlights at least one pilot a year that deviates from their typical fare, and I suspect Ringer will be 2011’s. Placing it on a night like Sunday, where there is no real breakout hit at 10pm seems like a reasonable idea, especially when you consider that cable series have dominated the night for the last few years.

Monday Night

8pm: Rules of Engagement

8:30pm Mike and Molly

9pm: How I Met Your Mother

9:30: Two Broke Girls

10pm: Hawaii Five-0

Two and a Half Men is, by all accounts, dead. Because of this, CBS will be forced to get creative with how they schedule Monday night. How I Met Your Mother is a self-starter and a proven spark plug for the network. Yet, outside of moving The Big Bang Theory back to Mondays, I don’t see a way CBS can avoid shifting HIMYM back to the 9pm anchor spot. Should they be forced to do this, I see utility player Rules of Engagement leading off the evening with Mike & Molly following it. That leaves room for one new comedy. How I Met Your Mother skews younger than CBS’ other comedies, which makes the best possible lead-in for the Kat Dennings vehicle Two Broke Girls. At 10pm, Hawaii Five-0 will stay put.

Tuesday Night

8pm: NCIS

9pm: NCIS: LA

10pm: Person of Interest

The audience flow from NCIS to its LA-based sibling has been very strong for CBS this year, but the older-skewing The Good Wife remains a weak link for the network. The Jonah Nolan scripted Person of Interest is the most high profile pilot CBS has in development, and the most likely show to bump The Good Wife off of its current slot.

Wednesday Night

8pm: Survivor

9pm: Criminal Minds

10pm: CSI: Miami

Much like Tuesday, the first two hours of CBS’ Wednesday night line-up have done well, while the 10pm hour continues to under-preform. When CBS tried The Defenders there in the fall it flopped and the ratings for Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior have been equally unimpressive. Earlier this winter, CBS flirted with the idea of moving Blue Bloods to Wednesday, but that proved to be a mistake. Attempting to launch another new drama here would be ill-advised, which is why moving CSI: Miami here is probably CBS’ best bet.

Thursday Night

8pm: The Big Bang Theory

8:30pm: Home Game

9pm:  CSI

10pm: The Mentalist

I can’t see CBS moving The Big Bang Theory, unless they’re thoroughly convinced How I Met Your Mother is incapable of anchoring Monday nights. If it stays on Thursday, I think they’ll pair it with Rob Riggle’s Home Game. CBS has invested a great deal of time in crafting a vehicle for Riggle and the pilot for Home Game seems to have come out well. The Mentalist has a foothold on the 10pm hour, regularly beating offerings from both NBC and ABC with ease, so moving it seems out of the question. CSI, however, could be on the move if upper management decides the aging drama is no longer up for the stiff competition of Thursday evening. As of now, I say CBS leaves it there in the fall.

Friday Night

8pm: CSI: NY

9pm: Blue Bloods

10pm: Rookies

Conventional wisdom says launching a new show on Friday is a poor decision, and yet CBS did just that with Blue Bloods last fall. Rookies will likely appeal to the exact same audience as Blue Bloods. Both series are about cops trying to get by in the city that never sleeps. Granted, Rookies sounds like a blatant rip-off of ABC’s Rookie Blue, but the pilot script has garnered heaps of praise and Leelee Sobieski is set to play the female lead. The 8pm is a bit more iffy; Gary Sinise’s contract is up, and I don’t see the show coming back if he doesn’t re-up. In the event that happens, CBS may try the Untitled Susannah Grant Pilot at 8pm. They have, after all, had some success with supernatural tinged shows on Friday with The Ghost Whisperer and Medium. I can also see Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior airing in said timeslot, if CBS refuses to accept the spin-off is a dud.


The Good Wife

The Doctor

Herd Mentality

Untitled Rob Schneider Comedy

Because I do not watch The Good Wife, I cannot speak to its supposedly serial nature. But, my understanding is that it might benefit from an uninterrupted run. Should CBS do this, I can also see them holding The Doctor. Penned by Everwood vet Rina Mimoun, The Doctor doesn’t sound like anything else on CBS, but it does sound like it could attract Emmy attention in the same way The Good Wife has. On the comedy side, CBS would be hard pressed not to order Damon Waynes’ Herd Mentality or the Rob Schneider pilot. That, unfortunately, wouldn’t leave room for The Assistants, which boasts an intriguing cast, including Heather Locklear and T.J. Miller. In this case, I hope I’m wrong, but we’ll see.


2 Responses to Armchair Scheduling: CBS Fall 2011

  1. Pingback: Guessing the Upfronts: CBS | Random Musings from a BigTVfan

  2. Thank you for a great post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: