Armchair Scheduling: CBS Fall 2012

My predictions continue with TV’s highest rated network, CBS. In March, CBS issued a mass renewal announcement that included 15 of their current series. Still, they have a handful of bubble series that could be awarded atypical episode orders and a few buzz worthy pilots that could shake up the television landscape. Down below, I explore what their fall schedule may look like.

Sunday Night

7pm: 60 Minutes

8pm: The Amazing Race

9pm: The Mentalist

10pm: Elementary

Sunday nights are always precarious for CBS because NFL overrun inevitably delays the start of their prime-time lineup. And yet, even with the numerous delays, 60 Minutes and The Amazing Race continue to net big numbers that all but ensure they’ll return to their respective slots. This year, CBS opted to move critical darling The Good Wife to Sundays in the hopes that it would see an uptick from its Tuesday numbers. But, the show hasn’t experienced any growth, which could mean that it’s time to move it again. CSI: Miami the network’s other Sunday occupant is likely headed the way of the dinosaurs, which means that CBS may look to aggressively repopulate the night. The Mentalist, which is almost certainly vacating its current Thursday spot, would provide a solid anchor and a strong lead-in for the network’s Sherlock Holmes inspired pilot Elementary.

Monday Night

8pm: How I Met Your Mother

8:30pm: My Idiotic Twenties

9pm: Two and a Half Men

9:30pm: Mike and Molly

10pm: Hawaii Five-0

If the rumors are true, and CBS does plan to open up another hour of comedy on Thursday nights, there are a number of different ways they could juggle the 6 comedies they currently have on the schedule (I don’t see Rob! returning). The most likely, to me at least, is the one that provides the most continuity. In other words, I see CBS leaving their Monday night lineup nearly intact with only 2 Broke Girls heading to Thursdays. This opens up a half hour block that will likely go to My Idiotic Twenties, the network’s only single camera comedy pilot. Twenties, which comes from Nick Stoller (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, The Five Year Engagement) is said to be upper brass’ favorite comedy pilot of the 2012 cycle but its single camera rhythms make an odd fit for their multi-cam hits. As the network’s lone hybrid, How I Met Your Mother becomes its defacto partner. Hawaii Five-0 stays put at 10pm where it regularly wins the time period.

Tuesday Night

8pm: NCIS

9pm: Ralph Lamb

10pm: NCIS: LA

The eye network has been hesitant to break up NCIS and its Los Angeles based spin-off, but an out of the box drama like Ralph Lamb gives them a good reason to. A 1960s period piece, Lamb comes from Goodfellas writer Nicholas Pileggi and film director James Mangold and boasts a cast that includes Dennis Quaid and Michael Chiklis. There aren’t many places it would fit on the schedule, and slotting it in Tuesdays at 10pm like CBS tried to do with both The Good Wife and Unforgettable doesn’t seem to be the solution. So, why not sandwich it between two of their biggest hits?

Wednesday Night

8pm: Survivor

9pm: Criminal Minds

10pm: CSI

There is no reason to mess with this lineup, which has actually performed better than expected this year.

Thursday Night

8pm: 2 Broke Girls

8:30pm: Partners

9pm: The Big Bang Theory

9:30pm: Oh Fuck, It’s You

10pm: Person of Interest

This is definitely the night I’m least certain about, in large part because I haven’t seen the finished pilots of any of CBS’ comedies. On paper, Super Fun Night and Friend Me seem like tailor-made companions for 2 Broke Girls and The Big Bang Theory, respectively. However, I’ve heard very little about either of those them pilots recently whereas the buzz on Partners has been loud. Oh Fuck, It’s You will undoubtedly be retitled but it has a cast of sitcom vets and was one of the first buys this season, which makes me think it may get the final spot. Person of Interest started slow but quietly became a hit for the network. I can’t see them moving it off Thursdays.

Friday Night

8pm: Undercover Boss

9pm: Blue Bloods

10pm: The Good Wife

For two years now, Blue Bloods has been the network’s big property on Friday, so it would make sense for them to move it up to the 9pm hour. Moreover, it would likely boost The Good Wife in overall viewers. Undercover Boss has posted huge gains from previous 8pm occupants, if they have episodes ready to go in the fall, it’ll be there. If they don’t, CSI: NY could easily slide forward to the 8pm hour.

Midseason

CSI: NY

Rules of Engagement

Trooper

Over and Out

Super Fun Night

CBS isn’t likely to cancel both of the CSI spin-offs. Being the cheaper of the two, CSI: NY likely gets the reprieve and a midseaon birth. Similarly, I see CBS holding Rules of Engagement for midseason, as they have done numerous times. Of the network’s remaining bubble shows, NYC 22 was DOA, Rob! didn’t perform well enough to demand a renewal, and A Gifted Man was effectively cancelled when it didn’t earn a back 9. That leaves Unforgettable. On any other network, it would have been renewed already; CBS probably cancels it.

This year CBS only ordered one drama pilot for midseason. If they repeat that pattern, then it will likely come down to Trooper and Golden Boy with the edge going to the former. On the comedy side, I still think Super Fun Night will get a pickup, albeit for midseason. Same goes for the Martin Lawrence vehicle, Over and Out, which was turned in late.

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One Response to Armchair Scheduling: CBS Fall 2012

  1. Pingback: Armchair Scheduling: ABC Fall 2012 « TV Musings and Thoughts

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