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The Upfronts: CBS

by Allison Waldman, posted May 20th 2009 10:59AM
cbs logo 2009Coming off a strong 2008 season, CBS is taking some bold moves with their new season program schedule. As we wrote earlier, there are four new dramas, a sitcom and a reality show in the mix.

The big news is how it's shifting around some hit shows on Monday and Thursday, while standing pat on Wednesday. Here's what we know right now...after the jump.

Returning: The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, Two and a Half Men, CSI: Miami, NCIS, The Mentalist, Criminal Minds, The New Adventures of Old Christine, CSI: New York, CSI, Ghost Whisperer, Numb3rs, 60 Minutes, Cold Case, The Amazing Race, Survivor, Gary Unmarried, Rules of Engagement, 48 Hours

Gone: Without A Trace, The Unit, Worst Week, Eleventh Hour, The Ex-List

New: Accidentally on Purpose, Three Rivers, The Good Wife, NCIS: Los Angeles

Transferring: Medium (from NBC)

Mid-season: Miami Trauma, The Bridge, Undercover Boss, Arranged Marriage, Rules of Engagement, Flashpoint

New comedies:

Accidentally On Purpose is Jenna Elfman's return to sitcom-land. She plays a San Francisco film critic who winds up pregnant after a fling with a younger man. Comedy ensues when she decides to have the baby.

New dramas:

NCIS: Los Angeles
is the spin-off from NCIS starring LL Cool J and Chris O'Donnell. Set in Los Angeles, they are part of an elite branch of NCIS called OPS, doing undercover stings and using high tech equipment to catch enemies of the United States. The two-part pilot aired in April as part of NCIS, ending with a cliff-hanger in which O'Donnell's character was shot down in a hail of bullets but survived.

Miami Trauma is the latest from super-producer Jerry Bruckheimer (CSI, The Amazing Race, et. al). It's about trauma surgeons in South Florida, sort of an ER in the sunshine.

Three Rivers in set in Pittsburgh (where the three rivers meet) and stars fan favorite Alex O'Louglin (Moonlight) as part of a medical team that deals solely with organ transplants. The show's creator is Carol Barbee (Jericho, Swingtown, Judging Amy) and film director Curtis Hanson is executive producer.

The Good Wife
is Julianna Margulies' return to series TV. The ER Emmy-winner is a lawyer this time out who is forced back to work when her husband is imprisoned.

The Schedule: (Shows picked up but not listed will debut later in the 2009-2010 season)

MONDAY
8 p.m. How I Met Your Mother
8:30 p.m. Accidentally On Purpose
9 p.m. Two and a Half Men
9:30 p.m. The Big Bang Theory
10 p.m. CSI Miami

TUESDAY
8 p.m. NCIS
9 p.m. NCIS: Los Angeles
10 p.m. The Good Wife

WEDNESDAY
8 p.m. The New Adventures of Old Christine
8:30 p.m. Gary Unmarried
9 p.m. Criminal Minds
10 p.m. CSI: NY

THURSDAY
8 p.m. Survivor
9 p.m. CSI
10 p.m. The Mentalist

FRIDAY
8 p.m. Ghost Whisperer
9 p.m. Medium
10 p.m. Numb3rs

SATURDAY
8 p.m. Crime Drama
9 p.m. Crime Drama
10 p.m. 48 Hours

SUNDAY
7 p.m. 60 Minutes
8 p.m. The Amazing Race
9 p.m. Three Rivers
10 p.m. Cold Case

UPDATE...

Moving The Mentalist to Thursday at 10 p.m.: According to CBS president Les Moonves, "There will be more share available at 10 p.m. for those of us who put on great dramas." That, my friends is a dig at NBC which is devoting all its 10 p.m. prime time hours to Jay Leno. CBS scheduling chief Kelly Kahl added that, "We saw an opportunity to take a strong show and make it a stronger show."

The move also is an attempt to turn Thursday into a superblock, something likely to happen if The Mentalist continues to perform as ably as it has as a 9 p.m. show. CBS anticipates the show breaking into the Top 5 in the Nielsens.

Snagging Medium: CBS saw the chance to add a show to its line up that fitted very well with the shows already airing Friday night. Nina Tassler, entertainment prez, said that Medium would be the child of Ghost Whisper and Numb3rs, if they could reproduce. It'll be interesting if Glenn Gordon Caron gets on better with CBS this go-round than he did when Now & Again struggled on the Tiffany network.

Back to back NCIS: Tassler claimed that putting the two NCIS' together is a smart move because one show will feed into the other, that they share the same type of humor and sensibility. Presumably, CBS knows that based on something more than the two-part pilot.

Also, the Tuesday slot after NCIS is deemed a successful launching pad now because of The Mentalist being there this season and emerging as the rookie sensation of 2008. Interestingly, the Tuesday at 10 p.m. slot, a problem spot for CBS, will be where The Good Wife will try to make its mark. The dual NCIS intro might help the new legal drama, although historically shows have died there, including Smith and Cane.

The Chuck Lorre hour: Putting The Big Bang Theory on after Two and a Half Men makes Monday from 9-10 an all Chuck Lorre block. They tried this once during the season and it drew big numbers. According to Kahl, the thinking is that they're trying to turn a Top 20 show into a Top 10 show. "We feel confident we can blow this show up," said Kahl.

Looking ahead, they're probably also anticipating a time when Two and a Half Men ends its run and The Big Bang Theory could become the Monday anchor at 9 p.m. That's how Two and a Half Men got there, inheriting the spot when Everybody Loves Raymond packed it in.

Dropping The Unit and Without A Trace: Fans have already been commenting how upset they are about these vet shows being cancelled. Tassler said it was a difficult decision for the network and they're sad to see them go.

Midseason moves: Flashpoint will be back, as well as another Canadian production called The Bridge. Rules of Engagement and two new unscripted shows will debut in the second season, too: Arranged Marriage and Undercover Boss.

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Sher

Regarding Ghost Whisperer. I do like the concept of the show. I just have a really hard time watching Jennifer Love Hewitt. Her eye makeup is so UN Natural, black shadows and the thick (probably fake) eyelashes. Then there are the big pink circles on her cheeks. Looks like she is constantly flushed. She is a cute gal and does not need all that makeup. Somebody get her a new makeup artist, PLEASE!

August 14 2009 at 11:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
debbieheinz1986

Is Alexis Woods returns to CSI" Miami? I love to watch her doing autopsy with so nice attitude !!!!!!!

July 29 2009 at 5:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
billikens

I am a huge fan of The Unit. I will also really miss Without a Trace. Why couldn't CBS get rid of Cold Case and keep The Unit.

June 12 2009 at 8:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bobbie

without a trace canceled...should cancel 2 and 1/2 men and Gary unmarried, and the new Christine and the big bang theory !!! Eleventh hour was a good show, do we really need another NCIS?? Better not take off cold case!!! take amazing race instead.. oh well they'll learn when ratings go down and I shall lol....

June 09 2009 at 8:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
nana330

Add my upset over Without a Trace. It is one of the best. Why not dump Christine and Gary which is mindless. I only hope some station pick Trace up and schedules it against CBS.

May 25 2009 at 5:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
pearwater

Even thought Im a huge fan of CBS and I have grown up with all the shows. But more recently I havent been watching the shows on the network except for Daytime (except the Price is Right) and How I met your mother. And maybe Rules/Gary/Adv.Christine. I don't watch the dramas...they are just so Geritol for my taste. Im a fan of Desperate Housewives, Grey's Anatomy, LOST, Chuck , Heroes and Brothers & Sisters. AGAIN, I love CBS and I would choose this network over the networks...but you really don't have anything for me to stick around to watch.

May 24 2009 at 6:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
spitfire815

Sooooooooooooo Happy NBC picked up Medium, great show, along with Ghost Whisperer.. I know i'll be watching:-)

May 23 2009 at 1:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ben

I disagree Jimmy I don't think Jay Leno prime time show will fail it may not win but a lot of people like Jay Leno and I think those that liked Jay but couldn't stay up late at night will watch it. I don't think it will win in 10:00PM ratings but I think it will be up there in the ratings it will get better ratings then when Leno was host of Tonight Show just my opinion.

May 22 2009 at 6:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
A Viewer

I can't say I am overwhelmingly excited by any of CBS's new entries. "Three Rivers" could be good but I fail to see how a show about organ transplants could not become repetitive after only a few episodes. "NCIS: LA" claims to be different from other police procedurals but I fail to see how, and since I am weary of such procedurals I will probably skip it. The lone new comedy, "Accidentally on Purpose," doesn't look that great in all honesty -- kind of "Knocked Up" (a patently hilarious movie) combined with the forthcoming "Cougar Town," or so it seems. In fact, the most interesting new show seems to be "The Good Wife." I am intrigued by the concept, and I will certainly give it a chance.

Cheers to CBS for renewing "How I Met Your Mother" and putting it back in its well-deserved former timeslot. I have mixed feelings about the cancellation of "The Unit." While I loved the action show and never failed to catch the latest episode, the show started to go off the rails at the beginning of the fourth season. While they concluded the season with a series of terrific episodes, I think the damage was already done. This show's demise has been a long time coming. I will miss it every Sunday night.

I'm very surprised they cancelled a ratings juggernaut like "Without a Trace." Had it been slipping recently? You would think that would be renewed and "Gary Unmarried" and "The New Adventures of Old Christine" would be cancelled, what with the complete lack of humor on "Gary" and the huge slip in ratings for "Christine" this season.

May 21 2009 at 10:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
JR

I'm very bummed about the Unit. This was a unique show with a great cast. Where are we sending our rubber snakes?

And yet they kept Cold Case with one of the weirdest looking chicks on the TV, who is the only one able to solve cases that are 30 years old. PUlL-Leeze! What is up with that CBS?

May 21 2009 at 3:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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