2012-13 Up-Fronts: CBS’s New Schedule

Thought it was going to be a long time before I got to CBS huh? Didja? Well, no, I actually sat down and wrote this one back to back with the Fox one. We’ll see if I get inspired to do the ABC post next. I can be a lazy bastard, as we all know.

As I wrote in my last CBS post, the backbone of this network over the last 10 years was built on three basic shows: CSI, Survivor and Two and a Half Men. Their successful shows all essentially came from that.

Things seem to be changing.

Though Person of Interest (which came on the scene this year) was, on its face, a crime procedural, its creative team has done a nice job sneaking in a pretty bad-ass mythology and dropping it on us like a bomb starting in late April. CBS obviously loved this show from the start, putting the freshman drama in the Thursday at 9pm slow, bumping stalwart CSI out of its home in the process. Thursday at 9pm is a big-time timeslot, and PofI managed to even defy expectation there.

This season, they’re going to put the Mad Men-clone-60’s period piece on its ass with the introduction of Vegas. With a surprisingly good cast (led by Dennis Quaid), this looks like a combination western-mob show with the 60’s style that people seem to dig. Along with NBC’s Revolution, this is the most promising new show I’ve seen this year.

Still though, CBS is suffering from a bit of schedule schizophrenia; we’ll get to that in a little while.

CANCELLED SHOWS
CSI: Miami – One of the CSI’s was going to go down. A little surprised that ‘Melo took out LeBron on this one, especially since the Big Apple version has never received the critical feedback that South Beach has.
Flashpoint – Cancelled on CBS, but has moved to ION and become a Canadian show. That’s a new one.
A Gifted Man – Looked boring. Seems like it was.
How to Be a Gentleman – Wow, did this look awful. It was.
NYC 22 – Did this show really get cancelled after one episode? That’s the net’s fault; no show could be that bad (well, the previous one excepted).
ROB – This one should have called the scrapheap and made reservations. Did Rob Schneider have pictures of some CBS exec screwing a goat?
Same Name – Ironic, since many CBS shows have the same name.
Unforgettable – Forgot about it (I made a funny!)

2012 FALL SCHEDULE

Monday
8pm – How I Met Your Mother – Avoided this show due to laugh track. People seem to like it.
8:30pm – Partners – Basically: A Will and Grace ripoff but with two dudes. Its survival will completely depend on the chemistry between its leads; chemistry will save any show, particularly a laugh-track sitcom.
9pm – 2 Broke Girls – Didn’t realize this was a big enough hit to warrant the 9pm timeslot. Big move to bump Two and a Half Men from here.
9:30pm – Mike & Molly – This show looked terrible; obviously not doing well since 2 Broke Girls snagged the prime slot.
10pm – Hawaii Five-0 – Completely suffers from its lead-ins. CBS should have found a more comedic drama for here (I miss The Defenders; how about you?)

Tuesday
8pm – NCIS – The new model for the crime procedural, but in Season 10, CBS has to be looking forward.
9pm – NCIS: Los Angeles – Caught my first one of these thanks to the Hawaii Five-0 crossover. Kinda liked it; might come back.
10pm – Vegas. Looks like a really solid show.

Wednesday
8pm – Survivor – 26 seasons and still holding strong. Only watched one season, but someone has to be watching.
9pm – Criminal Minds – The darkest of the straight procedurals, and a solid lead-in for…
1pm – CSI – Seems to have been reinvigorated since it brought in Ted Danson.

Thursday
8pm – The Big Bang Theory – Probably the most popular laugh-track sitcom on television.
8:30pm – Two and a Half Men – BIG move for CBS to move this show to a protected time-slot. Net has completely lost confidence in this former stalwart. Charlie Sheen is laughing his ass off.
9pm – Person of Interest – Quickly developing into the most interesting show on television.
10pm – Elementary – Brand new Sherlock Holmes piece, modern day in NY. More evidence of CBS pushing the boundaries on police procedurals. The preview looked solid, and the characters seem well thought out. Holmes makes for good marketing, the show looks well done; this could well be a hit.

Friday
8pm – CSI: NY – This one is probably in its last season, even after winning the faceoff with the Miami edition.
9pm – Made in Jersey – Another attempt at a funny lawyer show. Not seeing this working though; certainly not better than The Defenders.
10pm – Blue Bloods – A stalwart crime procedural on Friday nights. This one wasn’t going anywhere.

Sunday
7pm – 60 Minutes – Basically laminated to this timeslot.
8pm – The Amazing Race – The most critically acclaimed reality show (which is something like being the world’s tallest midget).
9pm – The Good Wife – Amazed that this is sticking around in some ways, but turned out to be a legal soap.
10pm – The Mentalist – Rounds out a solid Sunday night for the eye.

WHAT THE SCHEDULE SHOULD LOOK LIKE
While this isn’t nearly as bad as NBC, this can use some work. CBS has a tendency to not move shows from their time-slots given their past with the older folks. But…lets tinker.

Monday
8pm – How I Met Your Mother – In a vacuum, this is better at 9pm. See 2 Broke Girls to see why I kept it here.
8:30pm – Partners.
9pm – 2 Broke Girls – This show is up and coming, and probably better at 8pm. BUT…ABC and NBC are both running two hour reality shows, so not likely to make a difference. Fox has a new drama at 9pm, whereas it has the established female-skewing Bones at 8pm. Protect it with this timeslot.
9:30pm – Mike & Molly
10pm – CSI – This really should be something like Made in Jersey, which is a female-skewing dramady. But the show doesn’t look solid enough to carry over the audience. CSI, on the other hand, has a built-in audience, and will do well against ABC’s Castle.

Tuesday
8pm – NCIS
9pm – NCIS: Los Angeles
10pm – Hawaii Five-0 – H50 is a match for its two previous shows, plus imagine the cross-over possibilities with having all the shows on the same night. H50 also needs a ratings boost from its NCIS lead-ins.

Wednesday
8pm – The Big Bang Theory – I know, this is a big move for an established show. But NBC has nothing established, Fox has reality, and ABC’s The Middle can be beaten (I love that show, but it’s true).
8:30pm – Two and a Half Men – Amazed that people still watch this show; it died the same time Charlie Harper did. But it’s the No. 2 comedy on TV.
9pm – Survivor
10pm – Criminal Minds – Not quite the best flow here, but four shows with good audiences will put a crimp into the X Factor.

Thursday
8pm – Elementary – This is a bit of a balsy move with a new show. But, Elementary has the Sherlock Holmes marketing built-in, so with the right marketing it has a shot. Plus, 8pm Thursdays is wide open; ABC is running a new show, Fox is doing X-Factor results and NBC has the 30 Rock swan-song and Up All Night, which just got barely renewed.
9pm – Person of Interest – One of the most watched new shows of the year, going head-to-head with Grey’s Anatomy, The Office and Bones. It did well; can build from the Elementary folks.
10pm – Vegas – Rounds out a pretty bad-ass night. Kills ABC’s soaps, NBC’s comedy and Fox’s junk. Dennis Quaid draws by himself.

Friday
8pm – CSI: NY
9pm – Made in Jersey – This show won’t make it.
10pm – Blue Bloods – Good night of crime procedurals, really solid for a Friday night.

Sunday
7pm – 60 Minutes
8pm – The Amazing Race
9pm – The Good Wife
10pm – The Mentalist

BTW…for those of you who are interested, I am going to bed. ABC will have to wait for another night.