Touting seasonal dominance in total viewers for 14 out of the last 15 years (and for nine straight years), it is easy to predict CBS will be the most-watched broadcast network in 2017-18. With established hit series to build its fall 2017 primetime schedule around, including "The Big Bang Theory," which was renewed for another two years, CBS has the rare ability to support each of its six new shows with dependable mainstays. Even in today's marketplace, where content consumption is more multi-faceted than ever, lead-in support on traditional broadcast still matters. And it is the main ingredient that keeps the Eye net afloat.
Of course, CBS' biggest obstacle remains its older audience skew, which is unlikely to change all that much in the near future given the arrival of familiar crime solvers like "SEAL Team" and the revival of "S.W.A.T.," which the network hopes will appeal to the older male viewers tuning into "NCIS" and "Criminal Minds." A third new drama, "Wisdom of the Crowd," scheduled out of "60 Minutes" on Sunday, is also unlikely to age the network down.
With only two seasons left with "The Big Bang Theory," CBS needs to find the next big-hit sitcom to carry it into the future. While prequel "Young Sheldon" will inherit "Big Bang's" plum lead-out time period after "Thursday Night Football," new comedy "9JKL" will get the early lead-in support on Monday. With a more unique concept, "9JKL" could be a safer bet for the network's comedy future. Consider "Young Sheldon" more of a novelty.
Overall, CBS will introduce eight new series in 2017-18, with two additional series (drama "Instinct" and sitcom "By the Book") slated for midseason. Also returning at a later time will be new seasons of "The Amazing Race," "Code Black," "Elementary," "Man with a Plan" and "Undercover Boss."
What follows is the fall 2017 primetime line-up for CBS (with new entries highlighted in italics):
(Before the return of "Thursday Night Football")
8 p.m. "The Big Bang Theory"
8:30 p.m. "9JKL"
9 p.m. "Kevin Can Wait" (new time)
9:30 p.m. "Me, Myself & I"
10 p.m. "Scorpion"
(After the return of "Thursday Night Football")
8 p.m. "Kevin Can Wait"
8:30 p.m. "9JKL"
9 p.m. "Me, Myself & I"
9:30 p.m. "Superior Donuts" (new time)
10 p.m. "Scorpion"
8 p.m. "NCIS"
9 p.m. "Bull"
10 p.m. "NCIS: New Orleans"
8 p.m. "Survivor"
9 p.m. "SEAL Team"
10 p.m. "Criminal Minds" (new time)
8 p.m. "Thursday Night Football"
8 p.m. "The Big Bang Theory"
8:30 p.m. "Young Sheldon"
9 p.m. "Mom"
9:30 p.m. "Life in Pieces"
10 p.m. "S.W.A.T."
8 p.m. "MacGyver"
9 p.m. "Hawaii Five-O"
10 p.m. "Blue Bloods"
8 p.m. Crimetime Saturday (repeat)
9 p.m. Crimetime Saturday (repeat)
10 p.m. "48 Hours"
7 p.m. "60 Minutes"
8 p.m. "Wisdom of the Crowd"
9 p.m. "NCIS: Los Angeles" (new time)
10 p.m. "Madam Secretary" (new time)
New Program Descriptions
"Instinct," based on the soon-to-be published James Patterson book, stars Alan Cumming as a former CIA operative who is lured back to his old life when the NYPD needs his help to stop a serial killer. Dr. Dylan Reinhart (Cumming) is a gifted author and university professor living a quiet life teaching psychopathic behavior to packed classes of adoring students. But when top NYPD detective Lizzie Needham appeals to him to help her catch a serial murderer who is using Dylan's first book as a tutorial, Dylan is compelled by the case and comes out of retirement. Though Dylan and Lizzie initially clash, they realize they will make an ideal team to catch killers, if they trust their instincts. Michael Rauch, Marc Webb, Alex Kurtzman and Heather Kadin (Secret Hideout), James Patterson, Bill Robinson, Leopoldo Gout and Alan Cumming are executive producers for CBS Television Studios. Webb directed the pilot.
The cast includes, Bojana Novakovic as Lizzie Needham, Daniel Ings as Andy, Naveen Andrews as Julian Cousins and Khandi Alexander as Lt. Monica Ford.
"Seal Team" stars David Boreanaz in a military drama that follows the professional and personal lives of the most elite unit of Navy SEALs as they train, plan and execute the most dangerous, high stakes missions our country can ask of them. Deployed on clandestine missions worldwide at a moment's notice, the tight-knit SEAL team displays unwavering patriotism and fearless dedication, even in the face of overwhelming odds. Ben Cavell, Ed Redlich, Chris Chulack, Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly are executive producers for CBS Television Studios. Emmy Award winner Chulack directed the pilot.
The cast includes Max Thieriot as Clay Spenser, Neil Brown Jr. as Ray, A.J. Buckley as Sonny, Toni Trucks as Diaz and Jessica Paré as Mandy Ellis.
Inspired by the 70s TV series and feature film of the same name, "S.W.A.T." stars Shemar Moore as a locally-born S.W.A.T. sergeant newly tasked to run a specialized tactical unit that is the last stop in law enforcement in Los Angeles. Torn between loyalty to the streets where he was raised and allegiance to his brothers in blue, former Marine Daniel "Hondo" Harrelson (Moore) has everything it takes to successfully bridge the divide between his two worlds and excel at leading his dedicated team of brave men and women as they risk their lives to protect the community. Aaron Thomas, Shawn Ryan, Justin Lin, Neal Moritz, Marney Hochman, Danielle Woodrow and Pavun Shetty are executive producers for Sony Pictures Television in association with CBS Television Studios. Lin directed the pilot.
The cast includes Stephanie Sigman as Jessica Cortez, Alex Russell as Jim Street, Jay Harrington as David "Deacon" Kay, Lina Esco as Christina "Chris" Alonso, Kenny Johnson as Dominique Luca and Peter Onorati as Mumford.
"Wisdom of the Crowd"
Jeremy Piven is a visionary tech innovator who creates a cutting-edge crowdsourcing app to solve his daughter's murder, and revolutionizes crime solving in the process. Inspired by the notion that a million minds are better than one, Silicon Valley entrepreneur Jeffrey Tanner (Piven) develops "Sophe," an online platform for publicly shared information, and recruits the original cop who searched for his daughter's killer, Det. Tommy Cavanaugh (Richard T. Jones), to work with him. As Tanner taps into the "wisdom of the crowd," his unexpected success fuels his determination to solve even more cases than just the one that's personal to him. Ted Humphrey; Adam Davidson (pilot); Avi Nir, Alon Shtruzman, Peter Traugott, Rachel Kaplan (Keshet Media Group); and Dror Mishani and Shira Hadad are executive producers for CBS Television Studios in association with Universal Television. Davidson directed the pilot. The show is based on the Israeli show of the same name.
The cast includes Richard T. Jones as Det. Tommy Cavanaugh, Natalia Tena as Sara Morton, Blake Lee as Josh Novak, Jake Matthews as Tariq Bakari and Monica Potter as Alex Hale.
"9JKL" stars Mark Feuerstein in a family comedy inspired by his real life. Josh Roberts (Feuerstein) is a new divorcé and actor between projects who moves home to New York to regroup, living in an apartment sandwiched between his doting, meddlesome parents on one side and his competitive brother, sister-in-law and their new baby on the other. As Josh's family literally comes at him from both sides, he realizes he desperately needs to establish some personal boundaries. Dana Klein, Mark Feuerstein, Aaron Kaplan, Wendi Trilling, Dana Honor and Pam Fryman are executive producers for Kapital Entertainment in association with CBS Television Studios. Fryman directed the pilot.
The cast includes Linda Lavin as Judy, Elliott Gould as Harry, David Walton as Andrew, Liza Lapira as Eve and Matt Murray as Nick.
"By the Book" (midseason)
"By the Book" is a comedy about a modern day man at a crossroads in his life who decides to live strictly in accordance with the Bible. Chip Curry (Jay R. Ferguson) is the film critic for a New York newspaper and a soon-to-be father who wants to be a better man following the loss of his best friend. As he begins his sincere spiritual journey toward a more moral life with the help of his wife and friends, he wonders if he'll be able to take a page—or every page—out of the Good Book, and if the effect will be of Biblical proportions. Based on the New York Times bestselling book "The Year of Living Biblically" by A.J. Jacobs. Patrick Walsh, Johnny Galecki, Andrew Haas, Spencer Medof and multiple Emmy Award winner Andy Ackerman (pilot) are executive producers for Alcide Bava Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios. Ackerman directed the pilot.
The cast includes Lindsey Kraft as Leslie, Ian Gomez as Father Gene, David Krumholtz as Rabbi Ableman, Tony Rock as Vince and Camryn Manheim as Ms. Meadows.
"Me, Myself & I"
"Me, Myself & I" stars Bobby Moynihan in a comedy about the defining moments in one man's life over three distinct periods – as a 14-year-old in 1991, at age 40 in present day and at age 65 in 2042. During these pivotal periods of yesterday, today and tomorrow, Alex always finds a way to move forward with determination and humor, knowing his life story isn't defined by the bad things that happen to him, but instead by how he chooses to deal with them. Dan Kopelman, Aaron Kaplan, Dana Honor and Randall Einhorn (pilot only) are executive producers for Kapital Entertainment in association with Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios. Einhorn directed the pilot.
The cast includes Dylan Grazer (Alex, 1991), Brian Unger (Ron, 1991, present day), Jaleel White (Darryl, present day), Kelen Coleman (Abby, 2042), Skylar Gray (Abby, present day), Christopher Paul Richards (Justin, 1991), Mandell Maughan (Maggie, 1991), Reylynn Caster (Nori, 1991), with Sharon Lawrence (Eleanor, 2042) and John Larroquette (Alex, 2042).
For 9-year-old Sheldon Cooper (Iain Armitage), it isn't easy growing up in East Texas. Being a once-in-a-generation mind capable of advanced mathematics and science isn't always helpful in a land where church and football are king. And while the vulnerable, gifted and somewhat naïve Sheldon deals with the world, his very normal family must find a way to deal with him. Multiple Emmy Award winner Jim Parsons of "The Big Bang Theory" narrates as Adult Sheldon. This single-camera, half-hour comedy gives us the chance to meet the character in childhood, as he embarks on his innocent, awkward and hopeful journey toward the man he will become. Chuck Lorre and Steve Molaro created the series and executive produce along with Jim Parsons and Todd Spiewak for Warner Bros. Television. Jon Favreau directed the pilot.
In addition to Jim Parsons as narrator, the cast includes Zoe Perry as Mary, Lance Barber as George Sr., Raegan Revord as Missy and Montana Jordan as Georgie Jr.