CBS, the No. 1 network, should have no trouble maintaining its leadership position next season. The Eye net introduced a strong fall lineup today, with an emphasis on comedy.
Eight sitcoms will anchor the season, with comedy returning to the 8-10p.m. Monday night block.
Six new series will make their debut: comedies "Kevin Can Wait," "Man With a Plan" and "The Great Indoors;" and dramas "Bull," Pure Genius" and the revival of "MacGyver."
Six returning shows are moving to new time periods: "2 Broke Girls," "Scorpion," "NCIS: New Orleans," "Life in Pieces," "NCIS: Los Angeles" and "Madam Secretary."
The changes will impact five nights of programming, with only Wednesday and Saturday nights remaining the same.
Debuting midseason are new dramas "Doubt" and "Training Day" and new non-scripted hour "Hunted." Returning are "The Amazing Race," "Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders" and "Undercover Boss." Absent from the new lineup is freshman drama "Limitless," which CBS said could move to another outlet.
Last season, of course, CBS was touting the arrival of "Supergirl," which the network was hoping would give it traction with younger audiences drawn to comics-themed dramas. Interest started out strong, but quickly faded, so Monday night has once again returned to comedy, which has been a strong staple on CBS since 1949.
While "2 Broke Girls" is perhaps no longer strong enough to anchor an hour, leading off Monday with former "The King of Queens" star Kevin James in "Kevin Can Wait" paired with Matt LeBlanc’s new sitcom "Man With a Plan" looks like a potentially winning combination.
"Scorpion" in the Monday 10 p.m. hour, meanwhile, is a solid way to conclude the night, as "NCIS: Los Angeles" moves to Sunday at 8 p.m.
With more hit, established series for lead-in support, new drama "Bull," with former "NCIS" star Michael Weatherly, scheduled smack in the middle of Tuesday, in between "NCIS" and the relocated "NCIS: New Orleans," is both bold and strategic. And new Thursday night sitcom "The Great Indoors" will certainly get sampled after season 10 of TV’s highest-rated comedy, "The Big Bang Theory.
Also particularly promising is the revival of "MacGyver" in the Friday 8 p.m. hour. While anchoring an evening with any new show is a potential risk, another thumbs up goes to the network for not giving up on an evening where deteriorating HUT levels remains a challenge. (The same cannot be said for NBC.)
Since nothing is perfect, the retooled drama combination of "NCIS: Los Angeles," "Madam Secretary" and "Elementary" will skew particularly old opposite "Sunday Night Football" on NBC.
New Thursday 10 p.m. drama "Pure Genius" will not have the best lead-in support out of relocated "Life in Pieces." And CBS, the network in the best position to attempt to program troubled Saturday, is once again hiding behind "48 Hours" and drama repeats.
But, all things considered, the programmers at the Eye net have architected what looks like one of its best fall schedules in years.
What follows is the CBS primetime schedule this fall (with the new series in bold), followed by the new fall series descriptions:
("The Big Bang Theory" will open the season at 8 p.m. into new comedy "Kevin Can Wait." It moves back to Thursday after "Thursday Night Football" concludes)
8:00 p.m. "Kevin Can Wait"
8:30 p.m. "Man With a Plan"
9:00 p.m. "Two Broke Girls" (new day and time)
9:30 p.m. "The Odd Couple"
10:00 p.m. "Scorpion" (new time)
8:00 p.m. "NCIS"
9:00 p.m. "Bull"
10:00 p.m. "NCIS: New Orleans" (new time)
8:00 p.m. "Survivor"
9:00 p.m. "Criminal Minds"
10:00 p.m. "Code Black"
("Thursday Night Football" initially)
8:00 p.m. "The Big Bang Theory"
8:30 p.m. "The Great Indoors"
9:00 p.m. "Mom"
9:30 p.m. "Life in Pieces" (new day and time)
10:00 p.m. "Pure Genius"
8:00 p.m. "MacGyver"
9:00 p.m. "Hawaii Five-O"
10:00 p.m. "Blue Bloods"
8:00 p.m. Crimetime Saturday (drama repeats)
9:00 p.m/ Crimetime Saturday (drama repeats)
10:00 p.m. "48 Hours"
7:00 p.m. "60 Minutes"
8:00 p.m. "NCIS: Los Angeles" (new day and time)
9:00 p.m. "Madam Secretary" (new time)
10:00 p.m. "Elementary"
New Program Descriptions
Studio: CBS Television Studios
Team: Paul Attanasio, Dr. Phillip C. McGraw (Stage 29 Productions), Steven Spielberg (Amblin Television), Justin Falvey & Darryl Frank (Amblin Television), Jay McGraw (Stage 29 Productions)
Logline: A drama inspired by the early career of Dr. Phil McGraw as the founder of one of the most prolific trial consulting firms of all time. Brilliant, brash and charming, Dr. Bull (Michael Weatherly) is the ultimate puppet master as he combines psychology, human intuition and high tech data to learn what makes jurors, attorneys, witnesses and the accused tick.
Cast: Michael Weatherly as ‘Dr. Jason Bull’, Freddy Rodriguez, Geneva Carr, Chris Jackson, Jaime Lee Kirchner, Annabelle Attanasio
Studio: CBS Television Studios in association with Lionsgate
Team: Peter Lenkov, Henry Winkler, Lee Zlotoff, James Wan, Michael Clear, David Von Ancken
Logline: A reimagining of the television series of the same name, following a 20-something MacGyver as he creates a clandestine organization where he uses his knack for solving problems in unconventional ways to help prevent disasters from happening.
Cast: Lucas Till as "MacGyver," George Eads
Studio: Universal Television in association with CBS Television Studios
Team: Jason Katims, Michelle Lee, David Semel
Logline: The focus is on a young Silicon Valley tech titan (Augustus Prew) who enlists a veteran surgeon with a controversial past in starting a hospital with a cutting edge, "new school" approach to medicine.
Cast: Augustus Prew, Dermot Mulroney, Brenda Song, Reshma Shetty, Ward Horton, Aaron Jennings, Odette Annable
"The Great Indoors"
Studio: CBS Television Studios
Team: Mike Gibbons, Chris Harris, Andy Ackerman
Logline: An adventure reporter (Joel McHale) must adapt to becoming the boss to a group of millennials in the digital department of the magazine.
Cast: Joel McHale, Stephen Fry, Chris Williams, Shaun Brown, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Christine Ko, Susannah Fielding
"Kevin Can Wait"
Studio: Sony Pictures Television and CBS Television Studios
Team: Kevin James, Bruce Helford, Rock Reuben, Andy Fickman, Jess Sussman
Logline: Former "The King of Queens" star Kevin James plays a newly retired police officer looking forward to spending carefree, quality time with his wife and three kids, only to discover he faces tougher challenges at home than he ever did on the streets.
Cast: Erinn Hayes, Taylor Spreitler, Mary-Charles Jones, James Digiacomo, Ryan Cartwright, Leonard Earl Howze, Lenny Venito and Gary Valentine.
"Man With a Plan"
Studio: CBS Television Studios
Team: Jeff & Jackie Filgo, Matt LeBlanc, Michael Rotenberg, Troy Zien
Logline: A contractor (Matt LeBlanc) whose wife goes back to work starts spending more time with his kids and discovers the truth every parent eventually realizes: His little angels are maniacs.
Cast: Matt LeBlanc, Jessica Chaffin, Matt Cook, Grace Kaufman, Hala Finley, Matthew McCann