[The press release from CBS is below. My thoughts are at the bottom]
CBS, the only major broadcast network to grow its audience in all key ratings measures this season, announced today the addition of four new series to strengthen its already top rated primetime lineup for the Fall 2009-2010 season.
The new series include three dramas and one comedy. Chris O’Donnell and LL COOL J star in NCIS: LOS ANGELES, a spinoff from the hit drama NCIS; THE GOOD WIFE stars Emmy® Award winner Julianna Margulies in a legal drama about a steadfast wife and mother who boldly returns to work as a lawyer when her husband is imprisoned for a high profile political scandal; THREE RIVERS, a medical drama that stars Alex O’Loughlin as the head of a renowned transplant surgery team, and ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE stars Golden Globe Award winner Jenna Elfman in an ensemble comedy about a successful, single journalist who accidentally gets pregnant by a much younger man.
The freshmen series will join 18 returning series on the current CBS schedule.
CBS will return the season’s #1 drama/scripted program — CSI; #1 comedy — TWO AND A HALF MEN; #1 new series — THE MENTALIST and the #1 news magazine – 60 MINUTES, along with two franchise reality series — SURVIVOR and the six-time Emmy Award winner THE AMAZING RACE.
The other returning series include: THE BIG BANG THEORY, HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, CSI: MIAMI, NCIS, THE NEW ADVENTURES OF OLD CHRISTINE; GARY UNMARRIED, CRIMINAL MINDS, CSI: NY, GHOST WHISPERER, NUMB3RS, 48 HOURS MYSTERY and COLD CASE.
Ordered for midseason is a new fast-paced medical drama, MIAMI TRAUMA, from executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer; the new police drama THE BRIDGE; the returning comedy RULES OF ENGAGEMENT; and the new alternative series ARRANGED MARRIAGE and UNDERCOVER BOSS.
On the strength of its scripted series, and the success of its two reality franchises, CBS will win the 2008-2009 television season in viewers, its sixth victory in the past seven years, and in adults 25-54 (projected tie with Fox). CBS is the ONLY network to post ratings gains over the last season in all key measures: +12% in viewers, + 3% in adults 18-49, and +8% in adults 25-54.
This top-rated schedule will serve as the springboard to introduce four new series — all of which have established franchises as a lead-in.
The 2009-2010 schedule:
On Mondays at 8:00 PM, the critically acclaimed ensemble comedy HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER opens the night and serves as a strong lead-in for the new comedy ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE at 8:30 PM. From 9:00-10:00 PM, television’s top comedy TWO AND A HALF MEN and the genius comedy THE BIG BANG THEORY form a power comedy hour. CSI: MIAMI, a perennial time period winner, completes the night at 10:00 PM.
On Tuesdays, NCIS kicks off the night at 8:00 PM, providing a seamless lead-in for its spin off NCIS: LOS ANGELES at 9:00 PM, followed by new legal drama THE GOOD WIFE at 10:00 PM.
Wednesday returns intact with the comedy block THE NEW ADVENTURES OF OLD CHRISTINE and GARY UNMARRIED from 8:00-9:00 PM, as well as the crime drama tandem of CRIMINAL MINDS and CSI: NY from 9:00-11:00 PM.
On Thursdays at 8:00 PM, SURVIVOR returns to the time period it has won every year since 2004. And from 9:00-11:00 PM, CBS is pairing television’s #1 drama, CSI, with television’s #1 new series, THE MENTALIST.
On Friday, CBS plans to add the popular drama series MEDIUM at 9:00 PM, starring Emmy Award winner Patricia Arquette, to its top-rated Friday night lineup, forming a hauntingly compatible two-hour block with GHOST WHISPERER at 8:00 PM. NUMB3RS caps the night at 10:00 PM.
The Saturday night lineup remains intact, anchored by the night’s highest-rated show, 48 HOURS MYSTERY.
As always, 60 MINUTES kicks off Sundays at 7:00 PM, followed by the six-time Emmy Award winning reality series THE AMAZING RACE at 8:00 PM, which leads into the new medical drama THREE RIVERS at 9:00 PM. The crime drama COLD CASE anchors at 10:00 PM.
The new DRAMAS:
NCIS: LOS ANGELES is a drama about the high stakes world of undercover surveillance at the Office of Special Projects (OSP), a division of NCIS that is charged with apprehending dangerous and elusive criminals that pose a threat to the nation’s security. By assuming false identities and utilizing the most advanced technology, this team of highly trained agents goes deep undercover, putting their lives on the line in the field to bring down their targets. Special Agent “G” Callen (Chris O’Donnell) is a chameleon who transforms himself into whomever he needs to be to infiltrate the criminal underworld. His partner is Special Agent Sam Hanna (LL COOL J), a former U.S. Navy SEAL who has seen action in both Afghanistan and Iraq, and a surveillance expert who uses state of the art monitoring equipment to look out for those in the field and feed them crucial information. Both Callen and Hanna report to Special Agent Lara Macy (Louise Lombard), the OSP team leader responsible for directing the operations and making life-or-death decisions. Assisting the team is Special Agent Kensi Lo (Daniela Ruah), the exceptionally bright daughter of a slain Marine who lives for the adrenalin rush that comes with undercover work, and Operational Psychologist Nate Getz (Peter Cambor), adept at getting into anybody’s head, profiling the target and monitoring agents’ states of mind before, during and after missions. Armed with the latest in high tech gear and sent regularly into life-threatening situations, this tight-knit team relies on each other to do what is necessary to protect national interests. Shane Brennan (“NCIS”) is the executive producer for CBS Television Studios.
THE GOOD WIFE is a drama starring Emmy Award winner Julianna Margulies as a wife and mother who must assume full responsibility for her family and re-enter the workforce after her husband’s very public sex and political corruption scandal lands him in jail. Pushing aside the betrayal and crushing public humiliation caused by her husband Peter (Chris Noth), Alicia Florrick (Margulies) starts over by pursuing her original career as a defense attorney. As a junior associate at a prestigious Chicago law firm, she joins her longtime friend, former law school classmate and firm partner Will Gardner (Josh Charles), who is interested to see how Alicia will perform after 13 years out of the courtroom. Alicia is grateful the firm’s top litigator, Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski), offers to mentor her but discovers the offer has conditions and realizes she’s going to need to succeed on her own merit. Alicia’s main competition among the firm’s 20-something new recruits is Cary (Matt Czuchry), a recent Harvard grad who is affable on the surface, but will use any means to ensure that he, not Alicia, secures the one full-time associate position that’s available. Fortunately, Alicia finds an ally in Kalinda (Archie Panjabi), the firm’s tough in-house investigator. Gaining confidence every day, Alicia transforms herself from embarrassed politician’s scorned wife to resilient career woman, especially for the sake of providing a stable home for her children, 14-year-old Zach (Graham Phillips) and 13-year-old Grace (Makenzie Vega). For the first time in years, Alicia trades in her identity as the “good wife” and takes charge of her own destiny. Tony Scott, Ridley Scott, Robert King, Michelle King, Dee Johnson and David Zucker are the executive producers for CBS Television Studios.
THREE RIVERS is a medical drama that goes inside the emotionally complex lives of organ donors, the recipients and the surgeons at the preeminent transplant hospital in the country where every moment counts. However, dealing with donor families in their darkest hour and managing the fears and concerns of apprehensive recipients takes much more than just a sharp scalpel. Leading the elite team is Dr. Andy Yablonski (Alex O’Loughlin), the highly-skilled workaholic lead organ transplant surgeon, whose good-natured personality and sarcastic wit makes him popular with his patients and colleagues. His colleagues include Dr. Miranda Foster (Katherine Moennig), a surgical fellow with a rebellious streak and fiery temper who strives to live up to her deceased father’s excellent surgical reputation; Dr. David Lee (Daniel Henney), a womanizing surgical resident who’s broken as many hearts as he’s replaced; Ryan Abbott (Christopher J. Hanke), the inexperienced new transplant coordinator who arranges the intricately choreographed process of quickly and carefully transporting organs from donor to patient; Dr. Sophia Jordan (Julia Ormond), the head of surgery and a dedicated medical professional; and Pam Acosta (Justina Machado), Andy’s no-nonsense operating assistant and best friend. In this high stakes arena, in which every case is a race against the clock, these tenacious surgeons and medical professionals are the last hope for their patients. Carol Barbee, Curtis Hanson and Carol Fenelon are the executive producers for CBS Television Studios.
The new COMEDY:
ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE is a comedy starring Golden Globe Award winner Jenna Elfman as Billie, a single woman who finds herself “accidentally” pregnant after a one-night stand with a much younger guy, and decides to keep the baby… and the guy. A newspaper film critic, Billie is barely surviving a humiliating breakup with her charming boss, James (Grant Show), who’s still trying to resume their relationship. Suddenly expecting a child with her “boy toy,” Zack (Jon Foster), Billie and Zack make an arrangement: to live together platonically. Billie’s party girl best friend Olivia (Ashley Jensen), and Abby (Lennon Parham), her conventional, younger married sister, eagerly look forward to the new addition and offer their own brands of advice and encouragement. But when Zack and his freeloading friends, including Davis (Nicolas Wright), start to turn her place into a frat house, Billie isn’t sure if she’s living with a boyfriend, a roommate, or if she just has another child to raise. Lloyd Braun, Gail Berman, Gene Stein and Claudia Lonow are the executive producers for CBS Television Studios. Pamela Fryman directed the pilot.
The new MIDSEASON DRAMAS:
THE BRIDGE is a drama about a tough and dedicated police officer who is voted to become the police union’s dynamic leader. To serve the public as well as his 8,000 fellow officers, charismatic Frank Leo (Aaron Douglas) battles criminals on the street, corruption in the ranks and his own bosses. On the force is his able partner and confidante Tommy Dunn (Paul Popowich), who rides with Frank across the bridge that spans the divide between the rich and the poor in the area they patrol; Staff Sergeant Bernie Kantor (Frank Cassini), a voice of reason and moral sounding board; Jill (Inga Cadranel), a detective with a lot of attitude who is moving up the ranks; Billy (Theresa Joy), a young female cop who is determined to prove herself to the guys; and Ed Wycoff (Michael Murphy), the shrewd Chief of Police. Abby St. James (Ona Grauer) is a sharp prosecutor who begins working with the police union, and shares a mutual attraction with Frank. In his new position, Frank Leo takes on the politically-motivated department brass… and makes many powerful enemies in the process. Craig Bromell, Adam J. Shully, Laszlo Barna, Alan Di Fiore and Robert Wertheimer are executive producers for E1 Entertainment, 990 Multi Media Entertainment Company and Jonsworth Productions in association with CTV and CBS Television Studios.
MIAMI TRAUMA is about a team of expert surgeons who work at one of the premiere trauma facilities in the country, where only patients with life threatening injuries are treated. Dr. Matthew Proctor (Jeremy Northam) is new to the trauma team, after a tour of duty in a MASH unit during the Gulf war. Dr. Eva Zambrano (Lana Parrilla) is a workaholic surgeon who is more comfortable in her scrubs than she is out in the real world. Dr. Christopher Deleo, “Dr. C.,” is a playboy who thrives on the high-stakes of trauma medicine and is, by his own description, a genius redneck. Dr. Serena Warren (Elisabeth Harnois) is fresh out of medical school, and head nurse Tuck Brody (Omar Gooding) keeps the doctors on track and the patients’ families updated in this chaotic corner of the medical profession. Together, this team of doctors excels in the “golden hour,” the 60 minutes after being critically injured, when a patient’s life hangs in the balance. Jerry Bruckheimer, Jeffrey Lieber and Jonathan Littman are executive producers for Jerry Bruckheimer Television and Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Warner Bros. Television Distribution.
The new MIDSEASON ALTERNATIVE series:
ARRANGED MARRIAGE is a series that brings the tradition of arranged marriages, which is still practiced successfully by many cultures throughout the world, to the U.S., where it is virtually an inconceivable option for most single Americans. Three adults who are anxious to get married, but who have been unsuccessful in their own search for a mate, choose a life-altering path. They rely on their closest family and friends, those who love and know them best, to choose someone for them to marry based on shared goals, values, experiences and the commitment to make it work. The series intimately documents these three arranged marriages, starting with the first meetings of the families and the wedding day; and then follows the couple through the day-to-day joys, challenges, and emotional tumult that results from their arranged union. Emmy Award nominees Jane Lipsitz and Dan Cutforth are executive producers for Magical Elves Inc.
UNDERCOVER BOSS is a new reality series that follows high level corporate executives as they slip anonymously into the lowest level jobs within their companies. Once undercover, they’ll get their hands dirty with the rank and file, find out what their employees REALLY think of them and discover how smoothly their companies are REALLY run. In the process, these senior executives learn about themselves, the perception of their company and the spirit of their work force. Stephen Lambert is the executive producer for Studio Lambert, Ltd.
Following is the 2009-2010 CBS Television Network primetime schedule:
CBS TELEVISON NETWORK
2009-2010 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE
(N=New, NT=New Time, all times ET/PT)
8:00-8:30 PM HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER (NT)
8:30-9:00 PM ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE (N)
9:00-9:30 PM TWO AND A HALF MEN
9:30-10:00 PM THE BIG BANG THEORY (NT)
10:00-11:00 PM CSI: MIAMI
8:00-9:00 PM NCIS
9:00-10:00 PM NCIS: LOS ANGELES (N)
10:00-11:00 PM THE GOOD WIFE (N)
8:00-8:30 PM THE NEW ADVENTURES OF OLD CHRISTINE
8:30-9:00 PM GARY UNMARRIED
9:00-10:00 PM CRIMINAL MINDS
10:00-11:00 PM CSI: NY
8:00-9:00 PM SURVIVOR
9:00-10:00 PM CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION
10:00-11:00 PM THE MENTALIST (NT)
8:00-9:00 PM GHOST WHISPERER
9:00-10:00 PM MEDIUM
10:00-11:00 PM NUMB3RS
8:00-9:00 PM CRIMETIME SATURDAY
9:00-10:00 PM CRIMETIME SATURDAY
10:00-11:00 PM 48 HOURS MYSTERY
7:00-8:00 PM 60 MINUTES
8:00-9:00 PM THE AMAZING RACE
9:00-10:00 PM THREE RIVERS (N)
10:00-11:00 PM COLD CASE (NT)
The Good: I think CBS may finally have fixed their Friday night problem. As goofy as it may seem to have Ghost Whisperer and Medium on the SAME network, they are very compatible shows. They will continue to dominate on one of the weakest nights. Recognizing that Without a Trace was near the end of the road was wise, and moving The Mentalist to Thursday, though it may seem risky is probably the smartest move on the schedule.
The Bad: New show Three Rivers (victory for the Moonlight/Alex O. fans) will have to go up against Desperate Housewives. Is there enough weakness in that show to help build an audience for Three Rivers? And really? Did the NCIS spin off have to follow the CSI naming practice? Because really — isn’t it confusing enough with all the NY, Miami, etc on their schedule?
Bottom Line: CBS continues to project stability with its schedule. They have embraced who they are and what they do well and are moving away from risks like Harper’s Island and Jericho. They continue to give their audience what they want and respond to.
New Shows to Spec: The Mentalist, Gary Unmarried (?)
Still viable Specs: CSI:NY, Criminal Minds, The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, The New Adventures of Old Christine, Medium (?)
Possibly too old to Spec: CSI, CSI:Miami, Numb3rs, Cold Case, Two and a Half Men
Posted under analysis, tv news
This post was written by Shawna on May 20, 2009