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May 15, 2008 |

By Seth Freilich | Industry | May 15, 2008 |

We know what NBC’s doing next fall, what ABC’s doing, and what the CW has up its sleeve. Now it’s CBS’ turn (and check back in on Monday for the Fox schedule). As other critics and TV folks have noted, CBS went out on a limb last year, with musicals and vampires and rum farms and swingers living in the 70’s (a show that still hasn’t aired yet, and won’t until next month). It got bit pretty hard with all those experiments, so it’s gone back to the well with the standard sitcoms and procedurals. Hotness.

Sundays. Seven p.m. remains the home of “60 Minutes,” now with even more senile Andy Rooney. You know, back in my day, I hated that mother fucker. And today, I still hate that mother fucker. Whatever with that, though, because 8 p.m. gives us the happy return of “The Amazing Race.” I can’t get me enough of this show, even the crappy seasons, so I’m happy to learn that we’ll get two seasons next year! (The second one will presumably start up around February.) It feels like it’s been forever since the last Race.

Nine p.m. also remains unchanged with “Cold Case.” You know, as far as procedurals go, this one’s not terrible. Plus it’s set in Philly, and I’m a major homer when it comes to Philly. …And yet, I’ve only watched it once or twice. But if there’s not something worth flipping to, I actually may end up watching it more this year, since I’ll have to come back to CBS at 10 p.m. anyways for “The Unit,” a show which was on the bubble but eeked out a renewal. You know, it happened very quietly, but this sucker has become one of my favorite current network shows. Not sure if that’ll remain the case, though, as the creators have decided to focus a bit more on the wives and off-base storylines, with a little less focus on the military stuff. But I’ll reserve judgment for the moment.

Oh, and as usual, you can expect many of these shows to run up to about 30-40 minutes late, thanks to football (oh glorious football, can’t you get here any quicker?). So set your DVRs accordingly.

Mondays. Mondays remain unchanged for the Eye, but for one new addition. At 9:30, CBS gives us the “The Worst Week,” a new comedy (hesitant as I am to use that word, I’ll stick with CBS’ contention for now) based on the British show “The Worst Week of My Life.” This is apparently about an engaged couple getting ready for their wedding and dealing with their in-laws or some such. And I assume it takes place over the course of a week. Which is probably about the real-time lifespan of this show, no? Actually, it might do ok since it has “Two and a Half Men” as its lead-in. Lord knows I can’t stand the show, but it has a lot of fans and pulls good numbers, and some of them may just stick around for “Worst Week.”

(Fun fact: NBC apparently had first dibs on “Worst Week,” as it’s produced by NBC Universal, but the Peacock declines. CBS, it would seem, likes itself some peacock droppings.)

The 8-to-9 hour remains “The Big Bang Theory” and “How I Met Your Mother,” giving CBS a full two-hour comedy block. I’ve watched “Big Bang” twice, and laughed never, so I’m not really sure how it has enough fans to warrant renewal. Then again, I’ve already said that I despise “Two and a Half Men” too, so maybe I’m just out of touch with what passes for comedy these days. As for “HIMYM,” it was on the bubble yet again, though not as much as last. But I’d say the odds are good that this will be the last season if it doesn’t see at least a small ratings bump. So get it while it’s hot.

Ten p.m., meanwhile, remains the home of over-actor extraordinaire David Caruso and “CSI: Miami.” That video montage of Caruso’s ridunkulous one-liners is the most I’ve ever seen of this show, and the most I ever want to see. Here it is again, in fact, for our collective viewing enjoyment:

Tuesdays. “NCIS” has been on for some time now. Has it always been on in this timeslot? I couldn’t tell you. Is it any good? I couldn’t tell you. You know who might be able to tell you? A mentalist! And conveniently, for the purposes of this wonderful segue, “The Mentalist” airs right after it at 9 p.m. The last time Simon Baker was on TV, it was on CBS’ quick-lived “Smith.” I suspect he’s about to go oh-for-two now, with this questionable show. He plays a celebrity psychic who uses his wonderful mental powers to help solve crime.

Ten p.m., meanwhile, has been a troublesome slot for CBS, sot there going to give “Without a Trace,” a reliable ratings show for them, a chance here. I don’t know much, but I do know this — the “Without a Trace” crew will have a spiffy new case when “The Mentalist” goes missing. Lucky for them, it’ll be easy as shit to figure out the whys and wheres of that disappearance.

Wednesdays. The night starts off with “The New Adventures of Old Christine,” another show which was on the bubble and which probably would’ve landed at ABC with “Scrubs” had the Eye dropped it. (You know, for the number one network, CBS sure seems to have had a lot of shows on the bubble, no?) It’s followed by another new comedy, “Project Gary.” CBS signed a deal with Jay Mohr last year and this show, following his stint on “The Ghost Whisperer,” is the result. Mohr plays a newly divorced dad dealing with life, and the kids, and a new girlfriend, and the ex-wife (Paula Marshall), and comedy ensues. I’m a fan of Mohr, and “Action” remains one of my favorite short-lived shows, so I’ll likely check this out to see if it’s got any legs. Which it probably won’t, if for no other reason than poor Paula Marshall is what they call a major show killer. Her shit just doesn’t stick around very long.

Nine p.m., it’s “Criminal Minds,” and at 10 p.m., it’s “CSI:NY.” I have nothing to add. These are shows folks either watch and enjoy, or they don’t watch and don’t care about. I don’t think there are many that love ‘em nor, I suspect, are there many that hate ‘em. They are what they are.

Thursdays. At 8 p.m., “Survivor” is going to Africa, and it’s going HD. I think I’m more excited about the HD business, because when the show gets particularly boring, at least we’ll have some hopefully pretty views to look at. And as with “The Amazing Race,” there’ll be a second season in the spring which is good news for the die hards like me (try though I might to quit this show, I fully recognize that I will watch every single season until the day it’s no more).

Nine p.m. is, of course, “CSI.” And it gives way to the new “Eleventh Hour,” which is probably a good match that’ll feed well off of the “CSI” viewers. “Eleventh Hour” is the latest Bruckheimer-produced procedural, this time starring Rufus Sewell and his bug eyes as a scientist who works for the government investigating unusual crimes. It’s yet another import, this time of a British show that originally starred Patrick Stewart. And I would much rather watch that version. But you dig the CBS procedurals, this may be your cup of earl grey tea.

Fridays. Jennifer Love and her Hewitts return to the 8 p.m. slot in “The Ghost Whisperer,” while “Numb3rs” returns to the 10 p.m. slot (sans Dianne Farr now, dang nab it). In between the two is the last of CBS’ new fall shows, “The Ex List.” This is yet another Americanization, this time of an Israeli show, about a chick who learns from a tarot reader that one of her ex boyfriends is actually The One for her and she needs to find him and marry him right quick. Sounds absolutely terrible to me, but it’s got two things working for it. One, it stars Elizabeth Reaser, whose guest turn on “Grey’s Anatomy” has been one of the only good things that show’s had going for it anymore. But more importantly, the pilot was written by Diane Ruggiero, who wrote 17 episodes of “Veronica Mars” and was basically Rob Thomas’ Number Two for the last season. That’s enough that I’ll likely at least check out the pilot. But with this mushy premise, the show’s going to have to work damn hard to make me want to come back.

Saturdays. Crimetime crap, crimetime crap, and “48 Hours.” Whatever.

So there you have it. For those keeping count, “Shark,” “Cane,” “Kid Nation,” “Welcome to the Captain” and “Moonlight,” among others, were canceled. I’ll miss “Cane” a little, but whatever with all the rest. And while there’s a rumor that “Moonlight” could land on the CW’s contracted-out Sunday nights, a rumor which actually makes sense for at least one good reason, I don’t think this rumor has much behind it. So don’t hold your breath, vampire lovers.

Finally, “Rules of Engagement” will be back sometime in the midseason (or as soon as one of th new comedies tanks). And CBS has one more new show slated for the midseason as well — “Harper’s Island.” Described as a cross between Scream and Ten Little Indians, it’s about wedding guests on an island off of Seattle who are being terrorized by a killer. And, well, I just don’t know what to say about that, so fuck it — I’m outta here.

Seth Freilich is Pajiba’s television editor. Part of the reason he loves “The Unit” so much may have a little to do with the fact that, if he played for the other team, he would have so many dirty dreams about a Dennis Haysbert, Max Martini, Scott Foley, triple-decker club sandwich. If he played for the other team. Which he doesn’t. …Hey, Audrey Marie Anderson, get over here!

Comedy, Comedy, Procedural, Comedy, Procedural, Procedural, Romantic Dramedy, Procedural, Procedural, Procedural...

CBS' 2008 Fall Schedule / The TV Whore
May 15, 2008

Industry | May 15, 2008 |

Seth is a Senior Editor and sometime critic. You may email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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