Even though CBS is America’s “most watched network,” it has decided that it’s time to go out with the old. Quite a lot of the old, actually. “Cold Case?” Canceled. “Ghost Whisperer?” De-breasted. “The New Adventures of Old Christine?” Not so new anymore (although there’s a chance ABC could revive the show). “Accidentally on Purpose?” Kaput (I guess the world really wasn’t clamoring for that new Jenna Elfman comedy!). “Miami Medical,” “Gary Unmarried,” “Numb3rs?” Dead, dead, deadski, all joining “Three Rivers,” which died a quick death long ago.
Some of these shows weren’t even on the bubble, and yet they’re gone. “Ghost Whisperer,” while a crap show, is a particular surprise because it was doing quite well for the network in its little Friday night slot (as with “Christine,” there’s a slim chance that this show could also land on ABC). “Rules of Engagement” and “Medium” were somewhat-surprisingly renewed, but all of this news obviously means CBS has some new shows in store for next season. And, CBS threw folks for a bit of a loop by rejiggering its schedule quite a bit, juggling a few things around to both help launch the new shows and try to stick it to the other networks a bit. Let’s take a look see.
Mondays. Most of the night remains intact, with “How I Met Your Mother” leading to “Rules of Engagement,” followed by “Two and a Half Men.” And yes, Sheen will return to “Men,” having signed a two-year deal, reportedly worth an insane amount of money just shy of $2 million per episode. Rumor has it all that money will be spent on drugs by the end of the year. Which is a shame, because when he winds up in jail for having put a knife to his wife’s throat last year, that money might’ve been the only thing that saved him from having two and a half men inside him. Hey yo!
Anyway, the big change here is that “The Big Bang Theory” has been punted to Thursday night, and CBS is going to launch the new comedy “Mike & Molly” off of “Men’s” ratings in its place. That will then be followed by the new remake/reboot/whatever of “Hawaii Five-0.”
So this “Mike & Molly” comedy comes from Chuck Lorre, the man responsible for “Two and a Half Men.” But fear not, he’s classing the joint up this time around, as he turns his sharp comedic sights on fat people. Yes, for serious. “Mike & Molly” is about a fat cop who meets a fat chick at Overeaters Anonymous, and their romantic tale is off and running. The lead fatties will be played by Billy Gardell (“My Name is Earl”) and Melissa McCarthy (“Gilmore Girls”), and the show will also star Katy Mixon (“Eastbound & Down”) and Swoosie Kurtz (“Pushing Daisies”). Unsurprisingly, word is that the pilot was not particularly well-received, but since Lorre is responsible for both “Two and a Half Men” and “Big Bang Theory,” the Eye wants to keep him happy.
“Hawaii Five-0,” meanwhile is CBS’ attempt to remake/revive both the ’70s show and Alex O’Laoughlin (who previously starred in CBS’ failed “Moonlight” and “Three Rivers”). Based in Hawaii, of course, it’s about “a new elite federalized task force whose mission is to wipe out the crime that washes up on the Islands’ sun-drenched beaches.” I’ve been saying for a long time that CBS needs a procedural cop show, so it’s about damn time! “Five-0” also stars Daniel Dae Kim, Scott Caan, Grace Park, Jean Smart and Taryn Manning, which is an interesting blend of good (Kim and Smart), mediocre (Caan and Park) and bad (Manning). Hang ten!
Tuesdays. Nothing new to see here: “NCIS” followed by “NCIS: Los Angeles” followed by “The Good Wife.”
Wednesdays. “Survivor,” sans toothless-Russell, moves to a new home, both because CBS has new plans for the show’s former home, and because this is currently a timeslot in terms of the networks’ never-ending ratings battles, and CBS knows that the “Survivor” fan base is pretty loyal and will follow the show to a new night (in fact, it’s done well when it’s aired on Wednesdays during March Madness). “Survivor” will be followed by “Criminal Minds” and then the new “The Defenders.”
Oh, “The Defenders.”
Fuck “The Defenders.” It’s a legal dramedy starring Jerry O’Connell and Jim Belushi as criminal defenders. Do you really need to know anything else? Nah, didn’t think so.
Thursdays. CBS’ new plan for Thursday nights is to turn the first hour into a comedy block, primarily to take on NBC, and then to turn things over to “CSI” and “The Mentalist.” So “The Big Bang Theory” finds its new home at 8 p.m., which is a pretty strong statement by CBS. It shows that they’ve got a lot of faith in this show being able to stand on its own, without “Two and a Half Men” as a lead in, and to both challenge “Community” on NBC and be a solid lead-in for the new comedy “$#*! My Dad Says.”
Yes. Seriously. CBS picked up “Shit My Dad Says,” though it can’t use “shit,” of course, which is why the show is called “$#*! My Dad Says” (and said as “bleep my dad says” in commercials). Who needs to base a show on books or even blogs when you can base it on the Twitter?! William Shatner stars as the titular dad and word has it he’ll say some zany and off-the-wall shit (or, as the press release puts it, he “relishes expressing his unsolicited and often wildly politically incorrect observations to anyone within earshot”). Snark aside, the hipster-loved version of the Shat is pretty good at bringing the kooky and un-PC, so with decent writing, I could actually see this kind of working.
Meanwhile, Dan Harmon, the showrunner for “Community,” had this to say (via Twitter) about CBS’ move:
Woke Erin to fret at her. After counseling, she says “I had a bad dream,” I snap “was it Big Bang Theory moving to 8?!”#badboyfriend
While “The Big Bang Theory” is an overrated mediocrity that isn’t one-tenth as funny as “Community,” I have little doubt that it will kill “Community” in the ratings, and so I’m now hoping that we can at least get a full second season from the gang at Greendale Community College.
Fridays. “Medium” moves to the 8 p.m. slot and “CSI:NY” gets moved to the Friday/9 p.m. slot, which CBS sells as being for the purpose of launching its new 10 p.m. show, “Blue Bloods,” rather than a dump-off in the Friday graveyard. As you can guess, yes, “Blue Bloods” is about cops. But it’s actually a potentially interesting mix of a family drama and a cop drama, focusing on a multi-generation family of New York cops. The most interesting thing about this isn’t that premise, frankly, but the cast, which includes Tom Selleck, Donnie Wahlberg, and Bridget Moynahan, among others.
Saturdays. From 8 to 10 it’s Crimetime Saturday, which means reruns of whatever procedurals CBS feels like putting on, followed by “48 Hours Mystery” at 10.
Sundays. “60 Minutes” comes on whenever football end, as always, followed by “The Amazing Race,” “Undercover Boss” and the new home for “CSI: Miami.”
As for midseason replacements, the Eye only has one show on deck so far. We know CBS loves spinning off its successful procedurals, so the only surprise here is that it’s taken the network so long to spin-off “Criminal Minds,” with a currently untitled show. It stars Forest Whitaker and some others as a second group of behavioral analysts, tracking killers, intrigue, yadda yadda yadda.