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buddy-games-cbs.jpeg

CBS's Strike-Proof Fall Schedule Is Pathetic

By Dustin Rowles | TV | July 18, 2023 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | July 18, 2023 |


buddy-games-cbs.jpeg

The Times reported that Labor Day, about seven weeks away, is going to be make-or-break for the studios during the writers’ strike because if the strike persists beyond that, movie release dates will be pushed (Deadpool 3 could be pushed from May 2024 to May 2025, for instance), and the networks will not have new scripted content in the fall.

That’s going to be something of a double-edged sword for actors and writers because whenever there are work stoppages like this, one or two reality series or game shows invariably break through, but not as much as one might fear. During the 2007-08 writers’ strike, for instance, the new reality fare consisted of American Gladiators on NBC, Wipeout on ABC, The Moment of Truth on Fox, and an additional installment of Big Brother. Those did not exactly stick around for a long time, and their ratings fell short of the scripted programming.

This fall, things look bleak for the networks. We already looked at the pathetic ABC fall schedule, which will include a Thursday night with three back-to-back hour-long game shows, Press Your Luck, Celebrity Wheel of Fortune, and The $100,000 Pyramid. The network is basically counting on The Golden Bachelor (an installment of the dating series with a 71-year-old bachelor) to carry it through the strike.

CBS waited a long time before unveiling their fall schedule because that network had hoped that the writers’ strike would be over by now because NCIS, CSI, FBI, and Blue Bloods episodes do not write themselves. They realize now that, at best, the fall schedule is going to be delayed deep into the fall, or possibly in 2024, and so the network has come up with their contingency plan. It is sad. How sad?

CBS will be airing bleeped episodes of Yellowstone on Sunday nights, beginning with the first season. This is a series that has already aired on Paramount and that Peacock has the streaming rights to. These are basically third-run episodes of a show that may never get a proper ending because Kevin Costner and Taylor Sheridan can’t agree on scheduling.

Do you like Ghosts on CBS? Great! Because the network is going to rerun that popular sitcom and follow it up with episodes of the UK Ghosts. You could watch old episodes of the UK Ghosts one week at a time, or you could watch all three seasons on Max right this minute!

FBI is popular on CBS, so why not air reruns of that in the fall and follow it up with episodes of FBI True, a docuseries about the FBI. Old people are going to be pissed, but not as pissed as they’re going to be when they tune in to watch NCIS: Gloucester, MA and end up with primetime episodes of The Price Is Right and Let’s Make a Deal.

The one thing that CBS can at least rely on is Survivor and The Amazing Race on Wednesday, although both will be padded out to 90 minutes to fill the entire three-hour block. I hate that. There are also three new, original unscripted series: Buddy Games, Lotería Loca, and Raid the Cage. Buddy Games, it appears, is a reality competition series hosted by Josh Duhamel based on the Josh Duhamel movie with a 16 percent Rotten Tomatoes rating that no one watched.

How important are writers and actors? Without them, viewers are stuck watching Josh Duhamel reality competitions and television BINGO.