The CBS 2011-2012 Primetime Schedule

09/18/2011 at 9:19 pm | Posted in, Net/Spec | Leave a comment
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Below is the 2011-2012 primetime schedule, including premiere dates:


8p – How I Met Your Mother (9/19)

8:30p – 2 Broke Girls (9/19 at 9:30) NS

9p – Two and a Half Men (9/19)

9:30p – Mike & Molly (9/26)

10p – Hawaii Five-O (9/19)


8p – NCIS (9/20)

9p – NCIS: Los Angeles (9/20)

10p – Unforgettable (9/20) NS


8p – Survivor: South Pacific (9/14)

9p – Criminal Minds (9/21)

10p – CSI (9/21) NT


8p – The Big Bang Theory (9/22)

8:30p – How to Be a Gentleman (9/29) NS

9p – Person of Interest (9/22) NS

10p – The Mentalist (9/22)


8p – A Gifted Man (9/23) NS

9p – CSI: NY (10/23)

10p –Blue Bloods (9/23)


8p – Rules of Engagement (10/8) NT



10p – 48 Hours Mystery


7p – 60 Minutes

8p – The Amazing Race (9/25)

9p -The Good Wife (9/25) NT

10p – CSI: Miami (9/25)


NS notates new series – NT notates a returning show moving to a new time period.

Other than Rules, Saturday will be encore programming from during the week.


CBS has always had a love/hate relationship with Rules of Engagement.  Even only getting midseason airings, Rules has always garnered good ratings – even better than new fall shows.  Last year, CBS actually broke habit and gave it a full season.  Well, CBS is now moving it to Saturdays with reruns and 48 hours.  My feeling is that once it reaches the number for syndication, CBS will drop it.

CSI is moving out of its once powerful time period.  The years with Laurence helming brought down the ratings quite a bit (don’t blame him, blame the exit of William Petersen).  This year it is moving to Wednesday with Ted Danson as the lead.  I’ll be very interested to see how that pans out!

The Good Wife moving to Sunday makes sense.  CBS wants a show that gets better ratings, but wants to keep this critical hit.


2 Broke Girls – Here’s how CBS described it in their press release:

“A comedy about two young women waitressing at a greasy spoon diner who strike up an unlikely friendship in the hopes of launching a successful business – if only they can raise the cash.  Sassy, streetwise Max (Kat Dennings) works two jobs just to get by, one of which is waiting tables during the night shift at the retro-hip Williamsburg Diner.  Sophisticated Caroline (Beth Behrs) is an uptown trust fund princess who’s having a run of bad luck that forces her to reluctantly give waitressing a shot.  At first, Max sees Caroline as yet another in a long line of inept servers she must cover for, but she’s surprised to find that Caroline has as much substance as she does style.  When Caroline discovers Max’s knack for baking amazing cupcakes, she sees a lucrative future for them, but they first need to raise the start-up money.  While they save their tips, they’ll stay at the restaurant, working with Oleg (Jonathan Kite), an overly flirtatious Russian cook; Earl (Garrett Morris), a 75-year-old kool-kat cashier; and Han Lee (Matthew Moy), the new, eager-to-please owner of the diner.  Working together, these two broke girls living in one expensive city might just find the perfect recipe for their big break.  Michael Patrick King (“Sex and the City”) and writer-comedian Whitney Cummings (“Chelsea Lately“) are executive producers for Warner Bros. Television.”

Let me simplify this for you:  An out of luck pair of girls with talent and sarcasm.

So will this show succeed? Every year, CBS cancels one or two new sitcoms.  If CBS doesn’t see a dramatic dip in viewers between Mother and Men, the show might have a chance.

Unforgettable – Here’s how CBS described it in their press release:

“Stars Poppy Montgomery as Carrie Wells, an enigmatic former police detective with a rare condition that makes her memory so flawless that every place, every conversation, every moment of joy and every heartbreak is forever embedded in her mind.  It’s not just that she doesn’t forget anything – she can’t; except for one thing: the details that would help solve her sister’s long-ago murder.  Carrie has tried to put her past behind her, but she’s unexpectedly reunited with her ex-boyfriend and partner, NYPD Detective Al Burns (Dylan Walsh), when she consults on a homicide case.  His squad includes Det. Mike Costello (Michael Gaston), Al’s right-hand man; Detective Roe Saunders (Kevin Rankin), the junior member of the team; and Detective Nina Inara (Daya Vaidya), a sassy, street-smart cop.  Being back on the job after a break feels surprisingly right for Carrie.  Despite her conflicted feelings for Al, she decides to permanently join his unit as a detective solving homicides – most notably, the unsolved murder of her sister.  All she needs to do is remember.  Ed Redlich, John Bellucci, Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly are executive producers for Sony Television Studios in association with CBS Television Studios.”

Let me simplify this for you:  Just like Prime Suspect except…well, you know…she remembers everything.

So will this show succeed?  Maybe.  CBS’s weakest 10p slot is on Tuesdays –the last one to do well was Without a Trace, which Poppy also starred in – so starting a new show in that slot is risky. 

How to Be a Gentlemen – Here’s how CBS described it in their press release:

“Inspired by the book of the same name, is a comedy about the unlikely friendship between a traditional, refined writer and an unrefined personal trainer.  Andrew Carlson (David Hornsby) is an etiquette columnist whose devotion to ideals from a more civilized time has lead to a life detached from modern society.  Infectiously optimistic, Bert Lansing (Kevin Dillon) is a reformed “bad boy” from Andrew’s past who inherited a fitness center, but can still be rude, loud and sloppy.  When Andrew’s editor, Jerry (Dave Foley), tells him to put a modern, sexy twist on his column or be fired, he hires Bert as a life coach in the hopes of learning to be less “gentle man” and more “real man.”  Andrew’s mom, Diane (Nancy Lenehan), and his bossy sister, Janet (Mary Lynn Rajskub), support the plan, as would Janet’s husband, Mike (Rhys Darby), if he was allowed to have an opinion.  Though Andrew and Bert’s views may be centuries apart, they may find they’re each other’s missing link.  David Hornsby (“It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia“), Adam Chase (“Friends”), Ted Schachter (“The Invention of Lying”), Joe Hipps and Modi Wiczyk are executive producers for CBS Television Studios.”

Let me simplify this for you:  The Odd Couple, co-starring Drama from Entourage.

So will this show succeed?  Like I said before, CBS cancels one or two new sitcoms every year. Last year’s Bang lead-out was cancelled, so we’ll see.

Person of Interest – Here’s how CBS described it in their press release:

“Stars Jim Caviezel, Emmy Award winner Michael Emerson and Academy Award nominee Taraji P. Henson in a crime thriller about a presumed dead former-CIA agent who teams up with a mysterious billionaire to prevent violent crimes by using their own brand of vigilante justice.  Reese’s (Caviezel) special training in covert operations appeals to Finch (Emerson), a software genius who invented a program that uses pattern recognition to identify people about to be involved in violent crimes.  Using state-of-the-art surveillance technology, the two work outside of the law using Reese’s adept skills and Finch’s unlimited wealth to unravel the mystery of the Person Of Interest and stop the crime before it happens.  Reese’s actions catch the attention of the NYPD, including homicide detective Carter (Henson), and Fusco (Kevin Chapman), a cop who Reese uses to his advantage.  With infinite crimes to investigate, Reese and Finch find that the right person, with the right information, at the right time, can change everything.  Emmy Award winners J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk (“Lost”), Academy Award nominee Jonathan Nolan (“Memento”), David Semel (“Heroes”) and Greg Plageman (“Cold Case”) are the executive producers for Warner Bros. Television.”

Let me simplify this for you:  Source Code: The series (which is weird, because a Source Code show IS being developed).

So will this show succeed?  CBS wants it to – giving it one of their prime slots.  Caviezel is getting $100,000/episode, so I’m sure they want this to work.

A Gifted Man – Here’s how CBS described it in their press release:

“A drama about a brilliant, charismatic surgeon whose life changes forever when his deceased ex-wife begins teaching him the meaning of life from the “hereafter.”  Michael Holt (Patrick Wilson) is an exceptional doctor who lives a materialistic life of luxury thanks to his work-obsessed career and powerful and wealthy patients; however, Michael’s ordered world is rocked when his ex-wife, Anna (Jennifer Ehle), an idealistic free-clinic doctor and the love of his life, mysteriously appears to him.  Michael’s off-beat sister, Christina (Julie Benz), a single mom to her teenaged son, Milo (Liam Aiken), is thrilled that Anna’s back in her brother’s life, even as an “illusion,” because Michael was always a better person with her.  Curious about Michael’s sudden change in behavior is his efficient assistant, Rita (Margo Martindale).  When Anna asks Michael to go to her clinic to help keep it running, he meets Autumn (Afton Williamson), a volunteer carrying on Anna’s work with the underprivileged.  Touched by those in need and accepting of Anna’s compassionate “presence,” Michael’s attitude toward serving the rich and poor is turned upside down, and he begins to see that there’s room in his life for everyone.  Academy Award nominee Susannah Grant (“Erin Brockovich”), Academy Award winner Jonathan Demme (“The Silence of the Lambs”), Sarah Timberman, Carl Beverly and Neal Baer (“ER”) are executive producers for CBS Television Studios.”

Let me simplify this for you:  Sixth Sense-ish series.

So will this show succeed?  I don’t know.  The ratings will be pretty low, since it’s on Fridays; but they are paying Wilson $100,000+/episode, so I would be shocked if they are just trying to burn these episodes off.



2011-12 Season Disclaimers

09/12/2011 at 11:32 pm | Posted in, Net/Spec | 1 Comment
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As I delve into the networks’ 2011-2012 line-up over the next few days, I thought it would be best to explain a few things.  This way, I don’t have to repeat myself.  If you have any questions – or think I’ve missed a few things – please email or reply in the comments.

For the new season, I will be starting with The CW (since The Ringer starts tomorrow).  However, I will not be including The CW in the network comparison posts.  This is not a diss to the network that CBS/WB built.  I won’t include it because The CW’s metric for programming and their shows’ success/failure isn’t the same as the Big Four.  The CW doesn’t base renewal/cancelation decisions completely on ratings.  Their (CBS & CW) primary goal is to produce original content in order to sell it into global syndication.  As long as they don’t lose money in the process, they typically keep the show on. 

In fact, they are notorious for bundling more popular shows with lower performers – this gives the global stations better deals on buying two shows – but has caused some friction with executive producers of some shows.  The Alfred Gough and Miles Millar (who adapted Smallville, and were the showrunners for the first 7 seasons)  actually sued, claiming that they were owed more than half of the residuals on global sales, since the stations were only buying the lower rated show because it was bundled with the hugely popular Smallville – had Smallville been sold separately, they claimed the other show wouldn’t have been.

Alfred Gough & Miles Millar

Regardless, as of this posting, the system has been working well for both co-owners.  They do tend to cancel the lowest rated of the shows – not counting Friday shows (which we will discuss soon) – but that tends to be the only time they look at Nielsen.

Moving on from CW…

I will be including premiere dates for the shows in the network specific posts – but not the Network v. Network daily breakdown ones.

For the new shows, some will be described using known properties (you’ll know what I mean when you read The CW post).  This is not a dig at the show for being unoriginal.  In fact, most of your favorite shows and movies were pitched to studios and executives using other shows/movies to create an instant picture.  You only have a little time to pitch your idea, and you have to be able to make the tone as vivid as you can to get the top brass excited.  A murky pitch does not get a show greenlit.

I might repeat this when I address the Friday schedule, but oh well.  The fact is that all four of the big networks have scripted dramas on that night.  Other than Fringe and Chuck (who are on Fridays to let them run their course), the ONLY reason networks put scripted shows on the night with the lowest weekly viewership is for advertiser dollars.  Advertisers still don’t spend as much on reality/unscripted shows as they do scripted – unless a proven entity like Survivor or American Idol – so networks try and grab as much of the money up for grabs as they can.  So what happens when that show usually get cancelled, but the advertisers paid for more episodes of it?  Same thing that happens when a show doesn’t perform as well as promised to advertisers: Makegoods – meaning they get those (ratings) points made good by the network airing free spots on other programs.

Finally, I will not be covering midseason shows (except possibly FOX).  I’ve found that a good chunk of those new programs either come-and-go, get pushed back to being burned off on the summer schedule, or get shelved – so there’s not much reason to invest time in them until they actually see the light of day.  FOX is an exception because – due to American Idol – their midseason schedule has been known to be drastically different than their fall one. 

Without further ado, I will start the new 2011-2012 schedule breakdown for each network.  This will be followed by addressing each day of the week (minus Saturdays) and predicting which network will win in the prime demos – A18-49 and Households.  Feel free to join in the prediction/analysis fun!

CBS Role Call

06/07/2011 at 2:06 am | Posted in, Net/Spec | 2 Comments
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Up first, CBS.  What shows survived the 2010-2011 season, and what shows bit the big one.  Scroll down for the complete list of shows – as well as my thoughts on the network’s decisions:


48 Hours Mystery

60 Minutes

The Amazing Race


Undercover Boss

Blue Bloods

Criminal Minds


CSI: Miami


The Good Wife

Hawaii Five-O

The Mentalist


NCIS: Los Angeles

The Big Bang Theory

How I Met Your Mother

Mike & Molly

Rules of Engagement

Two and a Half Men


Live to Dance


Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior

The Defenders


Mad Love

Bleep My Dad Says

Special Note:

This summer will have new episodes of Big Brother, Flashpoint (the dependable Canadian import), I Get That A Lot, and Same Name.

My Thoughts:

Make no mistake – CBS still was #1 for the season in total viewers.  That said, the 2010-2011 season didn’t go as CBS probably hoped.  Of the 9 new shows that premiered this season, only 3 made it out to fight another day. 

Bleep My Dad Says just couldn’t retain the audience from its lead-in The Big Bang Theory – and since the viewers who tuned out of the freshman laugher didn’t land on the only other 30 minute sitcom on Thursday at 8:30p (NBC, that is), or any other network for that matter – the writing was on the wall for the freshman sitcom.

Rookie Mad Love didn’t have horrid ratings – however, it was typically the weakest link on Monday nights.  Too bad, as I was hoping the show would do well, since one of Reaper’s (an amazing, yet short lived, show on The CW) alumni co-starred on Love.

Live to Dance started out relatively impressive, but the ratings took a nosedive and the show ended with a whimper.  I doubt Paula is crying right now – she will be reunited at the judges’ table with Simon Cowell this fall on FOX’s X-Factor.

CBS simply has to be disappointed with the Criminal Mind spin-off’s ratings.  The original show continues to do great numbers for the network, and they already pushed back the premiere from its original fall debut so that they could recast a few spots.  The ratings dropped to a meager (for CBS) number and just never recovered.  I personally still think a CM spin-off could still work – so hopefully they can tweak the ingredients and find the right balance in a few broadcast seasons.

The third time was the charm for Alex O’Loughlin.  Hawaii Five-O finally broke the one-and-done season curse following the actor as he saw Moonlight and Three Rivers get axed.  The new drama already has a syndication deal in place – so that show isn’t going anywhere for quite some time.

I was very interested in seeing how The Big Bang Theory would do on Thursdays when it was initially announced last spring.  After years of CBS trying (unsuccessfully) to launch a new comedy block Wednesdays 8-9p, a Thursday switcheroo seemed a gamble.  CBS came out a genius!  While Survivor – relocated to Wednesday 8-9p – saw its ratings dip a tad, Theory scored spectacular ratings.  CBS has given the sitcom a multiple season renewal.

The CSI franchise’s ratings have been noticeably hurting this season.  All across the board, the shows have seen season (sometimes series) lows.  CSI: Miami – once the unstoppable force on Monday’s at 10p – wasn’t adjusting to their Sunday spot well.  Understandably, CSI: NY’s move to Friday has seen the expected numbers that the Friday graveyard shift always receives.  Even the original CSI had been hitting series low ratings.  However, CBS isn’t done with the franchise yet – renewing all three.  Syndication dollars probably factor in quite a bit, as all three shows do quite well wherever they re-air. 

And finally – Two and a Half Men.  Charlie Sheen is out, Ashton Kutcher is in.  When I first heard the news that Kutcher was cast, I had to scratch my head.  While I knew the new actor would play a different part regardless, he seems quite the change in direction.  The longer I thought about it, the more it makes complete sense.  Kutcher has somewhere around three million Twitter followers.  Let’s see how that translates to new viewers.  The veteran sitcom’s audience has shown that they will show up in droves whether the airing is a new episode or a repeat, so I don’t predict doom and gloom for the ratings without the winning partyboy.  Even if it dips somewhat (and I doubt it will be a dramatic decline), the show will be in its 9th season.  With the monster ratings it already gets, it will still be one of the highest rated shows on TV.  Add to the fact that it was already renewed through the upcoming season, there’s zero risk and all reward to keeping the show alive.  With syndication involved (as it routinely tops the charts as the most-watched show)  this show doesn’t create jokes – it prints money.

So what do YOU think?  Are you happy/upset about any of the choices CBS made?  Would you have done anything differently? 

Sound off below in the comments section, or email me at

Couric Comes to Daytime in 2012

06/07/2011 at 12:11 am | Posted in, Net/Spec | 1 Comment
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With Katie Couric leaving the CBS Evening News, it comes as no surprise that she is launching her own daytime show in September of 2012 on ABC.

Here’s the official press release:




Award-winning Journalist, Best-Selling Author & Television Personality To Host and Produce Syndicated National One-Hour Daily Daytime Show Premiering in September 2012



Couric to also Join ABC News Team



Disney/ABC Television Group (DATG) has signed a multi-year, multi-platform agreement with Katie Couric, award-winning journalist, best-selling author and popular TV personality, to host and produce her own nationally syndicated talk show and to join the ABC News team, it was announced today by Anne Sweeney, president, Disney/ABC Television Group and co-chair, Disney Media Networks. The program will be distributed by Disney/ABC Domestic Television and will premiere in September 2012.


Couric, the former “Today” co-anchor who was most recently anchor and managing editor of the “CBS Evening News with Katie Couric,” a “60 Minutes” correspondent and host of the weekly online interview series, @katiecouric, will be reunited with Jeff Zucker, who will be an executive producer with Couric on the yet-to-be-named syndicated series, which will be based in New York and produced in conjunction with Disney/ABC.


In addition to hosting the new syndicated program, Couric will join the ABC News team, contributing to all programs and platforms. Beginning this summer, Couric, winner of the distinguished duPont, Murrow and Cronkite Awards and numerous Emmys, will anchor specials, contribute interviews, participate in special events coverage and bring her many talents to bear on some of the most important and interesting stories of the day.


In making the announcement, Ms. Sweeney stated: “Katie Couric is one of television’s iconic figures and we are thrilled to have forged such an exciting partnership with her. We look forward to having Katie join the best News team in the business, and to working with her to create a dynamic and successful talk show franchise.”


Ms. Couric added: “I’m very happy to be returning to the network where I began my career as a desk assistant in 1979. It is tremendously exciting to have the creative freedom to develop my own show with Anne Sweeney, the Disney/ABC TV Group and Jeff, and to contribute to such a vibrant, innovative news division. I can’t wait to be part of this incredibly talented, visionary team.”


“It was a blast working with Katie at ‘Today’ and I’m excited to do it again,” said Zucker. “And besides, it should be more fun spending time with Katie at 3 or 4 in the afternoon than at 3 or 4 in the morning.”





The eight ABC Owned stations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Houston, Raleigh/Durham and Fresno, which represent nearly 23% of the nation’s TV households, have already cleared the new show in the 3:00 p.m. time slot. As part of the announcement, the network is set to return the last hour of its Daytime network block to affiliates no earlier than September 2012, but continues to support “General Hospital,” and the plans to launch “The Chew” in September of this year and “The Revolution” in January 2012.


Katie Couric is an award-winning journalist, veteran TV personality and New York Times best-selling author. Prior to joining the Disney/ABC Television Group, she was anchor and managing editor of the “CBS Evening News with Katie Couric,” a “60 Minutes” correspondent, a “CBS Sunday Morning” contributor and anchor of CBS News primetime specials. When the “CBS Evening News with Katie Couric” debuted on September 5, 2006, Couric became the first female solo anchor of a weekday network evening news broadcast. She also writes a monthly column for Glamour magazine, which features an interview with a dynamic female role model every month, and is active on Twitter, @katiecouric.


The RTNDA honored the “CBS Evening News with Katie Couric” with the prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Newscast in both 2008 and 2009. Also in 2009, USC’s Annenberg School for Communication awarded Couric the Walter Cronkite Award for Special Achievement for “National Impact on the 2008 Campaign,” and the University of South Dakota and Freedom Forum awarded her the Al Neuharth Award for Excellence in the Media. In January 2010, Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism awarded Couric the Alfred I. duPont Award for political reporting for her 2008 interviews with Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin. The “CBS Evening News with Katie Couric” was awarded a second duPont for the series “Children of the Recession.” In September 2010, The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences awarded the “CBS Evening News with Katie Couric” three Emmy Awards: Outstanding Investigative Journalism in a Regularly Scheduled Newscast: “Rape in America: Justice Denied”; Outstanding Business and Economic Reporting in a Regularly Scheduled Newscast: “Financial Family Tree”; Best Story in a Regularly Scheduled Newscast: “The Battle of Wanat.” “60 Minutes” also received an Emmy for Outstanding Interview for Couric’s profile of Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, “Saving Flight 1549.”


Couric led CBS’s critically acclaimed coverage of the historic 2008 Presidential election and also launched a series of webcasts giving viewers live, exclusive Web coverage of the election and the historic beginnings of Obama’s presidency.


In 2000 Couric launched the National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance with the Entertainment Industry Foundation and Lilly Tartikoff to fund cutting-edge research in colorectal cancer and generate awareness about the life-saving value of screening. Following Couric’s on-air colonoscopy in 2000, a scientifically documented 20% increase in the number of colonoscopies performed across the country was dubbed “The Couric Effect” by researchers at the University of Michigan. Couric received the Peabody Award for her “Today” show series on colon cancer.




Couric is also a co-founder of Stand Up To Cancer, and in May 2008, she and her other network news counterparts participated in the first Stand Up To Cancer broadcast, an unprecedented effort that culminated in a one-hour, commercial-free, primetime program on ABC, CBS and NBC in Fall 2008. Two years later, on September 10, 2010, Couric and her ABC News and NBC News counterparts, Diane Sawyer and Brian Williams, joined forces once again to host the second live “road-block” Stand Up To Cancer fundraising event. To date, $180 million has been pledged to Stand Up To Cancer to support “Dream Teams” of scientists from different institutions, working together to get new therapies to patients quickly.


ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and a host of cable channels donated one hour of simultaneous commercial-free primetime for the nationally televised fundraising special, which featured live performances and appearances by legendary recording artists and stars from the worlds of film, television and sports.




The Disney/ABC Television Group is composed of The Walt Disney Company’s (NYSE: DIS) global entertainment and news television properties, owned television stations group, as well as radio and publishing businesses. This includes the ABC Television Network, ABC Owned Television Stations Group, ABC Studios, Disney Channels Worldwide, ABC Family and SOAPnet, as well as Disney/ABC Domestic Television and Disney Media Distribution. The Radio Disney network, Hyperion publishing, and the Company’s equity interest in A&E Television Networks round out the Group’s portfolio of media businesses.

CBS Chooses Consistency Over Chaos

04/18/2011 at 10:54 pm | Posted in, Net/Spec | Leave a comment
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After only three episodes, CBS has cancelled Chaos.

Starting this week, the next two Fridays at 8p will be CSI:NY repeats.

On May 6th, Canadian import Flashpoint will reside in the time period for its new season.

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