Friday, December 24, 2010

Doing the Midseason Shuffle: CBS

In comparison to NBC and FOX, CBS had relatively few changes to its 2011 midseason schedule. Unlike all previous networks whom announced new schedules (including the CW, which I'll get to in another post), CBS canceled no new series, a very good sign for them. A not so great sign? They let go of a veteran series: Medium. CBS also canceled another Friday series last year that was very popular, Ghost Whisperer, and this year they tried out the freshman drama Blue Bloods on Fridays. Perhaps they are looking to get away from programming on that night, however, as you can see in their new line-up.

Monday

8:00 - How I Met Your Mother
8:30 - Rules of Engagement (January 3 through February 14)
8:30 - Mad Love (beginning February 21)
9:00 - Two and a Half Men
9:30 - Mike & Molly
10:00 - Hawaii Five-0

CBS's successful Monday night comedy block will remain mostly intact, with the exception of Rules of Engagement, which will return for just three new episodes in this timeslot and the remainder reruns before being shipped off to a new night. I think this bodes well for newcomer Mad Love and for the veteran sitcom as well, which I'll get to in a minute. Otherwise, this is still as solid a line-up as ever; CBS viewers generally don't care if the show is good or not, as long as it's on after something they like (see: Mike & Molly).

Tuesday

8:00 - NCIS
9:00 - NCIS: Los Angeles
10:00 - The Good Wife

No changes, as expected. This is one of CBS's stronger nights.

Wednesday

8:00 - Live to Dance (January 5 through February 9)
8:00 - Survivor: Redemption Island (beginning February 16)
9:00 - Criminal Minds
10:00 - Blue Bloods (January 19 through February 9)
10:00 - Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior (beginning February 16)

So here we have the biggest shake-up, and it's not much of one at all. Blue Bloods is a great performer for CBS on Fridays, so it makes sense for them to want to see how well it will do on a busier night; they could stand to make more money from it that way. Pairing it with Criminal Minds was certainly a good choice, though it may have done better on Tuesday after NCIS: Los Angeles and without Law & Order: SVU as competition. But it's only a four-week test run, and one that probably means good things for the freshman series if it does moderately well. Live to Dance is completely being thrown to the wolves, as it will be up against American Idol. I guess we'll know for sure, though, how many people really did tune in to see Paula Abdul make a fool of herself on that show. I'm not sure how the new Criminal Minds spin-off will do immediately following its parent series, since the two have little in common. If Law & Order: LA taught us anything, it's that that strategy doesn't always work; I mean, look how spread out the many CSI series are.

Thursday

8:00 - The Big Bang Theory
8:30 - Shit My Dad Says (through February 17)
8:30 - Rules of Engagement (beginning February 24)
9:00 - CSI
10:00 - The Mentalist

The only change here is the move from Mondays for Rules of Engagement. Clearly, launching a new series out of The Big Bang Theory's big move from Mondays didn't do Shit My Dad Says any favors (though the fact that it sucks could be a factor in its failure as well). I think that series is probably likely to be canceled, considering there were only five additional episodes ordered (for a total of 17, an odd number for any show) and that it will be off the air come February. Moving a series in its fifth year to this new comedy night will confirm or deny to CBS whether or not attempting a second night of sitcoms was a good idea.

Friday

8:00 - Medium (through January 21)
8:00 - The Defenders (beginning February 4)
8:00 - Chaos (beginning April 1)
9:00 - CSI: New York
10:00 - Blue Bloods (beginning February 11)

Medium gives its swan song in January after seven seasons on the air and a major network change. The Defenders, an underperforming freshman drama, moves from Wednesdays to Fridays to die. This is probably the end for the series (which didn't even receive a back order), which will pave the way for another new series to begin in April, Chaos. I don't think CBS has very high hopes for this new dramedy: it stars no "names" and is debuting in a fashion similar to last season's turkey, Miami Medical. No wonder they want to move Blue Bloods to a better night and away from the wasteland they've created for themselves on Friday nights. Even CSI: NY isn't performing very well anymore on a night where CBS used to actually compete.

Sunday

8:00 - The Amazing Race (beginning February 20)
9:00 - Undercover Boss
10:00 - CSI: Miami

CBS didn't officially confirm their Sunday night plans, so this is what I've gathered from other sources. Undercover Boss got a full season order, but it was for an unspecified number of episodes; it's just a guess that they'll keep it around for the remainder of the season.

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