Let's make uninformed, random, wishful-thinking fall 2011 primetime schedules for the major broadcast nets! CBS is up first
8:00 - How I Met Your Mother
8:30 - Rules of Engagement
9:00 - The Big Bang Theory
9:30 - How to Be a Gentleman (NEW)
10:00 - Hawaii: Five-0
While Big Bang has proven very successful on Thursdays, I can't help but think that CBS will want to re-strengthen its Monday lineup with the likely failure of the new Two and a Half Men format. Sitcoms never last when main characters are written out due to death or contracts (just ask the cast of 8 Simple Rules), so I can see CBS moving Two to Thursdays, to see how it will fare but also to ultimately prepare for possibly The X Factor juggernaut and/or American Idol in the spring of 2012.
8:00 - NCIS
9:00 - NCIS: LA
10:00 - The Good Wife
I think CBS will stick with its current lineup, if only for the first part of the season. The Good Wife is a strong awards contender, but its ratings just keep slipping. I can see them keeping it, simply to get a syndication deal (which usually requires 4 seasons or 88 episodes). On the heels of Alan Cumming's 3-year deal with the show, it seems like that is certainly CBS's intention. There are also rumors circulating that the other actors are close to sealing similar deals and that CBS will announce a 2-year renewal at the upfronts, which would put The Good Wife right at 88 episodes.
8:00 - Survivor
9:00 - Criminal Minds
10:00 - Person of Interest (NEW)
It's likely that Fox's The X Factor, which is already promoted to death, will take over the Wednesday slot from American Idol. In that case, CBS would be smart to stick with its current 8:00 and 9:00 shows. Survivor is aging well, considering it is up against American Idol for the first time; and even with rising costs due to Survivor's age, it has to be one of the net's more successful projects. Person of Interest has just enough in common with Criminal Minds to make this a decent pairing, though the late hour may be a hard sell for such a potentially complex series (it is JJ Abrams, after all).
8:00 - Mike & Molly
8:30 - Two and a Half Men
9:00 - Susannah Grant Pilot (NEW)
10:00 - The Mentalist
I can see Two and a Half Men being used to launch something new, since at the beginning there will likely be a lot of curiousity (even from people who don't regularly watch the show) about how it will continue without Sheen. The untitled Sussanah Grant pilot starring Patrick Wilson opens the door for competition with ABC's Grey's Anatamoy, which could be either a smart or very stupid move on CBS's part. Given that Grey's ratings are slightly down from last season and it has lost most of its awards appeal over the years, I'd go with the former.
8:00 - CSI
9:00 - Rookies (NEW)
10:00 - Blue Bloods
I think CSI:NY will get the axe this year, and its parent show will take its spot on the Friday night lineup. CSI still has a large core audience, which could be used to launch something new, and if that something was Rookies then Fridays would be "police night" on CBS. There's a strong possibility that Blue Bloods will be canceled, but I think it has performed well enough (at least in the fall) and sold well enough overseas to warrant at least a half-season pickup.
8:00 - The Amazing Race
9:00 - Undercover Boss
10:00 - CSI: Miami
No changes here; it's a relatively strong night for CBS, especially up against such big competition from NBC and Fox.
I can see CBS picking up two midseason sitcoms, and my predictions for those would be The Assistants and Vince Uncensored. The former could fit well into the network's schedule in any position, and it offers an alternative to NBC's workplace comedies; the latter has Conan O'Brien as a producer, Kelsey Grammer directing, and a soild cast in Michael Chiklis and Elizabeth Perkins.
On the drama side, it's likely they'll order one, but there are rumors they will pick up two. I'd suspect Ringer would be a good midseason replacement, and possibly Hail Mary starring Minnie Driver.
The Bottom Line Predictions
Canceled - Bleep My Dad Says, Chaos, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, CSI: NY, The Defenders, Mad Love
New Comedies - The Assistants (midseason), How to Be a Gentleman, Vince Uncensored (midseason)
New Dramas - Hail Mary (midseason), Person of Interest, Ringer (midseason), Rookies, Untitled Susannah Grant Pilot