Being the number one network in the country affords you a lot perks. One of them being, you don’t have to tweak your schedule too much. That being said, when you’re on top you can’t rest on your laurels either. CBS picked up six new shows in total for the 2011 TV season. Five of them will premiere in the fall, with one waiting in the wings for mid-season.
I have to admit, besides “Survivor” and “The Amazing Race“, I don’t watch any CBS shows. I never got on the CSI bandwagon, “The Big Bang Theory” or even “How I Met Your Mother”. I checked out the now-canceled “$#*! My Dad Says“, but mentally checked out before the first commercial break.
Over the years, CBS has been teased they’re the senior citizen network, due to the fact they skew way older than the other networks. No matter how hard they try, they stay geriatric. You can’t change like that overnight, but based on their new shows, they are at least moving in the right direction.
“Comedy was a priority. We also wanted to get more women. we’re very excited about introducing some strong female pieces and also some strong female-appeal pieces.” Nina Tassler, President of CBS Entertainment
Before we check out the new shows and timeslot changes, here’s a list of all the shows who bit the dust this past season.
Canceled Shows: “As the World Turns”, “The Bridge”, “CHAOS”, “Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior”, “The Defenders”, “Live to Dance”, “Mad Love”, “Medium”, “$#*! My Dad Says”
2 Broke Girls
Stars: Kat Dennings (“The House Bunny,” “Thor”), Beth Behrs (“Castle,” “NCIS: Los Angeles”), Jonathan Kite (“Wizards of Waverly Place”), Garrett Morris (“SNL,” “The Jamie Foxx Show”) and Matthew Moy (“Scrubs,” “iCarly”).
Premise: A multi-camera combedy 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.
How To Be A Gentleman
Stars: David Hornsby (“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”), Kevin Dillon (“Entourage”), Dave Foley (“News Radio”), Nancy Lenehan (“The New Adventures of Old Christine”), Mary Lynn Rajskub (“24) and Rhys Darby (“Flight of the Conchords”).
Premise: Inspired by the book of the same name. “How To Be A Gentleman” 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.
A Gifted Man
Stars: Patrick Wilson (“Watchmen,” “Insidious”), Jennifer Ehle (“The King’s Speech”), Julie Benz (“No Ordinary Family”), Liam Aiken, Margo Martindale and Afton Williamson.
Premise: 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.
Stars: Poppy Montgomery (“Without a Trace”), Dylan Walsh (“Nip/Tuck”) Michael Gaston (“The Mentalist,” “Rubicon”), Kevin Rankin (“Big Love,” “Friday Night Lights’) and Daya Vaidya.
Premise: 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.
Person Of Interest
Stars: Jim Caviezel (“The Prisoner”), Michael Emerson (“Lost”) and Taraji P. Henson (“Boston Legal”).
Premise: A crime thriller, brought by J.J. Abrams, revolves around 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.
Stars: Leelee Sobieski (“Joan of Arc’), Adam Goldberg (“The Unusuals”), Judy Marte, Tom Reed, Stark Sands (“Generation Kill”), Harold House Moore (“Crash,” “House of Payne”) and Terry Kinney (“Oz,” “Being Human”).
Premise: From Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal comes THE 2-2, which follows six diverse NYPD rookies as they patrol the gritty streets of upper Manhattan. With unique backgrounds, personalities and reasons for being on the force, the new cops will make their share of rookie mistakes while they figure out how to relate to their boss, each other and to the people they swore to protect.
For once CBS’ new dramas didn’t want me to gouge out my eyes. Sure, they’re still crime-based but at least they’re not a spin-off from NCIS, CSI, Criminal Minds or something like that. The most appealing for me is “Unforgettable“. I saw a special once with people who had impeccable memories and could recall everything from a specific day no matter how many years ago. It was freaky but awesome. The two comedies seem pretty strong too. I’d watch anything with Kat Dennings. She cracks me up and glad she has her own star-making vehicle. I’m definitely going to check out “2 Broke Girls“.
A couple of CBS’ veteran shows should be interesting to watch next year also. For the first time, “CSI” is moving out of its Thursday night slot. It’ll now face against NBC’s “Law & Order: SVU” on Wednesday nights. Which aging drama will prevail? No other show’s ratings on CBS will be scrutinized more than “Two and a Half Men“. With Charlie Sheen being replaced by Ashton Kutcher, people will wonder what kind of effect the casting change will have on the numbers. I hope they go up, because I don’t want to hear Sheen gloating about it. He gives me major gas.
Also worth noting on CBS’ schedule is the bold move of putting “Rules of Engagement” on Saturday night. YUP, THAT’S RIGHT. New scripted episodes will air on Saturday night. Back in the day, Saturday was the home of huge sitcoms like “The Golden Girls”, but lately the night has been a graveyard for repeats. Hopefully, people will tune in and reverse the trend. Saturday nights are back ya’ll.
Breakout Hits: 2 Broke Girls, Unforgettable
Surefire Bomb: A Gifted Man (Snooooooooooooooore)
CBS Fall 2011 Primetime Schedule
8:00 – pm HIMYM
8:30 – pm Two Broke Girls (NEW)
9:00 – pm Two and a Half Men
9:30 – pm Mike & Molly
10:00 – pm Hawaii Five-0
8:00 – pm NCIS
9:00 – pm NCIS: Los Angeles
10:00 – pm Unforgettable (NEW)
8:00 – pm Survivor: South Pacific
9:00 – pm Criminal Minds
10:00 – pm CSI
8:00 – pm The Big Band Theory
8:30 – pm How to Be a Gentleman (NEW)
9:00 – pm Person of Interest (NEW)
10:00 – pm The Mentalist
8:00 – pm A Gifted Man (NEW)
9:00 – pm CSI: NY
10:00 – pm Blue Bloods
8:00 – pm Rules of Engagement
8:30 – pm Comedytime Saturday
9:00 – pm Crimetime Saturday
10:00 – pm 48 Hours Mystery
7:00 pm – 60 Minutes
8:00 pm – The Amazing Race
9:00 pm – The Good Wife
10:00 pm – CSI: Miami