Tuned In: 'Thursday Night Football' shakes up CBS fall schedule
May 15, 2014 12:00 AM
Tea Leoni stars as Elizabeth McCord, the shrewd, determined, newly appointed Secretary of State in "Madame Secretary."
By Rob Owen / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
While ABC favored relative stability in its fall 2014 schedule, CBS's new prime-time schedule features many series moving nights and time periods due to the network adding NFL games to its Thursday night in September and October.
For the early part of the season, hit comedy "The Big Bang Theory" will relocate to Monday until football ends and entertainment programming resumes on Thursdays on Oct. 30. ("2 Broke Girls" will then return to the Monday night lineup at 8 p.m.)
For the first time since the mid-1980s, CBS will not have a two-hour comedy block on Monday as a drama debuts at 9 p.m.
CBS also announced "Two and a Half Men" will end after the upcoming season. CBS Entertainment chairman Nina Tassler said series creator Chuck Lorre is creating a season-long event for the show's swan song. Might that include the return of the show's original star, Charlie Sheen, whose character was killed off several years back?
"I would like to see whatever Chuck would like to do," Ms. Tassler said. "He assures us he has a lot of surprises in store, but I don't know if that's one of them."
One new show that didn't make the cut: "How I Met Your Mother" concept spinoff "How I Met Your Dad." Ms. Tassler said elements of the pilot did not work and CBS executives wanted producers to take another shot at making a new pilot with some changes, but she said producers didn't want to do that. Did producers refuse those network overtures?
"Refuse, not refuse, it's not how they saw the show going forward," Ms. Tassler said.
"We tried to reach out and engage them in terms of a conversation about redoing the pilot and that's not happening right now."
CBS canceled first-year series "We Are Men," "The Crazy Ones," "Hostages," "Intelligence," "Friends With Better Lives" and "Bad Teacher."
Here's CBS's fall schedule, with new series in bold:
7 p.m.: "60 Minutes."
8 p.m.: "Madam Secretary": Tea Leoni stars as Elizabeth McCord, a newly appointed U.S. secretary of state. Bebe Neuwirth ("Cheers") plays McCord's chief of staff and 2006 Carnegie Mellon University grad Patina Miller co-stars as McCord's press coordinator.
9 p.m.: "The Good Wife."
10 p.m.: "CSI."
8 p.m.: "The Big Bang Theory"/"2 Broke Girls."
8:30 p.m.: "Mom."
9 p.m.: "Scorpion": A group of socially awkward misfits work with an eccentric genius (Elyes Gabel) to contain high-tech threats.
10 p.m.: "NCIS: Los Angeles."
8 p.m.: "NCIS."
9 p.m.: "NCIS: New Orleans": Scott Bakula stars in this spinoff that already aired as a backdoor pilot episode on "NCIS." Lucas Black and CCH Pounder co-star, and "NCIS" lead Mark Harmon serves as an executive producer.
10 p.m.: "Person of Interest."
8 p.m.: "Survivor."
9 p.m.: "Criminal Minds."
10 p.m.: "Stalker": Writer Kevin Williamson ("The Following") concocted this crime drama about detectives (Dylan McDermott, Maggie Q) who investigate stalking incidents.
8 p.m.: "Thursday Night Football" (Sept. 11-Oct. 23)
8 p.m.: "The Big Bang Theory" (as of Oct. 30).
8:30 p.m.: "The Millers" (as of Oct. 30).
9 p.m.: "Two and a Half Men" (as of Oct. 30).
9:30 p.m.: "The McCarthys": The high school basketball coach patriarch (Jack McGee) of a sports-crazed Boston clan surprises his wife (Laurie Metcalf) and kids when he chooses athletically challenged son Ronny (Tyler Ritter) to be his assistant (as of Oct. 30).
10 p.m.: "Elementary" (as of Oct. 30).
8 p.m.: "The Amazing Race."
9 p.m.: "Hawaii Five-0."
10 p.m.: "Blue Bloods."
8 p.m.: "Crimetime Saturday."
9 p.m.: "Crimetime Saturday."
10 p.m.: "48 Hours."
Midseason on CBS
Just as Fox executives sought to banish the notion of "pilot season" -- traditionally the first three months of the year when all the prospective shows for fall are cast and shot -- CBS executives declared the end of midseason.
"We are retiring the phrase 'midseason,' " Ms. Tassler said. "We have summer, fall and spring, and we'll roll out our big shows all year long."
"Mike & Molly," starring Swissvale native Billy Gardell, will return at some point in the 2014-15 TV season along with "The Mentalist" and "Undercover Boss."
CBS has three other series in reserve:
"CSI: Cyber": A spinoff from the original "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," CBS intends this show to move into the 10 p.m. Sunday time slot occupied by the original "CSI" sometime after the end of the NFL football season. Patricia Arquette ("Medium") stars as the head of the cyber crime division of the FBI that investigates illegal activities that begin online and later play out in the real world.
"Battle Creek": "Breaking Bad" creator Vince Gilligan teams with "House" executive producer David Shore for a crime drama about mismatched law enforcement officers (Josh Duhamel, Dean Winters) in Michigan.
"The Odd Couple": Matthew Perry ("Friends") plays slobby Oscar Madison and Thomas Lennon ("Reno 911") stars as neat freak Felix Unger in this remake.
'Odd Squad’ premiere date
"Odd Squad," the third PBS Kids' series from the South Side's Fred Rogers Company in as many years, will debut with two back-to-back episodes Nov. 26.
The announcement was made Wednesday at a meeting of managers of PBS member stations.
Live-action "Odd Squad" follows FRC's animated series "Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood" and "Peg + Cat" onto PBS's schedule. "Odd Squad" is about young agents who use math to solve assorted cases that come their way (disappearing zeroes, runaway dinosaurs). The show began production on 40 half-hour episodes in January in Toronto.
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