For fall, CBS cancels seven series, shifts several others
Former Pittsburgher Billy Gardell, right, and Melissa McCarthy play a couple who find love at an Overeaters Anonymous meeting in the new comedy "Mike & Molly," this fall on CBS.
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For Fall 2010, the "C" in CBS does not stand for complacency.
The network canceled seven series and will move "Big Bang Theory" to Thursday, launching a comedy block that takes on NBC's "Community" and "30 Rock." "Survivor" will relocate to Wednesday.
In addition, "CSI: Miami" migrates to 10 p.m. Sunday and "CSI: NY" moves to 9 p.m. Friday.
CBS's schedule was a mixed bag for entertainers with Pittsburgh connections. The network picked up a new sitcom starring Swissvale native Billy Gardell ("Lucky") but canceled "Ghost Whisperer," starring part-time Pittsburgher David Conrad. CBS also gave pink slips to "Cold Case," "NUMB3RS," "Miami Medical," "Gary Unmarried," "Accidentally on Purpose" and "The New Adventures of Old Christine."
ABC may have some interest in reviving "Ghost" or "Christine," although with its recent comedy successes "Christine" may hold less appeal.
CBS also passed on a Pittsburgh-set sitcom pilot once titled "Livin' on a Prayer" that starred Mt. Lebanon native Joe Manganiello and was written in part by Kourtney Kang, who attended college at the University of Pittsburgh and graduate school at Carnegie Mellon University.
Ms. Kang said she and the other producers were happy with how the pilot turned out and up until last Friday all signs for a pickup were positive. But the phone never rang with news that CBS was moving forward with a series.
"The big question is 'Why?' and 'What happened?' and we don't really know," Ms. Kang said in a phone interview Wednesday. "There are a million things they have to think about at the network and we're just one tiny, little piece in this huge puzzle and you never know. It could be they wanted something that would attract more men or there's something they feel is missing [from the lineup] and our show isn't that."
CBS has not yet announced midseason comedy pickups and it's possible that "Livin' on a Prayer" could re-emerge or be re-developed, but Ms. Kang is preparing to return to her job writing for "How I Met Your Mother."
"What we were told is that it wasn't going to happen for the fall and that they officially haven't figured out midseason but the sense we're getting is we would be a bit of a long shot," she said. "Anything can happen but it doesn't seem like this is our year."
Here is CBS's fall schedule, with new series in bold:
7 p.m.: "60 Minutes."
8 p.m.: "The Amazing Race."
9 p.m.: "Undercover Boss."
10 p.m.: "CSI: Miami."
8 p.m.: "How I Met Your Mother."
8:30 p.m.: "Rules of Engagement."
9 p.m.: "Two and a Half Men."
9:30 p.m.: "Mike & Molly": Billy Gardell and Melissa McCarthy (Sookie on "Gilmore Girls") play a working-class Chicago couple who fall in love at an Overeaters' Anonymous group meeting. This sitcom comes from prolific producer Chuck Lorre, who also oversees "Two and a Half Men" and "The Big Bang Theory."
10 p.m.: "Hawaii Five-O": "Three Rivers" and "Moonlight" failed but CBS likes to be in business with actor Alex O'Loughlin, so now he's starring in this remake of the classic cop show set in Hawaii. Daniel Dae Kim ("Lost") and Grace Park ("Battlestar Galactica") also star.
8 p.m.: "NCIS."
9 p.m.: "NCIS: Los Angeles."
10 p.m.: "The Good Wife."
8 p.m.: "Survivor."
9 p.m.: "Criminal Minds."
10 p.m.: "The Defenders": Jim Belushi ("According to Jim") and Jerry O'Connell ("Sliders") play Las Vegas defense attorneys in a lighthearted drama.
8 p.m.: "The Big Bang Theory."
8:30 p.m.: "$#• ! My Dad Says": Based on a Twitter feed that we can only refer to as "Excrement My Dad Says," this sitcom stars William Shatner as the opinionated father who spouts off to his twentysomething son. (CBS will call the show "Bleep My Dad Says" in on-air promos.)
9 p.m.: "CSI."
10 p.m.: "The Mentalist."
8 p.m.: "Medium."
9 p.m.: "CSI: NY."
10 p.m.: "Blue Bloods": CBS favorite Tom Selleck (the "Jesse Stone" movies) plays New York's chief of police who is also patriarch to a family of cops. Donnie Wahlberg ("The Kill Point") plays his eldest son and Will Estes ("American Dreams") is the youngest.
8 p.m.: "Crimetime Saturday."
10 p.m.: "48 Hours Mystery."
"Criminal Minds" spinoff: Forest Whitaker ("The Shield") headlines this series about "an elite team of agents within the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit."
Conan's premiere date
Cable's Turner networks, including TNT and TBS, offered their own presentation during what's traditionally been the broadcasters' upfront week.
The big news: Conan O'Brien's new late-night show for TBS has a premiere date: Nov. 8.
First Published May 20, 2010 12:00 am