Network Upfronts: CBS Announces Their 2011 Fall Schedule

While CBS is once again the number one network in overall viewers, in the ratings that matter most to advertisers (18-49 adults) the network will once again finish behind FOX.  That does not mean though that CBS will make the drastic schedule changes and series orders similar to NBC and ABC, instead they have opted to move a few of their returning series around to make room for some promising new comers.

The CBS 2011 Fall Schedule

On Monday the hiring of Ashton Kutcher relieves (for now) some of the pressure on CBS on what to do about their strongest comedy in light of the departure/firing of Charlie Sheen.  How I Met Your Mother once again leads off the night followed by new entrant 2 Broke Girls.  The rest of the night remains the same with Two and a Half Men followed by Mike and Molly and Hawaii 5-O.

On Tuesday NCIS and NCIS:LA lead off the night and make room for the new drama Unforgettable.  The Good Wife, the former resident of the 10 pm spot, moves to Sunday so that Unforgettable can try and take better advantage of the lead in of the NCIS duo.

On Wednesday the successful move of Survivor last season to kick off the night remains in place followed by Criminal Minds and the relocated CSI mothership.

On Thursday The Big Bang Theory stays put on Thursday leading into new comedy How to Be a Gentleman and the new JJ Abrams’ thriller Person of Interest which will likely find a nice home in the middle of Thursday.  The Menatalist anchors the night.

On Friday new drama A Gifted Man starts the night followed by Friday holdovers CSI:NY and Blue Bloods.

On Saturday CBS attempt to do what no network has done in recent memory in trying scripted programming on the night with Rules of Engagement kicking of the evening followed by a comedy encore, drama encores, and 48 Hours Mystery.  Clearly CBS is dipping a toe into the water here, but you never know it might be worth a shot.

On Sunday 60 Minutes as always starts the evening followed by The Amazing Race, the relocated The Good Wife, and CSI: Miami.

Additionally Undercover Boss and The 2-2 will be available as midseason replacements.

What’s New?

UNFORGETTABLE 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.  Carrie has tried to put her past behind her, but she’s unexpectedly reunited with her ex-boyfriend and partner, NYPD Detective Al Burns (Dylan Walsh), when she consults on a homicide case.  His squad includes Det. Mike Costello (Michael Gaston), Al’s right-hand man; Detective Roe Saunders (Kevin Rankin), the junior member of the team; and Detective Nina Inara (Daya Vaidya), a sassy, street-smart cop.  Being back on the job after a break feels surprisingly right for Carrie.  Despite her conflicted feelings for Al, she decides to permanently join his unit as a detective solving homicides – most notably, the unsolved murder of her sister.  All she needs to do is remember.

PERSON OF INTEREST stars Jim Caviezel, Emmy Award winner Michael Emerson and Academy Award nominee Taraji P. Henson in a crime thriller about 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.  Using state-of-the-art surveillance technology, the two work outside of the law using Reese’s adept skills and Finch’s unlimited wealth to unravel the mystery of the person of interest and stop the crime before it happens.  Reese’s actions catch the attention of the NYPD, including homicide detective Carter (Henson), and Fusco (Kevin Chapman), a cop who Reese uses to his advantage.  With infinite crimes to investigate, Reese and Finch find that the right person, with the right information, at the right time, can change everything.

A GIFTED MAN is 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.  Michael’s off-beat sister, Christina (Julie Benz), a single mom to her teenaged son, Milo (Liam Aiken), is thrilled that Anna’s back in her brother’s life, even as an “illusion,” because Michael was always a better person with her.  Curious about Michael’s sudden change in behavior is his efficient assistant, Rita (Margo Martindale).  When Anna asks Michael to go to her clinic to help keep it running, he meets Autumn (Afton Williamson), a volunteer carrying on Anna’s work with the underprivileged.  Touched by those in need and accepting of Anna’s compassionate “presence,” Michael’s attitude toward serving the rich and poor is turned upside down, and he begins to see that there’s room in his life for everyone.

2 BROKE GIRLS is a comedy 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.  At first, Max sees Caroline as yet another in a long line of inept servers she must cover for, but she’s surprised to find that Caroline has as much substance as she does style.  When Caroline discovers Max’s knack for baking amazing cupcakes, she sees a lucrative future for them, but they first need to raise the start-up money.  While they save their tips, they’ll stay at the restaurant, working with Oleg (Jonathan Kite), an overly flirtatious Russian cook; Earl (Garrett Morris), a 75-year-old kool-kat cashier; and Han Lee (Matthew Moy), the new, eager-to-please owner of the diner.  Working together, these two broke girls living in one expensive city might just find the perfect recipe for their big break.

HOW TO BE A GENTLEMAN, inspired by the book of the same name, 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.  When Andrew’s editor, Jerry (Dave Foley), tells him to put a modern, sexy twist on his column or be fired, he hires Bert as a life coach in the hopes of learning to be less “gentle man” and more “real man.”  Andrew’s mom, Diane (Nancy Lenehan), and his bossy sister, Janet (Mary Lynn Rajskub), support the plan, as would Janet’s husband, Mike (Rhys Darby), if he was allowed to have an opinion.  Though Andrew and Bert’s views may be centuries apart, they may find they’re each other’s missing link.

THE 2-2, which follows six diverse NYPD rookies as they patrol the gritty streets of upper Manhattan.  The new trainees include Jennifer “White House” Perry (Leelee Sobieski), a former college volleyball star and Marine MP in Iraq with a take-charge attitude; Ray “Lazarus” Harper (Adam Goldberg), the oldest rookie and a former police news reporter with better sources than many seasoned cops; Tonya Sanchez (Judy Marte), who comes from a family with a criminal history and has a very personal connection inside the force; Ahmad “Kiterunner” Kahn (Tom Reed), an Afghani native who fought his way to freedom; Kenny McClaren (Stark Sands), a fourth-generation police officer with great instincts but qualms about joining the force; and Jayson Toney (Harold House Moore), a young basketball legend who squandered his opportunity in the NBA.  Their demanding Field Training Officer, Daniel “Yoda” Dean (Terry Kinney), is a case-hardened, unsentimental veteran of the force who emphasizes basics and holds each cop accountable for their actions.  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.

Gone But Not Forgotten

CBS said goodbye to a number of shows from last season including:

  • $#*! My Dad Says
  • Chaos
  • Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior
  • The Defenders
  • Live to Dance
  • Mad Love
  • Medium
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2 Responses to Network Upfronts: CBS Announces Their 2011 Fall Schedule

  1. bt says:

    It’s good to see Poppy Montgomery back on the small screen.

    What’s up, however, with Rules of Engagement on Saturday? Is this only a timeslot warmer until one of the new sitcoms bombs and Rules takes over that timeslot.

    CBS is definitely going for blood, airing “the Good Wife” against the aging “desparate housewives”

    • thecommish says:

      I get the feeling that nobody at CBS has ever been in love with Rules of Engagement which is why until this last season that it has never had a full season order. So if they wanted to do a bit of an experiment and see what would happen with an original on Saturday night this is their show to do it with. I also assume they are getting the show for a fairly cheap price since Sony (who produces the show along with CBS) needs one more full season to reach the number of episodes required for syndication.

      As for The Good Wife they had to move to better utilize the 10 pm hour on Tuesday. The Good Wife skews very old and has been wasting its NCIS: LA lead in. It should be a bit more comfortable at an earlier hour.

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