Monday, 21 March 2016

CBS 2016-17 Season: News & Updates

Gregory’s Thoughts

CBS probably is the most stable network. With a slate which has dozens of franchises, procedurals and multi-camera comedies, CBS has definitely identified their brand and have stuck to it. So, what does CBS need to do to increase their viewership?
Lately they have been adding a bunch of hip single-camera comedies to zero success, alongside dull multi-cams featuring actors nobody cares about anymore, like Matt Perry. Even though CBS is stable, I’m sure some execs are currently confused regarding why several of their new shows for the current season have failed to gain traction. One of the network’s main goals is to attract younger viewers, which according to advertisers, are more valuable than older viewers. Supergirl started off great but ratings quickly fell back down to earth and can now hardly achieve a 2.0 rating in the demo. Super hero/comic book dramas are all the range in the world of television right now so it’s no surprise CBS wanted to have a piece of the action! Unfortunately, Supergirl is a complete disappointment, both commercially and creatively, despite coming from TV’s most successful superhero adaptation creator and producer Greg Berlanti. Despite its ratings woes, the DC comics adaptation continues to rate higher than most of the non-NCIS dramas on the network.

The other new dramas CBS premiered this season is movie adaptation Limitless and Code Black, which skew old. Both shows follow the tired procedural/medical drama format and despite appearances from Bradley Cooper in Limitless and Marcia Gay Harden starring in Code Black, both shows have failed to create buzz among the general public. CBS also has a Rush Hour adaptation premiering in March, which by the looks of the trailer, should never see the light of day, and a Criminal Minds spin-off which will probably achieve respectable ratings, but nothing substantial.

On the comedy side, CBS recently premiered the delayed single-camera comedy Angel From Hell which has achieved mediocre ratings and lacklustre reviews. Despite it starring Jane Lynch, who was a standout on Glee, the humour on the show is bland despite its intriguing guardian angel premise. Life in Pieces was manifested as a Modern Family doppleganger but has failed to achieve the high ratings to match its primary inspiration. Life in Pieces has a large, ensemble cast with several well-known actors including Colin Hanks and Betsy Brandst. It seems CBS are unable to find a show to hold the audience of lead-in The Big Bang Theory. Mom and 2 Broke Girls are likely to return next season whereas The Odd Couple came and went.

The most troubling aspect of CBS’ schedule is their dependence on older shows which appear to be on their last legs. Elementary, which was moved to Mondays this season, will have enough episodes for syndication by May and will most likely be cancelled. Hawaii 5-0 is forgotten. The NCIS franchise shows regularly do well. The Good Wife, CBS’ critical darling should be cancelled following the announcement the creators and showrunners are leaving the show after its current season. Madam Secretary does okay, Criminal Minds still has one or two more seasons left.

CBS’ development slate is usually the least exciting of them all and writing this critical analysis for the network was the direst of all the networks due to how monotone and predictable the network is. This development season is no exception. All drama and comedy pitches are the same as the year before, and the year before that. Cop shows, medical shows, multi-cams about silly people in silly relationships etc. What CBS needs to do next season is add more shows with diverse casts. The cats should include more people of colour, more women, more LGBT characters (they tried with The McCarthys, which was cancelled after one season) and less police procedurals. That way CBS will not only attract a younger audience, but a diverse audience too. I personally think CBS should stop trying to make single-camera comedies happen. They’re not going to happen (on their network) and should stick to what they’re good at. Instead, they should experiment with the multi-camera genre.

UPDATE: CBS has renewed 2 Broke Girls, The Amazing Race, The Big Bang Theory, Blue Bloods, Elementary, Hawaii Five-0, Madam Secretary, Mom, NCIS, NCIS: LA, NCIS: NO, Scorpion, Survivor.
UPDATE 2: CBS has renewed Life In Pieces

UPDATE 3: CBS has cancelled Supergirl, it will move to The CW


8 p.m. “The Big Bang Theory” (September-October)/“Kevin Can Wait” (beginning late October)
8:30 p.m. “Kevin Can Wait” (September-October)/
“Man with a Plan” (beginning late October)
9 p.m. “2 Broke Girls” (new timeslot)
9:30 p.m. “The Odd Couple” (new timeslot)
10 p.m. “Scorpion” (new timeslot)


8 p.m. “NCIS”
9 p.m. 
10 p.m. “NCIS: New Orleans”


8 p.m. “Survivor”
9 p.m. “Criminal Minds”
10 p.m. “Code Black”


8 p.m./5 PT: “Thursday Night Football”

Starting Oct. 27
8 p.m. “The Big Bang Theory”
8:30 p.m. 
“The Great Indoors”
9 p.m. “Mom”
9:30 p.m. “Life in Pieces” (new timeslot)
10 p.m. 
“Pure Genius”


8 p.m. “MacGyver”
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”


7 p.m. “60 Minutes”
8 p.m. “NCIS: Los Angeles” (new timeslot)
9 p.m. “Madam Secretary” (new timeslot)
10 p.m. “Elementary”

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