(Check out the fall schedules for ABC, NBC and Fox.)
As has been its custom over the decades, CBS outlined a fall 2009 schedule not remarkably different from the current season. Changes include the additions of three new dramas, a Monday-night comedy, a refugee from NBC and the shift from hourlong crime-solving hit "The Mentalist" to Thursday nights.
New to the network’s schedule will be "The Good Wife," starring "ER’s" Julianna Margulies as a woman returning to work as a defense attorney after her politician husband (Chris Noth) gets incarcerated. It will air Tuesdays at 10 p.m., following the new Los Angeles-set "NCIS" spinoff starring Chris O’Donnell and LL Cool J.
The network also has a new medical drama, "Three Rivers," starring Alex O’Loughlin, Christopher Hanke and Julia Ormond, scheduled for Sunday nights at 9, after "The Amazing Race."
Meanwhile, new comedy "Accidentally on Purpose," from Lloyd Braun and Gail Berman, will be positioned in the Monday night comedy block at 8:30, between "How I Met Your Mother" and "Two and a Half Men."
Also new to the CBS schedule, "Medium" will shift over from NBC, running Fridays at 9 after "Ghost Whisperer." NBC had reportedly committed to a 13-episode order of the paranormal-themed series, but producer CBS Television Studios has a 22-episode deal with star Patricia Arquette and jumped at the full-season order from its sibling network.
Perhaps most notably this for CBS this fall, "The Mentalist," a rookie hit this past season, moves from Wednesdays to the Thursday 10 p.m. slot against Jay Leno’s new nightly talk show.
CBS announced two new dramas for midseason, the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced hospital show “Miami Trauma” and “The Bridge,” starring “Battlestar Galactica’s” Aaron Douglas as a beat cop turned police-union leader.
Series leaving the CBS schedule include rookie comedy “Worst Week,” as well as veteran dramas “The Unit” and “Without a Trace.”
Two new reality shows were also announced for midseason, including “Arranged Marriage” from “Project Runway” masterminds Magical Elves and “Undercover Boss.”
Presenting its wares to advertisers and media members at Carnegie Hall in New York Wednesday, CBS entertainment president Nina Tassler showed a brief yet moving clip of the latter project, featuring Larry O’Donnell, president of Waste Management Corp., executing the show’s concept — that is, stripping off his suit and covertly taking on some of the rank-and-file jobs his decisions affect.
However, if Wednesday’s CBS upfront event had an emotional highlight, it was a pumped up LL Cool J performing a rousing, tight-shirted — and somewhat anachronistic — edition of his 1985 rap hit “Mama Said Knock You Out,” which drew bewildered laughter from the Carnegie Hall audience, as well as at a gathering on the CBS lot in Los Angeles watching simulcast video of the festivities.
“Wow!” said Tassler “I was so knocked out.”
CBS president and CEO Les Moonves kicked off the event by doing what most of the other network heads have done this upfront season while trying to sell advertisers on the enduring power of network TV: kicking NBC.
“There’s a clear difference between the model being broken and not being able to find any hits for years,” Moonves said.
Here’s the complete CBS fall schedule, with new shows in upper-case:
8 p.m.: "How I Met Your Mother"
8:30 p.m.: "ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE"
9 p.m. – "Two and a Half Men"
9:30 p.m.: "The Big Bang Theory"
10 p.m.: "CSI: Miami"
8 p.m.: "NCIS"
9 p.m.: "NCIS: Los Angeles"
10 p.m.: "THE GOOD WIFE"
8 p.m.: "The New Adventures of Old Christine"
8:30 p.m.: "Gary Unmarried"
9 p.m.: "Criminal Minds"
10 p.m.: "CSI: NY"
8 p.m.: "Survivor"
9 p.m.: "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation"
10 p.m.: "The Mentalist"
8 p.m.: "Ghost Whisperer"
9 p.m.: "Medium"
10 p.m.: "Numbers"
8 p.m.: Drama repeats
9 p.m.: Drama repeats
10 p.m.: "48 Hours Investigations"
7 p.m.: "60 Minutes"
8 p.m.: "The Amazing Race"
9 p.m.; "THREE RIVERS"
10 p.m.: "Cold Case"