Monday, December 27, 2010

Scheduling Five-Spot, WE 12/26/10 - CBS Midseason: Mad Love, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, The Defenders, Chaos, Blue Bloods

I decided to make this whole Five-Spot all about the only really significant news of the last week, CBS' midseason announcement. The only other notable developments were FX skedding the return of Justified for Wednesday, February 9 and a snowstorm moving NBC's Sunday Night Football game to Tuesday, making it the first Tuesday NFL game since 1946. It will be nationally televised.

Not sure about how the Five-Spots will be going down the next couple weeks with such a dearth of interesting TV and TV ratings running around this time of year. I might do a couple "extra" things this week and then take the week ending January 2 off completely. We'll see.

Here's your Scheduling Five-Spot for the week ending December 26, 2010:

Mad Love - Many had pegged CBS' new midseason comedy as bound for Thursday night at 8:30 to relieve the could-be-better $#*! My Dad Says, but instead it goes to Monday at 8:30 for what seems like a more natural thematic pairing with How I Met Your Mother. Even if it's a pairing that makes sense, we may not have seen this particular piece of scheduling if not for the fact that Fox moved American Idol into that Thursday 8:00 hour, making it much more precarious to try to launch a new comedy.

Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior - The other CBS newbie to get the good treatment is the Criminal Minds spinoff, which heads for Wednesday at 10/9c to create a two-hour Minds block reminiscent of their NCIS night on Tuesday. Though spinoffs have often been used to create a presence on a new night, over the last few years it's become more common to see the nets just pair them up with the mothership show, at least at first.

The Defenders - In order to clear out that Wednesday 10/9c slot for Suspect Behavior, something had to be done with full-season-ordered The Defenders. It gets sent to the slot where most people felt it was going, Friday 8/7c to replace cancelled Medium starting February 4. But (along with $#*! My Dad Says on Thursday) it'll be wrapping its season early to make way for yet another show in the timeslot down the stretch of the season.

Chaos - In a situation seemingly similar to that of last season's failed Miami Medical, CBS will make a late-season Friday night drama debut with Chaos at 8/7c on April 1. It's hard to have any optimism whatsoever about that placement in one of TV's least-viewed primetime hours, and it doesn't seem to be a good sign at all for the drama that didn't get picked up until well after the upfront. For both this and The Defenders, I think even improving on the performance of Medium in the hour will be a challenge.

Blue Bloods - Between The Defenders leaving the Wednesday 10/9c hour and Suspect Behavior joining the hour, there's a one-month gap during which CBS will give Blue Bloods a midweek whirl. I feel the ancient-skewing drama is about as perfect a fit for Friday as there is these days, but this is a low-risk way to see if a younger-skewing lead-in can propel it to greater heights. It's not clear yet which weeks the Minds lead-in will be new, but it seems preferable to save originals to lead into the spinoff.

More Five-Spots in the Index.

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