Wednesday, May 13, 2015

2015 Upfront Answers, CBS

Last week, I asked "Upfront Questions" to preview each network's fall 2015 schedule. With the schedule now official, here are the "Upfront Answers"!

CBS' upfront previews: True Power Rankings | Upfront Questions

Other Upfront Answers: NBC | Fox | ABC | CBS | CW


Fall 2015 Schedule
8:00-8:30 PM              The Big Bang Theory
8:30-9:00 PM              LIFE IN PIECES (N)

8:00-9:00 PM              SUPERGIRL (N) (Starting in November)

9:00-10:00 PM            Scorpion
10:00-11:00 PM          NCIS: Los Angeles

My Question: Are there too few new drama slots to keep NCIS: Los Angeles on Monday?

Nope. CBS came up with a creative way of squeezing the third new drama into an earlier timeslot, and that was to kill yet another comedy hour. Supergirl replacing a comedy hour isn't necessarily a bad idea in the abstract, even if it has to face fellow Warner/DC series Gotham. But the problem is that the comedy hour goes, with 2 Broke Girls AND Mike and Molly AND The Odd Couple held for midseason, while several inferior options stay...


Fall 2015 Schedule
8:00-9:00 PM              NCIS
9:00-10:00 PM            NCIS: New Orleans
10:00-11:00 PM          LIMITLESS (N)

My Question: Which newbie (if any...?) pairs best with the NCIS brand?

I guess they think it is Limitless. It seemed more like one of the network's (relatively) younger-skewing options. My snap judgment is I'd rather have seen Limitless and Code Black flipped, but I won't go too crazy on that till seeing at least the trailers.


Fall 2015 Schedule
8:00-9:00 PM              Survivor
9:00-10:00 PM            Criminal Minds
10:00-11:00 PM          CODE BLACK (N)

My Question: Is the second Wednesday drama worth shuffling Criminal Minds to 10/9c for?

Nope. I said there were three scenarios that could justifiably keep Criminal Minds at 9/8c: the Minds spinoff, CSI: Cyber and Empire staying put. Actually, all three of them came to pass. Though neither of the CBS options I expected are here, Empire's continued presence at 9/8c was still more than enough reason to leave Minds be. And I wouldn't be a bit surprised to see the Minds spinoff here down the line.


Fall 2015 Schedule
8:00-11:00 PM, ET/    NFL THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL (Premieres Sept. 17)
5:00-8:00 PM, PT
8:00-8:30 PM              THE BIG BANG THEORY (RTP) (Starting in November)
8:30-9:00 PM              LIFE IN PIECES (NTP) (Starting in November)
9:00-9:30 PM              Mom (Starting in November)
9:30-10:00 PM            ANGEL FROM HELL (N) (Starting in November)
10:00-11:00 PM          Elementary (Starting in November)

My Question: Can CBS put anything high-priority on Thursday before January?

Yes! Life in Pieces will stay attached at the hip to TBBT, starting with it on Monday in September and then joining it on Thursday. I guess this is a reasonable way of getting the new comedy a nice consecutive run before being thrown into the chaotic late 2015 Thursday schedule. Angel from Hell will have no such luck. And CBS will indeed just punt with a veteran at 10/9c. Again, it seemed like a good idea given how many interruptions there will be in late 2015. But Elementary stays on the weeknight sked while 2 Broke Girls does not?


Fall 2015 Schedule
8:00-9:00 PM              The Amazing Race
9:00-10:00 PM            Hawaii Five-0
10:00-11:00 PM          Blue Bloods

My Question: Will CBS open up another drama hour by killing unscripted at 8/7c?

Nope. As I said last week, I didn't really have a problem with the Race continuing in the fall. But after the network made so many drama renewals (1-2 more than I was expecting, for sure), it was clear that a couple things were gonna have to lose out on the fall schedule. The first one was Person of Interest, given a short (and likely final) season, which is perfectly fine. But again, the Monday comedy hour losing out to the likes of Amazing Race just seems bizarre.


Fall 2015 Schedule
7:00-8:00 PM              60 Minutes
8:00-9:00 PM              Madam Secretary
9:00-10:00 PM            The Good Wife
10:00-11:00 PM          CSI: Cyber (NTP)

My Question: Which drama is the latest exile to Sunday?

It's... a sophomore that has only aired a short first season? Cyber will be bringing in Ted Danson from the mothership, but putting it on Sunday at 10/9c means you're basically giving up on Cyber as a first-run ratings player already. I didn't really favor renewing it, but I kinda figured that if they did, they were gonna give it a much better shot at actually becoming something than this. I guess the international money must be absolutely insane.


The bottom line here is that Supergirl had really better work, because CBS went way out of its way to carve out this space for it. CBS bumped one of its stronger hours out of the fall mix completely, and refused to find another home for 2 Broke Girls in the name of "stability" elsewhere. The continued weeknight presence of Elementary and the continued fall presence of The Amazing Race and CSI: Cyber are justifiable ideas in the abstract, but they seem a lot worse in light of yet another comedy downsizing.

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