Wednesday, May 16, 2018

2018 Upfront Answers: CBS

The schedule is coming, and with it the Upfront Answers!

CBS's upfront previews: Renewology | Upfront Questions

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



Spot's Question: Is a comedy cutback coming?

Not only is there a comedy cutback, but CBS didn't want anything from the Thursday mix to come to the rescue, and didn't believe in Murphy Brown as a savior either! That leaves newbies The Neighborhood and Happy Together, which seem compatible enough with each other but will have to self-start. The network has a couple comedy backups in the wings in Man with a Plan and Life in Pieces, but neither of those have the goods to really turn things around if this goes south. A new drama is back at 9/8c, which is a less juicy opportunity now that Fox has put 9-1-1 there.



Spot's Question: Is it time to use the NCIS lead-in for something else?

Yep. Like NCIS: New Orleans, Bull lasted just two years with the NCIS lead-in and is shipped off to join a bunch of new series on Monday. Dick Wolf's FBI will probably fit in OK.


SurvivorSurvivorSEAL TeamSEAL TeamCriminal MindsCriminal Minds

Spot's Question: Is CBS in for the long haul with SEAL Team?

Oh yeah. I felt last week that if they weren't going to give it a big downgrade, they may as well leave it where it is. But I'd still like to have seen the downgrade. The network kept SEAL in place and still found three timeslots that were not in the 10/9c hour for new dramas, but I'd much rather have one here (even against Chicago Fire) than on Monday alongside a very unproven comedy duo.


The Big Bang TheoryYoung SheldonMomMurphy BrownS.W.A.T.S.W.A.T.

Spot's Question: Will the Sheldon shows stay put?

Not only did the Sheldon shows stay put, but they don't even get used as a lead-in for something new as Mom will continue to hold down the 9/8c slot. And after their respective networks built entire nights around Will and Grace and Roseanne, CBS pretty much treats the Murphy Brown revival like an afterthought. Maybe we will see in hindsight that they were right to do so, but it's still jarring in the wake of those other revivals having so much success.


MacGyverMacGyverHawaii Five-0Hawaii Five-0Blue BloodsBlue Bloods

Spot's Question: Does anything get changed?

Nope. Next.


GOD FRIENDED MEGOD FRIENDED MENCIS: Los AngelesNCIS: Los AngelesMadam SecretaryMadam Secretary

Spot's Question: What will get the football-inflated 60 Minutes lead-ins?

It's basically the same setup CBS had for all of 2017-18, with a newbie at 8/7c leading into NCIS: LA and Madam Secretary. I can't say that I see God Friended Me succeeding where Wisdom of the Crowd and Instinct failed, but we'll see...


CBS knew that Monday was its biggest problem, so they chose to burn it all down and start almost completely from scratch, not using even a lick of their Thursday comedy strength to help. I'm not sold that Cedric the Entertainer and Magnum P.I. are the self-starters that CBS is looking for here. But if they somehow end up having all these great horses to resurrect the night, I'll tip my cap and forgive them for the stubbornness on the other nights. It's a gamble that will make or break this schedule, and there's not much else to say.

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