Wednesday, May 13, 2015

CBS fall 2015 schedule thoughts

In the past two or three years, network television's quality has both declined and increased. I have The Walking Dead) being shown on AMC -- a cable channel.
seen a number of great ideas with an almost infinite amount of potential completely squandered and left to wither and die. I have also seen dreck and lowbrow, low-concept programs become middling hits. To find a hit nowadays, though, is a challenge as television viewing is more fragmented than ever before with the continuing rise of Netflix, Amazon becoming a player and the most popular series (

CBS (aka The Tiffany Network) had been able -- until the past year or two -- to avoid the sliding ratings and rarely had more than two series which turned out to be complete dogs. They continually churned out crime dramas which pulled in steady ratings and spawned spinoffs. On the comedy side, their multi-camera shows followed a formula of set-up, easy joke, laughter. It worked and they built on their Monday comedy success with a solidly watched Thursday comedy block. That new Thursday block quickly laid waste to NBC's once-popular Thursday comedy block.

But the success of the CBS Thursday comedy block came at a price. Failing to find a big hit after How I Met Your Mother began its decline and eventually ended its run, the two-hour Monday comedy block was scaled back to a mere hour for the 2014-15 season. The anchor 2 Broke Girls  failed to improve or even maintain its viewership levels.

The schedule for the fall 2015 season on CBS is the most disappointing and lackluster of all of the networks -- and that says a lot given the bottom-of-the-barrel crap NBC is rolling out.

(New programs in UPPER CASE; all times ET)
8-8:30 PM The Big Bang Theory
8-9 PM SUPERGIRL (Starting in November)
9-10 PM Scorpion
10-11 PM NCIS: Los Angeles
9-10 PM NCIS: New Orleans
8-9 PM Survivor
9-10 PM Criminal Minds
8-11 PM, ET/ NFL Thursday Night Football (Premieres Sept. 17)
5-8 PM, PT
8-8:30 PM The Big Bang Theory (RTP) (Starting in November)
8:30-9 PM LIFE IN PIECES (Starting in November)
9-9:30 PM Mom (Starting in November)
9:30-10 PM ANGEL FROM HELL (Starting in November)
10-11 PM Elementary(Starting in November)
8-9 PM The Amazing Race
9-10 PM Hawaii Five-O
10-11 PM Blue Bloods
8-9 PM Crimetime Saturday
9-10 PM Crimetime Saturday
10-11 PM 48 Hours
7-9 PM 60 Minutes
8-9 PM Madam Secretary
9-10 PM The Good Wife

 The biggest shock is that beginning in November, CBS will have no comedies on it Monday night lineup for the first time in over 60 years. This is not just the end of an era, it also marks the continued slide of sitcoms on network television. There will be a mere 12 hours of comedies each week on network television when November rolls around. I am sure that the number has been far lower before but when spread across four major networks it is definitely a low point for televised comedies.

The one series that sticks out like a sore thumb for CBS is Supergirl. It's not geared towards the silver hair crowd. It features a female lead. It could also be the beginning of CBS actively trying to attract younger viewers with the cheesy but young-skewing Scorpion pairing well with Supergirl. Two hours of dramas which could actually appeal to people under 50 years old. Or Supergirl could be a complete failure and vanish by February. Just wait and see.

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