CBS: "We're number one. We can't be number two..."
Without a doubt, CBS is the easiest upfront for me to tell you about since there are only four new shows and very few schedule changes. They’re number one for a reason and their schedule continues to show it. While the other networks are taking chances with high concept shows, CBS is drawing on solid stars with even more solid producers and directors.
Here’s the breakdown…
8 PM—How I Met Your Mother
8:30 PM—The Class
9 PM—Two and a Half Men
9:30 PM—The New Adventures of Old Christine
10 PM—CSI: Miami
“Class” comes from David Crane, the co-creator of “Friends,” and tells the story of a group of 20-somethings who were in the third grade together and reunite 20 years later. Jason Ritter (John’s son) stars as one of the friends and legendary sitcom director James Burrows is an Executive Producer and directed the pilot.
9 PM—The Unit
“Smith” is a drama starring Ray Liotta about a crew of career criminals plotting heists across the country. Virginia Madsen co-stars as Liotta’s wife.
9 PM—Criminal Minds
10 PM—CSI: NY
“Jericho” tells the story of what happens to a small town when a nuclear mushroom cloud suddenly appears on the horizon.
“Shark” stars James Woods as a defense attorney who brings his cutthroat tactics to the prosecutor’s office. The show comes from Imagine Entertainment (Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s company) and Spike Lee directed the pilot.
8 PM—Ghost Whisperer
9 PM—Close to Home
8 PM—Crimetime Saturday (crime show repeats)
9 PM—Crimetime Saturday
10 PM—48 Hours: Mystery
7 PM—60 Minutes
8 PM—The Amazing Race
9 PM—Cold Case
10 PM—Without a Trace
Four shows are on deck for mid-season: “3 Lbs.,” a drama about NY neurosurgeons starring Stanley Tucci (resurrected from a failed pilot that starred Dylan McDermott and Reiko Aylesworth [Michelle, “24”]); “Waterfront” starring Joe Pantoliano as the colorful mayor of Providence, Rhode Island; “Rules of Engagement,” a comedy from Adam Sandler’s production company about two couples and a single guy starring Patrick Warburton (Puddy, “Seinfeld”); and “The King of Queens.”
Here’s my take on the schedule…
Best Shot at a Hit: Take your pick; but I’m going with “Shark.” It’s from Imagine, which brought us “24,” “Arrested Development” and “Sports Night,” so it’s bound to be good if people will watch. Plus, it follows the #2 show on TV, “CSI.”
Best Shot at a Miss: I’m not sure there is one. However, “The Class” may be too high concept (but it’s got a great pedigree) and “Jericho” may be too creepy.
Best Scheduling Move: Though I’m kind of sad to see the end of the network TV movie, I think CBS will do well with its new Sunday night schedule. I like CBS going straight after the family-friendly “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” with the family-friendly “The Amazing Race.”
Most Questionable Scheduling Move: None. This is why they’re number one.
Tomorrow, the CW takes the podium for the first time…