Networks announce new spring schedules
CBS, NBC and Fox have started making plans for life after the strike.The Eye on Wednesday said it will begin rolling out its post-strike sked on March 17, kicking things off with a firstrun Monday comedy lineup. “How I Met Your Mother,” “Big Bang Theory” and “Two and a Half Men” will return with originals that night, joining the still-in-originals “New Adventures of Old Christine.” A week later, on March 24, “CSI: Miami” is slated to be the first Eye drama to return with new episodes. Net will keep rolling out returning skeins over a three-week frame. The week of March 30 brings new segs of “Cold Case” (March 30); “Criminal Minds” and “CSI: NY” (April 2); “CSI” and “Without a Trace” (April 3); and “Ghost Whisperer” and “Numbers” (April 4). On April 8, “NCIS” returns, while laffer “Rules of Engagement” will likely replace “Old Christine” on April 14. There’s no word yet on a return date for “Shark.” Separately, CBS confirmed that drama “Swingtown,” which had been slated to bow this winter, will resume production. Net also said it expects to produce nine episodes of laffers “Mother,” “Bang” and “Men” — one more than the eight segs Eye insiders had been anticipating earlier in the week. Meanwhile, as expected, NBC will focus on comedy as it rolls out its post-strike sked. The Peacock on Wednesday said it would begin rolling out new episodes of existing shows on April 3, when Thursday laffer “My Name Is Earl” returns with an hourlong seg; “30 Rock,” “The Office” and “Scrubs” will return a week later, on April 10, along with “ER.” “Law & Order: SVU” returns to firstrun status on April 15, while the “L&O” mother ship returns to orbit on April 23. Peacock drama “Medium” began a run of original segs last month. NBC also made official what’s long been expected: Newcomers “Chuck” and “Life” have been renewed for next season, but they won’t air any more original segs this season. “Heroes” has also been picked up for next season and is also being delayed until fall, when it will air only originals. “These pickups are a sign of our confidence in these quality series and will allow the respective producers to get a head start on their creative arc for next season,” NBC U Entertainment co-chairman Graboff said. “As a result, they give us a lot to build on as we point to next year’s schedule.” Notably absent from NBC’s announcement: any mention of frosh skeins “Bionic Woman” and “Journeyman.” As previously reported, both shows have essentially been canceled by the Peacock. As for Fox, net will bring drama “Bones” back with between four and six originals starting Monday, April 14, at 8 p.m. (paired with newbie “Canterbury’s Law”). Also, Fox has indeed asked “House” to shoot four or five more episodes this season, although those airdates have not yet been determined. Comedy “Back to You” still has two segs left in the can, while “‘Til Death” has one more; Fox has made no decision yet on whether either will produce any more this season.