Network unveils upcoming fall schedule

CBS is sticking with tradition, launching the lion’s share of its fall sked during fall premiere week — with a few exceptions, thanks to the presidential election.

With a vice presidential debate set for Thursday, Oct. 2, the net’s top-rated “CSI” and newcomer “Eleventh Hour” won’t bow until Oct. 9.

Also, an Obama vs. McCain faceoff is skedded for Friday, Sept. 26, which means that night’s fare will be bumped until Oct. 3.

Meanwhile, CBS’ other Thursday staple, “Survivor,” will return a few days prior to premiere week, on Sept. 18.

That means the net will get at least two weeks of “Survivor: Gabon” on the air before “Survivor: Vice President” preempts it.

Other than that, CBS’ fall rollout is pretty elementary. Monday’s lineup returns Sept. 22 (including the series bow of laffer “Worst Week”), the Tuesday sked is back Sept. 23 (including newcomer “The Mentalist”), Wednesday bows Sept. 24 (with new sitcom “Project Gary”), while Saturday and Sunday arrive on Sept. 27 and 28, respectively.

The Oct. 3 return of the Friday-night lineup includes new hourlong “The Ex-List.”

The early launch of “Survivor,” which is back with its 17th cycle, will rep the seventh consecutive year in which CBS has brought the franchise back in the week prior to the start of the TV season.

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