CBS will swap a scripted crime-and-justice series in May for an unscripted one put together by its news division.
CBS News said “Brooklyn DA” will air Tuesdays at 10 p.m. starting May 21, the final Tuesday of the television season, and then continue to run through June. This season, CBS used the timeslot to air “Vegas,” then “Golden Boy,” two dramas about law-enforcement officers (albeit in vastly different settings). The new six-week series throws a spotlight on the men and women of the Kings County District Attorney’s Office as they juggle more than 1,000 cases a week. CBS News has assigned the production team behind “48 Hours” to assemble the program.
Susan Zirinsky, the CBS News veteran who has been with the unit since the 1970s, will be senior executive producer of the program. Patti Aronofsky will be senior supervising producer, while Anthony Batson will be senior broadcast producer.
Securing the Tuesday-night slot would seem to be a coup for the news division, which largely gets Saturdays for a prime-time perch to air “48 Hours” (the venerable “60 Minutes” typically airs Sundays at 7). CBS has run “48 Hours” in the Tuesday-night slot in summer in the past, finding an audience for the program at that time of the year. Meanwhile, other broadcast-network news divisions have tried real-life “miniseries” in the recent past. Last July, ABC News aired “NY Med,” an eight-part documentary that folllowed patients and staff at three different New York hospitals.
The docuseries surface as cable networks have secured ratings boosts for reality series that throw a spotlight on people in high-pressure jobs or who hail from intriguing sub-cultures. The offerings range from TNT’s recent debut of “Boston’s Finest,” which airs prior to showing of scripted cop-series “Southland,” to any number of reality shows on A&E or TLC that study kiddie beauty queens (“Here Comes Honey Boo Boo”) or makers of duck-hunting accessories (“Duck Dynasty”).