CBS is pushing comedy in the 2016-2017 season. The network has slotted Kevin James’ comedy “Kevin Can Wait” on Mondays in the post-“Big Bang Theory” timeslot.
The network announced their 2016-2017 schedule Wednesday morning, ahead of their upfront presentation, which will be held at Carnegie Hall later in the day.
“Our development strategy was really focusing on comedy and big stars,” CBS’ new entertainment president Glenn Geller told reporters at a press breakfast today. As for drama, Geller said CBS will stick with what they do best: “Big procedurals, strong procedurals with a distinct character at the center of it.”
CBS Corp. boss Leslie Moonves noted that piecing together the schedule was more complicated than ever this year because of the prevailing winds in the industry, the migration of viewers to time-shifting options and the challenges of measuring new platforms.
“There are a lot more factors that go into putting our schedule together than there was ever before,” Moonves said.
But all of that has only enhanced the value of networks that deliver big-tent shows. CBS has 17 shows that draw more than 10 million viewers a week, according to CBS scheduling guru Kelly Kahl. Moonves said that reach is paying off for CBS as the TV advertising market rebounds.
“We see money coming back to network, not that it had ever left, the glow of digital — the bloom is off the rose,” Moonves said. “Basic cable does not have either reach or clearly the ratings we do. You’re seeing a lot of basic cable networks in decline. This is clearly good for network television.”
Moonves also asserted CBS’ status as the clear No. 1 network in key demos this year, with a boost from the Super Bowl. But even without, CBS is within two-tenths of a ratings point from NBC in adults 18-49. He scoffed at the time-honored upfront tradition of the various claims to No. 1 thrown around at NBCUniversal, ABC and Fox’s presentations this week.
“We will win every single demographic. That’s a fact. Look it up,” he said, noting that this is the time of year when “different people brag about statistics that they just made up last week.”
On the fall schedule, Kahl said the move from four to eight comedies and drama series additions and shuffles was an effort to build on their strong foundation. In all CBS will add six new series in the fall plus it has two dramas on the bench for midseason (see listings below).
The overarching goal is to “get a little better, get a little younger, improve time periods and improve nights,” Kahl said. “At CBS, consistency is a good thing complacency is a dirty word.”
CBS decided to expand its comedy load because it had the goods. “We had shows literally demanding to get on the air,” Kahl said.
In the fall, “Kevin Can Wait” will air at 8:30 p.m., following “The Big Bang Theory” at 8 p.m. When “Big Bang” moves to Thursdays later in the year, James’ show moves up to 8 p.m. and Matt LeBlanc’s comedy “Man With A Plan” will fill its 8:30 p.m. slot. “Two Broke Girls” is at at 9 p.m., followed by Matthew Perry’s “The Odd Couple” at 9:30 p.m. and then “Scorpion” sticking at 10 p.m.
With LeBlanc and Perry on the same night, CBS will be staging a “Friends” reunion of sorts, which no doubt will generate social buzz.
With CBS making a push on big comedy stars, the network has a big property on its slate in “MacGyver,” which will kick off Friday nights at 8 p.m. “When you have an IP like ‘MacGyver,’ you want to put it on the air,” Geller said. “We wanted this on television.”
On Tuesday, the legal drama “Bull” landed the Tuesday 9 p.m. hammock slot between “NCIS” and “NCIS: New Orleans.”
CBS’ decision to stick with medical drama “Code Black” was a surprise given its weak ratings. But Geller said the network was impressed by showrunner Michael Seitzman and his plan for season two. On Thursday at 10 p.m. another medical-themed newcomer, “Pure Genius,” is coming from showrunner Jason Katims starring Dermot Mulroney and newcomer Augustus Prew. “It’s a great two-hander,” Geller said.
Here’s the full CBS fall schedule for 2016-2017 season:
8:00-8:30 PM THE BIG BANG THEORY
8:30-9:00 PM KEVIN CAN WAIT
8:00-8:30 PM KEVIN CAN WAIT (RTP) (Starting in October)
8:30-9:00 PM MAN WITH A PLAN (N) (Starting in October)
9:00-9:30 PM 2 BROKE GIRLS
9:30-10:00 PM THE ODD COUPLE
10:00-11:00 PM SCORPION
8:00-9:00 PM NCIS
9:00-10:00 PM BULL
10:00-11:00 PM NCIS: NEW ORLEANS
8:00-9:00 PM SURVIVOR
9:00-10:00 PM CRIMINAL MINDS
10:00-11:00 PM CODE BLACK
8:00-11:00 PM, ET/ NFL THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL (Premieres Sept. 15)
5:00-8:00 PM, PT
8:00-8:30 PM THE BIG BANG THEORY (Starting Oct. 27)
8:30-9:00 PM THE GREAT INDOORS (Starting Oct. 27)
9:00-9:30 PM MOM (Starting Oct. 27)
9:30-10:00 PM LIFE IN PIECES (Starting Oct. 27)
10:00-11:00 PM PURE GENIUS (Starting Oct. 27)
8:00-9:00 PM MACGYVER
9:00-10:00 PM HAWAII FIVE-0
10:00-11:00 PM BLUE BLOODS
8:00-9:00 PM CRIMETIME SATURDAY
9:00-10:00 PM CRIMETIME SATURDAY
10:00-11:00 PM 48 HOURS
7:00-8:00 PM 60 MINUTES
8:00-9:00 PM NCIS: LOS ANGELES
9:00-10:00 PM MADAM SECRETARY
10:00-11:00 PM ELEMENTARY
Here are descriptions of CBS new shows:
KEVIN CAN WAIT stars Kevin James as a newly retired police officer looking forward to spending carefree, quality time with his wife and three kids, only to discover he faces tougher challenges at home than he ever did on the streets. Kevin’s retirement plans consist of chilling with his family and having epic adventures with fellow retirees Goody (Leonard Earl Howze), his former partner and close friend, and Duffy (Lenny Venito), his oldest pal, as well as his brother, Kyle (Gary Valentine), a fireman whose closest encounter with a blaze would be a grease fire in the firehouse kitchen. However, Kevin’s dream is jeopardized when he discovers that Donna (Erinn Hayes), his wonderful wife of 20 years, has shielded him from key family info while he worked overtime protecting the community. Their usually reliable eldest, Kendra (Taylor Spreitler), is dropping out of college so she can support her unemployed fiancé, Chale (Ryan Cartwright), while he designs the next “big app”; his teenage daughter, Sara (Mary-Charles Jones), is having issues at school; and their youngest, Jack (James DiGiacomo), is a bit of a hypochondriac. For now, his plans for a cushy life will have to wait, because Kevin has work to do, and this time, his family is his beat. Bruce Helford, Rock Reuben, Kevin James, Jeff Sussman and Andy Fickman are executive producers for CBS Television Studios in association with Sony Pictures Television. Fickman directed the pilot.
MAN WITH A PLAN stars Golden Globe Award winner Matt LeBlanc in a comedy about a contractor who starts spending more time with his kids when his wife goes back to work and discovers the truth every parent eventually realizes: their little angels are maniacs. Adam (LeBlanc) feels fully equipped to take on more parenting responsibilities while his self-assured wife, Andi, returns to the work force after being a stay at home mom for 13 years. However, Adam’s blindsided by how tough it is to wrangle three messy kids who can’t live without Wi-Fi. Their pre-teen daughter, Kate (Grace Kaufman), is a master manipulator and initially thrilled that “daddy fun times” is taking over, middle child Teddy (Matthew McCann) can’t seem to keep his hands out of his pants despite constant reminders, and their precious youngest, Emme (Hala Finley), is nervous about starting kindergarten. But with Andi’s encouragement and advice from a couple of equally stressed parents, Marie (Jessica Chaffin) and Lowell (Matt Cook), Adam takes charge of his brood, lays down the law and discovers he’s going to “nail” this job. Jeff & Jackie Filgo, Matt LeBlanc, Michael Rotenberg and Troy Zien are executive producers for CBS Television Studios. Multiple Emmy Award winner James Burrows directed the pilot.
THE GREAT INDOORS stars Joel McHale in a comedy about a renowned adventure reporter for an outdoor magazine who must adapt to the times when he becomes the desk-bound boss to a group of millennials in the digital department of the publication. Jack has led a thrilling “outdoorsy” life exploring the edges of the earth while chronicling his adventures for Outdoor Limits. But his globe-trotting days end when the magazine’s charismatic founder and outdoor legend, Roland (Stephen Fry), announces the publication’s move to web-only and assigns Jack to supervise their online team of “journalists.” Jack’s eager 20-something colleagues include Clark (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), a tech nerd who knows everything about surviving on Mars and a zombie apocalypse; Emma (Christine Ko), their social media expert who views Jack as the human version of dial-up; and Mason (Shaun Brown), a hipster-lumberjack who hasn’t spent any actual time outside. Jack reports to Roland’s daughter, Brooke (Susannah Fielding), an ex-flame who caters to the sensitive staffers by giving them all trophies just for working hard. Jack’s best friend, Eddie (Chris Williams), runs the local dive bar that’s popular with the younger set and helps Jack “decode” his co-workers. Jack is baffled by the world of click-bait and listicles, but if he’s patient, he may be able to show these kids that the outside world is much more than something on a screen… if he doesn’t beat them with their selfie-sticks first. Mike Gibbons, Chris Harris and multiple Emmy Award winner Andy Ackerman are executive producers for CBS Television Studios. Ackerman directed the pilot.
BULL stars Michael Weatherly as Dr. Jason Bull in a drama inspired by the early career of Dr. Phil McGraw, the founder of one of the most prolific trial consulting firms of all time. Brilliant, brash and charming, Dr. Bull is the ultimate puppet master as he combines psychology, human intuition and high tech data to learn what makes jurors, attorneys, witnesses and the accused tick. Bull employs an enviable team of experts at Trial Analysis Corporation to shape successful narratives down to the very last detail. They include his quick-witted brother-in-law, Benny Colón (Freddy Rodriguez), who plays a defense attorney in mock trials; Marissa Morgan (Geneva Carr), a cutting-edge neurolinguistics expert from the Department of Homeland Security; former NYPD detective Danny James (Jaime Lee Kirchner), the firm’s tough but relatable investigator; haughty millennial hacker Cable McCrory (Annabelle Attanasio), who is responsible for gathering cyber intelligence; and Chunk Palmer (Chris Jackson), a fashion-conscious stylist and former All-American lineman who fine tunes clients’ appearances for trial. In high-stakes trials, Bull’s combination of remarkable insight into human nature, three Ph.D.’s and a top-notch staff creates winning strategies that tip the scales of justice in his clients’ favor. Paul Attanasio, Dr. Phillip C. McGraw, Steven Spielberg, Justin Falvey, Darryl Frank, Jay McGraw, Mark Goffman and Rodrigo Garcia are executive producers for CBS Television Studios. Garcia directed the pilot.
MACGYVER, a reimagining of the classic series, is an action-adventure drama about 20-something Angus “Mac” MacGyver (Lucas Till) who creates a clandestine organization within the U.S. government where he uses his extraordinary talent for unconventional problem solving and vast scientific knowledge to save lives. Joining his team on high-risk missions around the globe is maverick former CIA agent Lincoln (George Eads). Under the aegis of the Department of External Affairs, MacGyver takes on the responsibility of saving the world, armed to the teeth with resourcefulness and little more than bubble gum and a paper clip. Peter Lenkov, Golden Globe Award winner Henry Winkler, Lee Zlotoff, James Wan and Michael Clear are executive producers for CBS Television Studios in association with Lionsgate.
PURE GENIUS is a cutting-edge medical drama about a young Silicon Valley tech titan who enlists an exceptional veteran surgeon with a controversial past to run a state-of-the-art hospital with an ultramodern approach to medicine. Billionaire genius James Bell (Augustus Prew) built Bunker Hill Hospital determined to revolutionize healthcare and treat the rarest and most challenging medical mysteries, at no charge. Bell persuades maverick surgeon Dr. Walter Wallace (Dermot Mulroney) to be his Chief of Staff, who believed medicine is a human endeavor, not technological, until a “eureka” moment at the hospital convinced him otherwise. Bell’s team of trailblazers includes Dr. Zoe Brockett (Odette Annable), an exceptional, fearlessly frank physician; Dr. Talaikha Channarayapatra (Reshma Shetty), an idealistic, maddeningly literal neurosurgeon who believes the hospital is a beacon for change; Dr. Malik Verlaine (Aaron Jennings), a former gangbanger now spearheading efforts to provide 24/7 health monitoring in poor neighborhoods via computer; Dr. Scott Strauss (Ward Horton), an intense neurologist with an Ivy league pedigree; and Angie Cheng (Brenda Song), an enthusiastic 3-D printer programming whiz. At Bunker Hill, Bell pairs the most brilliant minds in medicine with the most forward thinkers in technology, and cuts bureaucracy out of the equation, all in the interest of saving lives, including his own. Jason Katims, Michelle Lee and David Semel are executive producers for Universal Television in association with CBS Television Studios. Semel directed the pilot.
TRAINING DAY is a crime thriller that begins 15 years after the events of the feature film, about a young, idealistic police officer who is tapped to go undercover in an elite squad of the LAPD where he partners with a veteran, morally ambiguous detective. Detective Frank Rourke (Bill Paxton) is the maverick head of the Special Investigation Section (S.I.S.) that hunts the city’s most dangerous criminals, and is one of the finest investigators the department has ever produced. However, when the LAPD brass notices Rourke’s penchant for operating in a gray area to fight the war on crime, they assign Kyle Craig (Justin Cornwell), a heroic, untarnished cop, to pose as Frank’s trainee to spy on him and report on his off-book methods. The members of Frank’s loyal team include Rebecca Lee (Katrina Law), a formidable officer with killer aim and a dark past, and Tommy Campbell (Drew Van Acker), a former pro surfer who follows Frank’s orders without hesitation. Providing Frank with intel is his girlfriend, Holly Butler (Julie Benz), a well-connected, unapologetic Hollywood madam. While LAPD Deputy Chief Joy Lockhart (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) coolly puts Kyle in danger in her mission to take down Frank, Kyle’s schoolteacher wife, Alyse (Lex Scott Davis), worries her husband’s resolve to avenge the murder of his father, a cop, may be his undoing. As Frank starts teaching his principled trainee the way of the streets, where the ends often justify the means, they form an uneasy alliance that will irrevocably change the course of both their lives. Based on the feature film from Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures. Jerry Bruckheimer, Antoine Fuqua, Will Beall, Barry Schindel, Jonathan Littman and Danny Cannon are executive producers for Jerry Bruckheimer Television and Fuqua Films in association with Warner Bros. Television. Cannon directed the pilot.
DOUBT stars Katherine Heigl as Sadie Ellis, a brilliant attorney at a boutique firm who starts to fall for her charismatic client, Billy Brennan (Steven Pasquale), an altruistic pediatric surgeon recently accused of murdering his girlfriend 24 years ago. Sadie is hiding her growing feelings from everyone, including her close friend and colleague, Albert Cobb (Dulé Hill), who thinks he knows everything about her. Working on other cases at the practice is Cameron Wirth (Laverne Cox), a transgender Ivy League graduate who fights passionately for her clients since she’s experienced injustice first hand; Tiffany Simon (Dreama Walker), a second-year associate who is quickly learning the ropes from Wirth; and Nick (Kobi Libii), a former felon who earned his degree while serving time. They all consider it a privilege to work for Isaiah Roth (Elliott Gould), a revered legal lion and “lefty” legend, whose approval is their holy grail. Sadie’s decision to become involved with her client could put her career, as well as her happiness, at risk if Billy is found guilty, which means she needs to work all the harder to prove reasonable doubt, even if she has some herself. Tony Phelan & Joan Rater, Emmy Award winner Adam Bernstein, Carl Beverly and Sarah Timberman are executive producers for CBS Television Studios. Bernstein directed the pilot.