CBS Unveils Primetime Schedule That Replaces Few Shows
"We have a schedule that we're very proud of, a rather conservative schedule," said CBS President Leslie Moonves, who spoke to a reporters during a breakfast meeting Wednesday morning at CBS headquarters in New York.
The schedule includes 16 episodes of "Everybody Loves Raymond" in its final season, along with the return of its companion sitcom, "Two and a Half Men" plus the renewal of "Still Standing" and "The King of Queens" and two new sitcoms, "Listen Up" starring Jason Alexander and "Center of the Universe" starring John Goodman, Ed Asner and Olympia Dukakis. CBS returns "Cold Case" as well as the other two CSIs, "Without a Trace," "JAG" and its spinoff "NCIS" and the surprise Friday hit "Joan of Arcadia." Gone are "The District" and "Hack." New dramas include "Clubhouse" and "Dr. Vegas."
Reality series "Survivor" will go up Thursdays against "Joey," which Moonves said could be tough competition along with "The Apprentice," which competes against the original "CSI." CBS' answer to "ER," "Without a Trace," will return at 10 p.m. But a battle will brew Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. when CBS will put the newest version of "CSI" up against NBC powerhouse "Law & Order."
Unlike the other networks, CBS didn't order a bunch of sitcoms and dramas for midseason replacements. Thirteen episodes of "Yes, Dear" have been ordered but not scheduled and there's another sitcom starring former "Dharma & Greg" star Jenna Elfman but that's it.
"We still believe in doing it this way," Moonves said.
He criticized NBC's strategy but said that last year's summer premiere of "The OC" was "very smart."
And Moonves didn't back away from his predictions a few months ago of seeking double digit CPM increases during the upfront.
"We think we're going to have a very strong upfront," Moonves said. "Remember three or four years ago, when we held out and we only sold 65 percent?" He said that the upfront is fluid.
We would like double digits. We think our schedule warrants it, we think our schedule warrants it, we think competitively we warrant it," he said. "We're going to be aggressive."