CBS Goes Radical: 7 Shows Axed, Hits Moved

Kelly Kahl

For years, TV advertisers have always talked about the stability of CBS. But all that will change come this fall. The network has canceled seven shows, and radically moved around some of its biggest hits.

With the network struggling on Wednesday, according to Kelly Kahl, senior executive vice president of programming planning and scheduling for CBS prime time, major changes were made. "Survivor" is moving to 8 p.m. Wednesday from Thursday at 8 p.m., where the show has run for over a decade.

"Criminal Minds" comes next at 9 p.m., followed by a new show based on real-life Las Vegas defense attorneys, "The Defenders," starring Jim Belushi.

CBS has radically changed Thursday's offerings -- something NBC delivered in a big way years ago: high-rated comedies.

In the vein, CBS is moving its fastest-growing and one of its most popular shows, "The Big Bang Theory," to Thursday at 8 p.m. from Monday at 9:30 p.m. "You come in with big guns," says Kahl.



After "Bang" comes the big Twitter sensation: "$#*! My Dad Says," ("Shit My Dad Says") at 8:30 p.m. "CSI" and "The Mentalist" stay in their respective 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. time periods.

Major changes are also at work on Monday -- a night CBS regularly wins. At 9:30 p.m. is a new comedy from Chuck Lorre, who brought CBS "Two and a Half Men," called "Mike & Molly." Then at 10 p.m., a new updated version of "Hawaii Five-O."

Like Wednesday, Friday was a struggle for CBS -- down 20%, which brought the cancellation of "Whisperer" and "Numb3rs," Friday-night regulars. "Medium" switches to 8 p.m.; "CSI:NY" moves to 9 p.m. from earlier in the week; and then new show "Blue Blood" about a family of cops airs at 10 p.m.

Sunday also has some changes. "Undercover Boss" gets a firm 9 p.m. time slot. "It makes Sunday night a real player [for CBS]," says Kahl. CBS moves its other "CSI" franchise, "CSI: Miami," to 10 p.m. that night. "We like shows at 10 p.m. that have loyal audiences," he says.

With so many big changes to the CBS lineup, executives aren't worried about having to ramp up marketing for viewers. Nina Tassler, president of CBS Entertainment, says: "Viewers are going to follow the shows where they go."

How will CBS promote Friday with its new lineup -- a night that programs don't typically get a lot of marketing attention? Tassler says big names like Tom Selleck, who stars in "Blue Blood," will bring people to the property.

Out of CBS' schedule go four dramas and three comedies: "Cold Case," "Ghost Whisperer," "Numb3rs" and this past midseason startup "Miami Medical." Comedies that didn't make the cut include "Accidentally on Purpose," "New Adventures of Old Christine" and "Gary Unmarried."

So like ABC and NBC, CBS will have a lot of holes to fill next season. CBS will add five shows, while ABC will bring on 10, and NBC, a surprising 13.

Another happy change for advertisers: virtually all new network shows are scripted series -- something they still deem worthy of price premiums over reality shows.

CBS Television Network - 2010-2011 Prime-Time

(N=New, NT=New Time, all times ET/PT)


8:00-8:30 P.M. "How I Met Your Mother"
8:30-9:00 P.M. "Rules of Engagement"
9:00-9:30 P.M. "Two and a Half Men"
9:30-10:00 P.M. "Mike & Molly" (n)
10:00-11:00 P.M. "Hawaii Five-0" (n)


8:00-9:00 P.M. "NCIS"
9:00-10:00 P.M. "NCIS: Los Angeles"
10:00-11:00 P.M. "The Good Wife"


8:00-9:00 P.M. "Survivor" (nt)
9:00-10:00 P.M. "Criminal Minds"
10:00-11:00 P.M. "The Defenders" (n)


8:00-8:30 P.M. "The Big Bang Theory" (nt)
8:30-9:00 P.M. "$#*! My Dad Says" (n)
9:00-10:00 P.M. "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation"
10:00-11:00 P.M. "The Mentalist"


8:00-9:00 P.M. "Medium: (nt)
9:00-10:00 P.M. "CSI: NY" (nt)
10:00-11:00 P.M. "Blue Bloods" (n)


8:00-9:00 P.M. "Crimetime Saturday"
9:00-10:00 P.M. "Crimetime Saturday"
10:00-11:00 P.M. "48 Hours Mystery"


7:00-8:00 P.M. "60 Minutes"
8:00-9:00 P.M. "The Amazing Race"
9:00-10:00 P.M. "Undercover Boss"
10:00-11:00 P.M. "CSI: Miami" (nt)

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