* CBS orders three dramas, two sitcoms for fall
*"The Good Wife" moving to Sundays from Tuesday
* TNT orders "Major Crimes," TBS gets "The Wedding Band"
By Paul Thomasch
NEW YORK, May 18 CBS will introduce only a
handful of new television shows next season, and those will
stick largely to its tried and true formula of crime dramas and
Such modest changes show just how few holes CBS believes it
has in a prime-time lineup that currently accounts for more
than half of the top 30 shows in TV, including hits "NCIS,"
"Two and a Half Men" and "The Mentalist."
"To get on the schedule you have to be really good," CBS
Corp (CBS.N) Chief Executive Les Moonves said at Wednesday's
CBS's most unexpected decision did not involve a new show,
but rather one of its returning hits, "The Good Wife," which is
moving to Sundays where it will be up against NFL football.
The other major change next fall will be the previously
announced move to place Ashton Kutcher in the cast of top-rated
comedy "Two and a Half Men," after the firing of wayward star
Charlie Sheen [ID:nN13230278].
CBS Entertainment Chief Nina Tassler, who said digging up
fresh comedy was a priority at the network during the
development season, would not reveal any details about how the
writers would introduce Kutcher.
"We're very excited," Tassler said of the change. "We're
As for new additions to the lineup, CBS has ordered three
new dramas and two new comedies for the fall, and will order
another drama and possibly a couple of comedies for midseason.
ABC, a division of Walt Disney Co (DIS.N), ordered a whopping
13 new shows and Comcast Corp's (CMCSA.O) NBC ordered 12 for
the 2011-12 season.
The first of CBS's new comedies, "2 Broke Girls," is
scheduled for Mondays ahead of "Two and a Half Men," and tells
the story of an unlikely friendship between a penniless
waitress and a former trust fund baby.
The other comedy, "How To Be a Gentlemen," is a workplace
sitcom that will debut on the highly competitive Thursday
nights with Kevin Dillon of HBO's "Entourage" in a starring
CBS said "How To Be Gentlemen" would lead into "Person of
Interest," a new drama that executives said showed the best
audience testing results of any of its drama pilots over the
past 15 years. The show, from hitmaker J.J. Abrams, is a crime
thriller that teams an ex-CIA agent with a mysterious
CBS also introduced the media drama "A Gifted Man" and
"Unforgettable," a crime series that follows a former police
detective with a memory condition that allows her to recall
every detail of her life.
Time Warner Inc's (TWX.N) two cable networks, TNT and TBS,
also unveiled their show development plans on Wednesday. Among
the planned shows is TNT's "Major Crimes," a spin-off of the
popular series "The Closer" that will be set in the Los Angeles
Police Department, and TBS's "The Wedding Band," an hour-long
comedy that follows four part-time musicians.
After this week's introductions of the new TV schedules,
negotiations for billions of dollars in advanced commercial
time will begin in earnest, with prices expected to be up
sharply from those a year ago. [ID:nN02211211]
(Reporting by Paul Thomasch, editing by Dave Zimmerman)