* Top ranked network adds three dramas, two comedies
* Shifts Thursday schedule to emphasize comedy
* Plans one new spinoff for midseason
* Cancels 7 series from 2009-10 season
By Jennifer Saba
NEW YORK, May 19 CBS took the wraps off a new
fall prime-time schedule that will add just five new series to
its popular lineup, including one based on a Twitter feed and
another that mines the TV archives from the 1970s.
CBS will bring aboard three new dramas for the fall, the
throwback "Hawaii Five-0," a lighthearted legal drama set in
Las Vegas called "The Defenders" and "Blue Bloods" starring Tom
Selleck as the patriarch of a family of New York cops.
The last of the big four U.S. broadcast networks to unveil
its 2010-11 schedule, CBS is set to once more wrap up the
current TV season as the most-viewed network. As a result, it
introduced far fewer replacement shows than either NBC or ABC.
Along with its three dramas, CBS said on Wednesday it
planned two new comedies for the fall, including "Mike &
Molly," a series set in Chicago about a couple who fall in love
at Overeaters Anonymous.
The stability of the 2010-11 schedule underscores what has
been CBS's take on programming in recent years: If it's not
broke, don't fix it.
CBS has a stable of reliable hits, including the "CSI"
franchise, this season's breakout series "The Good Wife" and
the long-running "Survivor," which will shift to Wednesdays
from Thursdays next season.
Among the seven shows CBS jettisoned from the schedule were
"The New Adventures of Old Christine," starring Julia
Louis-Dreyfus and "Ghost Whisperer."
"We are in a pretty good position here," said CBS Corp
(CBS.N) Chief Executive Les Moonves during a news conference at
the company's Black Rock headquarters in New York. "It's about
improving time periods and improving the schedule."
Along those lines, CBS will replace the "Survivor" slot on
Thursday with two comedies, a clear effort to pull in younger
viewers on one of the most hotly contested nights of the week.
CBS programming chief Kelly Kahl said the network "decided
to take a swing" at building an hour of comedy to lead into two
proven police dramas, "CSI:Crime Scene Investigation" and "The
The result is that CBS moved "The Big Bang Theory" -- one
of the top rated comedies among young adults currently airing
on Monday nights -- to the 8 p.m. time slot on Thursdays. That
will be followed by the buzzed about freshman comedy "$#*! My
Dad Says," starring William Shatner as an expressive father in
a series based on the real life tweets of Justin Halpern.
Earlier in the week, the network secured a new two year
contract for one of its most bankable stars, Charlie Sheen,
after tense negotiations [ID:nN17148524].
Sheen is featured in the hit show "Two and a Half Men,"
which will remain on Monday nights. It will be followed this
fall by "Mike & Molly," from the executive behind "Two and a
Half Men," and the new crime drama "Hawaii Five-O."
"I'm happy I'm not selling 'One and a Half Men' to you,"
said Moonves, in reference to the last-minute signing of
CBS will unveil its new programming later this afternoon as
part of the upfronts, the annual period when broadcasters hope
to sell the majority of the upcoming TV season's commercial
time to advertisers.
Media executives are much more bullish on ad sales during
this year's upfront after a brutal 2009. Barclays Capital
analyst Anthony DiClemente forecasts advertising revenue will
be up roughly 20 percent to $8.26 billion for four of the
Walt Disney Co's (DIS.N) ABC, News Corp's (NWSA.O) Fox and
NBC, in which Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O) is about to buy a majority
share, announced their fall schedules earlier in the week.
(Reporting by Jennifer Saba; editing by Paul Thomasch and