Football is shaking up the CBS schedule at the start of the 2014–2015 season. The Thursday night NFL acquisition will see The Big Bang Theory temporarily moving to Mondays at 8 p.m., in addition to some other changes.
"It's going to greatly enhance our lineup, but it's not going to define us," said Kelly Kahl, the senior executive vice president of CBS primetime, of Thursday Night Football during a press presentation where the schedule was revealed.
Thursdays will kick off with the NFL on Sept. 11 and then, on Oct. 30, it will be business as usual with The Big Bang Theory moving back to Thursdays at 8 p.m., followed by sophomore comedy The Millers, thenTwo and a Half Men (which shifts back to the 9 p.m. slot for its 12th and final season), new series The McCarthys, and hit drama Elementary, which dominates the Thursday 10 p.m. time slot.
Nina Tassler, the president of CBS entertainment, said after going into last season with the announcement that How I Met Your Mother was coming to an end, CBS decided to do the same with Two and a Half Men. "We know that fans respond to that," she noted. As for whether or not she'd like to see Charlie Sheen's character rise from the dead for the final season, Tassler said slyly, "I would like to see whatever [creator] Chuck [Lorre] would like to do."
CBS's comedy game is seeing some shifts at large. The 2014–2015 season marks the end of the network's longstanding two-hour Monday night comedy block with Big Bang (which will transition to 2 Broke Girls post-football) and Mom only taking up an hour of the evening. Then, new drama Scorpion takes over at 9 p.m. "What we love about having it at 9, it embraces a lot of the wit and humor that we have in our signature comedies," Tassler noted of the newcomer, starring Katherine McPhee. "It also has a lot of heart and action that our hit procedurals have as well. So we saw it as a great bridge."
Kahl noted, "This year we have a really strong drama year. Last year, we had a really strong comedy year." CBS canceled four of its comedies from the 2013–2014 season, renewing Mom and The Millers. "Certainly comedy is tough," Tassler added. "It's not a science. There's no formula. It's about chemistry … And we believe we do it better than anybody… Anybody anywhere would give their arms and legs to have [The Big Bang Theory] on their schedule."
Some other notable details:
— CBS is all year round now, y'all! "You have to think about big auspices all year round," Tassler said. "We are officially retiring the phrase 'midseason'… We have fall, winter, spring, and summer."
— The Amazing Race, which will enter its 25th season later this year, moves to Fridays at 8 p.m. Its previous Sunday timeslot will see some changes as well. CSI, which moves from Wednesdays, will air on Sundays at 10 p.m. "We need a show that people love, a show that's still strong, a show that people will wait up for till 10:30 some weeks," Kahl said, since the Sunday night lineup has been known to be delayed on CBS thanks to football.
— The new Tea Leoni drama Madam Secretary will air at 8 p.m. on Sunday, followed by mainstay The Good Wife ("You thought this season was big. Next season will be even bigger," Tassler said), before CSI rounds out the night. CBS seems particularly proud of Madam Secretary, with Tassler noting that star Tea Leoni "has been offered virtually every series over the course of the past 10 years." She closed a deal on this show in two days.
— When CSI ends its run (Tassler was certain not to divulge episode orders, noting "you want to stay flexible, which we are; you want to stay nimble, which we are"), the latest spin-off CSI: Cyber, will take over that 10 p.m. Sunday slot. But that doesn't mean the end of CSI. Tassler doesn't think the original is near its end just yet. "We think the schedule could support both [CSI and CSI: Cyber] in the future," she said.
— Meanwhile, NCIS: Los Angeles, which followed the original series on Tuesdays last season, is moving over to the 10 p.m. Monday slot. "10 p.m. [on Mondays] was not up to our standards and we have pretty high standards," Kahl said of the move. (The time slot previously hosted Hostages and then Intelligence, both of which were canceled.) "We thought it could absolutely stand on its own." The latest member of the NCIS family, NCIS: New Orleans will take Los Angeles' spot, followed by Person of Interest, which stays put after previously growing on Tuesdays at 10 p.m.
— CBS's psychological thriller from Kevin Williamson Stalker, which Tassler called a "great companion piece to Criminal Minds," will take over CSI's Wednesday night 10 p.m. time slot. Tassler said Williamson, who currently has shows on Fox and The CW (The Following and The Vampire Diaries, respectively), studied CBS procedurals for his projects. "Leave it to Kevin to come up with a very scary, suspenseful show," she added. "It should scare the bejesus out of all of us."
— Tassler also revealed that CBS passed on the How I Met Your Mother spinoff, How I Met Your Dad, from executive producers Carter Bays and Craig Thomas. The project, which was to star indie star Greta Gerwig and feature the voice of Meg Ryan, will likely be shopped to other networks by studio 20th Century Fox Television. "There were elements of the pilot that didn't work out," Tassler said. "They certainly can [shop it], but we reached out, tried to do a redo... It wasn't what they wanted to do."
— Matthew Perry's The Odd Couple, an update of the classic Neal Simon play, and the latest drama from Breaking Bad's Vince Gilligan Battle Creek, will debut
midseason later in the season. Returning shows Mike & Molly and Undercover Bosses are holding as well.
The full schedule is at the bottom of the story, and the new shows are now arranged in night-of-the-week order.
Scorpion (Mondays at 9 p.m.)
NCIS: New Orleans (Tuesdays at 9 p.m.)
Stalker (Wednesdays at 10 p.m.)
The McCarthys (Thursdays at 9:30 p.m. after football)
Madam Secretary (Sundays at 8 p.m.)
CSI: Cyber (Sundays at 10 p.m.)
The Odd Couple (TBD)
Battle Creek (TBD)
8-8:30 p.m. — The Big Bang Theory (while football airs), 2 Broke Girls
8:30-9 p.m. — Mom
9-10 p.m. — Scorpion (new)
10-11 p.m. — NCIS: Los Angeles
8- 9 p.m. — NCIS
9-10 p.m. — NCIS: New Orleans (new)
10-11 p.m. — Person of Interest
8-9 p.m. — Survivor
9-10 p.m. — Criminal Minds
10-11 p.m. — Stalker (new)
8-11 p.m. EST, 5-8 p.m. PST — Thursday Night Football (Sept. 11-Oct. 23)
(As of Oct. 30)
8-8:30 p.m. — The Big Bang Theory
8:30-9 p.m. — The Millers
9-9:30 p.m. — Two and a Half Men
9:30-10 p.m. — The McCarthys (new)
10-11 p.m. — Elementary
8-9 p.m. — The Amazing Race
9-10 p.m. — Hawaii Five-O
10-11 p.m. — Blue Bloods
8-10 p.m. — Crimetime Saturday
10-11 p.m. — 48 Hours
7-8 p.m. — 60 Minutes
8-9 p.m. — Madam Secretary (new)
9-10 p.m — The Good Wife
10-11 p.m. — In the fall: CSI, later in the season: CSI: Cyber (new)
This post has been updated to change language originally taken from a press release.