CBS' fall: Fantasy-free and kinda macho

By Mike Hughes

While others leap
into space and fantasy, CBS is aiming for down-to-earth action.

That was clear as
scheduling chief Kelly Kahl started to assess his three new fall
hours. “SEAL Team,” he said, is “a high-octane drama.”

Then again,
“S.W.A,T.” is, too. “This is a noisy show ... We're knocking
down some doors,” he said.

Those are two-thirds
of CBS' fall dramas. The third show, “Wisdom of the Crowd,”
partly takes a notion that Fox tried with “APB” -- a tech whiz
putting his skill to use in crimesolving.

Yes, all three have
a familiar feel to them, with familiar people at the top. The SEALs
are led by David Boreanaz ... the tech guy is Jeremy Piven ... “SWAT”
stars Shemar Moore and is based slightly on a 1975 series. It will
have little in common with the original, said CBS CEO Leslie Moonves,
except “maybe the theme song at the end, which is pretty cool.”

On the comedy side,
CBS tends to grab a younger audience. “The Big Bang Theory” is
aleady renewed for two more seasons and now has a spin-off, “Young
Sheldon.” Narrated by old Sheldon (Jim Parsons), it will catch him
as a 9-year-old high school freshman in Texas.

“They're tonally
very different,” Moonves said, “but they're both very funny.”

And they'll start
the season for CBS. On the opening night (Monday, Sept. 25) they'll
be at 8 and 8:30 p.m.; after a five-week run of football, they'll
start Thursday nights.

The other comedies
are on Mondays. In “9JKL,” Mark Feuerstein relives a time when he
was living next to his parents and brother; “Me, Myself and I”
follows the same person at age 14 (Dylan Grazer), 40 (Bobby Moynihan)
and 65 (John Larroquette).

To make room for
those, CBS will have an unusual pack of returning shows on the shelf
– two dramas, “Elementary” and “Code Black”; a comedy, “Man
With a Plan”; and reality shows “Amazing Race” and “Undercover
Boss.” Other shows, led by “2 Broke Girls” and “The Great
Indoors,” were cancelled.

The line-up, after
the five football Thursdays, will have:
-- Monday: “Kevin Can
Wait,” 8 p.m.; “9JKL,” 8:30; “Me, Myself and I,” 9;
“Superior Donuts,” 9:30; “Scorpion,” 10.

-- Tuesday: “NCIS,”
8; “Bull,” 9; “NCIS: New Orleans,” 10.

-- Wednesday:
“Survivor,” 8; “SEAL Team,” 9; “Criminal Minds,” 10.

-- Thursday: “The
Big Bang Theory,” 8; “Young Sheldon,” 8:30; “Mom,” 9; “Life
in Pieces,” 9:30; “S.W.A.T.,” 10.

-- Friday:
“MacGyver,” 8; “Hawaii Five-0,” 9; “Blue Bloods,” 10.

-- Saturday: Drama
reruns, 8 and 9 p.m.; “48 Hours,” 10.

-- Sunday: “60
Minutes,” 7 p.m.; “Wisdom of the Crowd,” 8; “NCIS: Los
Angeles,” 9; “Madame Secretary,”10.