CBS this fall: The new-old look of sitcoms, "Friends" stars and "MacGyver"


Now the TV-tinkering is complete. Over the past four days, the big networks have announced their fall schedules. Here's the story I sent to papers about CBS, which announced its plans this morning (Wednesday), the previous blogs look at ABC, Fox and NBC.

By Mike Hughes

After two years of
tossing aside situation comedies, CBS is back to its old ways.

It will have four
sitcoms on Mondays and four more on Thursdays (after a brief football
break). Most will be multi-camera shows, done before a studio
audience.

“There's no doubt
I have a love of comedies, particularly multi-cams,” said Glenn
Geller, heading into his first fall as programming chief.

Kelly Kahl, the
scheduling chief, calls it a “back-to-the-future” schedule. That
seems especially true on Mondays, with shows topped by two “Friends”
stars – Matt LeBlanc (“Man With a Plan”) and Matthew Perry (the
returning “Odd Couple”). The night starts with “Kevin Can
Wait,” from long-time CBS star Kevin James. “It's exactly what
you would expect from Kevin James,” Geller said.

To revert to the
comedies, the network had to dispose of some fairly successful
dramas:

-- “Supergirl,”
a big deal last season, will now slide over to CW (co-owned by CBS)
... where many people had said it belonged in the first place.

-- “Limitless”
is off CBS, but Geller said there are talks about selling it
elsewhere.

-- And “CSI:
Cyber” is gone ... making it the first time this millenium that CBS
doesn't have a “CSI” show. “It may come back in another
incarnation,” Geller said.

The network also
held “Amazing Race” off the fall schedule, to make room for
“MacGyver,” being rebooted by the producer who did the same thing
with “Hawaii Five-0.”

Other dramas are
moved around a tad. “Scorpion” goes to 10 p.m. Mondays ...
sliding “NCIS: Los Angeles” to 8 p.m. Sundays, which nudges
“Madame Secretary” to 9. “NCIS: New Orleans” goes to 10 p.m.
Tuesdays, so that Michael Weatherly can have the 9 p.m. slot, right
after his former “NCIS” show.

Weatherly plays “a
fascinating character,” Geller said – the real-life Phil McGraw,
in his days (long before he was TV's “Dr. Phil”) when he was a
jury consultant.

The other new drama
is “Real Genius,” with a fresh cyber-twist: A computer genius
creates a hospital, bringing together top minds.

That's one of the
shows that will have to wait a bit. For five Thursdays, CBS has
football; “Big Bang” moves temporarily to Mondays, giving James'
show a big lead-in. After that, the Thursday line-up – including
the new Joel McHale comedy “The Great Indoors” -- begins and
LeBlanc's show settles into its Monday spot.

Waiting for
mid-seson will be two dramas (“Training Day” with Bill Paxton,
“Doubt” with Katherine Heigl) and three reality shows -- “Amazing
Race,” “Undercover Boss” and the new “Hunted.”

The fall line-up:

-- Mondays: “Kevin
Can Wait,” 8 p.m.; “Man With a Plan,” 8:30; “2 Broke Girls,”
9; “The Odd Couple,” 9:30; “Scorpion,” 10.

-- Tuesdays: “NCIS,”
8 p.m.; “Bull,” 9; “NCIS: New Orleans,” 10.

-- Wednesdays:
“Survivor,” 8 p.m.; “Criminal Minds,” 9; “Code Black,”
10.

-- Thursdays: “Big
Bang Theory,” 8 p.m.; “The Great Indoors,” 8:30; “Mom,” 9;
“Life in Pieces,” 9:30; “Pure Genius,” 10.

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

-- Saturday: Reruns.

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