A CBS Monday without laughs? Get used to it this fall


The decline of
situation comedies has reached a new milestone:

For the first time
since 1949, CBS says, it will have a no-sitcom line-up on Mondays.

That's been the
night of “Lucy” and “Mash” and “Raymond” and more. “I
don't think we can be beholden to a 65-year-old strategy,” said
Kelly Kahl, the network's scheduling chief.

He'll ease viewers
into it, though. For the first eight weeks of the season – when
football takes over CBS' Thursdays -- “The Big Bang Theory” and a
new comedy (“Life in Pieces”) will borrow Mondays.

When they return to
Thursdays, “Supergirl steps in, creating an oddity: Two shows about
DC comic characters, from the same studio, collide.

That's not a
conflict, insisted Nina Tassler, CBS' programming chief. Fox's
“Gotham” is a dark and stylish crime story; “Supergirl,”
Tassler said, is “a coming-of-age story about a young woman, 24
years old, (who) was the girl next door.”

And if the notion
crashes, don't worry: CBS has both of its current Monday comedies --
“2 Broke Girls” and “Mike & Molly” -- on the shelf, along
with “The Odd Couple.” All are slated for mid-season, along with
“Person of Interest,” “Undercover Boss” and two new series –
one spun off of “Criminal Minds,” the other from “Rush Hour.”

That reflects the
network's general success, said Les Moonves, the CBS chairman, plus a
desire to trim down on reruns. “We had 62 more hours of original
programs last year.”

Still, some things
had to go. CBS has dumped three Sunday dramas, “The Mentalist,”
“Battle Creek” and “CSI.” The latter – which combined with
“Survivor” to launch the network's comeback in 2000 – gets a
two-hour finale on Sept. 27, bringing back past stars William
Petersen and Marg Helgenberger; its current star, Ted Danson, joins
Patricia Arquette on “CBS: Cyber,” now moving to Sundays.

The fall line-up has
room for only five new shows. There are two comedies -- “Angel in
Hell” has Jane Lynch as a misbehaving guardian angel; “Life in
Pieces” may have a “Modern Family” feel – and three new
dramas.

In additon to
“Supergirl,” there's “Code Black” (an emergency-room drama),
and “Limitless,” in which a pill lets a man use his full brain
capacity. That puts him on a network already stuffed with fictional
geniuses on “Big Bang Theory,” “Scorpion,” “Elementary”
and “CBS Cyber.”

The fall line-up:

-- Mondays:
“Supergirl,” 8 p.m. (in November); “Scorpion,” 9; NCIS: Los
Angeles,” 10.

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

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

-- Thursdays (in
November, after football): “The Big Bang Theory,” 8 p.m.; “Life
in Pieces,” 8:30 (both on Mondays until November); “Mom,” 9;
“Angel From Hell,” 9:30; “Elementary,” 10.

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

-- Saturdays: Reruns
and “48 Minutes.”

-- Sunday: “60
Minutes,” 7 p.m.; “Madame Secretary,” 8; “The Good Wife,”
9; “CSI Cyber,” 10.