New (sorta) CBS has "Magnum" and "Murphy"

Now the big-four have set their fall line-ups. This morning (Wednesday), CBS announced its schedule; here's the story I sent to papers.If you scroll down, you'll find the previous one on ABC and a combined one on Fox an d NBC.


By Mike Hughes

The new CBS this
fall will look a lot like the older ones.

Two of the network's
past hits -- “Magnum P.I.” and “Murphy Brown” -- will be on
the fall line-up. They join a line-up that already has three revivals
(“Hawaii Five-0,” “MacGyver” and “S.W.A.T.”) plus four
spin-offs (“Young Sheldon” and the “NCIS” shows).

Still, the network
is occasionally taking drastic steps, in an approach that programming
director Kelly Kahl calls “change when we need it.”

Mostly, that's on
Mondays, once a CBS stronghold and now in shatters. “Third place is
unacceptable” for a night, Kahl insisted.

So “Scorpion” is
gone, along with most of the night's comedies -- “Kevin Can Wait,”
“Superior Donuts,” “Living Biblically,” “9JKL” and “Me,
Myself and I.” Only “Man With a Plan” survives, and not until

Instead, CBS will
take the drastic step of starting a night with two new comedies:

-- “The
Neighborhood,” Kahl said, has “an extremely friendly white family
from the Midwest that moves into a historically black neighborhood”;
Cedric the Entertainer stars.

-- “Happy
Together” is based on the real-life time when pop star Harry Styles
moved in with the family of Ben Winston, who produces James Corden's
shows. Damon Wayans Jr. and Amber Stevens West play the sorta-normal
couple, disrupted by newcomer Felix Mallard. Winston and Styles are

That will be
followed by the new “Magnum” at 9 p.m. and the transplanted
“Bull” at 10.

Some of the revivals
– CBS' “Murphy Brown,” ABC's “Roseanne” and NBC's “Will &
Grace” -- are using the original casts, but “Magnum” is a
reboot. Jay Hernandez is the new Magnum and Higgins is now a woman
(Perdita Weeks) with martial-arts skills.

There are two other
changes that network programmer Thom Sherman jokingly said his staff
“worked long and hard” to decide: Magnum no longer has a mustache
and the title no longer has a comma.

Other line-up
changes are mild:

-- The “Bull”
spot on Tuesdays goes to “FBI,” which is from Dick Wolf, producer
on NBC's Chicago and “Law & Order” shows. This one is set in
the FBI's New York office; Kahl says it has “hyper-real intensity”
and is a breakout role for Missy Peragrym and Zieiko Zaki.

-- “God Friended
Me” steps in at 8 p.m. Sundays. Sherman calls it “a funny, warm,
feel-good show” in which an atheist with a podcast (Brandon Michael
Hall) suddenly has God as a Facebook friend.

The current show in
that slot, “Instinct,” now waits for mid-season, alongside “Man
With a Plan,” “Life in Pieces,” “The Amazing Race,” two new
dramas and a new comedy.

That comedy (“Fam”)
co-stars Odessa Adlon. She and her sister Gideon are emerging as
actresses ... at the same time that fictional versions of themselves
are on their mother's cable series, “Better Things.”

The CBS fall

-- Mondays: “The
Neighborhood,” 8 p.m.; “Happy Together,” 8:30; “Magnum P.I.,”
9; “Bull,” 10.
-- Tuesdays: “NCIS,” 8; “FBI,” 9;
“NCIS: New Orleans,” 10.

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

-- Thursdays: “The
Big Bang Theory,” 8; “Young Sheldon,” 8:30; “Mom,” 9;
“Murphy Brown,” 9:30; “S.W.A.T.,” 10.

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

-- Saturday: Reruns
, 8 and 9; “48 hours,” 10.

-- Sunday: “60
Minutes,” 7; “God Friended Me,” 8; “NCIS: Los Angeles,” 9;
“Madam Secretary,” 10.