All RiseBlue BloodsBob Hearts AbisholaBrokeBullCarol's Second ActCriminal MindsEvilFBIFBI: Most WantedGod Friended MeHawaii Five-OMacGyverMadam SecretaryMagnum PIMan with a PlanMomNCISNCIS: Los AngelesNCIS: New OrleansSeal TeamSWATThe NeighborhoodThe UnicornTommy May 22, 2019 KSiteTV Staff
After an eventful couple of upfronts weeks, the five broadcast networks have put forth their fall 2018 schedules. There are some ingenious moves; there are some confounding moves. There are new shows hoping to be sampled and become the next big thing; there are relocated veterans hoping to improve their time slots and leg out a few more seasons. We won’t know whether each network put forth the right combination of shows until the fall, but that isn’t going to stop KSiteTV’s Craig Byrne and Shilo Adams from giving their annual first impressions on all five of the fall schedules. They’ll break down the schedule of every network on a nightly basis, telling you what surprised them and what they think might be set up for failure, all before naming everything from the most promising new show to worst scheduling move and what they’ll be watching in the fall.
Fourth up is CBS, which will be about one year removed from the Les Moonves scandal when the 2019-2020 season begins. For years, he led the charge for CBS to become a syndication factory of meat-and-potatoes procedurals and broad multi-cams, so it’s notable that the first full season without him will have a single cam comedy about a widower trying to move on (The Unicorn), a Chuck Lorre multi-cam about an interracial relationship (Bob Hearts Abishola), a legal drama about a black woman becoming a judge (All Rise), and a horror drama that looks more like something FOX would air than a typical CBS drama (Evil). Is this developmental pivot a temporary fix to get critics and the TV media talking about anything other than the rampant cultural issues at CBS? Or could it be symptomatic of a philosophy shift that will define the network’s next era?
SHILO: Considering that Madam Secretary only recently got a fairly decent syndication/streaming deal, the prospect of it returning in the fall for a short season was the most surprising option out there. I assumed that it would either hang in fall for another 20-22 episodes or become the network’s new Elementary as far as airing episodes in late spring/summer to build a syndication package. A 10-episode final season for Madam makes me think that it didn’t perform well in syndication and doesn’t have the international success to make up for that. Which is a shame because the optics of cancelling a well-respected female-driven drama in the same season you renew Bull aren’t great.
Whereas the God Friended Me scheduling didn’t shock me, since CBS is reticent to move sophomore dramas and they seemed to adore God this season, I didn’t really expect NCIS: Los Angeles to move back to 9:00 after being pushed to 10:00 for The Red Line. CBS shows that move to Sundays at 10:00 tend to either stay there or get further downgraded, which makes CBS’s scheduling of The Red Line all the curiouser. I get keeping NCIS: Los Angeles at 10:00 to make sure the affiliates have some type of lead-in, but I don’t know, I’m not a fan of jerking a show around when you don’t necessarily have to.
CRAIG: It’s long been a CBS thing to keep things as-is. I agree, moving NCIS: Los Angeles back and forth is odd. Madam Secretary won’t be around for next year’s schedule so at least next time around we’ll have something new.