CBS has finished number one in total viewers for 12 of the last 13 seasons. In a recent teleconference, CBS CEO Les Moonves touted the strength that CBS’s returning favorites, new programs, and their airing of the Super Bowl will bring to the network this season. CBS has an older audience, but the network has plans to grow their viewing in the 18-49 demo. CBS will carry Thursday Night Football for the first part of the season which will give them a huge number of eyeballs for promoting the rest of their shows. The network is adding five new programs to their line-up this year (three dramas and two comedies) and has confirmed CSI will end its 15-year run with a two-hour finale in September. Celebrities joining the CBS family include Marcia Gay Harden, Jane Lynch, Colin Hanks, James Brolin and Jennifer Carpenter.
CBS New Shows
SUPERGIRL, Monday, 8-9PM, Drama Superman’s cousin Kara (Melissa Benoist, Whiplash, Glee) is headed to CBS. After hiding her abilities from everyone, Kara literally flies to her sister’s rescue and is now exposed as the mystery woman with Superman-like qualities. Kara is ready to embrace who she really is, but is she ready to face everything that comes with it? COMMENTS: Written and directed by the team that brought us Arrow and The Flash, superhero buffs will not be disappointed and fans of Lois & Clark: The Adventures of Superman and the Supergirl movie will enjoy the nod to Dean Cain and Helen Slater with their cameos in the pilot. Supergirl premieres in October/November against Dancing with the Stars and The Voice as well as Gotham. While the program should appeal to that younger viewer Les Moonves wants, Supergirl’s toughest battle may be finding that audience on CBS as this drama seems more suited to The CW.
LIMITLESS, Tuesday, 10-11PM, Drama Based on the movie with the same name, Limitless follows Brian Finch (Jake McDorman, Shameless) and the superdrug that gives him full access to his brain. Not only can he recall early childhood memories that most of us have long forgotten, but he can also figure out misdiagnosed illnesses and help solve crimes. The downside to his newfound genius is that the drug does not last. The upside is that Bradley Cooper (American Sniper, Silver Linings Playbook) can help him. Jennifer Carpenter (Dexter) and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (Grimm) also star. COMMENTS: NCIS: New Orleans is sure to give the show a nice lead-in. It doesn’t hurt that executive producer Bradley Cooper stars in the pilot and is sure to make appearances throughout the series. If Bradley Cooper followers can adapt to a new lead for the TV series, there is no limit to the success it can find on the network.
CODE BLACK Wednesday, 10-11PM, Drama Marcia Gay Harden (Trophy Wife, The Newsroom) leads a group of first year residents in the one of the busiest ERs in the country. When the number of patients exceeds the hospital’s resources, it is called code black and doctors and nurses must act quickly and expertly to diagnose who is the most critical and who can wait to be treated. COMMENTS: This is an emergency room on steroids – fast-paced with more life-threatening cases in one shift than any doctor should have in a week! At one point a doctor was performing surgery on one patient while dispensing advice over a speaker phone on how to save the life of another. Code Black was my least favorite of the CBS dramas and may fight for survival against Chicago PD and Nashville.
LIFE IN PIECES, Monday, Thursday, 8:30-9PM, Comedy James Brolin (Marcus Welby, MD, Catch Me If You Can) is the patriarch and Dianne Wiest (Footloose, Law & Order) his wife. They have three children and four grandchildren, all in different stages of their lives. COMMENTS: Life in Pieces will begin on Monday nights and then shift to Thursdays once football moves to the NFL Network. Each episode will be made up of four short stories that culminate to a complete story. There is a lot of talent in this ensemble cast including Colin Hanks (Dexter, Orange County) and Betsy Brandt (Breaking Bad), and it has potential. There were some over-the-top moments, but overall the viewers should find it entertaining.
ANGEL FROM HELL, Thursday, 9:30-10PM, Drama Jane Lynch (Glee) plays a very unconventional guardian angel to Amy (Maggie Lawson, Back in the Game). COMMENTS: As a Jane Lynch fan, I was excited to see she was returning to TV again, but was disappointed in the show. I found myself laughing at Lynch’s delivery of the lines, but not necessarily at what she was saying nor did I like the premise of the show. It will likely premiere to a sizeable audience, however, this angel may need some divine intervention to maintain ratings throughout the season.
CBS Mid-Season Replacements
CRIMINAL MINDS: BEYOND BORDERS Gary Sinise (CSI: New York) returns to CBS in this spin-off of Criminal Minds. In this version, the FBI is helping Americans with troubles abroad.
RUSH HOUR Another movie is becoming a TV series. Justin Hires (21 Jump Street) and John Foo (Tekken) take over the roles made famous by Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker.