UPDATED: CBS‘ fall schedule features five new series. After considering expanding its Thursday comedy block to two hours last years, the network did it this year, with The Big Bang Theory and Two A Half Men flanking newbies The Millers starring Will Arnett and The Crazy Ones starring Robin Williams. Missing from the fall schedule is Mike & Molly, which has a 22-episode order, and new series Friends With Better Lives (comedy) and Reckless (drama) on tap for midseason. Here is CBS’ fall schedule, followed by analysis and show descriptions:
CBS FALL 2013-2014 SCHEDULE
(New programs in UPPER CASE; NT=New Time)
8-8:30 PM – How I Met Your Mother
8:30-9 PM – WE ARE MEN
9-9:30 PM – 2 Broke Girls
9:30-10 PM – MOM
10-11 PM – HOSTAGES / INTELLIGENCE (Midseason)
8-9 PM – NCIS
9-10 PM – NCIS: Los Angeles
10-11 PM – Person Of Interest (NT)
8-9 PM – Survivor
9-10 PM – Criminal Minds
10-11 – CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
8-8:30 PM – The Big Bang Theory
8:30-9 PM – THE MILLERS
9-9:30 PM – THE CRAZY ONES
9:30-10 PM – Two And A Half Men (NT)
10-11 PM – Elementary
8-9 PM – Undercover Boss
9-10 PM – Hawaii Five-0 (NT)
10-11 PM – Blue Bloods
8-8:30 PM – COMEDYTIME SATURDAY
8:30-9 PM – COMEDYTIME SATURDAY
9-10 PM – Crimetime Saturday
10-11 PM – 48 Hours
7-8 PM – 60 Minutes
8-9 PM – The Amazing Race
9-10 PM – The Good Wife
10-11 PM – The Mentalist
While ABC and NBC are making changes on virtually every night of the week, CBS, always the epitome of stability, is limiting its moves to three. The biggest one is on Thursday, where CBS is expanding its comedy block to two hours after picking up five new half-hour series (with another comedy pilot, Bad Teacher, still in contention). A little unusual for CBS, which loves protecting all of its new shows, the network is using veterans Big Bang and Two And A Half Men as bookends, with new comedies The Millers and The Crazy Ones. It was done to shore up Elementary, which still needs some nurturing heading into Season 2.
In a first for CBS, the network announced a split time slot, with new dramas Hostages and Intelligence set to alternate in the Monday 10 PM slot as the heavily serialized Hostages will do 15 episodes.
And for the first time in 32 years, CBS will have a night featuring the three most watched dramas on TV on Tuesday, as Person Of Interest relocates there, joining NCIS and NCIS: LA. (Last time it was in the 1981-82 season again on CBS with Dukes Of Hazzard, Dallas and Falcon Crest.) After two unimpressive seasons in the Monday slot, Hawaii Five-0 is being downgraded to Fridays. But there is no danger for the show, as it is a CBS-owned drama with a rich off-network syndication deal.
2013-14 NEW SERIES DESCRIPTIONS
We Are Men — WE ARE MEN is a single-camera comedy about four single guys living in a short-term apartment complex who unexpectedly find camaraderie over their many missteps in love. Carter (Chris Smith), the youngest and most recent addition to the group, moved in after being ditched at the altar mid-ceremony, and is now eager to re-enter the dating scene and get on with his life with some guidance from his “band of brothers”: Frank Russo (Golden Globe and multiple Emmy Award winner Tony Shalhoub), a successful middle-aged clothing manufacturer and four-time divorcée who still fancies himself a ladies man; Gil Bartis (Kal Penn), a small business owner who was caught having the world’s worst affair; and Stuart Strickland (Jerry O’Connell), a speedo-wearing OB/GYN who’s hiding his assets until his second divorce is settled. Jill (Rebecca Breeds) is Frank’s charming and attractive daughter, who stands as the one positive remnant from his failed relationships. Armed with a hot tub, pool-side barbeque and plenty of questionable advice, these losers in the marriage department take Carter under their wing to impart their own brand of wisdom about the opposite sex. Emmy Award winner Rob Greenberg, Eric Tannenbaum and Kim Tannenbaum are executive producers for CBS Television Studios. Rob Greenberg directed the pilot.
Mom — MOM is a comedy from executive producer Chuck Lorre starring Anna Faris as a newly sober single mom raising two children in a world full of temptations and pitfalls, and multiple Emmy Award winner Allison Janney as her critical, estranged mother. Christy (Faris) is a waitress at a posh Napa Valley establishment who is four months clean and doing her best to be a good mom and overcome a history of questionable choices. Her sobriety is tested when Bonnie (Janney), her recovering alcoholic mom, reappears chock-full of passive-aggressive insights into Christy’s many mistakes. Bonnie joins Christy’s already complicated circle of relationships: her handsome, married boss – and lover – Gabriel (Nate Corddry); the restaurant’s hot-tempered chef, Rudy (French Stewart); her pretty, 16-going-on-25-year-old daughter, Violet (Sadie Calvano); her sweet but overly honest son, Roscoe (Blake Garrett Rosenthal); her irresponsible ex-husband and Roscoe’s father, Baxter (Matt Jones); and Violet’s clueless boyfriend, Luke (Spencer Daniels). Christy tries to remain positive as she pursues her new path in life, but she faces an uphill battle, surrounded by a dubious support system – and a copious amount of dysfunction. Chuck Lorre and Eddie Gorodetsky (“Two and a Half Men” and “The Big Bang Theory”) are executive producers for Chuck Lorre Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television. Pamela Fryman directed the pilot. Gemma Baker co-wrote the pilot with Lorre and Gorodetsky.
The Millers — THE MILLERS stars Will Arnett as Nathan Miller, a recently divorced local roving news reporter looking forward to living the singles’ life until his parents’ marital problems unexpectedly derail his plans. After Nathan finally breaks the news of his divorce to his parents, Carol (Emmy Award winner Margo Martindale) and Tom (Emmy Award winner Beau Bridges), his father is inspired to follow suit and stuns the family when he leaves his wife of 43 years. Already in shock, Jack is even more aghast when his meddlesome mom decides to move in with him. Meanwhile, his absent-minded dad imposes upon Nathan’s sister, Debbie, her husband Adam and their daughter Mykayla (Eve Moon). Nathan’s best friend and news cameraman, Ray (JB Smoove), was excited to be Nathan’s wingman in the dating scene, but Carol manages to even cramp his style. Now, as Nathan and his sister settle in with their truly impossible parents, they both wonder just how long the aggravating adjustment period is going to last. Emmy winner Greg Garcia (“Raising Hope” and “My Name is Earl”) is the executive producer of THE MILLERS for CBS Television Studios. Emmy Award winner James Burrows directed the pilot.
The Crazy Ones — Academy Award winner Robin Williams returns to series television in THE CRAZY ONES, a single-camera workplace comedy about a larger-than-life advertising genius whose unorthodox methods and unpredictable behavior would get him fired… if he weren’t the boss. Simon Roberts (Williams) is the head of a powerful agency, with the biggest clients and brands in the world, but even more important to him is that his daughter Sydney (Sarah Michelle Gellar) is by his side. As his partner, Sydney is Simon’s exact opposite – focused, organized and eager to make a name for herself, but also too busy parenting her father, which she’d resent if he wasn’t so brilliant at what he does. Joining them in the firm are the dashing and talented Zach (James Wolk); art director Andrew (Hamish Linklater), who’s as hard-working as he is neurotic; and the beautiful and deceptively smart assistant Lauren (Amanda Setton). With his team and his daughter behind him, Simon continues to set the advertising world on fire, and it looks like they are definitely buying what these crazy ones are selling. Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner David E. Kelley (“Ally McBeal” and “The Practice”), Bill D’Elia, Emmy Award winner Jason Winer (“Modern Family”), Dean Lorey, John Montgomery and Mark Teitelbaum are executive producers for Twentieth Century Fox Television. Jason Winer directed the pilot.
Hostages — HOSTAGES, from executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer, is a high-octane suspense drama starring Emmy Award winner Toni Collette as a premiere surgeon thrust into a chilling political conspiracy when her family is taken hostage by rogue FBI Agent Duncan Carlisle (Dylan McDermott). Dr. Ellen Sanders (Collette) and her family are held captive in their home by Carlisle, a desperate man doing the wrong thing for the right reasons, who orders her to assassinate the President (James Naughton) when she operates on him. His highly skilled accomplices include his brother-in-law Kramer (Rhys Coiro), whose loyalty to Carlisle will be tested; quick-tempered and intimidating Archer (Billy Brown), an ex-military man with a razor-sharp tongue; and the only woman involved, Sandrine (Sandrine Holt), a mysterious last-minute replacement to the team. With her family’s life in peril, Ellen faces an incomprehensible moral dilemma in order to save her overbearing husband Brian (Tate Donovan), her secretive daughter Morgan (Quinn Shephard) and her not-so-innocent son Jake (Mateus Ward). In this high-stakes standoff between Ellen and Carlisle, fraught with tremendous national and personal consequences, the choices between right and wrong become even more blurred. Jerry Bruckheimer, Jonathan Littman, Jeffrey Nachmanoff, Rick Eid, Omri Givon, Rotem Shamir and Chayim Sharir are executive producers for Jerry Bruckheimer Television in association with Warner Bros. Television.
Intelligence — INTELLIGENCE is a dramatic thriller starring Josh Holloway as a high-tech intelligence operative enhanced with a super-computer microchip in his brain. With this implant, Gabriel (Holloway) is the first human ever to be connected directly into the worldwide information grid and have complete access to Internet, WiFi, telephone and satellite data. He can hack into any data center and access key intel in the fight to protect the United States from its enemies. Leading the elite government cyber-security agency created to support him is Director Lillian Strand (Marg Helgenberger), a straightforward and efficient boss who oversees the unit’s missions. Strand assigns Riley Neal (Meghan Ory), a Secret Service agent, to protect Gabriel from outside threats, as well as from his appetite for reckless, unpredictable behavior and disregard for protocol. Other skilled members of the Cybercom team include Chris Jameson (Michael Rady) and Gonzalo “Gonzo” Rodriguez (James Martinez), two resourceful federal investigators. The brains behind the design of the chip is Dr. Shenendoah Cassidy (John Billingsley), whose son, Nelson (PJ Byrne), is jealous of Gabriel’s prominent place in his father’s life. As the first supercomputer with a beating heart, Gabriel is the most valuable piece of technology the country has ever created and is the U.S.’s secret weapon. Michael Seitzman, René Echevarria, Tripp Vinson, and David Semel (for pilot) are executive producers for ABC Television Studios in association with CBS Television Studios.
Reckless — RECKLESS is a sultry legal drama set in Charleston, S.C., where a gorgeous Yankee litigator and a charming Southern attorney must hide their intense mutual attraction as a police sex scandal threatens to tear the city apart. Jamie Sawyer (Anna Wood) is enviously cool, confident and armed with south-side-of-Chicago street-smarts as she takes on the good ol’ boys in the South. Her handsome courtroom rival, Roy Rayder (Cam Gigandet), a divorced father of two, embodies the Old South and is the newly minted City Attorney, thanks to his influential former father-in-law, Dec Fortnum (Gregory Harrison). When disgraced cop Lee Anne Marcus (Georgina Haig) hires Jamie to represent her in a lawsuit against the police department, Jamie and Roy discover that Lee Anne is at the epicenter of a sinister case with dire implications for the members of the Charleston P.D. Heading that department is Deputy Chief Holland Knox (Michael Gladis), a family man who radiates integrity. Working under him are Terry McCandless (Shawn Hatosy), a cocky and corrupt detective, and Preston Cruz (Adam Rodriguez), Jamie’s well-respected boyfriend who might not be all that he appears. Helping Jamie is her confidante and paralegal, Vi (Kim Wayans), an expert at digging up case-winning information. As Jamie and Roy spar in and out of the courtroom, dark secrets simmer behind every door and threaten to tarnish the genteel facade of seductive Charleston. Ian Sander, Kim Moses, Dana Stevens, Corey Miller and Catherine Hardwicke are executive producers for CBS Television Studios. Catherine Hardwicke (“Twilight”) directed the pilot.
Friends With Better Lives — FRIENDS WITH BETTER LIVES is a romantic comedy about six friends at different stages in their lives – married, divorced, newly engaged and single – who are outwardly happy, but secretly questioning if their friends have it better. Andi (Majandra Delfino) and Bobby (Kevin Connolly) are happily married with two kids but at times long for the days they had less responsibility and more fun; Will (James Van Der Beek) is newly single and preaching the bachelor lifestyle, but still pining for his ex-wife; Jules (Brooklyn Decker) and Lowell (Rick Donald) are high on their passionate new relationship; and Kate (Zoe Lister Jones) has a successful career but may take a swan dive into the L.A. River when she finds out her last remaining single friend, Jules, just got engaged. When it comes to relationships, these six friends are finding it a challenge to look at each other without wondering… who really has the better life? Dana Klein and Aaron Kaplan are executive producers for Twentieth Century Fox Television. Emmy Award winner James Burrows directed the pilot.