CBS is tweaking its Thursday comedy lineup and adding two series in late midseason, new comedy Bad Teacher and returning procedural Unforgettable. Beginning February 27, the first week after the Sochi Olympics, veteran Two And A Half Men and freshman The Crazy Ones will switch places, with Men airing at 9 PM, followed by Crazy Ones. This is a more conventional lineup, with established shows (The Big Bang Theory, Men) as 8 PM and 9 PM anchors and newbies (The Millers, Crazy Ones) in the hammock positions behind them. I hear the reason CBS didn’t go with this schedule last fall was to try to protect Elementary at 10 PM, which was losing its drama lead-in as the network expanded its comedy block to two hours. A seasoned performer, Men was slated at 9:30 PM to lead to Elementary. After a huge launch in September behind an hourlong Big Bang, Crazy Ones has been delivering middling ratings, most recently posting a 1.7 in 18-49 last Thursday vs. 2.7 for its lead-in, The Millers, and 1.8 for lead-out Men. Crazy Ones also is a single-camera comedy sandwiched between two multicams, and Men will likely do better airing behind two other shows of its kind, Big Bang and Millers. Crazy Ones will wrap its 22-episode order on April 17 and will be replaced at 9:30 PM by another single-camera comedy, Bad Teacher, on April 24. The Men-Crazy Ones switcheroo is being done in part to prepare a launch pad for Bad Teacher, based on the hit feature, which will have three weeks to prove itself to CBS brass before they set the schedule for next season.
After a summer run last year, drama Unforgettable is being summoned in earlier this season. Its third season will premiere April 4 and air in the Friday 8 PM slot. The move was dictated by necessity — CBS has done very well in the slot with Undercover Boss and likely would’ve loved to keep the unscripted show there but can’t stretch its 15 originals beyond March. CBS has not run a scripted series in the Friday 8 PM slot since the fall of 2011, when new drama A Gifted Man aired briefly in the hour before being moved to 9 PM. The network opted to go with a familiar title that would have a better chance of drawing viewers than a new show and hopes Unforgettable could fit into an all-crime procedural drama Friday lineup that also includes Hawaii Five-0 and Blue Bloods. Fox has done OK with another procedural, Bones, in the Friday 8 PM slot this season. Bones will be returning to Mondays, giving Unforgettable an opening in the hour. Notably missing from CBS’ midseason plans is soapy drama Reckless. Since the network’s slots through the end of the season have now been spoken for, Reckless would likely launch in summer.