My colleague Michael Ausiello already scooped CBS’ biggest scheduling change this midseason: freshman cop family drama Blue Bloods will get a four-week trial run in the Wednesday 10 PM slot beginning Jan. 19, while the current occupant of the Wednesday 10 PM time period, freshman legal dramedy The Defenders, will relocate to the Friday 8 PM berth on Feb. 4, following the series finale of veteran paranormal drama Medium. No surprise in the launch strategy for CBS’ midseason drama Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, which will succeed Blue Bloods in the Wednesday 10 PM slot beginning Feb. 16 when Blue Bloods will return to its Friday 10 PM home. The Criminal Minds spinoff was widely expected to air behind the mothership series the way NCIS: LA follows NCIS on Tuesday. But somewhat unexpected was the harsh treatment of CBS’ other midseason drama series Chaos. CBS brass fought hard for the series, whose midseason pickup originally fell through after a deal with producing studio 20th Century Fox TV could not be reached. The project was later resurrected, picked up and made a co-production with CBS TV Studios. But now, the comedic drama about a group of rogue CIA spies has been assigned the tough Friday 8 PM slot where it will succeed The Defenders on April 1 when the freshman will have completed its reduced first-season order. (I’m sure the producers of the series starring Freddy Rodriguez are hoping that this is an April Fool’s joke.) But, with its fall slate solid, CBS doesn’t have that many openings and, with its comedic bent, Chaos is probably better suited for 8 PM than the darker CSI:NY. New midseason comedy Mad Love will premiere on Feb. 21 and run as part of CBS’ Monday comedy block at 8:30 PM, while utility player Rules of Engagement will be on the move again, this time to Thursdays at 8:30 PM where it will replace $#*! My Dad Says. Like The Defenders, the freshman comedy starring William Shatner also received a smaller back order after a so-so performance early in the season. “We’re in the fortunate position of having a schedule with many successful shows and very few holes,” said CBS’ Senior EVP primetime Kelly Kahl. “This allows us to be very targeted with our mid-season series. These are moves that maintain the core stability of a successful schedule, while giving us multiple looks for the future at a few time periods.” Note: While Blue Bloods airs on Wednesday, CBS will air crime repeats in the Friday 10 PM slot.
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