CBS Unveils 2011-2012 Schedule: ‘Person Of Interest’ Takes Over Thursday 9 PM Slot

Opening the CBS upfront presentation at Carnegie Hall today was a video of David Letterman, Steve Martin and Paul Shaffer rehearsing a music tune, “It’s gonna be a big, big season…” until CBS CEO Leslie Moonves walks in and tells them that their number has been cut. But CBS went the extra mile this year with a second video with the characters from freshman drama Blue Bloods. The CBS fall schedule had been stolen, and the entire Reagan clan is summoned to track it down. The hooded thief is apprehended and roughened up before his identity is revealed: It’s Regis Philbin. “I want to be on the schedule,” he said. “I’m in the apartment all day; Joy is driving me crazy.” After an elaborate pursuit enhanced with classic movie car chases, Tom Selleck personally delivers the schedule to Moonves on the stage of Carnegie Hall.

No Two and a Half Men jokes in Moonves’ intro, only a subtle reference with the opening line: “I’ll be here for a very short time: tops 2.5 minutes.” The other more memorable line in his speech: “At CBS, we don’t rebuild, we reload.”

CBS News itself has been in the news a lot over the past few months with its management overhaul and the very public anchor change at CBS Evening News with the departure of Katie Couric. “We have a new energy and a new direction,” new CBS News chairman Jeff Fager said. Also making an appearance was the new anchor Scott Pelley.  MORE