CBS has given early renewals to 16 returning series for the 2017-2018 season: 5 comedies (returning Life In Pieces and Mom, freshmen Kevin Can Wait, Man With a Plan and midseason entry Superior Donuts); 8 dramas (returning NCIS: Los Angeles, NCIS: New Orleans, Hawaii Five-0, Blue Bloods, Scorpion and Madam Secretary, and freshmen Bull and MacGyver); 1 reality series (Survivor); and 2 newsmagazines (60 Minutes, 48 Hours).
They join CBS’ previously renewed top comedy The Big Bang Theory and top drama NCIS for a total of 18 CBS series already picked up for next season.
What is missing from the list? Veteran dramas Elementary and Criminal Minds, comedy 2 Broke Girls and reality stalwart The Amazing Race as well as third-year comedy The Odd Couple, sophomore Code Black and Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders and freshmen The Great Indoors, Pure Genius, as well as midseason entries Doubt and Training Day. For more on the CBS shows left on the bubble, read my story.
Six is the most comedy series CBS has brought back in three years, and there is at least one more comedy, freshman The Great Indoors, very much in contention. The three and possibly four renewed freshman comedies would be the most picked up by CBS in at least two decades.
At the Deutsche Bank Media & Telecom Conference earlier this month, CBS Corp. CEO Les Moonves indicated that “at least five, maybe six shows from this season” will be returning next season. CBS today renewed five, dramas Bull, starring Michael Weatherly, and MacGyver and comedies Kevin Can Wait, toplined by Kevin James, Man With a Plan, headlined by Matt LeBlanc, and midseason entry Superior Donuts, led by Jermaine Fowler and Judd Hirsch, leaving The Great Indoors on the bubble. Superior Donuts, CBS’ first sitcom with a black lead in years, also marks the first time in awhile that a midseason CBS comedy has landed a renewal.
The list of early CBS renewals include a number of no-brainers, such as The Big Bang Theory, the most watched and highest rated scripted series on broadcast TV; NCIS, the most watched broadcast drama; the venerable 60 Minutes, the most watched newsmagazine; as well as Bull, the most watched new drama, which just tapped Glenn Gordon Caron as new showrunner; and Kevin Can Wait, the most watched and highest rated new comedy, which has been a sturdy Monday 8 PM anchor.
With the renewals, CBS has picked up the entire three-series NCIS franchise, while leaving the two-show Criminal Minds one on the bubble. Also renewed in its entirety is CBS’ well performing new Friday drama lineup of MacGyver, which joined Hawaii Five-0 and Blue Bloods in the fall and has helped reinvigorate the night. This is the latest milestone for MacGyver, which went through a lot of turnover during the development process and was put on the fall schedule last May with a discarded pilot, two cast members and no new script.
Of the 15 scripted series renewed so far at CBS, 11 are fully owned — including all nine dramas — one, Kevin Can Wait, is a co-production with Sony TV, two come from Warner Bros. TV, Chuck Lorre’s Big Bang and Mom, and one from 2oth, Life In Pieces, from producer Aaron Kaplan who has three comedy pilots at the network and recently entered a joint venture with CBS Corp.
CBS will announce its new fall 2017-2018 schedule on Wednesday, May 17 at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
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