“Stability where we are strong, change where we need it,” is how CBS Entertainment president Kelly Kahl described the strategy behind network’s schedule for next season. CBS’ biggest declines this season were on Monday — that’s where the biggest changes are, including shrinking the comedy block from two hours to one.
Here is CBS’ fall 2018-19 schedule, followed by scheduling information on some shows that are not on it, brief analysis, and detailed descriptions of the network’s new series.
CBS FALL 2018-19 SCHEDULE
(New programs in UPPER CASE)
8-8:30 PM — THE NEIGHBORHOOD (N)
8:30-9 PM — HAPPY TOGETHER (N)
9-10 PM — MAGNUM P.I. (N)
10-11 PM — Bull
8-9 PM — NCIS
9-10 PM — FBI (N)
10-11 PM — NCIS: New Orleans
8-9 PM — Survivor
9-10 PM — SEAL Team
10-11 PM –Criminal Minds
8-8:30 PM — The Big Bang Theory
8:30-9 PM–Young Sheldon
9-9:30 PM — Mom
9:30-10 PM — MURPHY BROWN
10-11 PM — S.W.A.T.
8-9 PM — MacGyver
9-10 PM — Hawaii Five-O
10-11 PM — Blue Bloods
8-9 PM – CRIMETIME SATURDAY
9-10 PM — CRIMETIME SATURDAY
10-11 PM — 48 Hours
7-8 PM — 60 Minutes
8-9 PM — GOD FRIENDED ME
9-10 PM — NCIS: Los Angeles
10-11 PM — Madam Secretary
CBS brass had said they were not happy with the ratings declines on Monday. The night became a clean slate after the network cancelled every show that aired on the night besides The Big Bang Theory, which started there in the fall, and Man with a Plan.
After expanding its Monday comedy block back to two hours the past two seasons, the network is reverting to an hour of comedy followed by action drama – new comedies The Neighborhood and Happy Together (formerly untitled Damon Wayans Jr.) and the Magnum P.I. reboot. The previous CBS Monday 9 PM action drama, Scorpion, which later moved to 10 PM and was canceled last week, will be succeeded at 10 PM by Bull, which is relocating from Tuesday.
Bull is vacating the post-NCIS Tuesday 9 PM slot that had become CBS’ most successful launch pad for new drama series. It will now be used for the new Dick Wolf series F.B.I.
The revival of Murphy Brown, which aired Mondays 9 PM during its original run, will be joining the Thursday lineup, replacing Life In Pieces and following what Kahl called “Prime Chuck block” – the Chuck Lorre comedies The Big Bang Theory, Young Sheldon and Mom. It will face new NBC Thursday 9:30 PM comedy I Feel Bad, prompting Kahl to call the 9:30 “I Feel Bad for NBC” slot.
The only other change on the CBS fall schedule is new drama God Friended Me, which takes over the 8 PM Sunday slot held by the now-defunct Wisdom of the Crowd last fall. It’s about an atheist who gets friended by God on Facebook, described by CBS executives as echoing Touched by an Angel in a contemporary setting.
Held for midseason are returning series Man with a Plan, Life, Elementary and Instinct as well as new drama series The Code and The Red Line and comedy Fam.
NEW SERIES DESCRIPTIONS
NEW FALL COMEDIES
HAPPY TOGETHER stars Damon Wayans Jr. and Amber Stevens West in a comedy about a 30-something happily married couple who begin to reconnect with their younger, cooler selves when Cooper (Felix Mallard), an exuberant young pop star drawn to their super-ordinary suburban life, unexpectedly moves in with them. Austen Earl, Tim McAuliffe, Ben Winston, Harry Styles, Michael Rotenberg and Jonathan Berry are executive producers for CBS Television Studios. Phill Lewis directed the pilot from a script by McAuliffe and Earl. HAPPY TOGETHER stars Damon Wayans Jr. as Jake, Amber Stevens West as Claire, Felix Mallard as Cooper James, Stephnie Weir as Bonnie and Chris Parnell as Wayne.
THE NEIGHBORHOOD stars Cedric the Entertainer as an opinionated neighbor in a comedy about what happens when the friendliest guy in the Midwest moves his family to a neighborhood in Los Angeles where not everyone looks like him or appreciates his extreme neighborliness. When Dave Johnson (Max Greenfield) and his family arrive from Michigan, they’re unfazed that their new dream home is located in a community quite different from their small town. However, their opinionated next-door neighbor, Calvin Butler (Cedric the Entertainer), is wary of the newcomers, certain that they’ll disrupt the culture on the block. Dave realizes that fitting into their new community is more complex than he expected, but if he can find a way to connect with Calvin, they have an excellent chance of making their new neighborhood their home. Jim Reynolds, Aaron Kaplan, Dana Honor (Kapital Entertainment), Wendi Trilling, Cedric the Entertainer, Eric Rhone and James Burrows (pilot) are executive producers for CBS Television Studios. Burrows directed the pilot from a script by Reynolds. THE NEIGHBORHOOD stars Cedric the Entertainer as Calvin, Max Greenfield as Dave, Sheaun McKinney as Malcolm, Tichina Arnold as Tina, Dreama Walker as Gemma, Marcel Spears as Marty and Hank Greenspan as Grover.
MURPHY BROWN — Multiple Emmy Award winners Candice Bergen and series creator Diane English reunite for MURPHY BROWN, the revival of the groundbreaking comedy about the eponymous broadcast news legend and her biting take on current events, now in a world of 24-hour cable, social media, “fake news” and a vastly different political climate. Amid a divided nation, chaotic national discourse and rampant attacks on the press, Murphy returns to the airwaves with her original FYI team: lifestyle reporter Corky Sherwood, investigative journalist Frank Fontana and producer Miles Silverberg. Murphy’s son, Avery, shares his mother’s competitive spirit and quick wit, and has followed in her journalistic footsteps – perhaps too closely. Now back in the game, Murphy is determined to draw the line between good television and honest reporting, proving that the world needs Murphy Brown now more than ever. Diane English returns as executive producer with Candice Bergen for Bend in the Road Productions, Inc., in association with Warner Bros. Television. English created the series. Pamela Fryman will direct the pilot from a script by English. MURPHY BROWN stars Candice Bergen as Murphy Brown, Faith Ford as Corky Sherwood, Joe Regalbuto as Frank Fontana, Grant Shaud as Miles Silverberg, Jake McDorman as Avery, Tyne Daly as Phyllis and Nik Dodani as Pat Patel.
NEW FALL DRAMAS
FBI–From Emmy Award winner Dick Wolf and the team behind the “Law & Order” franchise, FBI is a fast-paced drama about the inner workings of the New York office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. These first-class agents bring all their talents, intellect and technical expertise to tenaciously investigate cases of tremendous magnitude, including terrorism, organized crime and counterintelligence, in order to keep New York and the country safe. Craig Turk, Dick Wolf, Arthur W. Forney, Peter Jankowski and Niels Arden Oplev (pilot only) are executive producers for Universal Television in association with CBS Television Studios. Oplev directed the pilot from a story by Wolf and Turk, and a script by Turk. FBI stars Missy Peregrym as Maggie Bell, Zeeko Zaki as Omar Adom “OA” Zidan, Jeremy Sisto as Jubal Valentine, and Ebonée Noel as Kristen Chazal.
GOD FRIENDED ME stars Brandon Micheal Hall in a humorous, uplifting drama about Miles Finer (Hall), an outspoken atheist whose life is turned upside down when he receives a friend request on social media from God and unwittingly becomes an agent of change in the lives and destinies of others around him. After repeated pokes by God, Miles’ curiosity takes over, and he accepts the ultimate friend request and follows the signs to Cara Bloom (Violett Beane), an online journalist. Brought together by the “God Account,” the two find themselves investigating God’s friend suggestions and inadvertently helping others in need. Miles is set on getting to the bottom of what he believes is an elaborate hoax, but in the meantime he’ll play along and, in the process, change his life forever. Steven Lilien & Bryan Wynbrandt, Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter and Marcos Siega are executive producers for Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios. Siega directed the pilot from a script by Lilien & Wynbrandt. GOD FRIENDED ME stars Brandon Micheal Hall as Miles Finer, Violett Beane as Cara Bloom, Suraj Sharma as Rakesh Singh, Javicia Leslie as Ali Finer and Joe Morton as Reverend Arthur Finer.
MAGNUM P.I. is a modern take on the classic series starring Jay Hernandez as Thomas Magnum, a decorated former Navy SEAL who, upon returning home from Afghanistan, repurposes his military skills to become a private investigator. A charming rogue, an American hero and a die-hard Detroit Tigers fan, Magnum has Juliet Higgins and her Dobermans to keep him in line, as well as his trusted buddies and fellow POW survivors TC and Rick when he needs back-up on a job. With keys to a vintage Ferrari in one hand, aviator sunglasses in the other, and an Old Düsseldorf longneck chilling in the fridge, Thomas Magnum is back on the case! Peter Lenkov, Eric Guggenheim, Justin Lin, John Davis, John Fox and Danielle Woodrow are executive producers for CBS Television Studios in association with Universal Television. Lin directed the pilot from a script by Lenkov and Guggenheim. MAGNUM P.I. stars Jay Hernandez as Thomas Magnum, Perdita Weeks as Juliet Higgins, Zachary Knighton as Orville “Rick” Wright and Stephen Hill as Theodore “TC” Calvin.
NEW MIDSEASON SERIES
THE CODE is a drama about the military’s brightest minds who take on our country’s toughest legal challenges, inside the courtroom and out, in the only law office in the world where every attorney is trained as a prosecutor, a defense lawyer, an investigator – and a Marine. Operating out of Judge Advocate General Headquarters in Quantico, these active-duty Marines are attorneys who have chosen to serve their country in pursuit of military justice at home and abroad. Craig Sweeny, Marc Webb, Carl Beverly, Sarah Timberman and Craig Turk are executive producers for CBS Television Studios. Webb directed the pilot from a teleplay by Sweeny, and story by Sweeny and Turk. THE CODE stars Anna Wood as Major Maya Dobbins, Ato Essandoh as Major Trey Ferry, Phillipa Soo as Lt. Harper Rein and Raffi Barsoumian as Warrant Officer Rami Ahmadi.
FAM stars Nina Dobrev and Tone Bell in a comedy about a woman whose vision of a perfect life with her adoring fiancé and his wonderful parents is radically altered when her 16-year-old, out-of-control half-sister unexpectedly comes to live with her. As the family Clem (Dobrev) chose and the family she has blend, Clem realizes that this new happy fam may be the perfection she’s always been seeking. Corinne Kingsbury, Bob Kushell, Aaron Kaplan, Wendi Trilling, Dana Honor and Scott Ellis (pilot only) are executive producers for CBS Television Studios in association with Kapital Entertainment. Ellis directed the pilot from a script by Kingsbury. FAM stars Nina Dobrev as Clem, Tone Bell as Nick, Odessa Adlon as Shannon, Brian Stokes Mitchell as Walt and Sheryl Lee Ralph as Rose.
THE RED LINE — From acclaimed producers Ava DuVernay and Greg Berlanti, THE RED LINE is a drama that follows the lives of three vastly different Chicago families whose stories of loss and tragedy intersect in the wake of the mistaken shooting of an African American doctor by a white cop. As the stories of the Calder, Young and Evans families crisscross and converge, a message of hope appears – it’s possible to emerge from tragedy stronger, and it’s important to come together with others, not just to survive, but to thrive. Academy Award, Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominee Ava DuVernay, Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter are executive producers, and Caitlin Parrish and Erica Weiss are co-executive producers for Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios. Victoria Mahoney directed the pilot from a script by Parrish and Weiss. THE RED LINE stars Noah Wyle as Daniel Calder, Emayatzy Corinealdi as Tia Young, Aliyah Royale as Jira Calder-Brennan, Noel Fisher as Paul Evans, Howard Charles as Ethan Young, Elizabeth Laidlaw as Vic Renna, Vinny Chhibber as Liam Bhatt and Michael Patrick Thornton as Jim Evans.