CBS has unveiled its midseason schedule with the return of a long-delayed The Amazing Race and freshman hospital drama Good Sam taking the place of the 10-episode revival of CSI: Vegas. The network also has set season premiere dates for Winter Olympics counter-programming Celebrity Big Brother and unscripted veteran Undercover Boss.
CBS has yet to date its other new comedy Smallwood and reality competition series Come Dance With Me, but both are expected to launch in midseason as well.
Good Sam, which stars Sophia Bush as a talented yet stifled surgeon, who embraces her leadership role after her renowned and pompous boss (and father), played by Jason Isaacs, falls into a coma, will premiere on Wednesday January 5 at 10pm. (You can see the full schedule at the bottom of the post.)
Kelly Kahl, President, CBS Entertainment, told Deadline, “When the schedule is working as well as it is, it’s a luxury to not have to do major surgery in midseason. We made some tweaks here and there, and we knew we were going to have an opening with CSI: Vegas [being ten episodes] and we’re fortunate to have Good Sam ready to roll. That was basically always the plan.”
Good Sam‘s premiere will follow a two-hour premiere of season 33 of The Amazing Race, which returns having been delayed for over 18 months.
The reality series was three episodes into filming season 33 in March 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic shut down production. Given the global nature of the show, it was tough to get it back filming, but the Phil Keoghan-hosted show is now in the can and in post-production.
“I don’t know any reality series that’s ever broken for 18 months in the middle of a shoot and then tried to come back, still under Covid conditions but a lot of credit to Bert, Elise and Phil for staying on it,” Kahl added.
The Amazing Race will revert to its normal timeslot of 9pm from Wednesday January 12, following a primetime special of The Price Is Right. Two Drew Carey-hosted specials will be joined on the schedule by a Let’s Make A Deal primetime special on Wednesday January 26 at 8pm.
Season 11 of Undercover Boss launches on Friday January 7 at 8pm, taking the place of S.W.A.T, which moves to Sunday nights at 10pm from January 2. The four-episode run of SEAL Team, ahead of its move to Paramount+, previously aired in that Sunday slot.
Celebrity Big Brother returns for its third season on Wednesday February 2 at 8pm and will air on multiple nights across the week ending with its finale on Wednesday February 23. The spring edition of Survivor will kick off with a two-hour premiere on Wednesday March 9 at 8pm, before moving to its regular 8-9pm time slot the following week.
Come Dance With Me, which is exec produced by NCIS: Los Angeles stars LL Cool J and Chris O’Donnell, is expected to premiere later in midseason but it has not yet been set.
Kahl said that the network was “significantly up” over last fall in terms of ratings with new episodes of returning series including Sunday’s The Equalizer and NCIS: LA, Monday’s The Neighborhood, Bob Hearts Abishola, NCIS and NCIS: Hawai’i, Tuesday’s FBI, FBI: International and FBI: Most Wanted, Thursday’s Young Sheldon, United States of Al, Ghosts, B Positive and Bull and Friday’s Magnum P.I and Blue Bloods, all returning with new episodes from January 2.
Kahl was pleased with the performance of the fall, having already handed out back orders for Ghosts, NCIS: Hawai’i and FBI: International, but believes these shows can build further. “We’ve seen great success with these new shows, we don’t want to sit on that success, we believe there’s an audience where we can grow some of these shows. We’re getting in to the cold months now and daylight savings time going away is always our friend, cold weather is our friend and we hope to get some more eyeballs on these new shows.”
One of the hangovers of Covid has been flexible episode order sizes and this is expected to remain this season. It’s clear that the 22 episode order is no longer the only full season order for a broadcast network and CBS is still working through some of this now.
Among the exception to this was CSI: Vegas, whose initial installment was designed for a 10-episode run that spans a serialized arc. The show aired on Wednesday nights at 10pm behind reality series Survivor and Tough As Nails, so not a traditional drama lead in. It performed well, although not quite the juggernaut that it used to be, but it has been doubling its audience in delayed viewing.
The series, which is headlined by original stars William Petersen and Jorja Fox, is envisioned as an ongoing series and it is in contention for a renewal, although whether Petersen, who has a one-year deal, would return, is still unclear.
The pandemic had a major impact on traditional broadcast networks over the last two seasons, but we are starting to return to some sense of normalcy. While development is still ongoing with some pitches still coming in, it’s likely that CBS may revert back to handing out early renewals and plotting its fall 2022/23 schedule so that it can be announced in May.
All eyes will be on whether long-running procedural NCIS returns for a 20th season after the exit of its star Mark Harmon, although it’s thought that the network is happy with the addition of Gary Cole as series regular, Special Agent Park.
The network will also be potentially looking for a spot for its TV adaptation of James Cameron’s 1994 action comedy movie True Lies, which starred Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis. The pilot, which stars Steve Howey and Ginger Gonzaga and comes from writer Matt Nix, is currently in production.
CBS Midseason Schedule
8-9pm – The Equalizer
9-10pm – NCIS: LA
10-11pm – S.WA.T.
8-8:30pm – The Neighborhood
8:30-9pm – Bob ♥ Abishola
9-10pm – NCIS
10-11pm – NCIS: Hawai’i
8-9pm – FBI
9-10pm – FBI: International
10-11pm – FBI: Most Wanted
8-10pm – The Amazing Race (*reverting to 9-10pm after two-hour premiere)
10-11pm – Good Sam
8-8:30pm – Young Sheldon
8:30-9pm – United States of Al
9-9:30pm – Ghosts
9:30-10pm – B Positive
10-11pm – Bull
8-9pm – Undercover Boss
9-10pm – Magnum P.I
10-11pm – Blue Blood
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