CBS Renews 18 Series, Including Freshmen ‘FBI: Most Wanted’, ‘Bob ♥ Abishola’, ‘All Rise’ & ‘The Unicorn’

By Peter White, Nellie Andreeva


CBS has renewed 18 more series for 2020-21 including the majority of its drama lineup and a trio of comedies.

The broadcaster has picked up dramas All Rise, Blue Bloods, Bull, FBI, FBI: Most Wanted, MacGyver, Magnum P.I., NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, NCIS: New Orleans, Seal Team and S.W.A.T., comedies Bob ♥ Abishola, The Neighborhood and The Unicorn, news programs 60 Minutes and 48 Hours and reality series Undercover Boss. 

They join previously renewed for next season Evil, Chuck Lorre’s Mom and Young Sheldon — both in the middle of two-year pickups — Survivor and The Amazing Race for a total of 23 shows, scripted, reality and newsmagazines.

Separately, the network has cancelled four shows: midseason sitcom Broke, Patricia Heaton’s Carol’s Second Act, Edie Falco’s Tommy and Matt LeBlanc’s Man with a Plan.

As the COVID-19 production shutdown continues, the move is a major statement by CBS that it is keeping faith with its current series in challenging times when all but one of its pilots were not filmed because of the pandemic. ViacomCBS oin Tuesday announced a two-day virtual upfront for advertisers. CBS is presenting on May 19 and plans to unveil “the fall programming lineup.”

There has been speculation that the network will rely heavily on returning series for its fall roster, with as little as 1-2 new series launched at the start of the season, which may be delayed because of the pandemic.

CBS said today that it will announce new series in the coming weeks. The network has started to narrow down the field by passing on The Lincoln Lawyer series from David E. Kelley and comedy pilot Fun. Among the rest, the multi-cam B Positive, the only completed broadcast pilot this season, and dramas The Equalizer, starring Queen Latifah, and Clarice have been garnering a lot of buzz.

CBS typically gives its reliable franchises early renewals in March-April but this season is a bit different. In addition to dealing with COVID-19, the network’s parent company merged with Viacom, which also led to delayed decisions.

Many of the renewals are no surprise, regardless of the current global pandemic, with shows such as most watched drama NCIS always likely to return, alongside number one new comedy Bob ♥ Abishola and number one new drama FBI: Most Wanted. CBS also boasts the most watched comedy series, Young Sheldon (all in total viewers, most current).

‘NCIS’ Franchise Stars Mark Harmon, Scott Bakula, LL Cool J & Chris O’Donnell Close New Deals To Return As All 3 Series Are Renewed By CBS

Also no-brainers for renewals are FBI, which has emerged as CBS’ second most watched series behind NCIS, the other NCIS series, Friday stalwart Blue Bloods and Monday anchor The Neighborhood. There was some question mark as to whether both S.W.A.T. and SEAL Team would return, but both action dramas are back alongside solid Friday entries Magnum P.I. and MacGyver.

CBS is bringing back four freshman series, aforementioned FBI: Most Wanted and Bob ♥ Abishola, as well as drama All Rise, coming off a buzzy remotely shot COVID-19 episode, and comedy The Unicorn.

Both CBS’ entire lineup of Monday shows – The Neighborhood, Bob ♥ Abishola, All Rise and Bull – and all of its Tuesday dramas – NCIS, FBI and FBI: Most Wanted – are returning.

Seven of CBS’ returners top 10 million viewers (most current), the currency used by the network: NCIS, FBI, Blue Bloods, Young Sheldon, Bull, 60 Minutes and FBI: Most Wanted. The latter is one of a number of freshman series being brought back, a list that also includes All Rise and The Unicorn.

The mass renewal comes as a number of CBS veterans are ending this season including Hawaii Five-0, Madam Secretary and Criminal Minds as well as sophomore series God Friended Me.

“Thanks to these exceptional shows, we’re going to win the current season by 1 million viewers,” said Kelly Kahl, President of CBS Entertainment. “Next year, we’ll have these strong returning series as our foundation…and Super Bowl LV too. It’s a well-balanced lineup across Entertainment, News and Sports that will put us in an incredibly stable position for 2020-2021.”


All Rise follows the chaotic, hopeful and sometimes absurd lives of its judges, prosecutors and public defenders, as they work with bailiffs, clerks and cops to get justice for the people of Los Angeles amidst a flawed legal process. Among them is newly appointed Judge Lola Carmichael (Simone Missick), a highly regarded and impressive deputy district attorney who doesn’t intend to sit back on the bench in her new role, but instead leans in, immediately pushing the boundaries and challenging the expectations of what a judge can be. The series, which aired a virtually produced social-distancing episode on May 4, also stars Wilson Bethel, Marg Helgenberger, Jessica Camacho, J. Alex Brinson, Lindsay Mendez and Ruthie Ann Miles. Showrunner Spottiswood, Len Goldstein, Michael Robin and Dee Harris-Lawrence — who also serves as co-showrunner — are executive producers for Warner Bros Television.

John Paul Filo/CBS

Blue Bloods returns for season 11. Starring Tom Selleck as New York Police Commissioner Frank Reagan, the series from CBS TV Studios, is a drama about a multi-generational family of cops dedicated to New York City law enforcement. Donnie Wahlberg, Bridget Moynahan, Will Estes, Len Cariou, Sami Gayle, Marisa Ramirez and Vanessa Ray also star. The cast recently reunited for a virtual Dinner with the Reagans A Blue Bloods Special video amid the coronavirus-forced production shutdown.

Procedural Bull comes back for a fifth season. Created by Dr. Phil McGraw and Paul Attanasio, Bull stars Michael Weatherly as Dr. Jason Bull in a drama inspired by the early career of Dr. Phil McGraw. Brilliant, brash and charming, Dr. Bull is the ultimate puppet master as he combines psychology, human intuition and high-tech data to learn what makes jurors, attorneys, witnesses and the accused tick. Bull is co-produced by CBS TV Studios in association with Stage 29 Productions. Glenn Gordon Caron, Attanasio, Dr. Phil McGraw and Jay McGraw executive produce.

Michael Parmelee/ CBS

Dick Wolf dramas FBI and FBI: Most Wanted are back for a third season and a second season respectively. The mothership FBI is a fast-paced drama about the inner workings of the New York office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Missy Peregrym, Ebonée Noel, Jeremy Sisto, Alana De La Garza and John Boyd star. Dick Wolf, Rick Eid, Terry Miller, Arthur W. Forney and Peter Jankowski executive produce. The series is produced by Universal Television in association with CBS Television Studios. Created by René Balcer, FBI: Most Wanted is a high-stakes drama that focuses on the Fugitive Task Force, which relentlessly tracks and captures the notorious criminals on the Bureau’s Most Wanted list. Wolf Entertainment and Universal Television produce in association with CBS Television Studios. Dick Wolf, René Balcer, Fred Berner, Arthur W. Forney and Peter Jankowski executive produce.

Action drama MacGyver, a reimagining of the 1985 show, returns for a fifth season. It stars Lucas Till in the titular role, along with Justin Hires, Meredith Eaton, Levy Tran and Henry Ian Cusick. CBS Television Studios produces in association with Lionsgate Television. Peter Lenkov, James Wan, Henry Winkler, Lee Zlotoff and Terry Matalas executive produce. Terry Matalas (12 Monkeys) joined as executive producer/co-showrunner in season 4. He replaced Craig O’Neill as co-showrunner alongside creator/executive producer/showrunner Lenkov.

Magnum P.I.  is back for season three. The rebooted action drama, which stars Jay Hernandez in the Tom Selleck role, comes from Peter Lenkov, CBS TV Studios and Universal TV, is set in Hawaii and follows Hernandez’s Thomas Magnum, a private investigator and former Navy SEAL, who solves crimes in the state, after returning home from Afghanistan and repurposing his military skills. Perdita Weeks, Zachary Knighton, Stephen Hill, Tim Kang and Amy Hill also star. Peter M. Lenkov, Eric Guggenheim, Justin Lin, John Davis, John Fox and Danielle Woodrow are executive producers.

Flagship drama series NCIS returns for an 18th season, spinoffs NCIS: Los Angeles and NCIS: New Orleans are back for a 12th and seventh season respectively. Created by Donald P. Bellasario, NCIS stars Mark Harmon as Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, along with Sean Murray, Emily Wickersham, Wilmer Valderrama, Maria Bello, Brian Dietzen and Diona Reasonover, with Rocky Carroll and David McCallum. Belisarius Productions produces in association with CBS Television Studios. Bellisario executive produces with Frank Cardea, Steven D. Binder, Chas. Floyd Johnson, Mark Horowitz, Mark Harmon and Scott Williams. NCIS: Los Angeles stars Chris O’Donnell, LL Cool J, Linda Hunt, Daniela Ruah, Eric Christian Olsen, Barrett Foa and Renée Felice Smith. NCIS: Los Angeles is produced by CBS Television Studios and executive produced by R. Scott Gemmill, John P. Kousakis and Frank Military. NCIS: New Orleans stars Scott Bakula, Vaness Ferlito, Necar Zadegan, Rob Kerkovich, Daryl “Chill” Mitchell, Charles Michael Davis and CCH Pounder. The series is produced by CBS Television Studios. Christopher Silber, James Hayman, Adam Targum, Chad Gomez Creasey and Mark Harmon executive produce.

Aaron Epstein/CBS

Military drama series SEAL Team is coming back for a fourth season. Starring David Boreanaz, SEAL Team follows the professional and personal lives of the most elite unit of Navy SEALs as they train, plan and execute the most dangerous missions that our country can ask of them. Max Thieriot, Neil Brown Jr., AJ Buckley, Toni Trucks, Jessica Paré and Judd Lormand also star. SEAL Team is produced by CBS Television Studios. Spencer Hudnut, Christopher Chulack, Sarah Timberman, Carl Beverly and David Boreanaz executive produce.

Police drama series S.W.A.T. breaks down the doors for a fourth season. Inspired by the classic television series and feature film, S.W.A.T. stars Shemar Moore as the locally born and raised sergeant tasked with running a specialized tactical unit that is the last stop in law enforcement in Los Angeles. Alex Russell, Jay Harrington, Lina Esco, Kenny Johnson, David Lim, Patrick St. Esprit and Amy Farrington also star. S.W.A.T. is produced by Sony Pictures Television in association with CBS Television Studios. Aaron Rahsaan Thomas, Shawn Ryan, Justin Lin, Neal Moritz, Marney Hochman, Pavun Shetty, Allison Cross, Craig Gore, Billy Gierhart, Andy Dettman and Michael Jones Morales executive produce.

Bob ♥ Abishola, from Chuck Lorre and Warner Bros Television, has received a second season. The comedy is a love story about a middle-aged compression-sock businessman from Detroit who unexpectedly falls for his cardiac nurse, a Nigerian immigrant, while recovering from a heart attack and sets his sights on winning her over. Undaunted by Abishola’s lack of initial interest or the vast differences in their backgrounds, Bob is determined to win Abishola’s heart, in this comedic examination of immigrant life in America. The series stars Billy Gardell, Folake Olowofoyeku, Christine Ebersole, Matt Jones, Maribeth Monroe, Vernee Watson, Shola Adewusi, Barry Shabaka Henley, Travis Wolfe, Jr. and Gina Yashere, who is also a co-creator, writer and producer. Chuck Lorre and Al Higgins are executive producers and co-creators, while Yashere is also a co-creator, writer and producer and Eddie Gorodetsky exec produces. It is produced by Chuck Lorre Productions in association with Warner Bros Television.

Ron P. Jaffe/CBS

The Neighborhood returns for a third season. The comedy was created by Jim Reynolds and hailing from CBS TV Studios and Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment. Tackling the culture clash of gentrification, The Neighborhood stars Cedric the Entertainer as Calvin Butler, an opinionated new neighbor of Dave Johnson (Max Greenfield). Dave’s the friendliest guy in the Midwest, who moves his family to a neighborhood in Los Angeles where not everyone looks like him or appreciates his extreme neighborliness. Beth Behrs plays Dave’s wife Gemma, and Tichina Arnold, Sheaun McKinney, Marcel Spears and Hank Greenspan co-star. Reynolds executive produces with Kapital’s Aaron Kaplan and Dana Honor as well as Kapital-based producer Wendi Trilling via her TrillTV and Cedric and Eric Rhone of A Bird and a Bear Entertainment.

The Unicorn is also back for a second outing. Starring Walton Goggins, from Kapital Entertainment and CBS Studios TV, the single-camera comedy  is centered around a tight-knit group of best friends and family who help Wade (Goggins) embrace his “new normal” in the wake of the loss of his wife one year ago. As a sometimes ill-equipped but always devoted single parent to his two adolescent daughters, he is taking the major step of dating again. To Wade’s amazement, he’s a hot commodity with women, and his friends explain that he’s the perfect single guy – a “unicorn”: employed, attractive, and with a proven track record of commitment. With his daughters and best friends rooting him on and hoping he’ll find happiness again, Wade and his healing heart are ready to try life… and love… a second time. The series also stars Rob Corddry, Michaela Watkins, Omar Miller, Maya Lynne Robinson, Ruby Jay, Makenzie Moss and Devin Bright. Bill Martin, Mike Schiff, Aaron Kaplan, Dana Honor, Wendi Trilling, Peyton Reed and John Hamburg are executive producers for CBS Television Studios.

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