More than any other network, CBS is playing from a position of strength going into next season, and its fairly stable schedule for 2009-10 reflects that. The changes the network did make, though, include a couple of pretty interesting ones.
CBS, which was the only net to increase its audience this season, will have four new series on its schedule in the fall — but five that are new to the network. In addition to the four pilots it picked up, the Eye also snagged veteran drama “Medium” from NBC. It will air on Friday nights, sandwiched between “Ghost Whisperer” and “Numb3rs.”
The other big move is that of “The Mentalist,” this season’s most-watched new show, to 10 p.m. Thursdays. The goal, CBS scheduling maven Kelly Kahl says, is to re-establish dominance of the night by creating a “super block” with “CSI.”
The move of “The Mentalist” and the cancellation of “Without a Trace” creates room for two new shows on Tuesdays. The “NCIS” spinoff, unambiguously titled “NCIS: Los Angeles,” will follow its parent at 9 p.m., and “The Good Wife,” a legal drama starring Julianna Margulies, airs at 10.
CBS’ other new drama is the medical show “Three Rivers,” headed by “Moonlight” star Alex O’Loughlin. It will air at 9 p.m. Sundays, in between “The Amazing Race” and “Cold Case,” which is sliding back to 10.
The lone new comedy for the fall is Jenna Elfman’s “Accidentally on Purpose,” about a movie critic whose one-night stand with a younger guy results in her getting pregnant. It joins a reshuffled Monday comedy block that will have “How I Met Your Mother” leading off the night at 8 and “The Big Bang Theory” moving behind “Two and a Half Men” at 9:30.
The comedy “Rules of Engagement” will once again come off the bench at midseason, along with two more dramas: the Jerry Bruckheimer medical show “Miami Trauma” and Canadian import “The Bridge.” Two unscripted shows, “Undercover Boss” and “Arranged Marriage,” are also set for midseason. “Flashpoint” is still in the mix too but doesn’t have a destination yet.