UPDATE Oct. 9: Turns out you won’t have to wait quite as long for “Mike & Molly’s” return. It’s premiering in November following the cancellation of “We Are Men.” Go here for more details.
CBS has unveiled a schedule for fall 2013 that adds another hour of comedy to its schedule — but also takes away, at least for the time being, one of the network’s established comedy hits.
“Mike & Molly,” which wraps up its third season on Monday (May 20), likely won’t begin its fourth season until early 2014. CBS has ordered a full 22-episode season of the show starring Melissa McCarthy and Billy Gardell but is saving it for midseason.
“It’s a show that we love, and it puts us in a great place strategically when we talk about getting more originals, less repeats,” CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler told reporters Wednesday. “It gives us a chance to bring a show in at midseason … that is a known asset, that people love.”
CBS is launching four new comedies in the fall: “Mom,” which gets “Mike & Molly’s” old spot at 9:30 p.m. ET Mondays, “We Are Men,” “The Crazy Ones” and “The Millers.” The network obviously isn’t planning for any of them to fail, but if one of them doesn’t catch on, having a proven show waiting in the wings isn’t the worst thing.
The network didn’t really have that this season, as it had ordered only 13 episodes of perennial backup “Rules of Engagement.” When “Partners” went under last fall, CBS was stuck airing repeats in its spot for a couple of months until “Rules” premiered in February.
Tassler also notes that McCarthy has a big movie role this summer in “The Heat,” which she hopes will only add to McCarthy’s star power.
“When a movie comes out with Melissa, the fan base just continues to grow for her,” Tassler says. “It felt like her star is just rising. … We think by the time we get the show on, she’ll be as popular as ever.”