11:00am PT by Michael O'Connell
CBS Gives 'Battle Creek' the Post-'Good Wife' Slot in March
CBS has scheduled the premiere of Vince Gilligan and David Shore's Battle Creek. The 13-episode detective series, originally developed 12 years ago, will land on Sunday nights in March. The network is also slotting CSI: Cyber on Wednesdays, leaving several episodes of Stalker to air at a later date.
The latest CSI spinoff, which stars Patricia Arquette, was originally being eyed for the 10 p.m. Sunday slot once the parent series ended its truncated order, but CBS brass are said to think the tone of Battle Creek is a better fit with critical darling The Good Wife and fellow Sunday drama Madam Secretary. (The latter is quietly amassing one of the biggest audiences this fall, averaging nearly 15 million weekly viewers.)
Read More Vince Gilligan Talks 'Battle Creek' Role, Vintage Scripts
Starring Josh Duhamel and Dean Winters, Battle Creek will bow in the time period on March 1, just days before CSI: Cyber moves into the Stalker slot. The spinoff will air Wednesdays at 10 p.m. starting March 4. The lead-in from Criminal Minds, a bit more on-brand, should help the launch. After all, that was the hour the original CSI occupied for years.
The move leaves Stalker with likely five unaired episodes. The Kevin Williamson drama quickly earned a full season at the network — but unlike NCIS: New Orleans, Madam Secretary or big hit Scorpion, its addition to the schedule has been a more modest success. Still, it's been recouping a significant audience in DVR. Latest live-plus-7 ratings give it an average 2.6 rating in the key demo of adults 18-49 and nearly 11 million viewers.
CBS was quick to get in bed with Gilligan last year when he put Emmy favorite Breaking Bad to bed after six seasons on AMC. Though still involved, the creator's day-to-day job is now on Bad spinoff Better Call Saul. Shore, who created the hugely popular House for Fox, is showrunning in his stead.