'One Day at a Time,' 'Star Trek' Sub for Returning Originals on CBS Fall Schedule

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The network, like Fox, has also acquired a Spectrum drama ('Manhunt: Deadly Games') as all of the network's scripted dramas and comedies — many of which have not resumed production — await their returns.

Three months after plotting a business as usual approach to its fall schedule, CBS is changing its tune.

With none of its original scripted dramas and comedies (think all things NCIS and Chuck Lorre fare) ready to air — many of which have not even begun production — the network has turned to so-called gently used imports from across the ViacomCBS brand (Pop's One Day at a Time, CBS All Access' Star Trek: Discovery) and acquired content (Spectrum's Manhunt: Deadly Games) as well as sports, election coverage and specials to fill the voids. Sources say the network hopes new and returning scripted series could begin airing in November.

Also plugging holes across CBS' schedule is CBS News-produced entry The FBI Declassified, which will launch in Tuesdays at 10 p.m. slot.

The first season of CBS All Access Star Trek: Discovery — which initially debuted on the network in September 2017 before moving to the then-newly launched streamer — will air starting Sept. 24. (The third season of Discovery will bow three weeks later, on Oct. 15, exclusively on All Access.)   

One Day at a Time, meanwhile, will air six episodes of its truncated fourth season (the animated special is not included). The former Netflix comedy was always poised to air on CBS in late 2020 as part of the deal that revived the beloved series for ViacomCBS-owned Pop. The show is not expected to resume production after the novel coronavirus shut down production halfway into its run. The show's future remains murky given Pop is no longer in the scripted space (and saw its executive team dismantled).

CBS will kickstart its fall season Sept. 9 with new episodes of summer holdovers Big Brother and Love Island. The unscripted holdovers — which started late after new production safeguards had to be put in place — will be joined by a Wednesday edition of 48 Hours: Suspicion. The trio fill slots that CBS had earmarked for The Amazing Race, SEAL Team and SWAT. The Amazing Race will make its fall debut Oct. 14 at 9 p.m.

As for Manhunt: Deadly Games, the scripted anthology was originally greenlit for Discovery but moved to Spectrum as an original series. The drama previously aired in February on Spectrum. It is the second Spectrum series to be acquired by a broadcast network for fall and joins the first and second seasons of L.A.'s Finest, the Bad Boys spinoff starring Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba, which will air on Mondays on Fox. (Fox acquired the series as a filler for its scripted originals, which like CBS, are not ready yet.)

“This is hardly a traditional fall season, but we are prepared with a strong slate of original content while our regular scripted series begin production,” said CBS Entertainment president Kelly Kahl. “Based on our current timeline, we hope to start rolling out our previously announced fall series as they become available in November.”

CBS in May announced that its traditional lineup — featuring staples like NCIS, Young Sheldon and Blue Bloods — would be "for fall" though no premiere dates were attached. "We are certainly hopeful we can get into production this summer and we are hopeful that these shows will premiere in the fall," Kahl told The Hollywood Reporter at the time. "I don't anticipate a traditional Premiere Week where 90 percent of our shows start the third week of September; I think that's highly unlikely. At the same point, we are hopeful these shows will premiere at some point this fall."

CBS, NBC and ABC all plotted a business as usual approach when they announced their fall schedule plans in May and June. Multiple sources at the time told THR that the strategy was designed to better position the networks with the advertising community as original programming like mega-hit NCIS is certainly more attractive than such "gently used" programming as Star Trek: Discovery and Manhunt. Meanwhile, Fox and The CW delayed the returns of their scripted originals to 2021 and debuted schedules with acquired content including programming from CBS All Access and DC Universe. "Gently used" programming — aka originals that aired on lesser-watched platforms that may not have cut through — have become increasingly valuable given the dire situation the broadcast networks find themselves in as the pandemic wiped out traditional production schedules.

Here's the full CBS schedule (for now). Premieres are listed in bold:

Wednesday, Sept. 9
8 p.m.: Big Brother
9 p.m.: Love Island
10 p.m.: 48 Hours: Suspicion

Saturday, Sept. 12
9 p.m.: Love Island: More to Love
10 p.m.: 48 Hours

Sunday, Sept. 20 (NFL double header)

7:30 p.m.: 60 Minutes
8:30 p.m.: Big Brother
9:30 p.m.: Love Island

Monday, Sept. 21
9 p.m.: Love Island
10 p.m.: Manhunt: Deadly Games

Thursday, Sept. 24
8 p.m.: Big Brother
9 p.m.: Love Island
10 p.m.: Star Trek: Discovery

Friday, Sept. 25
8 p.m.: The Greatest #AtHome Videos
9 p.m.: Love Island

Tuesday, Sept. 29

8 p.m.: Love Island (season two finale)

Friday, Oct. 2
8 p.m.: The Greatest #AtHome Videos
9 p.m.: Undercover Boss

Monday, Oct. 12, 19, 26

9 p.m.: One Day at a Time
10 p.m.: Manhunt: Deadly Games

Tuesday, Oct. 13
10 p.m.: The FBI Declassified

Wednesday, Oct. 14
8 p.m.: Big Brother
9 p.m.: The Amazing Race

Wednesday, Oct. 28
8 p.m.: The Amazing Race (new time period)
9 p.m.: Big Brother (season 22 finale)