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No network goes into the pre-upfront week of decision-making with more already in place than CBS.
The vast majority of the No. 2 network’s current series, at least the particularly successful ones and those owned by its sister studio, have already been renewed. That includes perennially dominant comedy The Big Bang Theory and impressive spinoff Young Sheldon. Among the network’s newcomers for 2017-18, both SWAT and SEAL Team stood out as winners — though neither broke out the way 911 and The Good Doctor did for Fox and ABC, respectively.
If there’s a problem area, it’s Monday and everything on it. Returning comedies Kevin Can Wait and Man With a Plan inspire little excitement and have seen linear returns for the night dip these past two seasons. Occupants of the 9:30 p.m. slot are doomed, and the most recent season of aging drama Scorpion ensured that 10 o’clock didn’t do much hotter.
CBS and its relatively limited open real estate are in an interesting position. The current brand of procedurals, nearly all of them top-lined by white men, works incredibly well — but the comparative lack of representation from minorities and women at the top of call sheets has caused PR problems. Pilot orders implied that the network is more invested than ever in mixing things up, so long as that mixing is packaged by familiar products like reboots of Magnum PI and Cagney and Lacey.
Whatever new schedule manifests come May 16, it will be the first one populated by orders from entertainment president Kelly Kahl. The network’s longtime scheduling guru took the reins just after the 2017 upfronts.
THR will update this post with all the latest series orders, renewals and cancellations as CBS’ 2018-19 schedule takes focus ahead of its upfront presentation to Madison Avenue ad buyers. Keep track of all the renewals, cancellations and new show orders with THR’s scorecards for ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and The CW and with all the latest pilot pickups and passes with our handy guide. For complete coverage, bookmark THR.com/upfronts.
Elementary | CBS’ lowest-rated drama has been a cash cow for CBS Television Studios and has a lucrative syndication deal. The Sherlock Holmes drama earned an abbreviated season six renewal and then scored a surprise additional six-episode pickup. Despite the dwindling linear returns, the drama starring Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu will be back for a seventh season in one of the biggest surprise renewals of the 2018 upfronts.
Criminal Minds | The veteran cop drama has become a posterchild for bubble shows finding a way to continue on. The series has weathered a number of cast changes over the years and is returning for an impressive 14th season after showrunner Erica Messer recently extended her overall deal with co-producers ABC Studios.
Instinct | The rookie CIA drama starring Alan Cumming has the distinction of being broadcast’s first hourlong series with a gay leading character. Held for midseason, the CBS TV Studios procedural from Michael Rauch has averaged a 1.4 in the adults 18-49 demographic on Sundays. It will return for a second season.
Man With a Plan | The multicamera comedy starring Friends grad Matt LeBlanc has been a dependable player off the bench after its sophomore outing was held for midseason. CBS added eight additional episodes after the CBS Television Studios comedy was called into action earlier than anticipated. It will return for a third season.
Life in Pieces | The family comedy from 20th Century Fox Television boasts an ensemble cast that includes Colin Hanks, Betsy Brandt, James Brolin and Dianne Wiest and has been a reliable performer. The single-camera comedy will return for a fourth season, a win for 20th TV.
The Big Bang Theory | In the second year of a two-season renewal, TV’s No. 2 comedy in the all-important adults 18-49 demographic (behind only Roseanne) continues to be an important asset for the network. The series, from Chuck Lorre, Bill Prady, Steve Molaro and showrunner Steve Holland, could continue beyond season 12 should stars Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch sign another lucrative deal after their contracts expire next summer.
Blue Bloods | The Tom Selleck police procedural from CBS Television Studios is returning for its 10th season.
Bull | Starring NCIS grad Michael Weatherly and based on the early days of Dr. Phil McGraw’s career as a trial accountant, the CBS Television Studios-produced procedural will head into its fourth season in the fall.
Hawaii Five-0 | Renewed for a ninth season, the Peter Lenkov-created reboot has survived controversy this season after stars Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park exited following a salary parity flap with producers CBS Television Studios. Stars Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan continue to deliver for the network on Fridays.
Madam Secretary | The Tea Leoni-led political drama from Barbara Hall, exec producer Morgan Freeman and CBS Television Studios added Grey’s Anatomy favorite Sara Ramirez as a regular and will be back for a fifth season.
MacGyver | The CBS Television Studios drama reboot of the Richard Dean Anderson drama from Peter Lenkov and starring Lucas Till will be back for a fifth season.
Mom | The Anna Faris and Allison Janney multicamera comedy will be back for its sixth season, ensuring that prolific producer Chuck Lorre will again have three shows on the network’s 2018-19 schedule.
NCIS | The procedural, the most-watched TV series in the world, will return for its 16th season after star Mark Harmon inked a new two-year deal to return to the drama from CBS Television Studios.
NCIS: Los Angeles | The spinoff starring Chris O’Donnell, LL Cool J and Eric Christian Olsen will be back for its landmark 10th season.
NCIS: New Orleans | The Scott Bakula-led spinoff is coming back for its fifth season.
SEAL Team | David Boreanaz continues to have the magic touch, with the military drama from CBS Television Studios ranking as his fourth straight broadcast hit, following Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel and Bones.
SWAT | The Sony TV-produced reboot of the feature film of the same name brought Criminal Minds star Shemar Moore back to the network to star in the drama from exec producer Shawn Ryan.
Young Sheldon | The Big Bang Theory prequel spinoff starring Iain Armitage and Zoe Perry scored an early season two renewal after it became the network’s most-watched new comedy on any network in 18 years. Chuck Lorre, Steve Molaro and Jim Parsons exec produce the Warner Bros. Television single-camera comedy.
Ransom | The crisis negotiation drama starring Luke Roberts — a low-cost international co-production — will be back again after airing on Saturdays, where it ranked as one of the network’s lowest-rated series.
Salvation | From producers Alex Kurtzman and Peter Lenkov, the summer sci-fi drama starring Jennifer Finnigan will return for its second cycle.
Magnum P.I. | Considered a slam dunk since its pickup, Jay Hernandezstars in the Hawaii-set “updated” reboot of the Tom Selleck classic as an ex-Navy SEAL who returns home from Afghanistan and repurposes his military skills to become a private investigator. Hawaii Five-0 and MacGyver boss Peter Lenkov will serve as showrunner on the drama from Eric Guggenheim and The Blacklist duo John Davis and John Fox. The series is a co-production between CBS Television Studios and Universal Television.
God Friended Me | The drama, from prolific producer Greg Berlanti, explores questions of faith, existence and science in what is described as a humorous, uplifting drama about an outspoken atheist (The Mayor‘s Brandon Micheal Hall) whose life is turned upside down when he is “friended” by God on Facebook and becomes an agent of change. Scandal‘s Joe Mortonco-stars in the Warner Bros. TV drama from Alcatraz duo Steven Lilien and Bryan Wynbrandt.
The Red Line | Starring ER‘s Noah Wyle in his return to broadcast, the Ava DuVernay and Greg Berlanti drama explores the events that transpire after a white cop in Chicago mistakenly shoots and kills a black doctor. The series follows three different families that all have connections with the case as the story is told from each perspective. Caitlin Parrish and Erica Weiss penned the Warner Bros. Television drama. Emayatzy Corinealdi and Noel Fisher co-star.
The Code | The drama, which was poised to star Mira Sorvino and Dave Annable (who are both being recast) explores the military’s brightest minds as they take on the country’s toughest challenges — inside the courtroom and out — where each attorney is trained as a prosecutor, a defense lawyer, an investigator — and a Marine. The cast includes Anna Wood, Phillipa Soo. From CBS Television Studios, Craig Sweeny and Craig Turk penned the story and Carl Beverly and Sarah Timberman — who recently exited the studio for a deal at Lionsgate TV — exec produce.
Fam | The multicamera comedy from Corinne Kingsbury (The Newsroom) revolves around a woman (Nina Dobrev, The Vampire Diaries) whose dreams of an upstanding life with her new fiancé (Tone Bell) and his upstanding family are dashed when her younger train wreck half-sister (Odessa Adlon) comes to live with her to escape their train wreck of a father. The CBS Television Studios comedy hails from Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment and exec producer Bob Kushell.
The Neighborhood | The multicamera comedy from Big Bang Theory writer Jim Reynolds revolves around the nicest guy in the Midwest who moves his family into a tough neighborhood in L.A. where not everyone appreciates his extreme neighborliness. Cedric the Entertainer, Max Greenfield (replacing Josh Lawson), Tichina Arnold and Dreama Walker star in the CBS Television Studios series from Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment.
Happy Together | Happy Endings grad Damon Wayans Jr. stars in the multicamera comedy about a 30-something couple who, tired of their mundane life, start to reconnect with their younger, cooler selves when a young pop star who is drawn to their super-normal suburban life moves in. The comedy, from writers Tim McAuliffe and Austen Earl, is inspired by a time when exec producers Ben Winston and Harry Styles lived together, though that’s where the reality ends and the series is not based on real-life experiences or characters. Amber Stevens West and Chris Parnell co-star in the CBS Television Studios comedy from 3 Arts’ Michael Rotenberg and Jonathan Berry. CBS heavily courted Wayans, pilot season’s most in-demand actor, and offered him a two-year deal with ownership points on the series.
FBI | From Law and Order mastermind Dick Wolf, the straight-to-series procedural explores the inner workings of the New York office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Missy Peregrym, Jeremy Sisto and Zeeko Zaki (Six) star in the Universal Television and CBS TV Studios. Craig Turk is the showrunner.
Murphy Brown | The 13-episode, straight-to-series revival starring Candice Bergen returns to a world of cable news, social media, fake news and a very different political and cultural climate. Diane English returns as showrunner. Jake McDorman (Limitless) co-stars in the Warner Bros. TV multicam as Murphy’s son.
Code Black | The medical drama created by Michael Seitzman starring Marcia Gay Harden shuffled its cast yet again for season three, with the network benching the co-production between CBS Television Studios and ABC Studios for midseason. Seitzman announced the news in a note to fans on Twitter.
Kevin Can Wait | From Sony Pictures Television Studios, the Kevin James multicamera comedy made headlines at the start of season two after its decision to write out (and kill off) the character played by female lead Erinn Hayes. Hoping to capture ratings gold, James’ former King of Queens star Leah Remini was promoted to series regular. Despite the cast shake-up, the Sony Pictures Television-produced multicamera comedy will not return for a third season.
Superior Donuts | The multicamera comedy from CBS TV Studios stars Jermaine Fowler was based on the Tracy Letts play of the same name followed the relationship between a doughnut shop owner (Judd Hirsch) and his young employee (played by Fowler) and their patrons in a gentrifying neighborhood of Chicago. Like Man With a Plan, the series was held for midseason in its sophomore outing but became a solid pinch-hitter and went on to earn a full-season pickup. The series will not return for a third season.
Scorpion | The genius drama based inspired by computer expert Walter O’Brien found itself in bubble territory for the first time after a run of series lows in its fourth season. The genius drama starring Elyes Gabriel and Katharine McPhee was owned in-house at CBS Television Studios, with even that not being enough to help save the series. It will not return for season five.
Living Biblically | Executive produced by Big Bang Theory star Johnny Galecki, the multicamera comedy from Warner Bros. Television was a favorite of former entertainment chief Glenn Geller and was based on the book The Year of Living Biblically. Starring Jay R. Ferguson, the comedy was pulled from CBS’ Monday lineup after eight episodes and replaced by Big Bang repeats after its most recent episode notched a series low of 3.5 million total viewers.
Me, Myself and I | The critically panned Bobby Moynihan-led Boyhood-style single-camera comedy from Warner Bros. TV was bumped from its Monday home after six low-rated episodes. Seven additional episodes were produced and remain unaired (and unscheduled).
9JKL | The CBS TV Studios single-camera comedy inspired by the life of Mark Feuerstein and his TV-writer wife Dana Klein scored three additional episodes to its initial order for 13. It limped off the schedule in February and is not returning for a second season.
Wisdom of the Crowd | Amid a CBS investigation into sexual assault around star Jeremy Piven, the network opted to let the rookie drama about a tech innovator who creates a crowdsourcing hub to help fight crime end after its initial 13-episode order. The series never performed and ranked as its least-watched show on Sundays. (Wisdom was also a co-production with Universal Television, so the network only had a sliver of ownership on it.)
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