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CBS will lean heavily on its roster of veteran series to start the 2023-24 TV season — though given the writers strike, any lineups networks release during the upfront period shouldn’t be taken as set in stone.
The network announced its fall schedule on Wednesday morning, nine days into a Writers Guild of America strike that, should it continue for several more weeks, will likely push back the usual midsummer start of production on a host of scripted series. CBS has 17 scripted shows on its slate for the opening of the season, with new dramas Elsbeth (a Good Wife/Good Fight spinoff starring Carrie Preston) and Matlock (a reimagining of the 1986-95 courtroom show that stars Kathy Bates) joining 15 returning series.
The network will opt for stability at the start of the 2023-24 season — whenever that may be — with four nights (Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday) unchanged from the current season. Wednesdays will once again feature unscripted stalwarts Survivor and The Amazing Race, but they’ll expand to 90 minutes each for the fall and thus eliminate the need for a third show to fill out the night.
Elsbeth will take over the 10 p.m. Thursday spot from CSI: Vegas, which is headed to Sundays at 10 — after the NFL season ends. CBS will air reruns in that spot in the fall, when NFL games frequently push back the Sunday primetime lineup by a half-hour or more. Matlock will air at 8 p.m. Sundays following 60 Minutes, and The Equalizer moves back an hour to 9 p.m.
CBS will air Super Bowl LVIII in February 2024 and has scheduled the Justin Hartley drama Tracker (formerly The Never Game) to premiere after the most watched telecast of the year. Poppa’s House, a comedy starring Damon Wayans Sr. and Damon Wayans Jr., is also set for midseason.
“CBS programming across entertainment, news and sports continues to appeal to audiences on all platforms, including Paramount+,” said George Cheeks, president and CEO of CBS. “It all starts with a winning broadcast network that has an undeniable track record for nurturing long-running franchises and launching new hits every year.”
As for strike contingencies, CBS is keeping its plan B options close to the vest for now. Sources say the network banked some material before the writers strike began, but since most of the CBS’ scripted shows ran for 20 episodes or more, filming any episodes for next season wasn’t possible. Summertime staple Big Brother could likely stretch into the fall if need be, and CBS also has the second season of game show Lingo and the recently ordered Buddy Games and Lotería Loca on its unscripted slate.
CBS’ schedule is below. All times are ET/PT, with new series noted in italics.
8 p.m.: The Neighborhood
8:30 p.m.: Bob Hearts Abishola
9 p.m.: NCIS
10 p.m.: NCIS: Hawaii
8 p.m.: FBI
9 p.m.: FBI: International
10 p.m.: FBI: Most Wanted
8 p.m.: Survivor
9:30 p.m.: The Amazing Race
8 p.m.: Young Sheldon
8:30 p.m.: Ghosts
9 p.m.: So Help Me Todd
10 p.m.: Elsbeth
8 p.m.: SWAT (final season)
9 p.m.: Fire Country
10 p.m.: Blue Bloods
8 and 9 p.m.: Repeats
10 p.m.: 48 Hours
7 p.m.: 60 Minutes
8 p.m.: Matlock
9 p.m.: The Equalizer
10 p.m.: Repeats (fall)/CSI: Vegas (midseason)
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