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CBS has secured full seasons for four rookies.
The network has picked up the back-nine orders for its entire fall freshman drama class: Madam Secretary, Scorpion, NCIS: New Orleans and Stalker. NCIS: New Orleans and Scorpion rank as the No. 1 and No. 2 most-watched new broadcast dramas of the season.
“These four shows have had an immediate impact on our schedule by improving nights, winning time periods and adding more hours of success across our primetime lineup,” said Nina Tassler, chairman of CBS Entertainment.
Madam Secretary, said to be one of Tassler’s favorite pilots of the season and Sunday’s most-watched scripted show, stars Tea Leoni as a maverick secretary of state juggling parenthood, international crises, marriage and interoffice politics. The well-received Sunday drama, which leads into CBS’ critically lauded The Good Wife, has settled into its 8 p.m. home, averaging 13.5 million viewers and a 1.8 in the advertiser-coveted 18-to-49 group. It hails from CBS TV Studios and counts Barbara Hall, Lori McCreary and Morgan Freeman as executive producers.
Based on the life of genius Walter O’Brien, Scorpion stars Elyes Gabel, Katharine McPhee and Robert Patrick. The CBS TV Studios production continues to be a ratings performer for CBS on Mondays, drawing 10.5 million viewers and a 2.4 for its most recent episode, tying NBC’s The Blacklist as the evening’s top-rated drama. Season to date, Scorpion averages 15.17 million viewers and a 3.6 in 18-to-49. With ratings juggernaut The Big Bang Theory moving to Thursdays this week and 2 Broke Girls taking over the 8 p.m. Monday home, it remains to be seen how the ratings will be affected for the rest of CBS’ Monday lineup.
NCIS: New Orleans, the season’s top new series and second only to NCIS among all broadcast dramas, marks the third NCIS series to claim a spot on CBS’ schedule, joining the mothership and NCIS: LA. Led by Scott Bakula, NCIS: New Orleans has a rich lead-in as the lead-out to CBS’ flagship series NCIS on Tuesdays. Thus far, the CBS TV Studios series has averaged a monstrous 18.16 million viewers, making it the most-viewed freshman broadcast drama of the fall season, and averages a 2.8 in 18-to-49.
Stalker, a psychological thriller from The Following‘s Kevin Williamson, centers on a pair of detectives (Maggie Q and Dylan McDermott) who handle stalking cases for a unit of the LAPD. The hourlong Warner Bros. drama has been subject to criticism from critics who abhorred its violent nature. Even so, its ratings in the 10 p.m. Wednesday slot have been steady for CBS; in its first four weeks, Stalker has maintained a healthy 9.5 million viewers and a 2.1 in 18-to-49, consistently winning its time slot opposite NBC’s Chicago P.D. and ABC’s Nashville.
The four dramas join a CBS scripted drama slate that has CSI, NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, Criminal Minds, The Mentalist, The Good Wife, Hawaii Five-0, Blue Bloods, Person of Interest, Elementary, Under the Dome, Extant and the forthcoming CSI: Cyber, Battle Creek and Zoo. The McCarthys, CBS’ lone rookie comedy debuting in the traditional fall season, premieres Thursday.
ABC kicked off the action on the young season Oct. 9, picking up Shonda Rhimes‘ highly-rated How to Get Away With Murder and Black-ish for full runs, followed by Fox ordering a full season for Batman prequel Gotham and The CW betting on The Flash and Jane the Virgin.
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