CBS fall TV 2011 schedule predictions: 'Two and a Half Men' and a few new shows
This year? We're guessing less of that.
The biggest shakeup will come within a show when the network and Warner Bros. TV announce how they plan to reconfigure "Two and a Half Men" post- Charlie Sheen -- and with the news that the show unsuccessfully courted Hugh Grant, any such announcement is likely to be a pretty big one.
As for the schedule as a whole, CBS is once again working from a position of relative success, which means that we won't see more than a handful of new shows in the fall, and most of the newcomers will likely be protected by established lead-ins. Here's our best guess as to what CBS will unveil on Wednesday, May 19. (You can also check out our predictions for ABC's fall lineup.) New shows are in italics; all times Eastern/Pacific
8:00 "How I Met Your Mother"
8:30 "Two Broke Girls"
9:00 "Two and a Half Men"
9:30 "Mike & Molly"
10:00 "Hawaii Five-0"
The big question, of course, is what will "Two and a Half Men" look like? We hope we find out next week. If CBS is high on the revamped show, we could also see "Mike & Molly" moving up to 8:30 and giving the 9:30 spot to "Two Broke Girls," which stars Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs as the underfunded young ladies.
9:00 "NCIS: Los Angeles"
10:00 "The Good Wife"
Not much need for a shakeup here.
9:00 "Criminal Minds"
10:00 "Person of Interest"
"Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior" has been something of a disappointment ratings-wise, but there's still a chance for it to return. "Person of Interest" (starring "Lost" alum Michael Emerson and Jim Caviezel) is a slightly different take on the network's crime-drama staple, and it sounds as though it might be a good fit coming out of the original "Criminal Minds."
8:00 "The Big Bang Theory"
8:30 "Rules of Engagement" OR "How to Be a Gentleman"
10:00 "The Mentalist"
Not much change here -- "Rules" is a pretty safe bet for renewal, but we could see it getting bumped to midseason so CBS can use a "Big Bang Theory" lead-in to get eyeballs to a new comedy. One wildcard: Would CBS move the aging "CSI" to a different night in order to use "The Mentalist" as a lead-in to something new? We suggested as much last year, but while the "CSI" spinoffs each got new nights, the original stayed put.
8:00 Untitled Susannah Grant drama
9:00 "CSI" tossup - "Miami" OR "NY"
10:00 "Blue Bloods"
Our gut feeling is that only one of the "CSI" spinoffs will make it into next season. The ratings for "Miami" (12 million viewers, 2.9 in 18-49) are better than those for "NY" (10.8 million, 2.1). But "Miami" is also the older and (somewhat) more expensive show, plus "NY" gets a slight break for airing on Friday, where viewing levels are lower. At 8, the Susannah Grant show, a medical drama with an otherworldly element ( Patrick Wilson plays a surgeon whose dead ex-wife teaches him lessons from beyond) feels like it fits the "Medium"/"Ghost Whisperer" mold that's done fairly well in the timeslot in recent years.
No change -- drama repeats and "48 Hours."
7:00 "60 Minutes"
8:00 "The Amazing Race"
9:00 "Undercover Boss"
CBS is unlikely to tinker much here. "Rookies" has pretty strong word of mouth so far and is right in the CBS crime-drama wheelhouse. There's a chance the network might not want a new show on Sundays in the fall, given the way NFL overruns can bump start times. If that's the case, "Rookies" would likely work well with "Blue Bloods" on Fridays and the surviving "CSI" could take "Miami's" current spot.
Other contenders: We'd really like to see Sarah Michelle Gellar back on TV in "Ringer," but there seem to be questions about whether the pilot is too un-CBS-like. We're hoping for a midseason spot. "Hail Mary," starring Minnie Driver, is also reportedly in the mix, while the Untitled Peter Knight Comedy, which stars Gellar's former TV sister Michelle Trachtenberg, is a dark horse.
What would you like to see on CBS next season?