CBS goes for 'aggressive stability' in 2010-11
The network cut a lot of its lower-performing shows, moved two "CSI"s to new nights, shipped "Survivor" to Wednesdays and set up new comedy block anchored by "The Big Bang Theory" on Thursday nights.
The changes, and the five new shows, are part of what Kelly Kahl, senior executive VP for CBS primetime, calls "aggressive stablity."
"Every year the goal is to make the schedule stronger," Kahl says. "To make the schedule stronger, you have to put new shows on the air. That usually means clearing out some space, some of the lower-hanging fruit. Most of the shows we canceled were either ones that had the biggest declines year to year or were simply the lowest-rated shows. It's the network circle of life."
Kahl's boss, CBS Corp. president and CEO Les Moonves, says he "loves" some of the shows CBS dropped, but they just weren't up to par in the ratings.
"These are shows we love. We love 'Old Christine,' we love 'Ghost Whisperer,'" Moonves says. "But 'Old Christine' and 'Gary Unmarried' ... the numbers were a 1.7 and a 1.8 [in adults 18-49] and headed in the wrong direction. That's not a good place for a No. 1 network on television to be at, and we think we can do better. ... This is about improving time periods and improving the schedule."
That's what most of the scheduling moves are designed to do. Sending "Survivor" to 8 o'clock Wednesday should instantly improve on the comedy block that aired there this season. The new Thursday lineup puts the second most-watched comedy on TV (and the No. 1 scripted show among adults 18-49) in "Big Bang" in the leadoff spot and gives new comedy "$#*! My Dad Says" a protected spot between "Big Bang" and "CSI." Fridays could get a bump from "CSI: NY," and Sundays should as well with "CSI: Miami."
Of course, whether the moves work out depends in large part on people watching the new shows. CBS has given nearly all of them established lead-ins -- and the one that doesn't have that, "Hawaii Five-0," is a recognizable brand that stars CBS darling Alex O'Loughlin and familiar faces Daniel Dae Kim, Scott Caan and Grace Park. We'll find out starting in September whether viewers go along with CBS' changes.
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Photo credit: "Blue Bloods"/CBS