CBS's Star-Studded Fall Schedule
Your favorite shows are back, plus some shiny new ones. Here's a first look at the 2017-18 fall primetime TV lineup and the shows we can't wait to watch.
At a gathering of television critics this morning, CBS CEO Leslie Moonves and its scheduling guru, Kelly Kahl, revealed the network's primetime lineup for the 2017-2018 season.
The slate includes eight new shows—six of which we'll be seeing right away this fall—and a whopping twenty-three returning hits that have helped CBS win the ratings race for the past nine consecutive years. Below, a first look at new and returning shows this fall. Discover more about CBS's new fall programming in their handy Fall Preview guide, plus see the whole schedule lineup here.
Monday night will continue to be the home of TV's most beloved comedies, with The Big Bang Theory kicking it all off at 8/7c for the first five weeks of the season. The #1 comedy on the air for the past seven seasons, The Big Bang Theory returns on Sept. 25 with the resolution to the Season 10 finale cliffhanger.
That night, we'll find out what happened after Sheldon popped the question—and then get our first glimpse of The Big Bang Theory's spinoff with a special one-time preview of young Sheldon, about the same genius at age nine (played by Big Little Lies' Iain Armitage), starting high school in his Texas hometown. The new series, Kahl enthuses, "has a lot of laughs, but its tone is also a little like [classic coming-of-age comedies] The Wonder Years or Doogie Howser, M.D." Along with The Big Bang Theory, young Sheldon will eventually move to Thursday nights.
Another new comedy, 9JKL, will premiere on Monday nights starting Oct. 2 at 8:30/7:30c. The "classic multi-camera sitcom," as Kahl calls it, is based on the real-life story of its star and co-creator Mark Feuerstein, who found himself living in a New York City apartment between his parents and his brother's family as he shot the USA Network series Royal Pains. As Feuerstein's character, Josh, finds himself smothered by family (played by Linda Lavin, Elliott Gould, David Walton, and Liza Lapira), 9JKL "has a little Everybody Loves Raymond feel to it," Kahl explains.
Mondays at 9:30/8:30c, following last year's #1 new comedy Kevin Can Wait and leading into Scorpion at 10/9c, is Me, MYSELF & I, which tells the story of one man at three different points in his life: ages 14 (Jack Dylan Grazer), 40 (Bobby Moynihan) and 65 (John Larroquette). Showing how early events in life can have a ripple effect, the show "is so unique, we really loved it," Kahl says. Then, starting Oct. 30, returning comedy Superior Donuts will join the Monday lineup at 9:30/8:30c as Me, MYSELF & I shifts to its regular 9/8c time.
TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY
If it ain't broke, don't fix it. So CBS's Tuesday night remains intact, with NCIS, Bull and NCIS: New Orleans. Wednesday brings one new drama positioned between Survivor and Criminal Minds: SEAL TEAM at 9/8c. This "high-octane drama" depicts the Tier 1 SEAL team, "the best of the best at what they do," Kahl says. And with proven TV star David Boreanaz as its lead, "it's a natural bridge between its two action-filled neighbors."
"Thursday at 10 has been a tough nut to crack these days," Kahl says, referring to the time slot's competition. "So if you're going to go in, you'd better go in guns blazing." Enter S.W.A.T., which brings fan favorite Shemar Moore back to CBS. The network has already successfully rebooted past-generation hits Hawaii Five-0 and MacGyver – and now brings a fully updated version of the 1975 classic S.W.A.T., amped up by the producing team behind the Fast and the Furious franchise. "It's a noisy show, perfect for 10 o'clock," Kahl says. "We'll be kicking down some doors."
Starting Nov. 2, after NFL Thursday Night Football, The Big Bang Theory and young Sheldon will move to Thursday nights. Comedy favorites Mom and Life In Pieces are returning as well.
FRIDAY AND SATURDAY
CBS's Friday and Saturday nights remain unchanged—because with Friday's MacGyver, Hawaii Five-0, and Blue Bloods regularly winning their time slots, and Saturday's 48 Hours and "Crimetime Saturday" drama encores often outdrawing original drama airings on other networks, why would anything need to change?
Only on Sunday is there one more addition, with WISDOM OF THE CROWD to follow 60 Minutes and lead in to NCIS: Los Angeles and Madam Secretary. Jeremy Piven stars as Jeffrey Tanner, a tech innovator who creates a cutting-edge app to use crowdsourced clues to solve his own daughter's murder. "It's a smart crime show, which gave us the same feeling we had when we first watched CSI years ago," Kahl says. "That show reinvented the crime show genre, and we think we can do that again with this smart person's show, coming out of a smart person’s newsmagazine."
CBS has also picked up two more new shows to premiere later in the season. The first is the comedy By the Book, based on the book Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs and starring Jay Ferguson as a man trying to live a year of his life by the rules set forth in the Bible. The second is the drama Instinct, starring Alan Cumming as a college professor and former CIA operative recruited by the NYPD.
Fans of Elementary, The Amazing Race, Code Black, Man With A Plan, and Undercover Boss should also be happy to hear that those shows will also return, albeit later in the season. "Any of those could have been on the fall schedule very easily," Kahl says, had there simply been enough shelf space. Luckily, as he points out, "they'll be there when we need them."
By Jim Colucci | Photos courtesy of CBS.