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John Kiesewetter on the world of local and national TV

Senior Entertainment Reporter John Kiesewetter has been covering TV and media issues for 20 years. After joining the Cincinnati Enquirer in 1975 as a summer intern, he worked as a county government and suburban reporter; assistant city editor and suburban editor; and features editor supervising the Life section. He has a B.S. in journalism from Ohio University.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Five New CBS Shows For Fall

CBS will add three dramas -- only one of them a crime-solving show! -- and two new comedies in the fall.

Again CBS will try to establish a 8-9 p.m. Wednesday block, where so many shows have failed ("Yes Dear," "Still Standing," "Cosby" ""The Nanny," even "Murphy Brown" and "Dave's World"). This time you'll see "The New Adventures of Old Christine" and a new Jay Mohr-Paula Marshall sitcom called "Project Gary." The 8-9 p.m. hour has been a revolving door the past year, with "Jericho," "Kid Nation," "Big Brother" and "The Price Is Right."

Most of the crime dramas are back, with "Without A Trace" moving to 10 p.m. Tuesday (for a new Bruckheimer show at 10 p.m. Thursday) and "The Unit" moving to 10 p.m. Sunday. CBS also has ordered two new runs of "The Amazing Race," which returns to 8 p.m. Sunday.

Canceled are James Woods' "Shark," Jimmy Smits' "Cane," "Moonlight," "Viva Laughlin" and the midseason comedy "Welcome to the Captain." And no more "Kid Nation." Of all of these, I thought "Shark" might hang on for another year, but to be honest, I'd lost track of it being on and off the CBS schedule.

"Rules of Engagement," the best role for Patrick Warburton since Puddy, will return at midseason. (Yeah!) There had been some speculation that CBS would pick up "Back To You," the Kelsey Grammer-Patricia Heaton newsroom comedy (apparently canceled by Fox late Friday), but it's not in the announcement below.

Any suprises here for you?


Five New Series Added: Two Comedies and Three Dramas
CBS Expands Comedy Lineup, Adding New Block on Wednesday 8:00-9:00 PM
Two New Dramatic Series to Launch Backed by "NCIS" and "CSI" Lead-Ins
New Series That Blends Comedy, Drama and Romance Joins Fridays Top-Rated Lineup

Eighteen Current Series Return to the Schedule
New Murder Mystery "Harper's Island" Ordered for Mid-Season

CBS announced today its 2008-2009 Fall Primetime Lineup, featuring five new series — two comedies and three dramas — and the launch of a new comedy block on Wednesdays.

The new series include ELEVENTH HOUR, a dramatic thriller from producer Jerry Bruckheimer about a special advisor to the government who investigates scientific crises and oddities; THE MENTALIST, starring Simon Baker as a former celebrity psychic-turned- detective who uses his gifted skills of observation and expertise at "reading" people to solve crimes; THE EX LIST, a sexy comedic drama about a 30-something woman who searches her past relationships to find her future husband; and the comedies PROJECT GARY, starring Jay Mohr and Paula Marshall as dueling ex-spouses and parents trying to move forward with new relationships; and WORST WEEK about a good guy who is always trying to do the right thing, yet something always goes wrong — especially when he's around his girlfriend's parents.

"We've been looking to expand our comedy lineup, and we now have the depth and development to make the move," said Nina Tassler, President, CBS Entertainment. "Monday is already television's signature night for comedy and we think we can make the case that CBS is the signature network for comedy overall."

Added Tassler, "Our new dramas put a character twist on the highly successful procedural form with two exciting new leads in Simon Baker and Rufus Sewell. And, rounding out the new slate is a very unique series with a dynamic young actress (Elizabeth Reaser, "Grey's Anatomy") that blends comedy, drama and romance in a concept that will have everybody thinking about their personal 'ex list.' "

The freshman series will join 18 returning programs on the current CBS lineup.

CBS will return network television's Number One drama franchise — CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION; CSI: MIAMI, CSI: NY — the Number One comedy, TWO AND A HALF MEN; the Number One news magazine, 60 MINUTES; and two franchise reality series —SURVIVOR and the five-time Emmy Award-winning THE AMAZING RACE.


The new 2008-2009 schedule is:

On Monday, CBS adds a new comedy to television's top-rated comedy lineup. From 8:00-9:00 PM, the popular young adult comedy block of THE BIG BANG THEORY and HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER returns. Television's top comedy TWO AND A HALF MEN remains at 9:00 PM and serves as a lead-in for the new comedy WORST WEEK at 9:30 PM. CSI: MIAMI, the night's top scripted series, returns for its seventh season at 10:00 PM.

On Tuesday, NCIS opens the night at 8:00 PM and the hit drama WITHOUT A TRACE moves to 10:00 PM, creating a hammock position for the new drama THE MENTALIST at 9:00 PM.

On Wednesday, CBS opens a new night of comedy. The critically acclaimed THE NEW ADVENTURES OF OLD CHRISTINE, starring Emmy Award winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus, starts the night at 8:00 PM, leading into the new comedy PROJECT GARY. The successful tandem of CRIMINAL MINDS and CSI: NY return from 9:00-11:00 PM.

On Thursday, CBS adds a new drama to television's most-watched night. SURVIVOR returns at 8:00 PM, where it continues to dominate its time period, followed by the night's highest-rated show, CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION, which provides a strong lead-in for the new suspenseful thriller ELEVENTH HOUR at 10:00 PM.

CBS adds a unique new series to its top-rated Friday. GHOST WHISPERER, starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, returns at 8:00 PM leading into another female-lead show, THE EX LIST, at 9:00 PM, capped by the night's highest rated scripted series NUMB3RS at 10:00 PM.

Saturdays will feature CBS's CRIMETIME programming from 8:00-10:00 PM, followed by 48 HOURS MYSTERY, the night's top-rated program.

On Sunday, the perennial Number One news magazine, 60 MINUTES, kicks off its 41st season at 7:00 PM, followed by the return of the five-time Emmy Award-winning reality series THE AMAZING RACE at 8:00 PM. The successful crime drama COLD CASE remains at 9:00 PM and the action drama THE UNIT joins the night at 10:00 PM.

In addition to the new series for fall, the network announced the pick up of two programs for midseason. The new drama, HARPER'S ISLAND, is a murder mystery that unfolds as friends and family attend week-long festivities at a destination wedding on a secluded and picturesque island off the coast of Seattle, infamous for a homicidal maniac's rampage seven years ago. Also picked up for midseason is the comedy RULES OF ENGAGEMENT.

The new comedies are:

WORST WEEK is a comedy about Sam Briggs, an entertainment magazine editor who will do anything to please his girlfriend's parents … but instead becomes a one-man wrecking crew whenever he's around them. Sam (Kyle Bornheimer, "Jericho") and his girlfriend, Melanie Clayton (Erinn Hayes, "Kitchen Confidential"), have only one hurdle left to clear as they start their life together: breaking the news to Mel's conservative parents that they have a wedding in the works and a baby on the way. Dick (Kurtwood Smith, "That '70s Show"), a stern Judge, and his wife Angela (Nancy Lenehan, "My Name is Earl"), are protective of their daughter, and are really trying to let go of the anger they feel toward Sam … after all, disaster follows whenever he visits their house. But despite his best efforts, every time Sam takes one positive step forward in winning over his future in-laws, he inevitably takes two crushing steps back. But with support and love from Melanie who stands up for him despite his knack for making himself look bad, Sam will hopefully charm his way into her family. Emmy Award winner Adam Bernstein ("30 Rock") directed the pilot. Matt Tarses ("Scrubs") and Jimmy Mulville ("Whose Line Is It Anyway?") are the executive producers for Universal Media Studios and CBS Paramount Network Television.

PROJECT GARY stars Jay Mohr ("Ghost Whisperer") and Paula Marshall ("Nip/Tuck") in a comedy about Gary Barnes, a recently single painting contractor, and his controlling ex-wife, Allison, who face post-divorce mayhem after 15 years of marriage as they each embark on new relationships. He's the fun parent and she's the strict one. Together, they share custody of their two children — Louise (Laura Marano, "Without a Trace"), a politically correct and environmentally conscious 11-year-old, and Tom (Ryan Malgarini, "How to Eat Fried Worms"), their socially awkward 14-year-old son who is nervous around girls. Charming and acerbic, Gary hasn't dated since the split, but finally connects with Vanessa (Jaime King, "The Class"), a single mother whose condo he was hired to paint. He dreads telling Allison about Vanessa because it doesn't adhere to her belief in their marriage counselor's book, "Rules for the Perfect Divorce." However, when Allison tells him that she's engaged to their shrink, all bets are off and Gary decides it's time to move forward. Now, in pursuit of post-marriage happiness, Gary must juggle his eclectic world of an ex-wife, their two kids, their shrink and his gorgeous new girlfriend. Ed Yeager ("Still Standing") and Ric Swartzlander ("8 Simple Rules") are the executive producers for ABC Studios and CBS Paramount Network Television.

The new dramas are:

THE MENTALIST stars Golden Globe Award nominee Simon Baker ("The Devil Wears Prada") as Patrick Jane, a detective and independent consultant with the California Bureau of Investigation (CBI), who has a remarkable track record for solving serious crimes by using his razor sharp skills of observation. Within the Bureau, Jane is notorious for his blatant lack of protocol and his semi-celebrity past as a psychic medium, whose paranormal abilities he now admits he feigned. Jane's role in cracking a series of tough high-profile cases is greatly valued by his fellow agents. However, no-nonsense Senior Agent Teresa Lisbon (Robin Tunney, "Prison Break") openly resists having Jane in her unit and alternates between reluctantly acknowledging Jane's usefulness and blasting him for his theatrics, narcissism and dangerous lack of boundaries. Lisbon's team includes agents Kimball Cho (Tim Kang, "Rambo"), Wayne Rigsby (Owain Yeoman, "The Nine"), and rookie member Grace Van Pelt (Amanda Righetti, "The O.C."), who all think Jane's a loose cannon but admire his charm and knack for clearing cases. Bruno Heller (creator of "Rome") is creator/executive producer, and Emmy Award winner David Nutter ("Band of Brothers") is the executive producer for Warner Bros. Television.

ELEVENTH HOUR from acclaimed producer Jerry Bruckheimer follows Dr. Jacob Hood (Rufus Sewell, "The Illusionist"), a brilliant biophysicist and special science advisor to the government, as he investigates scientific crises and oddities. His jurisdiction is absolute and Hood is dogged in his pursuit of those who would abuse and misuse scientific discoveries and breakthroughs for their own gain. His passion and crusade is to protect the substance of science from those with nefarious motives. He is called in at the eleventh hour and he represents the last line of defense. Based on the British miniseries by acclaimed science-fiction writer Stephen Gallagher, the series is executive produced by Bruckheimer ("CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," "Pirates of the Caribbean"), Jonathan Littman ("CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," "Cold Case"), Danny Cannon ("CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," "CSI: Miami"), Cyrus Voris ("Bulletproof Monk"), Ethan Reiff ("Sleeper Cell"), Mick Davis ("Wake of Death"), and Paul Buccieri ("Fashion House") for Jerry Bruckheimer Television in association with Warner Bros. Television.

THE EX LIST is a comedic drama about Bella Bloom (Elizabeth Reaser, "Grey's Anatomy") – a single, 30-something, successful business owner who is surprised to learn from a psychic that she's already dated her future husband AND there's a catch: if she doesn't find him in the next year, she'll remain alone forever. During a bachelorette party for her sister, Daphne (Rachel Boston, "American Dreams"), Bella learns from the psychic she must revisit her past relationships and sort through the mistakes to find her soul mate. Skeptical, Bella begins to analyze every past liaison and failed romance with her close circle of friends, Augie (Adam Rothenberg, "Mad Money"), an endearing guy who has listened to Bella's love woes since college, Vivian (Alex Breckenridge, "Dirt"), Augie's long-term girlfriend, and Cyrus (Amir Talai, "Campus Ladies"), who's chronically unemployed and full of wry observations. Once Bella witnesses proof of the psychic's other predictions, her cynicism disappears and she begins her search. Along her trip down break-up lane, Bella is determined to remain optimistic and receptive, believing that when destiny reopens doors to the past, every relationship can matter in the future. Diane Ruggiero ("Veronica Mars") and Jonathan Levin ("Charmed") are executive producers for Twentieth Century Fox Television.

Following is the 2008-2009 CBS Television Network primetime schedule:
(N=New, NT=New Time, all times ET/PT)

9:30-10:00 PM WORST WEEK (N)
10:00-11:00 PM CSI: MIAMI

8:00-9:00 PM NCIS
9:00-10:00 PM THE MENTALIST (N)
10:00-11:00 PM WITHOUT A TRACE (NT)

8:30-9:00 PM PROJECT GARY (N)
10:00-11:00 PM CSI: NY

8:00-9:00 PM SURVIVOR
10:00-11:00 PM ELEVENTH HOUR (N)

9:00-10:00 PM THE EX LIST (N)
10:00-11:00 PM NUMB3RS

10:00-11:00 PM 48 HOURS MYSTERY

7:00-8:00 PM 60 MINUTES
9:00-10:00 PM COLD CASE
10:00-11:00 PM THE UNIT (NT)


at 5/14/2008 2:45 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Z-z-z-z-z-z The same old. I would have thought that they'd continue a game show presence, either with The Price is Right or Password or both.

at 5/14/2008 3:18 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, Kies:
There was as psychological drama on in the early 60's called the Eleventh Hour. I think it starred Ralph Bellamy and Paul Burke. Very dark as I recall. IMDB does not have any information on it but it is mentioned in Paul Burke credits.
from the neighborhood

at 5/14/2008 3:27 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

All I know is that if I hear one more anchor say "pain at the pump", my head wil explode.

at 5/14/2008 3:28 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm back. The Eleventh hour comes up on IMDB only if you leave the word "the" in. Librarian wise that is a big No no. Anywho... Paul Burke was in the show, which premiered in 1962 and lasted about 18 months as near as I can tell.

Marian the librarian from the neighborhood

at 5/14/2008 4:07 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Luckily, I had a "Season Pass" for Shark on my Tivo, otherwise, I'd never know when it was on. Great show that's 10 times better than what CBS will show most of the time this fall.

at 5/14/2008 4:15 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am mad about SHARK being cancelled. It is a great show. I love James Woods.

at 5/14/2008 8:07 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm pretty steamed that "Rules of Engagement is only getting a half a season! This is one of my don't miss dvr's of the week and and you're telling me that after next week I'll have to wait for almost 9months for a new episode? C'mon CBS! This stinks! It's a proven winner and deserves a full season!

at 5/15/2008 11:46 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

What? No Shark? How can good shows get established when they are moving them all over God's Green Tv Screen. That sucks! CBS sucks.

at 5/15/2008 12:42 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, CBS returned Jehrico when angry fans mailed huge amounts of peanuts to its offices.

Maybe "Shark" fans should start packing up live sharks.

(please note sarcasm font - and do NOT mail sharks. no marine animals were hurt in the production of this blog entry.)

at 5/15/2008 1:45 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...


Word was Jericho and Friday Night Lights may come back under some different type of arrangement, airing first on satellite and then on regular TV. Is there anymore on that arrangement?

at 5/16/2008 12:42 AM Blogger Leisure Suit Larry said...

Damn, I really liked Cane and Back to you

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