CBS is planning just one new comedy and three new dramas for its upcoming fall schedule -- fewer than any of its rivals -- while moving two major building blocks of its lineup in a bid for increased ratings .
CBS, which is running a fraction of a step behind News Corp.'s Fox in attracting the coveted 18-to-49 audience demographic, still remains the most-watched network overall, where executives observe near-fanatical devotion to programs that bring in the biggest audiences (as opposed to, say, quirky niche comedies). With that in mind, CBS also canceled the flagging "CSI: Miami" as well as freshman dramas "A Gifted Man" and "Unforgettable" as part of its effort to maintain audience flow and expand ratings for the larger part of the schedule.
CBS made two notable moves, shifting ratings powerhouse "Two and a Half Men" to Thursday night at 8:30 p.m, where it will follow another hit, "The Big Bang Theory" and presumably make better use of the time than last fall's short-lived "How to Be a Gentleman."
"Men" and "Big Bang" will go up against NBC comedies "30 Rock" and "Up All Night." ABC is adding a submarine drama called "The Last Resort" to Thursdays at 8 p.m. The second season of Fox's "The X Factor," a strong performer last season even if it didn't match Simon Cowell's predictions, will also air Thursday at 8 p.m.
CBS executives will move a sitcom with more growth potential, "2 Broke Girls," into the old "Men" slot on Mondays. CBS also moved "The Mentalist" from its Thursday-night perch to Sundays at 10 p.m., making way for the launch of "Elementary," a modern telling of Sherlock Holmes that has received a lot of early buzz.
CBS said it wants to stand out on Monday, when ABC and NBC will be showing musical-competition programs, as well as Tuesday, when Fox, NBC and ABC will be featuring comedy.
So Monday on CBS remains largely intact, with "How I Met Your Mother " at 8 p.m. and a new sitcom, "Partners," at 8:30 p.m. "Partners" focuses on two friends whose "bromance" is tested when one gets engaged. "2 Broke Girls" takes the 9 p.m. slot vacated by "Men" and "Mike & Molly" stays at 9:30 p.m., followed by "Hawaii Five-0" at 10 p.m.
Tuesday continues to be based on the one-two punch of "NCIS" and "NCIS: Los Angeles." At 10 p.m., CBS will introduce "Vegas," a drama starring Dennis Quaid and Michael Chiklis. Set in the 1960s, the series revolves around a Las Vegas sheriff who must bring order to this emerging gambling powerhouse.
CBS's Wednesday-night lineup remains the same: "Survivor" at 8 p.m., "Criminal Minds" at 9 p.m. and "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" at 10 p.m.
After its 8 p.m. comedy block on Thursday, CBS will air the returning drama "Person of Interest" at 9 p.m. and then "Elementary" at 10 p.m.
"CSI: NY" will start Friday off at 8 p.m., followed by "Made in Jersey," a new drama about a working-class woman who uses street smarts to join a ritzy Manhattan law firm. The drama "Blue Bloods," back for a second season, is at 10 p.m. Saturday will be devoted to reruns.
CBS's Sunday includes "60 Minutes" at 7 p.m., "The Amazing Race" at 8 p.m., "The Good Wife" at 9 p.m. and "The Mentalist" at 10 p.m. CBS said reality series "Undercover Boss" would return at midseason.