CBS 2012 Fall Schedule Analysis

CBS 2012 Fall Schedule Analysis

The CBS juggernaut just keeps on rolling. They crushed all of the other networks in total viewers and successfully launched a few new shows that could be considered “hits.” Meanwhile, many of their old stalwarts keep rolling along. Perhaps the biggest coup for them was The Big Bang Theory supplanting American Idol as the most watched show on Thursdays. The boys from Cal Tech have become unstoppable.

If there is space to complain, it’s that the audience for CBS television continues to skew towards the older side. Fox nipped them for first place in the ever coveted 18-49 demographic. Let’s see what CBS cooked up to try to take back the top spot in 18-49.


2 Broke Girls And Martha Stewart Have A Ball Episode 23 (1)

The Monday schedule was the source of some quizzical looks from TV critics when CBS decided to give 2 Broke Girls the Two and a Half Men slot at 9 PM and move Two and a Half Men to Thursdays. It’s quite a vote of confidence for the series that had an interesting first season. It certainly generated a lot of buzz while being alternately enjoyable and boring. It now anchors the big CBS Monday comedy block. However, when you look at the competition, it’s tough to imagine the audience for 2 Broke Girls changing that much. Forgive if I don’t think The Mob Doctor is going to light the world on fire.

How I Met and Your Mother and Mike and Molly will continue to plow along in their usual spots despite increasing audience frustration with both. In the 10 PM hour, Hawaii Five-0 will continue to entertain us all with ridiculous explosions, fight scenes, and Scott Caan being Scott Caan. At 8:30, CBS will debut Partners. The show revolves around two best friends (one gay, one straight) whose relationship becomes complicated when significant others enter the picture. The preview looks silly and lacking in originality. Which means I’m sure it will do 15 million viewers on CBS.


The NCIS juggernaut plows ahead on CBS Tuesdays. Both shows had solid seasons and NCIS: LA established itself as a good place for crossover work with the always entertaining Hawaii Five-0. At 10 PM, Unforgettable gives way for the new drama, Vegas. Vegas marks the triumphant return to television for Michael Chiklis of The Shield fame. Despite the fact that he’s about 4’11”, Chiklis is really effective as a menacing bad guy. It should be great fun to see him back on the screen. Furthermore, I am an unabashed Vegas-phile. I’ll watch the pilot just for the occasional shots of blackjack and craps tables.


CSI Homecoming Season 12 Episode 22 (8)

Wednesday is all about the aging brands who are still doing good business. Survivor will occupy its usual 8 PM time slot and be followed by Criminal Minds at 9 PM. At 10 PM, CSI continues its run as the most watched television program in history (seriously, look it up). There’s not a lot of analysis to do here. All three of these shows are well-established shows that will probably dominate every bit of Wednesday except for the Modern Family time slot on ABC. It’s good to be the king.


Leonard Hofstadter and Sheldon Cooper - The Big Bang Theory

Speaking of the king, The Big Bang Theory somewhat shockingly unseated American Idol as the most watched show on Thursday nights last spring in a huge coup for CBS. This year, they are going to be backed up by another ratings beast in Two and a Half Men. As I mentioned earlier, this move of the show to Thursdays surprised some people, but it seems that no matter CBS’s motivation, it’s going to work for them. Either they are seeking Thursday domination or they are trying to prop up an aging show with their most popular comedy. It will work for them.

After morphing into a legitimate hit by the end of the season, Person of Interest retained it’s spot at 9 PM. However, it will no longer be leading into Simon Baker and The Mentalist. This season, the show will lead into CBS’s rendition of Sherlock Holmes called Elementary. As plenty of fans of the BBC version are going to point out, this show is definitely not Sherlock. However, there is no reason why these two shows cannot coexist. People love Sherlock Holmes. There are iterations of him everywhere on the television landscape. What’s one more. Johnny Lee Miller seems affable enough that it’s probably worth your time here.


Blue Bloods Season 2 Finale: "Mother's Day" (Season 2 Episode 22) (6)

In the age of 300 channels, CBS’s most remarkable numbers might be what Blue Bloods does for them every Friday night. By regularly pulling in over 10 million viewers, Blue Bloods dominates the Friday night scene for CBS. Now, there’s plenty of jokes to be made about the age of CBS’s audience and their weekend plans, but pulling off 10 million on a Friday in 2012 is a difficult task. Preceding Blue Bloods on Friday will be CSI: NY at 8 PM and the new show Made in Jersey at 9 PM. CSI: NY is most likely just playing out the string for one final season. Made in Jersey is a classic fish-out-of-water story surrounding a Jersey girl at a New York law firm. Sure, why not. Still, CBS has made a lot of money playing off of seemingly played out premises. It’s hard to count them out on this one, but I don’t have high hopes.


The Mentalist Season Finale 2012: "The Crimson Hat" Season 4 Episode 24 (4)

Now that they have moved The Mentalist to Sunday’s CBS trots out a nice mix of critical acclaim and high ratings. Even though football will back them up all fall, the ratings for The Good Wife and The Mentalist won’t take much of a hit. Still, it’s kind of off-putting that CBS doesn’t care about our DVR troubles with their Sunday football. Repeat: It’s good to be the king. Leading off at 8 (ish) will be the perennial award-winning The Amazing Race. Though it won’t top Animation Domination in the 18-49 demographic, it’s hard to imagine anyone competing with CBS Sunday in terms of total viewers.

Look for another year of CBS dominance. Too many good shows or shows with very strong followings. What does everyone else think of the CBS fall schedule?