CBS Shakes Up Schedule, Adds Seven New Shows
Wed, May 14, 2003 09:24 AM PDT
LOS ANGELES (Zap2it.com) - Although CBS will almost surely finish the season on top of the Nielsen ratings among total viewers, the network is making a number of changes for next season.
Only the powerful Thursday lineup of "Survivor," "CSI" and "Without a Trace" is returning intact in 2003-04. Every other night of the week has either a new show or a returning series in a new time period.
Most significantly, the network will try to launch a new comedy block on Wednesdays by moving "The King of Queens" to 9 p.m. ET that night and pairing it with "The Stones," a new series about two twentysomething siblings (Jay Baruchel, "Undeclared" and Lindsay Sloane, "Grosse Pointe") who are shocked when their parents (Robert Klein and Judith Light) announce they're getting a divorce.
The Wednesday comedy hour will have to survive in one of the tougher hours on network TV, with a lead-in of "60 Minutes II." Closing Wednesday night is a new family drama from David E. Kelley, who returns to CBS and "Picket Fences" territory with "The Brotherhood of Poland, N.H." about three brothers living in a small New England town.
"Yes, Dear" will move up a half-hour to lead off CBS' Monday slate. "Still Standing" moves from 9:30 to 8:30, while the new comedy "Two and a Half Men," starring Charlie Sheen, gets the 9:30 spot behind "Everybody Loves Raymond." "CSI: Miami" remains at 10 p.m.
As was the case this season, several of the network's new dramas are about crimes and the people who solve them. "Navy CIS," a "JAG" spinoff about officers who investigate crimes committed by Navy or Marine personnel, takes its parent show's old spot at 8 p.m. Tuesday. The Jerry Bruckheimer-produced "Cold Case," about a female detective (Kathryn Morris, "Minority Report" ) who investigates old crimes, will follow "60 Minutes" on Sundays.
"JAG" moves to 9 p.m. Friday, where it will serve as a bridge between two new series, "Joan of Arcadia" and "The Handler."
"Joan" is definitely different from most network fare. The title character (Amber Tamblyn) is the daughter of Arcadia's new police chief (Joe Mantegna, "First Monday") who keeps running into people who introduce themselves as God and give her instructions to do certain things with her life. Mary Steenburgen also stars.
Joe Pantoliano ("The Sopranos") stars in "The Handler" as an L.A.-based FBI agent who trains other agents for undercover work and oversees their operations.
"Hack" and "48 Hours Investigates," which aired on Fridays this season, move to Saturday.