Upfronts 2015: CBS Releases Schedule for Next Fall

CBS is the opposite of ABC when it comes to announcements, as they tend to give renewals to a whole batch of their shows months before Upfronts. It makes it difficult to gauge afterwards just how many spots left on the schedule will be for the as-yet non-renewed shows and the new shows being picked up. This year however, they actually held off announcing renewals/cancellations until just a few days ago. CBS continues to be CBS in terms of shows, but at least they have one new show I’m really excited about this year, which of course is the most obviously non-CBS-like show. Below I give my thoughts on CBS’ newest offerings for next season.

SUPERGIRL [Drama – Mondays @ 8, starting in November]: Superman’s cousin Kara gets her own show! The latest DC comic to get the TV treatment follows Kara (played by Melissa Benoist) as she embraces her powers to become Supergirl. Trying to keep her identity a secret can be difficult when she’s enlisted by a super-secret agency to protect the citizens of National City. Berlanti, Kreisberg, Adler and co. have also assembled a hell of a supporting cast with: Chyler Leigh as Kara’s foster sister Alex, Calista Flockhart as Kara’s boss Cat Grant, Mehcad Brooks as James Olsen, David Harewood as Hank Henshaw, and Laura Benanti as Kara’s birth mom. PLUS, Helen Slater (aka the OG Supergirl) and Dean Cain (aka Lois and Clark Superman) are slated to guest star. Of course I’m ready for this!

LIFE IN PIECES [Comedy – Mondays @ 8:30, then Thursdays @ 8:30 in November]: CBS’ version of Modern Family or a funnier Parenthood? Here we have an ensemble show that will be told from the perspective of the Short family: matriarch Joan (Dianne West) and her kids, eldest daughter Heather (Betsy Brandt), son Matt (Thomas Sadoski), and youngest Greg (Colin Hanks). The series also stars James Brolin, Angelique Cabral, Zoe Lister Jones, and Dan Bakkedahl. It’s another family comedy, but how do you say no to at least checking out a show that features a cast like this?

LIMITLESS [Drama – Tuesdays @ 10]: It’s another movie adaptation, but like FOX’s Minority Report, you’re looking at a TV sequel to the movie, as opposed to just a TV remake. Jake McDorman plays Brian Finch, who discovers the abilities attached to taking the NZT drug and is pushed to use his new-found powers to help the FBI. So it’s another procedural. I liked the movie (except for the ending), but I’m still not sold on how they’re developing it into a TV series. I am far more intrigued by the fact that Bradley Cooper will guest star on the show from time to time, playing his character from the movie Edward Mora, who is now a senator, still uses NZT, and looks at Brian as a protege. Jennifer Carpenter, Hill Harper, and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio also star; Cooper, Marc Webb, Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, and Heather Kadin are among the executive producers.

CODE BLACK [Drama – Wednesdays @ 10]: Apparently this is based on a documentary by Ryan McGarry. Marcia Gay Harden is Dr. Leanne Rorish, the residency director of L.A.’s busiest emergency room, wherein the number of patients outweigh the resources available. Sounds like a standard medical drama to me or E.R. on drugs.

ANGEL FROM HELL [Comedy – Thursdays @ 9:30]: Maggie Lawson plays Allison, who’s organized/”perfect” life gets upended when she meets Amy (Jane Lynch), an oddball who claims that she is Allison’s guardian angel. This has the potential to be really funny I think, as long as it doesn’t go for the obvious jokes with the mismatched pairing.

CRIMINAL MINDS: BEYOND BORDERS [Drama – Midseason]: It’s Criminal Minds abroad! I don’t watch the original, so I don’t really care.

RUSH HOUR [Drama – Midseason]: Take the movie and expand to a TV series. Cultural jokes fly everywhere. I honestly have my doubts about this because as much as I enjoyed the movies, a lot of it had to do with the chemistry/camaraderie between Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan. We’ll have to see how Justin Hires and Jon Foo work out as Detectives Carter and Lee.

Other Notables:

  • Long-time CBS staple, CSI will end its 15-year run with a two-hour series finale on Sept. 27th. Original castmembers William Petersen and Marg Helgenberger will return for the finale.
  • Comedies 2 Broke Girls, The Odd Couple, and Mike & Molly will return midseason.
  • Critical fave Person of Interest was renewed for a fifth season, comprising of 13 episodes, and will also return midseason. Rumours are that it will be the final season for the series, but CBS is not saying anything about it.
  • With CBS having football on Thursday nights in the fall, The Big Bang Theory and Life in Pieces will begin their seasons in September on Mondays, before moving over to Thursdays with Mom and Angel from Hell, once those Thursday night football games finish in November.
  • CSI: Cyber was also renewed for a second season and will air Sundays at 10 p.m.
  • Everything else is as it was this season.
  • Many others have already mentioned the fact that Supergirl will be going up against FOX’s Gotham in the timeslot. I’d imagine that WB isn’t particularly happy with that, but from this fan’s perspective, two different shows. And I’ve already decided I’m gonna watch Supergirl at that time anyways, because Gotham is not as exciting as I had hoped it would be.

Tomorrow we wrap things up with The CW!

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