CBS unveiled its 2018-19 lineup with the ongoing battle between CBS and Viacom as a backdrop. As you know by now, the two companies are at a tug-of-war over a proposed merger with CBS suing majority shareholder National Amusements over control. CBS CEO Les Moonves was absent at CBS’ annual preview breakfast Wednesday, opting to sit out amid all the drama.
Viacom was spun-off from CBS in 1971 due to the then-fin-syn rules, and acquired CBS in 1999 before splitting into two in 2005. It’s like seeing a child battling his parents for control over the estate.
But the show must go on. At the upfront presentation, CBS unveiled eight new shows: three dramas and two comedies and a revamped Monday night slate for the 2018-19 season. Unlike a few years ago when CBS eliminated comedies on Mondays for the first time since 1949, at least one hour of comedies will open the night – The Neighborhood and Happy Together, followed by the reboot of Magnum PI with new leading man Jay Hernandez and no stache. Bull relocates from Tuesday to finish up the night.
Tuesday has NCIS and followed by new drama FBI, produced by Dick Wolf in his first non-NBC show in ages, followed by NCIS: New Orleans. Wednesdays remain unchanged (of note is once again, The Amazing Race temporarily replaces Survivor in the winter.)
Thursdays start off with the long-running Big Bang Theory, followed by a returning Young Sheldon. Leading out of Mom is the Murphy Brown reboot, which has a thirteen-episode order. Finishing up the night is sophomore crime drama S.W.A.T. Fridays remain unchanged.
Sundays has new drama God Friended Me, bumping Madam Secretary to the final prime-time slot of the evening. In the middle is returning NCIS: Los Angeles.
For more information on the CBS fall schedule, click here.
Midseason entries include comedy Fam and dramas The Code and The Red Line, which is set in and filmed in Chicago, with Ava Duvernay and Greg Beranti as executive producers. The series is named after the most-used transit line in Chicago, stretching from Howard Street to the north to 95th Street to the south.
The most interesting program by far on CBS’ schedule is the return of Murphy Brown – no doubt the mother-son rivalry working on opposite morning political shows with opposite views is very fascinating…but Brown on Thursday doesn’t sound right…it should be on Monday, where it originally aired.
Speaking of Monday, no comedies are scheduled in the 9 p.m. ET hour Mondays this fall, but if you live in Chicago, sitcom reruns (at 8 p.m.) on WGN and WCIU may fill your comedy need. You know we’ve reached the heights of absurdity with reboots when the new man who is the new star of Magnum P.I. comes at a time when the person who once played him is still a star at the network on another show!
The Neighborhood would’ve been funnier (and more realistic) if the show were set in Chicago and not L.A. If there is anyplace for NIMBYism, it’s our hometown. FBI thankfully, is not a reboot of 1960s drama The FBI but don’t look for Mudler and Scully hanging around the office or for the crew to investigate paranormal activity as the truth won’t be out there. And God Friend Me is what happens when you combine Highway To Heaven with social media elements, to awful results.
Point be taken, and with the exception of The Red Line, the drama involving Les Moonves and Shari Redstone is more interesting than any of the new CBS dramas next season. Or the veteran ones for that matter.
Here are trailers for the new shows: