Our comprehensive coverage of the TV network upfront presentations this week in New York continues with a look at CBS’s plans for the 2018-19 season. We’ll have additional reports for the other networks each day this week. See more upfronts coverage…
Highlights and notes
- CBS ordered eight new scripted shows (five dramas, three comedies) for the 2018-19 season—not coincidentally, the same number of scripted shows it canceled. Details on each are at the bottom of this page.
- Two classic CBS shows will return next season: One as a reboot (Magnum P.I.), the other as a revival (Murphy Brown). The latter returns after a 20-year absence for 13 new episodes (as part of the Thursday night comedy lineup) with its entire surviving original cast (led by Candice Bergen, who won five Emmys during the show’s original run) minus Charles Kimbrough. They’re joined by Tyne Daly and Jake McDorman, and the series will find Murphy hosting a new morning cable news show.
- But the network passed on rebooting another classic property, Cagney and Lacey. In fact, even after drawing widespread criticism a year ago for failing to pick up any of its female-led projects, CBS once again rejected its female-centric pilots this year, though the network did have more women behind the camera, with five women-directed pilots—up from just one two years ago. (And eight of its 18 pilot-season projects were created by women.)
- CBS is also considering picking up a potential revival of the Paul Reiser/Helen Hunt sitcom Mad About You after NBC passed on the project.
- Now that CBS no longer has football on Thursday nights, it will be able to launch five new shows in the fall. Three of them will air as part of an all-new Monday night lineup.
Renewed and canceled
CBS renewed the bulk of its lineup in April, with most of the remaining renewals coming on Saturday. The bubble shows kept waiting the longest were Elementary and, fittingly, Kevin Can Wait. It was good news for the former, but not for the latter. Because of Code Black‘s very late start, a decision on that show may not come until next month.
Scripted shows are in bold below.
|Renewed||Canceled or Ended||Fate Uncertain|
The Amazing Race
The Big Bang Theory
Celebrity Big Brother
The Good Fight †
Life in Pieces
Man With a Plan
NCIS: Los Angeles
NCIS: New Orleans
Star Trek: Discovery †
Kevin Can Wait
Me, Myself & I
Wisdom of the Crowd
|Big Brother *
Strange Angel *†
TKO: Total Knock Out *
Undercover Boss *
CBS’s 2018-19 primetime schedules
New programs are indicated in bold in the schedule below. All times are ET/PT unless otherwise indicated.
|SUN||60 Minutes||God Friended Me||NCIS: Los Angeles||Madam Secretary|
|MON||The Neighborhood||Happy Together||Magnum P.I.||Bull *|
|TUE||NCIS||FBI||NCIS: New Orleans|
|WED||Survivor||SEAL Team||Criminal Minds|
|THU||The Big Bang Theory||Young Sheldon||Mom||Murphy Brown||S.W.A.T.|
|FRI||MacGyver||Hawaii Five-0||Blue Bloods|
CBS’s new shows at a glance
The eight first-year series ordered for CBS’s 2018-19 season are detailed below. Pilots that did not get picked up include (somewhat surprisingly) a reboot of Cagney and Lacey (which would have starred Sarah Drew and Michelle Hurd), a second female-led cop drama called Chiefs, multicultural comedy History of Them, comedy Pandas in New York (about a family of Indian doctors), and the drama Main Justice (which was to star Bokeem Woodbine as the U.S. Attorney General, a character based on Eric Holder). In addition, the network passed on what by many accounts was its best pilot this year, a series adaptation of L.A. Confidential. But that show is now being shopped to various streaming services (including CBS sibling CBS All Access), where the dark crime drama should be a much better fit.
DRAMA coming in midseason
Seemingly a suitable companion for the network’s many NCIS military crime procedurals, The Code focuses on the Marines rather than the Navy—and the law side of the law-and-order equation. (Expect a lot of courtroom action.) The show has hit an early hitch, however: The pilot’s two leads, Mira Sorvino and Dave Annable, suddenly departed the project a few days ago. The series comes from Craig Sweeny (who also created the TV version of Limitless) and Craig Turk (also a co-creator of fellow CBS newcomer F.B.I., below).
COMEDY coming in midseason
Before they get married, a woman (Nina Dobrev of The Vampire Diaries) hopes to get in the good graces of her fiancé’s (Tone Bell) seemingly perfect family. But her chance to make a good impression is ruined when her out-of-control, teenage half-sister comes to live with her. The multi-camera comedy comes from writer Corinne Kingsbury (The Newsroom).
DRAMA Tuesdays at 9p
With a name that generic, this procedural can come from only one person: Dick Wolf, best known for a lengthy career on NBC with the Law & Order franchise and his current trilogy of Chicago shows. (Actually, it comes from two people: writer Craig Turk is a co-creator.) Given a 13-episode order by CBS last September without so much as a script (presumably, to prevent the series from running for 20 seasons on NBC), the procedural takes place inside the Bureau’s New York office and stars Missy Peregrym, Connie Nielsen, and Jeremy Sisto. If that sounds familiar, you may recall that Wolf recently produced a reality/documentary show, Inside the FBI: New York, set in that very office. The show will air on Tuesdays sandwiched between NCIS shows.
God Friended Me
DRAMA Sundays at 8p
With this series (plus The Red Line, below, and the just-ordered Doom Patrol for DC’s new streaming service), producer Greg Berlanti will have 14 shows on the air in the 2018-19 season—shattering the record of 10 that he tied last year. (Aaron Spelling and Jerry Bruckheimer were the others with that mark.) But will it be merely the latest in a string of failed primetime shows that try to incorporate god or religion? Like many of those predecessors (including Living Biblically, which CBS just canceled), God Friended Me takes a somewhat lighthearted approach. It centers on an outspoken atheist (Brandon Micheal Hall of the recently canceled The Mayor) who is thrown for a loop when—and, yes, that title is literal—he gets a friend request from God on social media. Still skeptical, he starts investigating God’s friend suggestions, who turn out to be people in need of assistance. Bryan Wynbrandt and Steven Lilien (both veterans of Gotham and Hawaii Five-0) created the series.
COMEDY Mondays at 8:30p
In this multi-camera sitcom, a settled, suburban, 30-something couple (New Girl‘s Damon Wayans, Jr. and Greek‘s Amber Stevens West) find their routine upended when a young musician—who is on the verge of fame in the pop world—moves in with them. The series, which didn’t have a title until today, comes from writers Tim McAuliffe (The Last Man on Earth) and Austen Earl (The Great Indoors), and is loosely inspired by the real-life experience of producer Ben Winston, who once shared a house with Harry Styles as he was beginning his music career. (Styles is also a credited producer on the series.) Felix Mallard and Chris Parnell also star.
DRAMA Mondays at 9p
A reboot of the classic Hawaii-set detective series of the same name that ran from 1980-88 on CBS, this new, comma-free Magnum stars Jay Hernandez (Scandal, Suicide Squad) as the titular private investigator first made famous by Tom Selleck. (He still drives a red Ferrari convertible and loves the Detroit Tigers, but this time he’s an Afghanistan War veteran.) One slight change: Higgins, the caretaker of the estate where Magnum lives in a guesthouse, is a woman this time—played by Perdita Weeks (Penny Dreadful). Zachary Knighton and Stephen Hill also star as the detective’s pals, Rick and T.C., and Fast & Furious director Justin Lin is behind the camera for the pilot. The remake’s creator, Peter Lenkov, is making a habit of rebooting old shows: he’s also responsible for the new versions of Hawaii Five-0 and MacGyver.
COMEDY Mondays at 8p
Formerly titled Welcome to the Neighborhood, this fish-out-of-water comedy finds an extremely friendly Midwestern man relocating his family to a Los Angeles neighborhood that is both more diverse and less polite than he is accustomed to. Max Greenfield (New Girl) was just announced as the show’s lead; he replaces Josh Lawson, who played the role in the pilot. Cedric the Entertainer also stars as his opinionated new neighbor.
The Red Line
DRAMA coming in midseason
A serialized drama from producers Greg Berlanti and Ava DuVernay, The Red Line tells a fictional but all-too-timely story about a racially motivated shooting by a police officer. Set in Chicago, the drama looks at the aftermath of the killing of an innocent black doctor by a white cop from the varying perspectives of three different families connected to the case. ER‘s Noah Wyle leads the ensemble cast.