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Not much is shaken up in No. 1 CBS’ schedule
NEW YORK ó CBS, bringing six freshman shows back for second seasons, will add just one new comedy and three dramas to a fall schedule that is far more stable than those of major competitors.
The network, which presents the fall lineup to advertisers Wednesday, will finish its fourth consecutive season as No. 1 among total viewers, thanks to a lineup long on procedural crime dramas, including three versions of CSI.
After Threshold failed last fall, CBS will try to broaden its palette with another sci-fi-tinged thriller and legal and medical dramas.
CBS’ Sunday movie ó the last network movie slot and a staple since 1986 ó is canceled, making room for two dramas. Without a Trace, which regularly beats ER on Thursdays, could move to Sunday nights at 9, which would allow CBS to launch new shows behind that series, The Unit and CSI.
Returning freshman shows are The Unit, Criminal Minds, How I Met Your Mother, Close to Home and Ghost Whisperer, and midseason comedy The New Adventures of Old Christine will return to its Monday 9:30 p.m. ET/PT slot.
Comedies Courting Alex and Out of Practice are goners. (Practice co-creator Joe Keenan, a former Frasier producer, may move to Desperate Housewives.)
The King of Queens returns for a ninth season. But it will not air until January at the earliest and is expected to be paired with new comedy Rules of Engagement, about a single guy, his engaged friends and a married couple. How I Met YourMother is expected to fill King’s Monday 8 p.m. ET/PT slot, followed by new comedy The Class, about a group of third-grade classmates reunited as adults. Class will mark Friends’ co-creator David Crane’s TV return. Jason Ritter (Joan of Arcadia) stars.
Like NBC and ABC, CBS is putting an emphasis on dramas as the networks continue to struggle to develop hit comedies.
New fall dramas: Shark, starring James Woods as a celebrity defense lawyer who becomes an L.A. prosecutor; Jericho, about the aftermath of a nuclear mushroom cloud in a Kansas town; and Smith, about career criminals plotting heists and starring Ray Liotta, Virginia Madsen and Simon Baker.
Midseason dramas include Waterfront, starring Joe Pantoliano as a corrupt mayor of Providence, and 3 Lbs., about a gifted brain surgeon, starring Stanley Tucci in a retooled version of a series rejected last spring with Dylan McDermott.