On Wednesday CBS renewed 14 shows and they are:
NCIS: Los Angeles (season 5), Blue Bloods (season 4), Hawaii Five-0 (season 4), Elementary (season 2), Person of Interest (season 3), The Good Wife (season 5), The Mentalist (season 6), 2 Broke Girls (season 3), Mike & Molly (season 4), The Amazing Race (season 23), Survivor (season 27), Undercover Boss (season 5), 60 Minutes, and newsmagazine 48 Hours.
They will be joining the previously renewed The Big Bang Theory (season 7), How I Met Your Mother (the 9th and final season), NCIS (season 11), and CSI (season 14) in the 2013-14 CBS lineup.
The fate for a handful of CBS shows are still up in the air. Two and a Half Men and Criminal Minds are likely to come back for their 11th and 9th seasons, respectively. Freshmen Vegas and Golden Boy remain on the bubble. Sitcom Rules of Engagement has managed to squeeze out seven seasons to serve as a trusty utility player when schedule holes need to be filled; it is not yet known if the Eye will let it go another round again.
Today CBS became the first network out of the gate to reveal the fate of the bulk of its primetime programming. So let’s get right to it, shall we? The following shows have been renewed and will return in the 2012-13 TV season:
9 DRAMAS: Person of Interest, Blue Bloods, Criminal Minds, CSI, The Good Wife, Hawaii Five-0, The Mentalist, NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles
4 COMEDIES: 2 Broke Girls, Mike & Molly, The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother
3 REALITY SHOWS: Amazing Race, Survivor, Undercover Boss
2 NEWSMAGAZINES: 48 Hours Mystery, 60 Minutes
CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler on all these pickups: “This large-scale renewal is testimony to the strength, stability and success of a deep and diverse roster of top-rated programming. It positions us for continued success next season and certainly creates an environment that will give our new shows the best possible chance to succeed.”
The fates of CSI: NY, CSI: Miami, Unforgettable, and A Gifted Man are still up in the air. And as for the network’s once-staple comedy Two and a Half Men–CBS says “preliminary discussions” are being had. The issue here is that Ashton Kutcher’s deal has to be extended; once that happens (and it will) you can expect CBS to flaunt the long-running comedy’s renewal (and perhaps a multi-year pickup at that). Stay tuned.
This is an “evolving post.” This means that I will be coming back to it throughout the fall TV season and updating it accordingly when news breaks concerning the fate of new programming. Get it? Got it? Good.
*Bolded shows denote the latest updates
Pickups: 2 Broke Girls, Unforgettable, Person of Interest
Cancellations: How to Be a Gentleman
Other: A Gifted Man (received 3 additional scripts on 11/15, season will contain 16 episodes total)
Pickups: Up All Night (episode count increase to 24 on 11/21), Whitney, Grimm
Cancellations: The Playboy Club, Free Agents, Prime Suspect
Still waiting on: (received additional 6 scripts on 10/12)
Sophomore status: Harry’s Law (received full season order on 11/15)
Pickups: New Girl, Terra Nova (before the season started FOX committed to do 13 episodes), The X Factor
Cancellations: Allen Gregory
Still waiting on: Napoleon Dynamite, Alcatraz
Pickups: Suburgatory, Revenge, Last Man Standing, Once Upon a Time
Cancellations: Charlie’s Angels, Work It
Still waiting on: Pan Am* (received 5 additional scripts on 11/3, 1 additional script on 11/29), Man Up! (pulled from schedule on 12/8, 8 of 13 episodes produced have aired)
*ABC released this statement: “Pan Am will wrap production on its first season in early January after completion of its 14th episode. A decision about about a second season will be made in May.”
*At the 2012 TCA winter press tour ABC said regarding Pan Am: “We have new and original shows right through February.”
Sophomore status: Happy Endings received full season order on 11/3, season will contain 22 episodes total; Body of Proof received full season order on 11/18, season will contain 20 episodes total
Pickups: Ringer, The Secret Circle, Hart Of Dixie
2012 Winter TCAs: CBS’ Nina Tassler & ’2 Broke Girls’ series creator Michael Patrick King defend “ballsy” comedy; Tassler promotes ‘Person of Interest’ growth, and more
CBS capped off the TCA winter press tour today, and representing America’s most watched network was CBS entertainment president Nina Tassler. Admittedly nervous up on stage, she praised two breakout series introduced on the network in the fall: Michael Patrick King’s 2 Broke Girls and Jonathan Nolan’s Person of Interest. Tassler (and later at his own panel King) defended the ballsy comedy 2 Broke Girls by calling it an “equal opportunity offender.” If you watch the show, you are well aware that the characters use the word “vagina” quite often. Tassler doesn’t mind, and believes you shouldn’t either. “Vagina’s not indecent,” she said. “The note we give is we actually want to use it more. So that’s how that goes. As a woman in my job, I have no problem hearing it, saying it; it’s part of my physical body.” Later King argued, “The show is sophisticated and naughty and I think everyone likes a good naughty joke. I feel no need to pull away from the brand of 2 Broke Girls, which is basically ballsy, in-your-face and hopefully funny.” He described the show as “classy-dirty,” “high low-brow” and “fun and sophisticated and naughty — and I think everybody likes a good naughty joke.” The 2 Broke Girls panel heated up quickly as critics started flinging King questions about the way stereotypes are used in the show, specifically with the Asian character Han (the owner of the diner). “I like Han,” King said. “I like his character. I like the fact he’s an immigrant. I like that he’s trying to fit into America. I like the fact in the last three episodes we haven’t made an Asian joke, we’ve only made short jokes…Would you say the ‘blonde rich bitch’ is a stereotype? Would you say that the tough‑ass, dark, sarcastic‑mouthed waitress is a stereotype? I like all of them.” Soon after he shouted, “I’m gay! I’m putting in gay stereotypes every week. I don’t find any of it offensive, any of it. I find it comic to take everybody down.” Critic: “Does being a part of one traditionally disenfranchised group give you carte blanche to make fun of other traditionally disenfranchised groups?” King: “No. You could rephrase that. I would say being a comedy writer gives you permission to be an outsider and poke fun at what people think about other people.”
So yeah, the 2 Broke Girls panel was a heated debate between the series creator and the TCA critics. Later things cooled down and King concluded: “People pull away from something if it’s not in good taste, and people lean into something if it’s OK. And week after week, more and more people are leaning in to 2 Broke Girls. There’s something there that they feel OK about.” Also touched upon…the actual goings-on in the show! “One of the important realities of 2 Broke Girls is the word broke,” said King. “And we try to deal [realistically] with how much money moves through their life. I don’t foresee a way the girls could raise $350,000 in a season [and open a bakery]. I don’t foresee them leaving the diner. I like them in the diner.”
Moving on to Person of Interest. Didn’t that last episode before the holiday hiatus feel like a season finale? There’s a reason for that: the producers were planning on Carter to join Finch and Reese towards the latter end of the first season. Tassler explained: “We felt that the Carter [Taraji P. Henson] character was somewhat marginalized. We felt that the Carrter character was too peripheral, [so] we asked [producers] if they were open to bringing [her] into the superhero cave. It was a plan that they had in place, but more for the end of the season. We asked them if they were open to moving that up. We felt it was a key ingredient to [help] the show grow and expand.” So there you go.
What else? A clean-shaved Ashton Kutcher is interested in returning to the revamped Two and a Half Men for (at least) another season; negotiations are currently underway to renew his contract…How I Met Your Mother is having an exceptionally great year and the producers plan to continue it until they run out of good ideas (“We totally might want to go beyond Season 8,” said co-creator Carter Bays)…Tassler wants CSI and all the spinoff series on the air for as long as possible (“I’d love to see the CSIs run forever,” she said. “Nothing runs forever. How you handle it, the most important thing is how you respect your audience, how you respect your cast, and being incredibly sensitive to how you wrap up any show when it ends a successful run. But we are in those talking stages now (about how to end the CSIs).”…On Rob Schneider’s new sitcom Rob: “Well, we haven’t traditionally been the beneficiaries of great reviews,” Tassler admitted. It’s not Downton Abbey, but it’s great. Rob is fantastic. We’ll just need to see.”…Tassler on The Good Wife‘s move to Sunday nights: “The show feels like a better fit on Sunday night. More importantly, the audience that doeswatch the show on Sunday is more upscale, more female and very engaged.”…Midseason drama NYC 22 (formally The 2-2) is set to premiere this spring.
And with all that said, the four big networks have concluded their panels at 2012 TCA winter press tour. They reconvene once more this year in the summer. ‘Til then!
Last year I posted my Fall TV Preview. This time around I’m breaking that idea in pieces with a new kind of post called This week in NEW TV. Essentially they will serve as expanded versions of my usual TV Reminders. These posts will crop up through October as new TV shows premiere this fall. I will recommend new shows to watch and remind you when returning favorites are coming back. If you want a broader overview of all the new series airing on the big four networks, check out 2011-12 Upfronts coverage.
2 Broke Girls – CBS — 9:30PM
Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs star in this new sitcom that’s got a ton of positive buzz. They are being described as a young, female version of the odd couple; Dennings has street smarts and works two jobs just get by, while Behrs is a spoiled princess who’s being forced to work the waitress job due to a string of bad luck and misfortune in her life. The writing is supposedly stellar and the comedic situations that are set up each week are easily relatable: these girls are living in a bad economy and we get to watch them duke it out as minimum wage waitresses to survive. Trailer after the break. (Note: After this week 2 Broke Girls will air in its normal Monday night slot at 8:30PM.)
Give this pilot episode a chance: The Playboy Club (NBC, 10PM)
Returning shows you should be watching: Hawaii Five-0 (CBS, 10PM); Castle (ABC, 10PM)
Charlie Sheen alert: Don’t forget the Roast of Charlie Sheen hosted by Seth MacFarlane airs Monday night at 9PM on Comedy Central. And if you’re interested to see how his Two and a Half Men replacement Ashton Kutcher performs, DVR the CBS sitcom; it also airs at 9PM.
New Girl – FOX — 9PM
Zooey Deschanel is the New Girl and boy is she “adorkable.” The ads plastered all around town don’t have to tell us that. Much like 2 Broke Girls, this show has a lot of exciting positive buzz surrounding it. If there’s one new comedy you tune into this fall season, this is it. The 500 Days of Summer actress brings her enviable charm to the small screen, and we get to watch what happens when her character goes through a messy breakup and then moves into an apartment occupied by three guys. Fair warning: Deschanel can carry a tune and she will be showing off her skills more than once throughout the pilot and series. Are you bouncing up and down in anticipation? Relax–you can get a head start and download the pilot episode for free via iTunes right now. (Note: Damon Wayans Jr. appears in the pilot episode, but he gets replaced by Lamorne Morris after that. Why? Because ABC’s Happy Endings got renewed (thankfully) and he is obligated to remain on that show. New Girl will address the switcheroo.)
Returning shows you should be watching: Glee (FOX, 8PM), Raising Hope (FOX, 9:30PM) …so basically Tuesday night you won’t need to change the channel–FOX comedies dominate.
The X Factor – FOX — 8PM
Four words: Simon Cowell is back. And so is his Idol muse Paula Abdul. They will be joined by Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger and former Def Jam CEO L.A. Reid at the judges table for this new singing competition imported from the UK. Sure it’s reality TV, but you cannot deny how much fun it is to watch Cowell destroy dreams. Get a lengthy 8-minute taste of what’s in store right here. (Note: British judge Cheryl Cole appears in the first half of the episode and then she vanishes. Don’t let your eyes play tricks on you.)
Give this pilot episode a chance: Revenge (ABC, 10PM)
Returning shows you should be watching: The Middle (ABC, 8PM, Glee‘s Chord Overstreet (Sam) guest stars in the 9/28 episode), Modern Family (ABC, 9PM, special 1 hour episode)
Person of Interest – CBS — 9PM
From producer J.J. Abrams (Lost, Fringe) and writer Jonathan Nolan (The Dark Knight) comes a show with an intricate plot shrouded in mystery and paranoia starring Lost‘s Michael Emerson (Ben Linus) and Christ himself Jim Caviezel. Really, need I say more? The story follows Caviezel, a presumed dead former-CIA agent, as he teams up with Emerson’s mysterious Mr. Finch to prevent crimes before they happen. Finch understands the ins and outs of the surveillance technology that’s installed inside every crevice of New York City, and he uses this information to his advantage to save lives. I was lucky enough to view the pilot at Comic Con earlier this summer, and I can say with full confidence that this show is not one to miss. It’s a classic, adrenaline-filled procedural with a Michael Emerson-fronted mythos attached. I mean, what more could you ask for?
Returning shows you should be watching: The Big Bang Theory (CBS, 8PM); Community (NBC, 8PM), Parks and Recreation (NBC, 8:30PM), The Office (NBC, 9PM)
Give this pilot episode a chance: A Gifted Man (CBS, 8PM)
Returning show you should be watching: Fringe (FOX, 9PM) (Click here for more…)
Jim Caviezel, the man who famously played Jesus Christ in Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ, has been cast as the lead in Person of Interest, the CBS drama from J.J. Abrams and Jonah Nolan. He joins Lost alum Michael Emerson who was also selected to play a prominent role in the show just last month. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the show “centers on a paramilitary CIA officer (Caviezel) who is presumed killed in the line of duty, but resurfaces in New York City where he teams up with an eccentric billionaire (Emerson) to clean up the city’s violent underworld.” With Abrams and Nolan attached to it, it’s something you should be following very closely. Now we wait for a teaser…
In mid-September it was reported that CBS picked up a new series from J.J. Abrams titled Person of Interest. As a standard Abrams affair, the program was shrouded in secrecy in terms of casting and plotline. Today that has all changed. Abrams and series collaborator Jonah Nolan (brother of renowned film director Christopher Nolan) have chosen Michael Emerson to be show’s lead. Emerson, who reunites with Lost creator Abrams, is best known for his phenomenal portrayal as the villainous Benjamin Linus. The CBS project, backed by Warner Bros. and Abrams’ Bad Robot, is being described as a crime drama centered on an ex-CIA agent, presumed dead, who teams up with a mysterious billionaire (Emerson) to prevent violent crimes in New York City. David Semel (Heroes) will direct the pilot which is slated to air in the fall.
By now you might be thinking to yourself what about the other Abrams project known as Odd Jobs starring Emerson with Lost pal Terry O’Quinn. It’s true that NBC picked up the show with Abrams, Bryan Burk, Josh Appelbaum, and Andre Nemec (all producers) attached, but now it’s apparently being saved for the 2012 pilot season. Whether or not Emerson will be able to juggle two TV shows at once is a question no one has to answer to just yet. They are both backed by the same studios (Warner and Robot), so the potential is there. We shall wait and see. But for now you should rejoice knowing that Emerson will serve as a lead in another Abrams project that’s sure to dazzle and mystify TV viewers this fall.
J.J. Abrams, creator of Felicity, Alias, Lost, Fringe, and the upcoming NBC spy show Undercovers, is readying two new dramas for network TV. Variety reports that FOX has picked up Alcatraz, a series based on the famous island prison that was shut down in 1963. The spec script was written by Elizabeth Sarnoff (Lost, Deadwood). Sarnoff will serve as executive producer along with Abrams and Bryan Burk (Alias, Lost) on the Warner Bros. TV/Bad Robot project.
Next up is Person of Interest, another Abrams-backed project that was just picked up by CBS, according to NYMag. The source describes it as an hour-long crime thriller. Jonah Nolan, brother of film director Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight), is penning the pilot script and serves as co-creator with Abrams. Can someone say dream team?! This marks the first time Nolan contributing to a TV series. He is best known for his collaboration work with his brother on The Dark Knight & The Prestige; he also wrote the short story that inspired Memento. The fact that CBS of all networks reportedly picked up this particular series is somewhat startling. CBS is known for playing it safe by strictly airing procedural shows that people can tune into at any time without worrying about missing key plot developments (think the CSI franchise, The Mentalist, etc.). The Abrams/Nolan series might just break the CBS mold by premiering a more serialized show that demands weekly viewing. And that makes me very, very giddy.
As you might guess, very little to no information regarding plot and casting has leaked about these new Abrams projects. But you can be sure I’ll report back when things start to ramp up. If all goes according to plan, I’m hoping the new dramas will be ready to premiere next fall.