Saving the best for last—or not, depending on your point of view—CBS is the final broadcast network to reveal its midseason strategy.
Unlike NBC and ABC, the majority of the CBS schedule will remain the same as the winter months approach. The Eye network is making some minor adjustments to compensate for the loss of freshman series Made In Jersey and Partners with the debut of police drama Golden Boy and the return of its popular sitcom Rules of Engagement.
Following an unusually long and intense negotiation period, CBS renewed Rules of Engagement for a seventh season and kept it waiting in the wings for midseason. With the cancellation of new comedy Partners, Rules has been summoned off the bench to replace the failed sitcom, returning to its former timeslot on Monday at 8:30 PM effective February 4.
The valuable utility player, starring David Spade and Patrick Warburton, should receive a big boost from the previous night's broadcast of the Super Bowl, where CBS is expected to heavily promote its Monday night block of comedies. How I Met Your Mother, 2 Broke Girls, and Mike & Molly are all staying put, as is Hawaii Five-0.
Fear not, NCIS enthusiasts: both the original series and its Los Angeles spinoff will continue to solve naval-related crimes (that is what they do, right?) every Tuesday evening between 8:00 and 10:00 PM. However, for two consecutive weeks on February 26 and March 5, Vegas will be supplanted from its 10 PM berth to make room for the debut of new police drama Golden Boy. After its two-week run on Tuesdays, the freshman series will move to its regular home on Fridays at 9 PM. Acknowledging how difficult it is to open a new show on Friday, the network is hoping the Tuesday audience will follow Golden Boy to its Friday destination.
It's worth noting that CBS hasn't launched a successful drama in the Friday 9 PM timeslot since CSI premiered over a decade ago, so executives are hopeful this strategy will pay off. Taking over for CSI: NY after its season finale airs February 22, Golden Boy will join the Friday crime block anchored by Blue Bloods on March 8. The 8 PM hour still belongs to Undercover Boss, although CBS may also use the timeslot to introduce the new reality shows that haven't been given a date yet, such as The Job.
Other midseason premiere dates include the 26th edition of Survivor on February 13 at 8:00 PM and the 22nd edition of The Amazing Race on February 17, also at 8 PM. Not all shows received a start date, though. After the death of co-creator Alan Kirschenbaum in October, the future of midseason comedy Friend Me is still up in the air with no announcement from the network.
As for my feelings on the CBS midseason schedule, let's just say I realize I'm not part of the target demographic. What do you think?