Upfronts 2011, Part 4 — CBS

by Colin McGuire. 0 Comments

We round up our upfronts coverage on this particular blog by taking a look at the No. 1 network on television, CBS. To recap for the three of you still reading, we (and by we, I mean I, the dude in the upper right corner) have already pondered the kind of effect former Showtime wizard Bob Greenblatt will have on NBC’s programming, the sad cancellation of Fox’s “America’s Most Wanted” and ABC’s insistence upon old dogs (see what I did there?) still being entertaining enough to put on television.

As for CBS, well, it’s hard to knock it. It has consistently held its top position for a little while now, and there is no disputing how popular a lot of its shows have become. Combine that with some guy named Charlie Sheen and everything that has happened over the course of the last few months, and what you have is a fall television season that is more highly anticipated than most in recent memory.

In addition to all of that, the network is looking to try something all the other networks would never dare think of (but we’ll get to that below); adding a show that is “the best testing pilot in CBS history;” and sadly returning to programs involving dead people, ghosts, angels, blah, blah, blah. Oh, yeah. And yet another J.J. Abrams concoction will be thrusted onto your television screen, too.

But alas, I digress. Below are the final three talking points of the 2011 upfronts season. And if the three of you don’t care about any of these things now, remember you can always bookmark this page and have a look when September rolls around to be a little bit ahead of the game when deciding what to look for on your television screens. Or, in my case, my MacBook Air screen. I sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed a peak into what lies ahead for all you television-watching, good-loving, blog readers, and if you are sick of hearing about all of it, no worries. The next time out, we will return to our usual programming filled with nonsensical ramblings about the normal issues watching television without a television can bring. As for now, though, enjoy a look at CBS’ fall schedule.

CBS TALKING POINTS

1. You’d be an idiot to not lead this off with the biggest story not only within the world of CBS, but the world of television and pop culture in general and that’s the ousting of Charlie Sheen and the welcoming of Ashton Kutcher to the network’s most-watched comedy, the hilariously not hilarious “Two And A Half Men.” Exactly 4,293,109,302 people are going to tune in the night this incarnation of the show kicks off. And that’s underestimating it. What’s really the trick here, you ask? For now, at least, it isn’t going to be how well Kutcher meshes with his costars, the weird-looking dude and the 32-year-old who plays a teenager. Instead, it’s going to be how long CBS can keep the secret of how Mr. Demi Moore is going to be introduced into the show. All told, it’s hard to think the appeal would still be there if the cat is let out of the bag sometime between now and when that incessant man song starts playing through your television set. Bold prediction (and remember where you heard it first, mind you): Sheen makes a mid-season appearance with Kutcher and the world’s collective head explodes. “I’ve got the best job in show business and I’m ecstatic about that,” Kutcher said during the meetings. My God, man. Have you seen that show?

2. When you are at the top, you have the wiggle room to test experiments, and hats off to CBS for actually having the coconuts to move forward with one. In an unprecedented, completely unheard of move in today’s fickle television world, the network announced plans to run new episodes of a show on Saturday night, an evening always reserved now for reruns and syndicated programming. “Rules of Engagement” will move to the slot, and the bosses, critics, writers, producers, fans and company heads alike will all be paying very close attention to how this works, if it indeed works at all. The show has the benefit (yes, benefit, not detriment) of having David Spade be its star, and regardless of if you want to believe it, the guy has a lot of fans. The show will be supplemented with reruns of during-the-week comedy, so for those who weren’t able to keep up with “How I Met Your Mother,” you may be lucky enough to reacquaint yourself with it on the same night you watch the star of “Grown Ups” sarcastically prance around on your television set for a half-hour. By far and away, this is the most interesting development from the week of upfronts meetings, and if it happens to work on any level, don’t be surprised if other networks follow suit. To think this happened during the same year FOX gave the boot to its long-running all-original program that happened to also run on Saturday nights is irony at its best. Who wins? Who loses? We’ll see.

3. Finally, the network decided to pull the plug on “(Bleep) My Dad Says,” exactly one year too late. Also gone are “The Defenders,” “Mad Love” and “Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior.” Abrams’ “Person of Interest” is set to take a shot on Thursday nights and that best-testing pilot, “2 Broke Girls,” stars Kat Dennings of “Nick & Norah” fame along with someone not named Kat Dennings. It will cozy up to Monday nights along with “How I Met Your Mother” and “Two And A Half Men,” setting itself up for massive success (and I’m not being sarcastic). The show was put together by Whitney Cummings — who, if you remember, received her own show on NBC as well this fall — and one of the minds behind “Sex And The City.” It seems to be the show generating the most buzz of all the new shows CBS plans to offer and it features two girls adorably trying to save money for the opening of a cupcakes store. Or so they say, at least. And finally, “The Good Wife,” a show I’ve desperately tried to begin watching — though have never found enough time to do so — (and, also, if I may add, a show that fellow blogger and resident favorite person in the history of people, Stephanie Mlot tells me is definitely worth checking out) gets bumped from Tuesdays to Sundays at 9. “It’s the best drama on television, hands down,” Entertainment President Nina Tassler said. Really? Then why put it up against “Desperate Housewives?” Oh, well. This is CBS, after all. It’s not like people are going to stop watching over night, right?

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