Until CBS stops going for Broke, it may be hard for Mom, one of the season's more promising and pungent new comedies, to get the break it, and the title character, deserves. What's happening to CBS on Monday with its once-dominant comedy lineup is a slow-fade version of the freefall NBC experienced with its Thursday lineup in the wake of Friends. Holding on to shows too long (How I Met Your Mother, which could have wrapped this whole thing way earlier), promoting shows too soon with too little to offer (the shrill and increasingly charmless 2 Broke Girls), making odd decisions like keeping the award-winning Mike & Molly on the shelf in favor of an insta-dud like the abysmal We Are Men, this is one of those rare nights when CBS's programming acumen has mostly crapped out. (Monday's loss is, of course, Thursday's gain, with former Monday anchors The Big Bang Theory and, to a lesser degree these days, the played-out Two and a Half Men helping get early sampling for newbies The Millers and The Crazy Ones.)
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Question: On your recommendation, I watched the first episode of Mom. Why do sitcoms insist on using these horrible laugh tracks still? I found it so distracting it took away from any viewing pleasure. I'll sample the show again because I really like the actors, but do you hate laugh tracks as much as I do? — Rob
Chuck Lorre has a gift for making even the most unsympathetic characters seem relatable, whether it's Charlie Sheen's manwhore on Two and a Half Men or a bunch of social misfits on The Big Bang Theory. The prolific executive producer will add...
Jess may not be so adorkable this season.
When New Girl returns on Tuesday at 8/7c and 9/8c on Fox, Jess (Emmy-nominated Zooey Deschanel) will be unceremoniously let go from her teaching position, sending her once quirky life into disarray. Jess' firing will provide new comedic avenues for her — she'll work as a shot girl at Schmidt's penis-cast removal party in the premiere (Words we never thought we'd write together in a sentence) — and it will also allow her to test some romantic waters she might not have dipped her toe in before — like only sleeping with someone instead of being in a relationship. To her credit, the fling-worthy David Walton is pretty hard to resist — a sentiment creator Liz Meriwether agrees with.
Get the scoop on your favorite returning fall TV shows
In our candid interview below, Meriwether discusses Jess' new journey this season, along with the ultimate casting coup — Jamie Lee Curtis and Rob Reiner! — and what's in store for everyone's favorite roommate trio Schmidt (the also Emmy-nominated Max Greenfield), Winston (Lamorne Morris) and Nick (Jake Johnson). Get the scoop:
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Got any scoop on the "kid from Baltimore" storyline on NCIS? — Maddie, via Twitter
ADAM: Word on the "kid" is that he's a boy Tony once saved from a fire many years ago. Unfortunately, not all of his family members made it out alive, which drove him to become an arson investigator. Look for him to be reunited with Tony when a string of fires leave the Baltimore cops stumped and in need of some federal input.
Tell me more about the Grey's Anatomy season finale, now. — Max
NATALIE: One thing you won't see is...