Jim Parsons, David Caruso
CBS isn't expanding to a two-hour comedy block on Thursdays next season, but it is making a major move: Two and a Half Men, which has spent its entire run on Mondays, will head to Thursdays at 8:30/7:30c following The Big Bang Theory.
"We've created a super comedy hour," CBS head of scheduling Kelly Kahl said Wednesday at a press event about the network's fall schedule. "You've got the No. 1 comedy on TV and the No. 2 comedy on TV, put back-to-back. That is kind of unparalleled on any schedule in some time."
Fall TV scorecard: Which shows are returning? Which aren't?
But why pair the powerhouse Chuck Lorre shows together instead of using each to launch a new show? (The network's only new comedy in the fall, Partners, has the post-How I Met Your Mother berth on Mondays at 8:30/7:30c.) Kahl said the network wanted to help Person of Interest build momentum in its second year to lead in to its new 10 o'clock series Elementary.
"The whole idea there was simply to create a block [to] continue to develop and help our shows," Kahl said. "We look at the schedule holistically. We weren't driven by, 'God, we have to get more comedies on.' We really want to put the best schedule together and whatever the mix ends up being, that's what the mix ends up being. I think we have the guns to go to four comedies if we wanted to."
He added: "It's a reflection of confidence in [Two and a Half Men] that we could put it on one of the most important nights of the week and ask it to help Person of Interest grow even more in Season 2."
Elementary will replace The Mentalist on Thursdays, pushing Patrick Jane & Co. to Sundays at 10/9c, which had been home to CSI: Miami the past two years. CBS canceled the series Sunday after 10 seasons, choosing to renew fellow spin-off and bubble show CSI: NY instead. "We really liked The Mentalist at 10 [on Sundays] and unfortunately that just meant Miami was the odd man out," Kahl said.
CBS' fall schedule: Two and a Half Men shifts to Thursdays; The Mentalist to Sundays
"It was a very tough choice. It was almost a jump ball. It was just about servicing the schedule," CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler added. "[Miami's and NY's costs] were very close. ... It was a matter of looking at the schedule and what worked the best."
Joining CSI: Miami in the canceled pile is freshman drama Unforgettable, a "difficult" axing that Tassler said was made after looking at their pilots.
"I don't know if it's what went wrong [with Unforgettable]. It was more about what went right with the new pilots," Tassler said. "It started very strong in the beginning of the season. They were continuing to produce great episodes. Every show knows that when they get to end of their first season, they are gonna be in competition with new pilots, and that's what happened. We had a very strong, very good crop of pilots coming in. That forces you to make very difficult decisions."
As for perennial utility player Rules of Engagement, Tassler said they're still in discussions about a seventh season. "We haven't made a decision yet," she said.
8/7c: How I Met Your Mother
8:30/7:30c: Partners (New)
9/8c: 2 Broke Girls
9:30/8:30c: Mike & Molly
10/9c: Hawaii Five-0
9/8c: NCIS: Los Angeles
10/9c: Vegas (New)
9/8c: Criminal Minds
8/7c: The Big Bang Theory
8:30/7:30c: Two and a Half Men
9/8c: Person of Interest
10/9c: Elementary (New)
8/7c: CSI: NY
9/8c: Made in Jersey (New)
10/9c: Blue Bloods
8/7c: Crimetime Saturday
10/9c: 48 Hours Mystery
7/6c: 60 Minutes
8/7c: The Amazing Race
9/8c: The Good Wife
10/9c: The Mentalist