Ashton Kutcher Ashton Kutcher

The trend this season at most networks is that their fall lineups are being upstaged by the anticipation for more promising shows being held for midseason (NBC's Smash and Awake, ABC's Good Christian Belles and The River, to name a choice few). As I was quoted saying in a recent critics' poll: "It's going to be like Christmas for me at midseason, but right now it's kind of like I'm opening underwear."

It's a different situation at CBS, which has such a stable and successful prime-time schedule that there's little need for midseason replacements (only a few have been announced so far, and none has generated any real buzz). At the summer TCA press tour, we're definitely talking about what's up on CBS this fall — but once again, it has almost nothing to do with the new product. (Even in a more normal year, it would be hard to get worked up about shows like Unforgettable and How To Be a Gentleman.) Instead, when CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler took the TCA stage Wednesday morning, critics dwelled primarily on the high-profile changes taking place on the long-running hits that for years represented the network's top-rated comedy and drama: Two and a Half Men and CSI.

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