CBS announced Tuesday that Blue Bloods will air Wednesdays at 10/9c for one month beginning Jan. 19. To make room, The Defenders will then permanently move to Fridays at 8/7c starting Feb. 4, two weeks after the series finale of Medium.
The swap makes sense for CBS. The network's five new shows are the top-rated new series of the TV season, and Blue Bloods has shown surprising strength on Fridays, where it is averaging 12.3 million viewers. As the lead-out to CBS' veteran hits Survivor and Criminal Minds, The Defenders' average of 10 million viewers is less impressive. Whether or not The Defenders will be a strong enough lead-in for CSI: NY at 9/8c remains to be seen.
Following Blue Bloods' month-long trial, CBS will use the Wednesday timeslot to launch the spin-off Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, premiering Feb. 16. That move pairs the spinoff with the flagship series, which CBS did successfully with NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles.
According to Deadline, the network has also reduced the first-season episode order for both The Defenders and $#*! My Dad Says, its two lowest-rated freshman series, in order to make room for its midseason series Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, Chaos and Mad Love.
$#*! My Dad Says will be replaced by Rules of Engagement, which moves into the post-The Big Bang Theory time period beginning Feb. 24. Taking the place of Rules is the new comedy Mad Love, which will air on Mondays at 8:30/7:30c after How I Met Your Mother starting Feb. 21.
The action drama Chaos will premiere on Friday, April 1 at 8/7c, following the season finale of The Defenders.
Here's the complete schedule:
Monday (beginning Feb. 21)
8-8:30 p.m. — How I Met Your Mother
8:30-9 p.m. — Mad Love
9-9:30 p.m. — Two and a Half Men
9:30-10 p.m. — Mike & Molly
10-11 p.m. — Hawaii Five-0
8-9 p.m. — Live to Dance (beginning Jan. 19) ... Survivor: Redemption Island (beginning Feb. 16)
9-10 p.m. — Criminal Minds
10-11 p.m. — Blue Bloods (beginning Jan. 19) ... Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior (beginning Feb. 16)
Thursday (beginning Feb. 24)
8-8:30 p.m. — The Big Bang Theory
8:30-9 p.m. — Rules of Engagement
9-10 p.m. — CSI
10-11 p.m. — The Mentalist
8-9 p.m. — The Defenders (beginning Feb. 4) ... Chaos (beginning April 1)
9-11 p.m. — CSI:NY
10-11 p.m. — Blue Bloods (beginning Feb. 11)