Fall Wrap-Up: CBS

With the 2011-2012 fall TV season officially over and a slew of new mid-season spring programs right around the corner, its time to analyze each network’s performance this fall season. Which network was successful in launching new fall shows? Which networks have a have holes to fill and a lot of pressure in launching new spring shows to make up for a lackluster fall season? All of your questions will be answered here in the 1st edition of the TV Talk with JWalk Fall Wrap-Up.

CBS

One of CBS’ biggest tasks this fall was to deliver a new star to its biggest hit series, Two and a Half Men. After months of a huge public relations disaster between Two and a Half Men star Charlie Sheen and his boss, Men writer and Executive Producer Chuck Lorre, CBS and Warner Bros. Studio, the studio who owns TV’s #1 sitcom, fired the star and started the hectic search for a big name to replace the star for the series, which was heading into its ninth season. Ashton Kutcher was named to replace Sheen at the CBS Upfront presentation in May. With Kutcher set to join the CBS sitcom, execs just had to wait and see if their big bet would pay off in the fall.

Everything went according to plan when the Ashton Kutcher-led Two and a Half Men premiered on Monday, September 19th to the series’ highest ratings ever; 28.7 million viewers. Ratings have since dropped to an average of 15 million viewers, but ratings are still up 20% compared to last fall when Charlie Sheen was still the star.

Two and a Half Men wasnt the only bright spot in CBS’ Monday night lineup this fall. Its new sitcom 2 Broke Girls shattered ratings records with its series premiere, 19.2 million viewers – the biggest comedy premiere since 2001, as well has being the #1 new comedy of the season. Veteran Monday night comedies How I Met Your Mother and Mike & Molly have also been doing considerably better in the ratings this season compared to last fall.

Things weren’t too bright for CBS’s other new comedy premiere this fall, How to be a Gentlemen. Even though it had a major lead-in from Thursday juggernaut The Big Bang Theory, the sitcom starring David Hornsby (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia), Kevin Dillion (Entourage), and Mary Lynn Rajskub (24) only premiered to 8.9 million viewers. It was quickly shifted from Thursday to Saturday nights, then officially cancelled a week later; airing a total of three episodes.

The CBS drama situations weren’t any better this fall. While none of the new dramas this fall; Unforgettable, Person of Interest, and A Gifted Man haven’t made a lasting impression on the schedule. While Person of Interest is a safe bet for second season renewal – probably on a different night, Unforgettable and A Gifted Man will most likely get the axe in May.

CBS will be going into the new year with only two new shows, the new sitcom Rob, starring Rob Schneider (Thursday, January 12th), and the new cop drama NYC22, prodcued by Robert DeNiro –  yet to be scheduled, but will most likely end up on Fridays with fellow CBS police dramas CSI:NY and Blue Bloods. Also, the return of the hit reality show Undercover Boss this spring to its new home of Friday nights beginning February 17th at 8p.m.

CBS is the number #1 network in total viewers, #2 in the 18-49 demo behind Fox, and has some of the highest rated sitcoms on television. In the drama department though, it could use some work. With no new and up and coming drama produced this season, and with its once dominant CSI franchise losing more and more viewers with each passing year, CBS will need to improve its game in the drama department to sustain its success in upcoming seasons.

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