Unlike ABC, CBS knows exactly what it is – the home to police procedurals and multi-camera sitcoms.
It’s also the ‘Most Watched Broadcast Network’ for a sixth year in a row, so apparently the American audience has not yet tired of crime scenes, cops, and canned laughter.
Over the past four years, 32% of all their freshman scripted series have survived to see a second season. Here’s the breakdown by year – 2010-2011: 37.50%, 2011-2012: 42%, 2012-2013: 20%, 2013-2014: 25%.
Mike & Molly
2 Broke Girls
Person of Interest
|$#*! My Dad Says Chaos
Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior Mad Love
The Defenders How to be a Gentleman
NYC 22 Rob
A Gifted Man Golden Boy
Made in Jersey Partners
Vegas Bad Teacher
Friends with Better Lives Hostages
Intelligence The Crazy Ones
We Are Men
CBS’s ‘Renewed List’ is fairly straightforward; their dramas can all be categorized with the crime / mystery label and two or the four sitcoms come courtesy of executive producer Chuck Lorre, who is also responsible for The Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men.
It’s the ‘Cancelled List’ where things get a bit more interesting. CBS isn’t exactly known for greenlighting completely absurd projects but they’ve certainly had their share of missteps with $#*! My Dad Says, Made In Jersey, and Rob.
Beyond that though, it would seem as though CBS hasn’t had much luck diversifying their drama offerings. New legal, medical, and dramedies have all pretty quickly come and gone. Even their last attempt at a spin off, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, was a bust which is crazy when you think about the fact that CBS has successfully launched three CSIs and two NCIS franchises. Both of which will add another one this coming TV season.
On CBS, single camera comedies are also a rare commodity. In the past four TV seasons only two single camera comedies have seen the light of day, The Crazy Ones and We Are Men, and both were cancelled before or at the conclusion of their first season.
If it’s not broke don’t fix it, and that’s exactly what CBS is doing for the 2014-2015 TV season. With much of last season’s line-up returning and the newly acquired rights to the NFL’s Thursday Night Football taking up an entire evening through November, not a lot of spots need to be filled.
Just 5 new shows will debut in 2014: NCIS: New Orleans, Madam Secretary, Scorpion, Stalker, and The McCarthys.
Madam Secretary is about, you guessed it, the Secretary of State played by Tea Leoni and Stalker is unsurprisingly about detectives who specialize in stalking cases.
Scorpion on the other hand is about neither the creepy stinging animals or the Rock’s The Scorpion King, rather its about super smart computer people helping out Homeland Security.
And the lone comedy is The McCarthys, a multi-cam sitcom revolving around a sports crazed family from Boston.
CSI: Cyber will take over it’s sister series time-slot later in the year and a buddy cop dramedy entitled Battle Creek is also waiting in the wings. It may actually be better than it sounds based on the people involved; producers / writers on the project include Vince Gilligan, David Shore, and Mark Johnson.