CBS is looking to keep its status as television's most-watched network with a 2017-18 fall slate that will launch six new programs, including a spinoff of its biggest comedy hit, "The Big Bang Theory."
CBS is using "The Big Bang Theory" — the most popular comedy on television after 10 seasons — to get a sampling for two of those new shows.
The sitcom will start the season at 8 p.m. Monday, leading into "9JKL," a new series starring Mark Feuerstein. The sitcom is based on Feuerstein's life in New York City when he lived in an apartment adjacent to units occupied by his doting parents (played by Elliott Gould and Linda Lavin) and his competitive brother and his family.
In the fall, after "NFL Thursday Night Football" concludes its run on CBS, "The Big Bang Theory" will move to Thursdays at 8 p.m. and will serve as a launch pad for its prequel, "Young Sheldon," beginning Nov. 2. The series tells the story of a 9-year-old version of Jim Parsons' character, Sheldon Cooper, a-fish-out-of-water genius starting high school in an East Texas town where football rules. Parsons, an executive producer for the series, will provide narration for the program as the adult Sheldon.
"The tone is a little more like '[The] Wonder Years' and 'Doogie Howser [M.D],' " according to Kelly Kahl, senior executive vice president of CBS Primetime, who presented the schedule at the network's New York headquarters Wednesday.
Earlier this year, CBS reached an agreement with Warner Bros. Television to renew "The Big Bang Theory" for two more seasons — giving the network a few more opportunities to use the sitcom's potent audience lead-in to boost new shows. Warner Bros. is the studio that owns the program.
CBS Chairman Leslie Moonves told reporters at the news conference that he isn't ruling out bringing back "The Big Bang Theory" for future seasons beyond the current deal signed earlier this year. He still believes his network's last big hit comedy "Everybody Loves Raymond" left the air too soon.
"You want to leave on top, but you don't want to leave money on the table," he said.
CBS also is adding to the parade of classic TV revivals that are permeating the new fall lineups, with "S.W.A.T." Shemar Moore stars in the drama based on the 1970s hit about a specialized tactical police unit in an unidentified California city and the subsequent 2003 film adaptation.
Moonves said the only obvious similarity to the old series will be the use of its classic theme song.
The rest of the Monday schedule on CBS has "Kevin Can Wait" returning at 9 p.m. It leads into another new comedy, "Me, Myself & I," with "Saturday Night Live" cast member Bobby Moynihan. The comedy explores the defining moments of one man's life over three distinct periods.
"Scorpion" will be back at 10 p.m. Mondays.
After "NFL Thursday Night Football" ends its run, "Kevin Can Wait" moves to Mondays at 8 p.m. "Me, Myself & I" slides to 9, and the comedy "Superior Donuts" rejoins the schedule in the 9:30 slot.
CBS will return its Tuesday schedule intact, with "NCIS" at 8 p.m., "Bull" at 9 and "NCIS: New Orleans" at 10.
"Survivor" will lead off Wednesdays at 8 p.m., segueing into a new drama, "SEAL Team," with David Boreanaz starring as the head of an elite unit of the Navy SEALs. "Criminal Minds" moves to 10 p.m.
Following "The Big Bang Theory" and "Young Sheldon," "Mom" returns to Thursdays at 9 p.m. "Life In Pieces" will be back at 9:30, leading into "S.W.A.T." at 10.
Friday remains intact with "MacGyver" at 8 p.m., "Hawaii Five-0" at 9 and "Blue Bloods" at 10.
CBS runs encores of its crime dramas on Saturdays, followed by "48 Hours" at 10 p.m.
Sunday opens with "60 Minutes" at 7 p.m., followed by a new series, "Wisdom of the Crowd," starring Jeremy Piven as a tech entrepreneur who develops an app to track down criminals after his daughter is murdered. "NCIS: Los Angeles" moves to 9 p.m., and "Madam Secretary" returns at 10.
CBS' midseason shows include "Instinct," a drama starring Alan Cumming as a former CIA operative who is lured back to his old life when the NYPD needs his help to stop a serial killer, and "By the Book," a comedy about a man who tries to live his life in accordance with the Bible.
CBS also has ordered new seasons of "Elementary," "Code Black," "The Amazing Race" and "Undercover Boss." The sitcom "Two Broke Girls" will not return.
Moonves, whose network faced criticism for a lack of racial diversity in his programming lineup, was questioned this time around about not having a female lead in any of his new shows.
He defended CBS' track record, noting the network has the most female viewers, and cited his returning shows "Madam Secretary" and "Elementary," both of which are both fronted by female stars.
"There are a lot of women on the schedule," Moonves said. "The best pilots win at the end of the day, and we think our track record is OK."
Moonves noted that from a corporate standpoint — CBS owns premium cable network Showtime and a 50% interest in the CW network — "we're fine in terms of the amount of women behind the camera and in front of the camera."
The CBS 2017-2018 night-by-night schedule:
(N=new, RTP=regular time period, NTP=new time period)
All times ET/PT
8-8:30 p.m. "The Big Bang Theory"
8:30-9 p.m. "Young Sheldon" (N) (special one-time preview Sept. 25)
8:30-9 p.m. "9JKL" (N) (premieres Oct. 2)
9-9:30 p.m. "Kevin Can Wait"
9:30-10 p.m. "Me, Myself & I" (N)
10-11 p.m. "Scorpion"
8-8:30 p.m. "Kevin Can Wait" (RTP) (starting Oct. 30)
8:30-9 p.m. "9JKL"
9-9:30 p.m. "Me, Myself & I" (RTP) (starting Oct. 30)
9:30-10 p.m. "Superior Donuts" (starting Oct. 30)
10-11 p.m. "Scorpion"
8-9 p.m. "NCIS"
9-10 p.m. "Bull"
10-11 p.m. "NCIS: New Orleans"
8-9 p.m. "Survivor"
9-10 p.m. "SEAL Team" (N)
10-11 p.m. "Criminal Minds" (NTP)
8-11 p.m. "NFL Thursday Night Football" (premieres Sept. 28)
8-8:30 p.m. "The Big Bang Theory" (RTP) (starting Nov. 2)
8:30-9 p.m. "Young Sheldon" (N) (RTP) (starting Nov. 2)
9-9:30 p.m. "Mom" (starting Nov. 2)
9:30-10 p.m. "Life in Pieces" (starting Nov. 2)
10-11 p.m. "S.W.A.T." (N) (starting Nov. 2)
8-9 p.m. "MacGyver"
9-10 p.m. "Hawaii Five-O"
10-11 p.m. "Blue Bloods"
8-9 p.m. Crimetime Saturday
9-10 p.m. Crimetime Saturday
10-11 p.m. "48 Hours"
7-8 p.m. "60 Minutes"
8-9 p.m. "Wisdom of the Crowd" (N)
9-10 p.m. "NCIS: Los Angeles" (NTP)
10-11 p.m. "Madam Secretary" (NTP)