In what has become a rite of spring, CBS on Thursday announced it has renewed 18 series for next season.
Eighteen appears to be Nina Tassler’s lucky number, as this marks the fourth consecutive year the CBS entertainment chairman has locked in that many renewals in March. (Time is a flat circle!)
Among the series that will return in the fall are the freshman comedies The Millers and Mom, as well as the veteran sitcoms 2 Broke Girls, Mike & Molly and Two and a Half Men. The five comedies join The Big Bang Theory in the winner’s circle one day after CBS picked up that show for another three seasons.
CBS also nailed down nine of its drama series, a roster that includes its entire Tuesday night lineup (NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, Person of Interest) and the veteran procedurals CSI and Criminal Minds. The Friday night dramas Hawaii Five-0 and Blue Bloods also will be in the mix for 2014-15, as will Elementary and The Good Wife.
While The Good Wife is batting below the Mendoza line—now in its fifth season, the critically acclaimed drama is averaging a 1.5 rating among adults 18-49 in the hyper-competitive Sunday 9 p.m. slot—it is an in-house favorite and a total awards magnet. Since launching in 2010, The Good Wife has won four Emmy Awards (including one each for Julianna Margulies and Archie Panjabi) and a Golden Globes statuette.
Oh, and CBS produces The Good Wife in-house, which translates into premium syndication deals and incremental revenue.
Also making a return engagement this fall are the grandaddy of all news shows, 60 Minutes, and 48 Hours. Unscripted series The Amazing Race and Undercover Boss will return as well, joining Survivor, which was renewed in December for two cycles.
“The best way to launch new shows in the fall and throughout the season is to surround them with a strong and stable lineup of successful series,” Tassler said, by way of announcing the renewals. “The shows we’re picking up today cut across every night of the week and feature genre leaders, time-period winners and the most-watched shows on broadcast television.”
Not making the cut were three freshman series (Hostages, Intelligence and The Crazy Ones) and The Mentalist. That gives CBS room for two dramas (one at 10 p.m. Monday night and another at the same time Sunday night) and two comedies. At present, The Crazy Ones occupies the Thursday 9:30 p.m. slot, while the retiring How I Met Your Mother will quit the Monday 8 p.m. time slot for good on March 31.
CBS Corp. president and CEO Les Moonves on Tuesday effectively telegraphed CBS’ intentions, telling investors that the network would have space in the fall for just two dramas and two comedies.
“You’d better be damn good or you’re not going to get on [our schedule],” Moonves said.
Among the drama pilots in the mix at CBS are Vince Gilligan’s Battle Creek and an untitled Wall Street drama from Taylor Elmore (Justified) and John Cusack.
Through the first 24 weeks of the season, CBS is No. 1 in total viewers (10.8 million per night) and second among adults 25-54.