Upfront: CBS Eyes Gains in 10 P.M. Slot

CBS unveiled a fairly conservative new schedule for the fall, introducing three new dramas and one new comedy, with a strategy that network executives said was designed to capitalize on an opportunity to gain audience share at 10 p.m. and strengthen what they said was already a strong and stable lineup.

The new dramas include NCIS spinoff NCIS: Los Angeles and The Good Wife, about a mommy tracker who reenters the legal profession after her husband’s career ends abruptly amid scandal, which will air Tuesday at 9 p.m. and 10 p.m., respectively. A new medical drama, Three Rivers, will debut at 9 p.m. on Sunday nights.  

The new comedy, Accidentally on Purpose, about a San Francisco writer who gets pregnant after a one-night stand, will air at 8:30 on Monday nights.

Being readied for midseason are two reality shows, including Arranged Marriage, which explores the widespread practice in the U.S., and Undercover Boss, about C-level types who go undercover in their companies to mingle with the rank and file.

Also renewed for midseason: Rules of Engagement and Flashpoint.

New dramas for midseason include medical show Miami Trauma (from Jerry Bruckheimer) and The Bridge, about a cop who becomes head of the police union.

Cancelled shows include Without a Trace and The Unit. Nina Tassler, president of CBS Entertainment, said the decisions to cancel both were “very difficult,” but that the network simply saw a greater opportunity for growth with the new and returning slate.

The network is moving this year’s new hit series The Mentalist from Tuesday at 9 p.m. to Thursday at 10 p.m., where CBS senior executive vp Kelly Kahl said it has the potential to be a top-five program next season.

CBS Corp. president and CEO Leslie Moonves said NBC’s move of Jay Leno to 10 p.m. on weeknights next season “is a real sea change. There will be more share available for the people who put on great dramas.”

The network, also picked up Medium, which CBS produces but which NBC had aired through this season and has now cancelled. It will air Friday’s at 9 p.m.

The new schedule:


How I Met Your Mother
Accidentally on Purpose
Two and Half Men
Big Bang Theory
CSI: Miami


NCIS: Los Angeles
The Good Wife


The New Adventures of Old Christine
Cary Unmarried
Criminal Minds


CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
The Mentalist


Ghost Whisperer


Crime Time Saturday
Crime Time Saturday
48 Hours Mystery


60 Minutes
The Amazing Race
Three Rivers
Cold Case

Program descriptions:

Accidentally on Purpose
Former Dharma & Greg star Jenna Elfman plays a 39-year-old San Francisco movie critic who gets pregnant after a one night with a man 10 years her junior. The cast includes Ashley Jensen, Grant Show (Swingtown), Jon Foster, Lennon Parham and Nicolas Wright.

The Good Wife
After a Chicago district attorney resigns in disgrace and is sent to prison, his stay-at-home wife must go back to being a lawyer to support the family. Julianna Margulies (ER), Matt Czuchry and Christine Baranski (Cybill) star.
Three Rivers
Organ transplants and donation through the eyes of doctors, donors and recipients is the focus of this new medical drama. The cast includes Joaquim de Almedia, Christopher Hanke, Daniel Henney, Justina Machado, Katherine Moennig, Alex O’Loughlin and Julia Ormond.  
The Bridge (midseason)
After being voted to become the police union’s leader, a tough and dedicated police officer (Aaron Douglas) has his hands full dealing with criminals on the street, corruption in the ranks and his own bosses. In association with Canadian network CTV and CBS Television Studios)
Miami Trauma (midseason)
A team of trauma surgeons in Miami who race against time to save patients with less than one hour to live is the focus of this new medical drama. The cast includes Richard Coyle, Elisabeth Harnois, Jeremy Northam and Lana Parrilla.  

Arranged Marriage (midseason)
Three single adults unlucky in love rely on their closest family and friends to choose someone for them to marry. Beginning with the first meetings of the families to the actual wedding day, the couple is documented through the day-to-day joys and struggles in their arranged unions.  
Undercover Boss (midseason)
In this new hidden camera reality series, an executive goes undercover in disguise at the company he works for to get a real look at the people working there and the company itself.