May 17, 2017




See our analysis of the fall line-ups for NBC, FOX and ABC.

CBS always has the same story to tell at this time of year.  It portrays itself, with some accuracy, as television’s bastion of consistency, where hit shows run for years and years (and years and years and years), and even the new series fit neatly with the veterans.  This season, though, like a Hollywood actor who’s had that one bit of plastic surgery too many, time started to catch up with CBS.  NCIS, Criminal Minds and even The Big Bang Theory, showed their age, dropping beyond the level of normal network erosion. Meanwhile, one tradition that CBS would like to forget held true, which is that none of its new shows managed more than the most modest success.  To all this, the network’s Fall 2017 schedle says:  More of the same!

The CBS Fall 2017 primetime schedule has been added to the grid below.  On Monday, the first comedy lineup runs September 25-October 23 (with a special preview of Young Sheldon at 8:30 pm on September 25 and 9JKL debuting the next week). The second comedy block listed on Monday starts Oct 30. On Thursday, the entertainment lineup listed starts November 2 after NFL Thursday night football ends its CBS run.

Network Schedule Fall 2017 NBC FOX ABC CBS

MONDAY:  As has been the case since CBS started carrying THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL, its Monday line-up features THE BIG BANG THEORY for the first 6 weeks of the season while its usual slot is occupied, using it to launch a new sitcom.  This year it’s 9JKL, a multicamera that may have the most CBS sitcom premise ever:  Mark Feuerstein as a man living in an apartment whose next-door neighbors on both sides are his parents and siblings–hilarity ensues! During that 6 weeks, KEVIN CAN WAIT slides to 9PM to serve as lead-in to ME, MYSELF & I, which is a little more adventurous, but in a LIFE IN PIECES structural kind of way:  each episode intercuts between the same character at 14, 40 and 65 (the middle-aged version is played by SNL‘s Bobby Moynihan).  Neither of these raise much hope of being a game-changer.  After football is done, KEVIN goes back to 8PM, ME, MYSELF & I takes the 9PM slot, and SUPERIOR DONUTS returns.  In both iterations, SCORPION keeps its 10PM home.

TUESDAY:  NCIS, BULL and NCIS: NEW ORLEANS stay put, and CBS hopes to stop the ratings bleeding.

WEDNESDAY.  After SURVIVORCRIMINAL MINDS moves to 10PM to create a hammock for SEAL TEAM, another of the military-themed dramas that will dot the fall schedules.  The slot should help the new show, since SURVIVOR has been remarkably stable, but CRIMINAL MINDS has been slipping already, and this could push it to even weaker territory.

THURSDAY:  Once football is over, BIG BANG returns home and (duh) serves as the lead-in for YOUNG SHELDON.  Although that seems like a sure thing, it’s worth noting that it’s being done single-camera, so the feel will be different, and also that Warner Bros owns the show and is probably charging quite a bit for it. After MOM and LIFE IN PIECES, new procedural SWAT will face off against HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER and the Dick Wolf MENENDEZ KILLINGS limited series, and may hold its own.

FRIDAY:  MACGYVER, HAWAII 5-0 and BLUE BLOODS return, although they’ll face an unprecedented level of competition from scripted shows on (pending CW) every other network, a collection of series Les Moonves has already disparaged as an “island of misfit toys.”  CBS makes its money from international and ancillary rights on its procedurals, which should continue to be strong.

SUNDAY:  NCIS: LA and MADAM SECRETARY move an hour to make way for WISDOM OF THE PEOPLE, another procedural and one that sounds a bit like FOX’s failed APB, as a tycoon (Jeremy Piven) uses high-tech to solve crimes.



About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."


  1. Life I

    Did you take this info from Deadline? Cause both you and them have “Life I” instead of presumably “Life in Pieces”

  2. Destiny

    That’s Elementary doomed then. The fact it’s not on the fall schedule suggests a 13 episode or less order to air somewhere, sometime.

    • Riff

      It was renewed for 13 episodes. I expected it to move to Saturday if it got renewed, and I’m not changing my expectations there.

      As for “Pure Genius,” “Doubt” and “Training Day,” they were cancelled. And of course the me-too trash rags couldn’t be bothered to report that. I have no idea what’s the status on “Undercover Boss,” “Hunted,” “48 Hours: NCIS” or “Ransom.” Guess we’ll find out shortly after speaking to the sales team if any are coming back. But not from the me-too rags, since they can’t be bothered to report anything.

      • Destiny

        Thankyou, I wasn’t up to date on the CBS stuff. I just literally went online and posted the above lol. I think you could be right about Elementary, unless the network finds itself flooded with flops(It has Amazing Race again for this scenario), it won’t have any room for Elementary.

        S.W.A.T. looks like it could be a flop, but Shemar Moore does have his fans, and it does look like a co production between CBS & Sony. It’ll probably be given more than enough chance to succeed.

        • Riff

          “S.W.A.T. looks like it could be a flop”

          I haven’t seen the sales presentation reels yet, as I don’t go to the upfronts anymore, nor did I go to CBS’ pre/mini-upfronts (I will see them shortly, along with complete pilots), but from what I’ve heard, “Wisdom” was the iffy drama they ordered — ordered because it tested through the roof, iffy because Jeremy Piven is so unlikable. It is very comedic, so I just assumed it would air Thursdays 10:00, where expectations are low. Surprised with “S.W.A.T.’s” time slot, which seemed a given for Wednesday and would have been a slam dunk there. In their problem time slot, it certainly is not. No idea what happened with “Hunted” which performed well enough for filler.

      • Riff

        OK, “Undercover Boss” was picked up. Guess I should have been looking at their press release first.

  3. Riff

    Thank you, CBS, for bucking the trend and putting together a decent fall schedule. (Even if “Wisdom of the Crowd” and “SWAT” are in the wrong time slots.) I wanted to short stocks after looking at FOX’s and ABC’s. But, um, “Man with a Plan,” guys? We actually liked that one. Come to think of it, by the end of the season, we actually thought it was your best Monday comedy. Who knew after Jeff’s and Jackie’s 8 busted pilots in a row, they could make something good? Quite the turnaround.

    Countdown to “9JKL’s” title being changed to “9 Lives.” Then again, considering how long Dana Klein’s last sitcom for CBS lasted, perhaps a title change to “9 Weeks” is more appropriate.

  4. Tim

    Yawn. All CBS shows are same thing, either a procedure drama or a laugh track comedy.

  5. CMM

    9JKL really, really needs to be changed. It looks like some TV Guide typo, or code, rather than a show and says absolutely nothing about what it is. I had to look it up, as I thought it was initials for long title.

    S.W.A.T. and SEAL TEAM seem almost interchangeable. You would think they would go with one or the other or put one on in fall and the other during summer. One, if not both, may do as well as Hawaii Five-O.

    INSTINCT seems an odd one. Alan Cumming solving crimes?

    I kind of liked Piven in Cupid, but not sure he being a tech guy trying to solve his daughter’s murder will work for him. I’ve not liked his shows since Cupid. The WISDOM of the CROWD title seems wrong too.

    ME, MYSELF, and I plus BY the BOOK seem like failures.

    And I want YOUNG SHELDON to die. The character is over-exposed to begin with and we know how he turns out, so this is just a money grab for no good reason. It does not help that I think Big Bang Theory is becoming a tired show at the moment and Sheldon won’t matters. Sadly, people will watch this.

    • CMM

      “Sheldon won’t – help – matters”

      • CMM

        Well, after the trailers –

        Please, CBS, please kill the license plate number show – don’t rename it, just bury it and pretend it never existed. If not, please, someone, lock up Leslie Moonves and his other execs in a room and make them watch the pilot over and over and over again with the laugh track cranked up to 11. The Great Indoors cancellation will become a huge regret.

        If SWAT survives, I’ll be surprised. It wasn’t awful, just not compelling in any way I could see. SEAL TEAM seemed better.

        WISDOM of the CROWD seemed just like A.P.B., but maybe better. Don’t think it’ll last though.

        ME, MYSELF, and I was kind of nice, amusing, and seemingly ambitious, but if only they found three leads that actually looked like the main character at those ages. It’s a personal pet peeve of mine, so some may not care. We may end up wishing they had stuck with the just one aspect of his life.

        YOUNG SHELDON was just wrong. The lead and Zoe Perry as his mother weren’t too bad, but everything else…ugh. Although, after 10 seasons, viewers may now really want to meet Sheldon’s brother and sister on Big Bang Theory.

        • xwiseguyx

          Really, all that analysis and advice for Mooves just from the trailer? (insert eye roll here)

          • CMM

            Focus –

            Impressions and opinions – not analysis. If guilty of anything, it’s overdoing it, but this site is clearly not good for such things anyway, so lesson learned.

            Wishful thinking with a bit of common sense – not advice.

            Trailers are designed to sell the show – They can fail at doing that and do so miserably like 9JKL. The title alone is clueless. Some shows can turn out better than you thought. This will not be one of them.

            Watch it, if you liked it, or any of them.

      • CMM

        CBS should put Young Sheldon on Mondays during football and then keep it there followed by Me, Myself, and I. Start airing Big Bang Theory only when football ends on Thursday. Put 9JKL after Kevin Can Wait. Save Superior Donuts for when 9JKL dies. Move Mom and Life in Pieces up after Big Bang Theory and their new By the Book show, if ready, could go after Life in Pieces. Having Big Bang and Sheldon together is overkill for one night.

  6. Shan

    Anyone know if Doubt will be a summer burn-off like CBS has done with other shows? And do you think ABC will burn-off Time After Time online like they have done with other shows?

  7. KevinY

    Forgive me but I actually really like this schedule. I’m gonna record all the new shows and see how the ratings are before deciding which ones to watch. SWAT doesn’t directly go against This Is Us but I think that’s still a pretty lousy spot. Great spot for SEAL TEAM, coming from Timberman/Beverly productions they’re probably thrilled after the failure of Doubt. I get the sense there will be a letdown in week two when 9JKL premieres because some people might not realize Young Sheldon is just a preview that first week. So my hopes for 9JKL are not great even though I love the cast!

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