CBS is the last of the big four networks (The CW I suppose makes it five) to release their Fall 2015-2016 schedule. Highlights include the farewell season for the network’s standard bearer for over a decade: CSI. CBS is also getting in on the comic book action with a Supergirl series that already has a trailer and a full season order (see below for the trailer).
CBS today unveiled its 2015-2016 primetime lineup, featuring seven new shows and 22 returning series. CBS will build on a schedule that will finish the current season as America’s most-watched network in viewers for the 12th time in 13 years, including the last seven years straight.
The new fall dramas are: the heart-pounding medical series “Code Black,” set in the busiest, most notorious ER in the nation; the fast-paced “Limitless,” based on the feature film with Bradley Cooper, starring Jake McDorman as an average guy who can suddenly access 100% of his brain capacity with a mysterious pill; and “Supergirl,” starring Melissa Benoist in the title role based on the DC Comics superhero.
The new fall comedies are: “Angel from Hell,” about a loud, colorful, often inappropriate woman who claims to be a guardian angel, starring Golden Globe and Emmy Award winner Jane Lynch and Maggie Lawson; and “Life in Pieces,” an irreverent look at a family’s sometimes awkward, often hilarious and ultimately beautiful milestone moments, starring Academy and Emmy Award winner Dianne Wiest, Emmy Award winner James Brolin, Zoe Lister Jones, Colin Hanks, Angelique Cabral, Thomas Sadoski, Betsy Brandt and Dan Bakkedahl.
Two new dramas also set to premiere in 2015-2016 include the buddy-cop drama “Rush Hour,” based on the successful film franchise, starring Justin Hires as a maverick detective from Los Angeles and John Foo as a stoic detective from Hong Kong who knock heads when they are forced to work together; and “Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders,” a “Criminal Minds” spinoff starring Emmy Award winner Gary Sinise about the International Division of the FBI tasked with solving crimes and rescuing Americans in danger while abroad.
The 22 returning shows for the 2015-2016 season are dramas NCIS, television’s #1 drama for six consecutive seasons; “NCIS: New Orleans,” television’s #1 new show of the 2014-2015 season; “Blue Bloods,” “Criminal Minds,” “CSI: Cyber,” “Elementary,” “The Good Wife,” “Hawaii Five-0,” “Madam Secretary,” “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “Person of Interest” and “Scorpion.” The comedies are “The Big Bang Theory,” television’s #1 scripted program, the critically acclaimed “Mom,” “The Odd Couple,” “Mike & Molly” and “2 Broke Girls.”
The returning reality series are time period-winning “Survivor,” 10-time Emmy Award winner “The Amazing Race,” and the two-time Emmy Award-winning “Undercover Boss.”
In news, CBS will return “60 Minutes,” television’s #1 news program for more than four decades, and “48 Hours,” Saturday’s #1 non-sports program.
In addition to the new shows and 22 established series, “NFL Thursday Night Football” returns to CBS’s #1 primetime lineup. The Thursday broadcasts kick off on Sept. 17 with Denver at Kansas City, and will feature CBS’s lead broadcasters and production team, including Jim Nantz, Phil Simms and reporter Tracy Wolfson.
The 2015-2016 season will also feature a lineup of big events, including the premiere of “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” on Tuesday, Sept. 8, and the two-hour series finale farewell for “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation on Sunday, Sept. 27, reuniting original cast members including William Petersen and Marg Helgenberger.
And CBS will feature the exclusive presentation of “Super Bowl 50″ on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016, when the event celebrates its golden anniversary at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. This will mark the Network’s 19th Super Bowl telecast, the most by any broadcaster.
“This is a schedule well-positioned to build on the foundation of last year when we introduced five successful new series and increased our audience by 5%,” said Nina Tassler, Chairman, CBS Entertainment. “With ‘Thursday Night Football,’ many of the biggest hits on primetime television and huge events throughout the year, all of our exciting new shows have the best possible environment to succeed, and to help deliver another winning season for CBS.”
CBS TELEVISION NETWORK 2015-2016 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE
(N=New, RTP=Regular Time Period, NTP=New Time Period)
All Times ET/PT
8:00-8:30 PM THE BIG BANG THEORY
8:30-9:00 PM LIFE IN PIECES (N)
8:00-9:00 PM SUPERGIRL (N) (Starting in November)
9:00-10:00 PM SCORPION
10:00-11:00 PM NCIS: LOS ANGELES
8:00-9:00 PM NCIS
9:00-10:00 PM NCIS: NEW ORLEANS
10:00-11:00 PM LIMITLESS (N)
8:00-9:00 PM SURVIVOR
9:00-10:00 PM CRIMINAL MINDS
10:00-11:00 PM CODE BLACK (N)
8:00-11:00 PM, ET/5:00-8:00 PM, PT NFL THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL (Premieres Sept. 17)
8:00-8:30 PM THE BIG BANG THEORY (RTP) (Starting in November)
8:30-9:00 PM LIFE IN PIECES (NTP) (Starting in November)
9:00-9:30 PM MOM (Starting in November)
9:30-10:00 PM ANGEL FROM HELL (N) (Starting in November)
10:00-11:00 PM ELEMENTARY (Starting in November)
8:00-9:00 PM THE AMAZING RACE
9:00-10:00 PM HAWAII FIVE-0
10:00-11:00 PM BLUE BLOODS
8:00-9:00 PM CRIMETIME SATURDAY
9:00-10:00 PM CRIMETIME SATURDAY
10:00-11:00 PM 48 HOURS
7:00-8:00 PM 60 MINUTES
8:00-9:00 PM MADAM SECRETARY
9:00-10:00 PM THE GOOD WIFE
10:00-11:00 PM CSI: CYBER (NTP)
THE NEW FALL DRAMAS:
CODE BLACK, based on the award-winning documentary by Ryan McGarry, is a heart-pounding medical drama that takes place in the busiest, most notorious ER in the nation, where the staggering influx of patients can outweigh the limited resources available to the extraordinary doctors and nurses whose job is to treat them all – creating a condition known as Code Black. At the heart of the ER’s controlled chaos is Residency Director Dr. Leanne Rorish (Academy Award winner Marcia Gay Harden), renowned for successfully performing high-risk procedures in Center Stage, the trauma area reserved for the most critical cases. Her four new first-year residents are Christa Lorenson (Bonnie Somerville), Malaya Pineda (Melanie Kannokada), Mario Savetti (Benjamin Hollingsworth) and Angus Leighton (Harry M. Ford). Leanne’s confidante, Jesse Sallander (Luis Guzman), is an amiable seen-it-all senior nurse who manages the residents. Also working in the ER is Dr. Neal Hudson (Raza Jaffrey), an excellent physician who sometimes disagrees with Leanne’s “cowboy” approach, and Dr. Rollie Guthrie (William Allen Young), the energetic, longest-serving attending. In Center Stage, life is measured in seconds, and these heroic doctors and nurses operate with speed and skill within an overwhelmed system to treat the crowds of people who are often there for one of two reasons: to die or to receive a life-saving miracle. Michael Seitzman, Marti Noxon, Linda Goldstein-Knowlton, Ryan McGarry and David Semel are executive producers for ABC Studios in association with CBS Television Studios. The pilot was directed by David Semel (“Madam Secretary”).
LIMITLESS, based on the feature film, is a fast-paced drama about Brian Finch (Jake McDorman), who discovers the brain-boosting power of the mysterious drug NZT and is coerced by the FBI into using his extraordinary cognitive abilities to solve complex cases for them. Working closely with Brian in the major case squad in New York City is Special Agent Rebecca Harris (Jennifer Carpenter), a formidable investigator with a dark past, and Special Agent Boyle (Hill Harper), a former military officer and Rebecca’s confidante. They report to Special Agent in Charge Nasreen “Naz” Pouran (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio), a canny manipulator of the reins of power. Unbeknownst to the FBI, Brian also has a clandestine relationship with Senator Edward Mora (Academy Award nominee Bradley Cooper, recurring), a presidential hopeful and regular user of NZT who has plans of his own for his new protégé. Fueled now with a steady supply of NZT that enables him to use 100% of his brain capacity, Brian is more effective than all of the FBI agents combined, making him a criminal’s worst nightmare and the greatest asset the Bureau has ever possessed. Craig Sweeny, Marc Webb, Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Heather Kadin, Bradley Cooper, Todd Phillips, Ryan Kavanaugh, Tucker Tooley and Tom Forman are executive producers for CBS Television Studios in association with K/O Paper Products and Relativity Television. The pilot was directed by Marc Webb (“The Amazing Spider-Man” 1 and 2 Feature Films).
SUPERGIRL is an action-adventure drama based on the DC Comics character Kara Zor-El (Melissa Benoist), Superman’s (Kal-El) cousin who, after 12 years of keeping her powers a secret on Earth, decides to finally embrace her superhuman abilities and be the hero she was always meant to be. Twelve-year-old Kara escaped the doomed planet Krypton with her parents’ help at the same time as the infant Kal-El. Protected and raised on Earth by her foster family, the Danvers, Kara grew up in the shadow of her foster sister, Alex (Chyler Leigh), and learned to conceal the phenomenal powers she shares with her famous cousin in order to keep her identity a secret. Years later at 24, Kara lives in National City assisting media mogul and fierce taskmaster Cat Grant (Golden Globe Award winner Calista Flockhart), who just hired the Daily Planet’s former photographer, James Olsen (Mehcad Brooks), as her new art director. However, Kara’s days of keeping her talents a secret are over when Hank Henshaw (David Harewood), head of a super-secret agency where her sister also works, enlists her to help them protect the citizens of National City from sinister threats. Though Kara will need to find a way to manage her newfound empowerment with her very human relationships, her heart soars as she takes to the skies as Supergirl to fight crime. Greg Berlanti (“The Flash,” “Arrow”), Ali Adler, Sarah Schecter and Andrew Kreisberg are executive producers for Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television. The pilot was directed by Glen Winter (“Arrow”).
THE NEW FALL COMEDIES:
ANGEL FROM HELL stars Golden Globe and multiple Emmy Award winner Jane Lynch in a single-camera comedy about Amy (Lynch), a colorful, brassy woman who insinuates herself into Allison’s (Maggie Lawson) organized and seemingly perfect life, claiming to be her “guardian angel.” Allison is an intense, driven doctor who is sure that Amy is just an inebriated, outspoken nut, until every one of her warnings proves true. Cautioned by Amy not tell anyone about her, Allison can’t discuss this over-the-top oddball with her father and business partner, Marv (Kevin Pollak), a sunburned dermatologist who shares an office with Allison, or her younger brother, Brad (Kyle Bornheimer), a pharmaceutical sales rep who lives over her garage. As Allison tries to push Amy away, Amy makes her final pitch: her sole mission is to provide Allison with helpful guidance that nudges her in the right direction in life – and it’s her final chance to prove herself as an angel. With that, Allison agrees to this unlikely relationship because maybe a weird friend is exactly what she needs… and what if Amy really is her “guardian angel”? Tad Quill and Emmy Award winner Don Scardino (“30 Rock”) are executive producers for CBS Television Studios. The pilot was directed by Don Scardino.
LIFE IN PIECES is a single-camera comedy about one big happy family and their sometimes awkward, often hilarious and ultimately beautiful milestone moments as told by its various members. Of the three siblings, middle child Matt (Thomas Sadoski) may have just found his true love, his co-worker, Colleen (Angelique Cabral); his coddled youngest brother, Greg (Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominee Colin Hanks), and his wife, Jen (Zoe Lister Jones), are overwhelmed by the birth of their first child; and the eldest, Heather (Betsy Brandt), and her husband, Tim (Dan Bakkedahl), are dreading their impending empty nest so much, they’re considering having another baby. Their parents are Joan (Academy, Golden Globe and Emmy Award winner Dianne Wiest), the family’s adoring matriarch who would do anything for her kids – as long as she agrees with it – and John (Golden Globe and Emmy Award winner James Brolin), the gregarious patriarch who’s searching for ways to soften the blow of turning 70. As the family’s lives unfold in four short stories each week, they try to savor these little pieces of time that flash by but stay with you forever, because these moments add up to what life’s all about. Niall Cunningham, Holly J. Barrett and Giselle Eisenberg also star. Justin Adler, Emmy Award winner Jason Winer (“Modern Family”) and Aaron Kaplan are executive producers for 20th Century Fox Television in association with Kapital Entertainment. The pilot was directed by Jason Winer.
NEW SERIES FOR LATER THIS SEASON:
CRIMINAL MINDS: BEYOND BORDERS (Spinoff) stars Golden Globe and Emmy Award winner Gary Sinise in a drama about the specialized International Division of the FBI tasked with solving crimes and coming to the rescue of Americans who find themselves in danger while abroad. Heading the department is Unit Chief Jack Garrett (Sinise), a seasoned 20-year veteran of the Bureau. The team he trusts with his life includes Matthew Simmons (Daniel Henney), a former military hero with split-second profiling skills he honed on the battlefield, and Russ “Monty” Montgomery (Tyler James Williams), the unit’s compassionate, brilliant tech analyst who additionally liaises stateside with the families of those in trouble while his group is far from home. These exceptional agents are dedicated to safely returning U.S. residents home by profiling and identifying criminals who are beyond our borders. The pilot was a planted spin-off of an episode of CRIMINAL MINDS broadcast on April 8, 2015. Emmy Award winner Mark Gordon, Erica Messer and Nick Pepper are executive producers for ABC Studios in association with CBS Television Studios and The Mark Gordon Company. The episode was directed by Glen Kershaw (“Criminal Minds”).
RUSH HOUR, a reimagining of the hit feature film franchise, is a buddy-cop drama about a maverick LAPD detective and a by-the-book detective from Hong Kong who knock heads when they are forced to partner together. Detective Lee (Jon Foo) is a reserved, honorable master martial artist with lightning-fast moves who comes to L.A. to avenge his sister’s alleged death and learn more about her connection to a Chinese organized crime ring. Detective Carter (Justin Hires), on the other hand, is a wisecracking cop who plays by his own rules and has never wanted a partner. As exasperated as Carter’s boss, Captain Cole (Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominee Wendie Malick), gets with him, she knows he’s a brilliant detective who gets results. Attempting to help the two get along is Sergeant Didi Diaz (Aimee Garcia), Carter’s friend and former partner who doesn’t hesitate to call him out on his antics. But even as cultures clash and tempers flare, Carter and Lee can’t deny they make a formidable team, and grudgingly admit that sometimes an unlikely pairing makes for a great partnership. Bill Lawrence, Blake McCormick, Jeff Ingold, Jon Turteltaub and the team behind the “Rush Hour” movies, Arthur Sarkissian and Brett Ratner, are executive producers for Warner Bros. Television. The pilot was directed by Jon Turteltaub.