This week, CBS announced its new slate of shows to advertisers in New York, and the surprise is that there isn't a procedural crime drama in the bunch. The network has hit pay dirt the past few years with the CSI franchise, and now it says it wants to take some chances.
The new slate is composed of 12 comedies, 11 dramas, and five reality shows. For comedy, the network turned to some old friends.
Phil Rosenthal, creator of CBS's gold-standard sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond, is back with a new show called Play Nice. Mad About You's Paul Reiser takes executive-producer role in The Paul Reiser Project, which stars Bobby Cannavale from Will & Grace.
Mitch Rouse becomes The Angriest Man in Suburbia, and Friends creator David Crane reaches out to the youth of America with The Class.
The network is loading up on big names for dramas, but as Head Cases, Emily's Reason Why Not, and Commander In Chief showed this season, big names alone are not a guarantee of success.
National Treasure director John Turtletaub brings the postapocalypse drama Jericho, starring Skeet Ulrich and Gerald McRaney. James Woods headlines legal drama Shark from Brian Grazer and Ron Howard at Imagine Entertainment.
The crime drama Smith is from ER producer John Wells, and superhero drama Ultra stars Lena Headey and Peter Dinklage.
The Survivor network is going nutso with some odd concepts for reality shows.
Who's Line Is It Anyway? treasure Wayne Brady is back with hidden camera show The Joke's On You. A more sedate offering might be Tuesday Night Book Club, which the network is calling a "docu-soap," about upper-middle class women who meet to discuss books they have read, and the world at large.
Man From Atlantis Patrick Duffy hosts A Hero's Welcome, a reality show featuring regular people who have had their lives saved by a real-life hero.
In the feel-good reality-show department, The Dave Ramsey Project stars the financial guru helping out debt-ridden families. In the "oh no they didn't!" department, Guess Who's Coming Over tells the story of a houseguest who comes over to the home of a family with a totally different background.
The network told Television Week that since there is very little room on the CBS schedule (because so many of its shows are successful), only the "cream of the crop" will make it to air.