CBS Wednesday announced it would shift CSI: Crime Scene Investigation from Thursdays at 9 p.m., where it has resided for 10 years and was once TV's most dominant scripted series. CSI will air Wednesdays at 10, following Criminal Minds, which has passed it in the ratings. The network picked up both CSI spin-offs (New York and Miami), but dropped Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, which had filled the 10 p.m. Wednesday slot.
The Eye will add three new dramas and two comedies, also shifting, but renewing, The Good Wife, which will now go Sundays at 9 p.m., after The Amazing Race.
There had been speculation that CBS, so rich in ratings, would dump the older-skewing Wife, currently the best drama on broadcast TV. It did cancel $#*! My Dad Says, Mad Love and, sadly, The Defenders.
Nina Tassler, CBS entertainment president, said Wife would be a good fit on the network's "prestige night" behind TV's most honored newsmagazine, 60 Minutes, and its most honored reality show, The Amazing Race.
What could be the network's most highly anticipated drama, The 2-2 - more New York City cop escapades, with Robert De Niro as executive producer and Leelee Sobieski and Adam Goldberg as two of the stars - arrives at midseason. Add that to two of the new dramas, also set around the New York City police department, and to Friday night's CSI: New York and Blue Bloods, and you might as well call the network NYPD TV.
The new fall series:
Unforgettable. Poppy Montgomery returns from Without a Trace, this time as a detective with hyperthymesia, a condition that forces her to remember every single thing that's ever happened to her. But she can't recall the details of her sister's long-ago murder. If it sounds like a riff on The Mentalist, remember the CBS mantra: "If it worked before, we'll try it again." Marilu Henner, who was profiled on a recent 60 Minutes episode as one of the few people who have the trait, will be a consultant.
Person of Interest. CBS programming guru Kelly Kahl told reporters Wednesday morning that this series had the highest audience test scores of any CBS show in 15 years. Fanboy favorite J.J. Abrams is an executive producer, but the show is more closely tied to Hollywood writing whiz Jonathan Nolan (Memento, The Dark Knight). It stars Lost's Michael Emerson as a mysterious billionaire who uses fancy-pants technology (and enforcer Jim Caviezel) to stop people from committing heinous crimes.
A Gifted Man. "A little Ghost Whisperer, a little House," said Tassler. It's about a tough-guy surgeon who changes his tune when his dead wife starts giving him pointers on being nice to patients. It stars Patrick Wilson (Watchmen) and features Julie Benz from Dexter. Susannah Grant, who wrote Erin Brockovich, created the show, and noted director Jonathan Demme is an executive producer and directed the pilot.
How to Be a Gentleman. With this amazing cast, it seems likely to fill with laughs and fit nicely behind The Big Bang Theory. Lots of funny, subversive guys: David Hornsby, who played Rickety Cricket in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia; Entourage's Kevin Dillon; Reese Darby, who was the band manager in Flight of the Conchords; and former Kid in the Hall Dave Foley. And one funny, subversive gal: Mary Lynn Rajskub, who was Chloe O'Brien on 24 and has a hilarious alternative stand-up act.
2 Broke Girls. Local girls make good. They are Bryn Mawr native Kat Dennings - "sassy and streetwise," says CBS - and Lancaster native Beth Behrs (whose first big role was two years ago as the sex-crazed Heidi in the direct-to-DVD American Pie Presents: The Book of Love). She plays a trust fund baby who's running out of bread. They work in a hipster diner in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, keeping New York in the CBS picture, even in a sitcom.