CBS is in a position, should they desire, to shake up their schedule and improve a number of timeslots. It will require relegating an expensive freshman show to Friday and expanding their Thursday lineup to 4 comedies, even though they technically don’t have enough shows to make that work. But in reality, they have the goods that would make Thursday even stronger and improve their one weak 10p timeslot.
Last Spring I suggested, as many others did, that CBS would make the move to a 2 hour comedy block on Thursday. They surprised all of us by only picking up 2 new comedies and leaving Person of Interest at 9p. I think they assumed it would be growing more than it did, especially by airing 2.5 Men at 8:30. But in actuality, the 8p comedy block is so strong, I think they can split them up and move one of the Thu dramas, which could potentially give each of them a boost.
The Big Bang Theory is just a phenom now. Last week a rerun on Monday got a 3.2 which is a higher number than any other non CBS comedy on TV except Modern Family gets in originals. I repeat: Every Other non CBS comedy on TV but Modern Family. TBS is benefiting greatly by running multiple eps almost every night of the week. Why shouldn’t CBS benefit by one extra airing a week? Conventional wisdom would be to put the second run Mon at 8:30. Last week it raised 2 Broke Girls almost a full point (.9) from its last new ep, to a season high at a 4.1. That alone makes a strong case for a regular rerun airing Mon at 8:30 , but it might help them even more on Thu.
Obviously, I think they should move TBBT to 9p on Thursday. It’s getting almost a 6.0 now at 8p. It would likely be even higher at 9p and practically double the score of the current #1 show in the hour – Grey’s Anatomy.
So Thu could possibly look like this:
8p- 2.5 Men
8:30 Rules of Engagement
9:00 – The Big Bang Theory
9:30 – Friend Me
Then they could sked the TBBT rerun on Mon at 8:30.
The problem here is that Joe Adalian Of Vulture mentioned there’s some question as to the status of Friend Me currently. It’s also possible CBS might rather flip the 8:30 and 9:30 comedies so that something proven is leading into the 10p drama. But my gut says if they are happy with the way the new comedy turned out they’d want to give it the best lead in possible which is TBBT. But there is also the possibility that Friend Me is out of the mix, in which case they might need another comedy rerun to make this work. I doubt they will do it, but I still think they should.
My other thought is what if they aired the second run of TBBT Thu at 9:30 immediately following the original. It got a 3.2 on Monday. It will be even larger on Thu directly after the original. If the 9p TBBT gets a 6.0, the rerun at 9:30 could get at least a 4.5 which would be gargantuan for any comedy on TV. It’s Thursday night. Movie studios are looking to advertise and spend lots of money. This would boost their 9-11pm exponentially. They’d tower over the #2 network of the night. Right now they’re huge 8-9. This could help them be huge for all 3 hours. Yes Elementary is a hit but I’m sure CBS is expecting it do better than just tie Scandal like last week, especially when their 8p hour is bigger than anyone elses on TV. An hour of TBBT on Thu could really help Elementary at 10p which would have a lead in almost 2 points higher than the high 2 PoI currently gets.
That leads me to the drama situation. OK let’s be honest here. Vegas is not gonna make it to a second season. CBS already cut one ep from this season order. They are only producing 21, unusual for a freshmen drama. But with a lead in of NCIS:LA that gets a high 2 it usually only produces a 1.6 in same day ratings. It can’t even beat Parenthood whose lead in is usually a point lower at around a 1.8. It doesn’t even get a big boost in LIVE Plus 7. It wasn’t in last weeks top 25 DVR gainers unlike other freshmen including Elementary and Nashville that are getting at least a 1.2 bump. (#25 was Mike & Molly which got a .7 boost) On another network this might still place it on the bubble for a 2nd year renewal. On CBS, no way. Obviously they have a lot invested in this show and it has 2 huge stars and moving a show like this to Friday would basically admit all of this. Which is why I don’t expect them to do this. This is mostly my fantasy of what I think they should do to raise their Tue and Thu numbers big time, but in reality I don’t expect them to. (If they were to move Vegas to Friday they could slide up Blue Bloods to 9p, air Vegas at 10 and put CSI:NY on hiatus, or have those eps finish in the late spring or summer. Lets be honest again, no one expects CSI:NY to return next season).
Should CBS move Vegas to Friday, they could then move PoI to Tue at 10p where it would fit very well after the NCIS Twins and finally give this timeslot a broadcast show that will get a 2.5. On Thu PoI faces TVs top drama in the demo in Grey’s and among the stronger scripted options of both Fox and NBCs schedule. Tue at 10 it would have a chance to really own that hour and solidify CBSs already big Tuesday. (Someone needs to take advantage of the hole on Tue. It’s why I think the ABC Midseason Tue should be 8p-The Taste/9pShark Tank/10p Zero Hour).
So in conclusion, here’s my sort of radical plan that could make both CBS Monday, Tuesday and Thursday pop:
8:30- Rules of Engagament (or 2BG reruns if Friend Me out of mix)
10p – Person of Interest
8:30 – Friend Me (or Rules Of Engagament)
9p – The Big Bang Theory
9:30 – The Big Bang Theory rerun
10p – Elementary
Like I said before, I don’t expect CBS to do this. My guess is they are reticent about making a rerun a regular staple on their schedule. But above all else, I think this would make them huge on Thu and help their biggest freshmen show, Elementary, grow even more. The tandem of a post Superbowl slot and regularly following an hour of TBBT on Thu will expose this show to the widest audience possible.
*- I am aware CBS has Greg Berlanti’s Golden Boy on deck but I am assuming it’s not launching until spring. Ditto on Bake Off. (One or both could be potential Sunday options, but I am getting ahead of myself)