CBS has announced its fall schedule, following Fox - who announced their line-up last week. In its upcoming fall schedule, CBS leans heavily on its foundation of scripted dramas and procedurals, building on the return of the shows it had previously announced renewed, including NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, NCIS: New Orleans, FBI, FBI: Most Wanted, Magnum P.I., Blue Bloods, Bull, MacGyver, All Rise and Seal Team. Alongside news and crime mags Crimetime Saturday, 60 Minutes and 48 Hours, Survivor and The Amazing Race also found slots on the fall schedule. Only one new drama landed on the fall schedule, including a reboot of The Equalizer, starring Queen Latifah.

The largely drama driven schedule is punctuated by a handful of returning comedies, including the rom-com Bob Hearts Abishola, Young Sheldon, The Neighborhood, The Unicorn and Mom. Joining this short list of comedies at CBS is a single new Chuck Lorre comedy, B Positive. B Positive start Silicon Valley's Thomas Middleditch and tells the story of a kidney patient that makes friends with his donor, Annaleigh Ashford.

Some renewals that CBS previously announced didn't make the fall schedule, instead moving to mid-season, like SWAT, the popular police procedural, joining Undercover Boss and new series, Clarice, on the schedule after the holiday break. Clarice is a sequel to Silence of the Lambs, telling the story of FBI agent Clarice Starling.

CBS seems to be trying to pandemic-proof their fall lineup, relying on shows that have established stories, stars, showrunners and productions. The production shut-down has certainly cut the traditional pilot crop that would normally see several shows jumping into either fall or mid-season premieres, leaving the networks, and even the streamers, scrambling to build out their schedules. It is also unclear what sports will look like through summer and into fall, given that leagues are planning to play but uncertain as to when or how. Networks frequently build their schedules around major sports to broaden audiences and advertising support and the prospect of uncertain sports programming is likely unsettling for all the TV execs. Despite the uncertainty, CBS is still planning on the Super Bowl on February 7, 2021 as they kick-off their mid-season run.

Speaking to the shutdown, CBS Entertainment president Kelly Kahl told Variety, "We believe and are hopeful that we can go into production at some point this summer and have most, if not all of these shows on at some point in the fall." He elaborated that plans and procedures for safely restarting production were still in early stages with their executives, production teams, studios, guilds, unions, medical experts and city, county and state officials. While Fox and CW both picked up acquired series to help fill schedules, CBS is hoping and planning to restart production on its shows, but would not rule out the possibility of becoming an active acquirer, should production restart not happen in time for the fall premieres, with Kahl saying,

"We're getting pitches everyday on series, specials, acquisitions, and another benefit to this merger with Viacom is we have access to a lot more material should we need it."

He elaborated to The Wrap, "We are a company with a vast quantity of assets at our disposal," he said. "If it turns out we need to put some programming on to buy some time until our fall shows are able to premiere, we have absolutely every confidence we can do that." He also said that the usual 'premiere week' would likely be very different this fall, adding, "I don't think there is going to be a kind of a hard fast premier week like we've traditionally seen."

Out of all the shows on the fall schedule, only The Amazing Race is completed. It was originally scheduled to debut in May, but was pulled from spring and shifted to fall to pair with Survivor, which itself was production-delayed in March as filming halted. This story was first reported at The Wrap.

The full fall schedule breaks down like this:

  • Monday
  • 8:00 pm - The Neighborhood
  • 8:30 pm - Bob Hearts Abishola
  • 9:00 pm - All Rise
  • 10:00 pm - Bull
  • Tuesday
  • 8:00 pm - NCIS
  • 9:00 pm - FBI
  • 10:00 pm - FBI: Most Wanted
  • Wednesday
  • 8:00 pm - Survivor
  • 9:00 pm - The Amazing Race
  • 10:00 pm - SEAL Team
  • Thursday
  • 8:30 pm - Young Sheldon
  • 8:30 pm - B Positive
  • 9:00 pm - Mom
  • 10:00 pm - The Unicorn
  • Friday
  • 8:00 pm - MacGyver
  • 9:00 pm - Magnum PI
  • 10:00pm - Blue Bloods
  • Saturday
  • 8:00pm - Crimetime Saturday
  • 9:00 pm - Crimetime Saturday
  • 10:00 pm - 48 Hours
  • Sunday
  • 7:00 pm - 60 Minutes
  • 8:00 pm - The Equalizer
  • 9:00 pm - NCIS: Los Angeles
  • 10:00 pm - NCIS: New Orleans
Justin Case