With the SAG-AFTRA tentative agreement still yet to be officially ratified, CBS is wasting no time in getting a jump on the return of its scripted originals.
The network on Monday announced that the bulk of its scripted roster will return with new episodes in February, with comedies like Ghosts and Young Sheldon and dramas including the NCIS and FBI franchises running between 10-13 episodes each and run through May. Additionally, CBS has pushed rookie drama Matlock and freshman comedy Poppa’s House to the 2024-25 season. The move, which was expected, sees CBS join ABC in pushing its new scripted series to next season as first-year originals require more time to find their creative and get into a production rhythm.
CBS will use the Super Bowl, easily the biggest TV event of the season, as a promotional launch pad on Feb. 11 starting with the debut of Tracker. The drama, starring This Is Us grad Justin Hartley, was picked up to series in December 2022 and has already completed production.
Comedies The Neighborhood, Bob Hearts Abishola as well as dramas NCIS and spinoff Hawai’i, will follow on Monday, Feb. 12, with the returns of its three Dick Wolf FBI dramas on Feb. 13. Young Sheldon and Ghosts will bow Feb. 15, followed by dramas So Help Me Todd and Tracker, which will air an encore of its premiere. Fridays starting Feb. 16 will feature SWAT, Fire Country and Blue Bloods. 60 Minutes, The Equalizer and Tracker, in its regular Sundays at 9 p.m. slot, will air starting Feb. 18.
Season 46 of Survivor will kick off Wednesday, Feb. 28, followed the next night by the debut of The Good Wife offshoot Elsbeth. The Amazing Race launches March 13, the same night that Survivor reverts back to 90-minute installments.
CBS’ schedule is the same as what the network announced in May but obviously delayed by both the writers and performers strikes, which effectively reduced the broadcast original schedule to 10- to 13-episode seasons. CBS is the first broadcast network to announce its strike-delayed premiere dates.
Production on most broadcast shows began to ramp up almost immediately after SAG-AFTRA called game on its 118-day strike. The WGA was on strike for 148 days and its membership has already ratified the deal with scribes returning to work first as studios and streamers first prioritizing having scripts for actors to film.
For its part, ABC announced in September that its lone freshman series — High Potential — would be held for the 2024-25 season. Networks, coming out of the pandemic, have focused on year-round development.