Nellie Andreeva

CBS is going for only minor tweaks to its schedule in midseason, filling the holes left by cancelled freshmen Made In Jersey and Partners with new drama Golden Boy and veteran comedy Rules Of Engagement, respectively.

The network is keeping the crime 9-11 PM block on Friday, anchored by Blue Bloods at 10 PM, with midseason cop drama Golden Boy taking over the 9 PM slot March 8, following the February 22 season finale of veteran CSI: NY, which had a shorter, 17-episode order. Acknowledging how challenging it is to launch a new drama on Friday, CBS is trying to give Golden Boy a running start by airing its first episodes in the Tuesday 10 PM slot following originals of NCIS and NCIS: LA and pre-empting freshman Vegas. Golden Boy, executive produced by Greg Berlanti and Nicholas Wootton, is about the meteoric rise of an ambitious cop (Theo James) who becomes the youngest police commissioner in the history of New York City. Coincidentally, Blue Bloods stars Tom Selleck as the New York Police commissioner, with Len Cariou as his father, the retired NY police commissioner. CBS has not been able to successfully launch a new drama in the Friday 9 PM slot since CSI 12 years ago. Reality series Undercover Boss is staying put in the Friday 8 PM hour. I hear the network may also use the slot to try new unscripted series. CBS has a couple on tap, including The Job.

After another tough and lengthy renewal negotiation that stretched beyond upfront week, Rules Of Engagement barely clinched a 13-episode seventh season pickup. Now the veteran utility player is being summoned to CBS’ Monday comedy block where it once aired to replace Partners at 8:30 PM. What’s more, the sitcom will get a strong push as it will premiere on February 4, the night after CBS’ broadcast of the Super Bowl, where the network is expected to heavily promote its Monday comedies. Still awaiting word is CBS’ midseason comedy Friend Me, which has not been assigned a time slot yet. The series, created by Alan Kirschenbaum and Ajay Sahgal, suffered a blow with the death of Kirschenbaum. Here are CBS’ midseason scheduling plans, including return dates for Survivor and The Amazing Race:

Monday, Feb. 4

8-8:30 PM: HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER

8:30-9 PM: RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (7th Season Premiere)

9-9:30 PM: 2 BROKE GIRLS

9:30-10 PM: MIKE & MOLLY

10-11 PM: HAWAII FIVE-0


Wednesday, Feb. 13

8-9 PM: SURVIVOR (26th Edition premiere)

9-10 PM: CRIMINAL MINDS

10-11 PM: CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION

Sunday, Feb. 17

7-8 PM: 60 MINUTES

8-9 PM: THE AMAZING RACE (22nd Edition Premiere)

9-10 PM: THE GOOD WIFE

10-11 PM: THE MENTALIST

Tuesday, Feb. 26

8-9 PM: NCIS

9-10 PM: NCIS: LOS ANGELES

10-11 PM: GOLDEN BOY (Special Preview)

Tuesday, March 5

8-9 PM: NCIS

9-10 PM: NCIS: LOS ANGELES

10-11 PM: GOLDEN BOY (Special Preview)

Friday, March 8

8-9 PM: UNDERCOVER BOSS

9-10 PM: GOLDEN BOY (Time Period Premiere)

10-11 PM: BLUE BLOODS

TV Editor Nellie Andreeva - tip her here.

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