CBS kept the tradition of renewing most of its slate in one fell swoop. Demonstrating its signature stability, the network has picked up most of its current series for next season, with two major exceptions: veteran Criminal Minds, which is in the midst of renegotiations with the cast, and freshman Vegas, which will get a tryout on Friday later this spring. Renewed for next season are freshman drama Elementary; critical darling The Good Wife; comedies 2 Broke Girls and Mike & Molly; and drama procedurals NCIS: LA, Person Of Interest, The Mentalist, Hawaii Five-0 and Blue Bloods. The nine join previously renewed The Big Bang Theory (part of a three-year pickup), How I Met Your Mother for a final season, and veterans NCIS and CSI, picked up when their stars Mark Harmon and Ted Danson, respectively, re-upped their contracts. Additionally, CBS said it continues negotiations with Warner Bros TV for another season of Two And A Half Men. Parallel negotiations with stars Ashton Kutcher and Jon Cryer are underway too and progressing. Also picked up for next season are unscripted series The Amazing Race, Survivor and Undercover Boss and newsmagazines 60 Minutes and 48 Hours.
Not surprisingly, MIA from CBS’ early renewal list again is perennial bubble comedy Rules Of Engagement. With the series recently hitting the 100-episode mark, the deals for the … Read More »
Sony Pictures Television has closed a deal with TBS for cable syndication rights to the studio’s CBS comedy series Rules of Engagement, which will premiere on the Turner network on Jan. 2. The timing of the deal is unusual. Sony Pictures TV shopped the comedy, now heading into its seventh season, a year and a half ago when its cable rights were picked up by WGN America in a non-exclusive deal. (The series also was sold in broadcast syndication). This fall, Rules launched in cable syndication on WGN America and in broadcast syndication in 96% of the country. TBS has now joined WGNA as a cable distributor of the off-network series. The move comes on the heels of Rules recently shooting its 100th episode, a major achievement for the comedy, which had been repeatedly on the verge of cancellation several times but survived every time to continue as one of CBS’ most reliable utility players. The comedy’s seventh season debuts Feb. 4 as Rules replaces canceled freshman Partners on Mondays.
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. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: His CBS sitcom Rules Of Engagement has been an unsung hero for the network, an utility player the network calls upon when a time slot is in trouble. With the show safely in syndication and possibly heading into its final season on CBS, the network is making sure it is staying in business with Tom Hertz. In a competitive situation, CBS has landed a new relationship multi-camera comedy project from him with a put pilot commitment. Like Rules, its is being produced by Sony Pictures TV and Happy Madison.
The untitled project is based on Hertz’s early relationship with his wife and centers on a young couple that meets and moves in together very quickly and then has to navigate their very different ways of looking at life. Hertz is writing and will executive produce with Happy Madison’s Doug Robinson. Read More »
Tom Hertz is the creator and showrunner of the CBS sitcom Rules of Engagement which will be filming its 100th episode in its upcoming seventh season. Before Rules, Hertz created Married to the Kellys for ABC which was based on his marriage and his wife’s family. Hertz also served as showrunner on Spin City and King of Queens and was on the writing staff of HBO’s The Larry Sanders Show and Dennis Miller Live, for which he won an Emmy Award in 1996. We asked Hertz to give us his thoughts on sitcoms today. Hertz had a better idea: A transcript of his phone conversation with his talent manager.
TOM HERTZ: (into phone): Hello.
HERTZ REP: Hey there. How’s everything going?
TH: Fine. You know, just a regular life.
HR: Great. Well, I think I have an opportunity for you.
HR: No, this is good. They’re doing a Deadline Hollywood Emmy issue, a print thing, and they’d like you to write something for it.
TH: Why? What am I writing about? Read More »
After lengthy negotiations, CBS‘ long-running sitcom Rules Of Engagement has been picked up for a 13-episode seventh season. The renewal will bring the total run of the series to 100 episodes. The order ends weeks of intense talks between CBS and Rules producer Sony Pictures TV that could not be concluded by the network’s upfront presentation last Wednesday. By Thursday, the two sides had reached agreement in principal and hammered out the license fee terms.
Related: CBS Update: ‘Rules Of Engagement’ Talks Down To The Wire, ‘Mentalist’ On The Move
CBS only ordered two new comedy series for next season — Partners for fall and Friend Me for midseason — so, as this season proved, having a reliable performer like Rules on the bench could come in handy. While it has not been a breakout hit of the size of CBS’ Two And A Half Men or The Big Bang Theory, Rules has been a great utility player for CBS, delivering solid ratings wherever needed on the schedule.
Related: Upfront 2012: More Returning Than New Series With Shorter Orders This Year
The renewal of CBS‘ long-running sitcom Rules Of Engagement is going down to the wire. Less that 24 hours before CBS’ upfront presentation tomorrow, the network and Rules producer Sony Pictures TV continue to be deep in negotiations on a pickup. The two sides are still going back-and-forth on a number of issues, including the size of a potential seventh-season order, but there appears to be a will on both parts to make it happen. The show needs 13 episodes to get to the 100-episode mark. CBS only ordered two new comedy series for next season, so, as this season proved, having a reliable performer like Rules on the bench could come in handy. Read More »
Another pre-holiday night filled with repeats, specials and a burnoff (NBC’s Prime Suspect). CBS, which aired the closest to a regular original lineup, won by a wide margin. Following a The Big Bang Theory repeat (2.8/9, 10.2 million viewers), a new Rules Of Engagement (2.7/8 in adults 18-49, 9.7 million) was down 10% from last week in 18-49. But given the fact that Big Bang shed some 40% from last week’s original, Rules‘ performance was OK. New Person Of Interest (2.8/8, 12.8 million) and The Mentalist (2.7/7, 13 million) held steady with last week, with POI drawing its largest audience since the premiere. POI also posted what I believe is the show’s first nightly win in 18-49, tied with Big Bang and Fox’s The X Factor. Speaking of X Factor (2.8/8), it doesn’t have much ratings momentum heading into the final week as the show’s penultimate results episode was down a tenth from last Thursday. Bones (1.5/4) was a repeat to save the fall finale original for the spinoff The Finder‘s premiere in January. ABC aired a rebroadcast of A Charlie Brown Christmas (1.8/5, down 5% from last year) and modestly rated special This Year With Katie Couric (1.5/4). NBC aired all reruns followed by a new Prime Suspect (0.8/2), which sunk to a new series low with no original lead-in. NBC (0.8/2, 2.6 million) finished distant fifth for the night behind fourth place Univision (1.4/4, 3.5 million).
EXCLUSIVE: CBS has cut the order to veteran comedy Rules Of Engagement from 18 to 13 episodes. Rules was originally picked up for 18 episodes, with two leftover episodes from last season bringing the total order to 20 half-hours. (Rules, which wraps production December 6, will now air 15 episodes.) The long-running comedy was slated to air on Saturdays, but after freshman How To Be A Gentleman‘s underwhelming launch in the Thursday 8:30 PM slot, Rules was summoned in and took over the post-Big Bang Theory berth. It currently tops the 8:30-9 PM time period in total viewers with 11.6 million and averages a healthy 3.7 rating in 18-49, after setting highs in several categories this fall. With rookie 2 Broke Girls performing as well as it does along with all CBS returning comedies, the network needs an opening to launch its midseason comedy starring Rob Schneider, so a shorter, 15-episode run of Rules will provide a slot for the newbie. As for next season, given Rules‘ solid performance, the veteran has a good shot to return, especially if the Schneider series underperforms and/or CBS expands its comedy offerings to eight in two-hour comedy blocks on Mondays and Thursdays.
It is two weeks and out for new comedy series How To Be A Gentleman in its prime 8:30 PM Thursday time slot. The network has pulled the sitcom effective immediately: Beginning October 20, it will air veteran Rules Of Engagement in that spot, following The Big Bang Theory, and move Gentleman to Saturdays. (CBS will air a Big Bang repeat in the time period next week.) There is chatter that production on Gentleman is being shut down, which would mean a certain cancellation, but I have not been able to confirm that just yet. UPDATE: I have now confirmed that production on Gentleman will indeed shut down after 9 produced episodes. The final episode will be filmed tonight. That is effectively a cancellation for the sitcom with the Saturday run qualifying as a burn-off, though CBS never officially cancels a series before the upfronts. After a lackluster debut last week with a 2.7 rating among adults 18-49 — which was down 33% from the premiere of $#*! My Dad Says in the time period last season — Gentleman dropped another 7% last night, squandering almost half of its Big Bang lead-in. Conveniently, the network has Rules Of Engagement ready to go, and for a second consecutive year, the veteran is being summoned to replace a faltering rookie in the Thursday 8:30 PM slot. (Last season, it stepped in for $#*! My Dad Says.) While Rules … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: A month after Rules of Engagement landed a full-season renewal by CBS, bringing its episode count to 96, the veteran comedy series has been sold in broadcast syndication. Sony Pictures Television has cleared Rules in 45% of the country, including the top three markets, in a series of barter deals with station groups. In New York, Rules has been sold to Tribune’s WPIX-TV New York, in Los Angeles to CBS’ KCAL-TV and in Chicago to Weigel’s WCIU-TV. “The show’s compatibility with The Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men, combined with its strong, consistent performance on CBS among male viewers, has been a major enticement to local stations,” said SPT’s president of U.S. distribution John Weiser. “It’s a win-win for buyers because the show repeats better than any comedy on television.” SPT is producing Rules with Happy Madison and CBS TV Studios, with Tom Hertz, Doug Robinson and Jack Giarraputo executive producing. Cable syndication for the show is pending.
CBS Unveils 2011-12 Schedule
After branding last year’s schedule overhaul as “aggressive stability” last May, CBS scheduling guru Kelly Kahl described the changes this year as “dynamic stability.” They include launching a new series in the Thursday 9 PM slot, the J.J. Abrams/Jonah Nolan drama Person of Interest; moving The Good Wife to Sunday and Rules of Engagement to Saturday; and trying again to launch a new show, medical drama A Gifted Man, in the Friday 8 PM slot. (I’m sure the producers of Chaos are calling their colleagues on the A Gifted Man this morning saying, “Good luck with that!”)
Addressing the network’s biggest move, putting the Jim Caviezel/Michael Emerson-starring Person of Interest in the Thursday 9 PM slot, Kahl said, “To do that you have to have the big guns, and we do. Now we have stability at 8 and 10 PM and a great upside in the middle.” CSI will move to the Wednesday 10 PM slot, longtime home of spinoff CSI: NY until it was shifted to Friday in the shakeup last May. “We hope to get some stability at 10 PM,” Kahl said. I felt that removing the darker CSI: NY from the slot following the gruesome Criminal Minds in favor of the lightweight The Defenders was a mistake, so this in a way to correct that. I’m also happy to see The Good Wife taken away from the Tuesday 10 PM slot where its audience was cannibalized by ABC’s Body of Proof and especially Parenthood. The problem is that The Good Wife is moving to the Sunday 9 PM slot for a “battle of the wives”: The Good Wife vs. Desperate Housewives. CBS scheduled a pure procedural, new series Unforgettable, to follow NCIS and NCIS: LA (“We through we could do better,” CBS brass say). And, with The Good Wife joining the Sunday lineup of 60 Minutes and The Amazing Race, CBS now calls Sunday “our prestige night.” (There probably should be an asterisk next to that as CSI: Miami still airs on the night at 10 PM.) Read More »
He’s done it again! Escape artist CHUCK, which has successfully cheated cancellation for the past two years, will be coming back to fight again next season. I hear a deal is being finalized for a 13-episode order to the NBC spy dramedy. (The other Warner Bros.-produced, yet-to-be-renewed NBC series, David E. Kelley’s HARRY’s LAW, has long been considered a good bet to return). It is unclear what CHUCK‘s renewal bodes for NBC’s other big bubble Monday show, LAW & ORDER: LA. After getting a rare second chance with a complete reboot that has largely failed, it is unclear what more NBC can do with the show. But as they say, never bet against Dick Wolf. PARENTHOOD, which has done solid business in its Tuesday 10 PM slot, is expected to return, while THE EVENT is not. Also probably out is comedy OUTSOURCED despite a fan campaign to save the workplace show.
Last year, CBS went for a bloodbath, canceling seven series, including some decent performers like The Ghost Whisperer and The New Adventures of Old Christine. The network, which is yet to find a series that does as well as Ghost Whisperer in the Friday 8 PM slot, is not expected to go for such a dramatic overhaul this year. I hear a deal is almost done for RULES OF ENGAGEMENT to be renewed as CBS seems to be summoning all of its veteran comedies as flagship Two and a Half Men faces an uncertain future. There is even talk about possibly bringing $#*! MY DAD SAYS sans star Jonathan Sadowski. Even long-forgotten legal dramedy THE DEFENDERS is not completely dead. As one insider noted, the show starring Jim Belushi and Jerry O’Connell did better than any other CBS series in the Friday 8 PM season this season. Things don’t look good for midseason comedy MAD LOVE, though CBS brass loooove Jason Biggs, while CBS’ other midseason entry, crime drama spinoff CRIMINAL MINDS: SUSPECT BEHAVIOR, is at 50/50 as its performances has been largely disappointing given its pedigree. As for CSI: MIAMI and CSI: NY, word is that the entire CSI franchise, a big off-network and international seller, is safe for next season. Read More »