CBS is often the first broadcaster to lock in its fall premiere dates, but the network took a month longer than usual to finalize its plans for the new season.
Now the network, which was No. 1 in total viewers for the 10th straight year, has announced its plans for the fall, with much of its lineup rolling out the week of Sept. 24, as the 2018-19 season begins.
For the first time in five years, CBS’ fall schedule won’t be disrupted by Thursday Night Football, which would temporarily relocate The Big Bang Theory to Monday nights and delay the rest of its Thursday lineup until November. But with Fox outbidding NBC and CBS to nab the Thursday package for the next five years, CBS will no longer have to reshuffle its schedule midway through the fall.
However, the network is still deploying The Big Bang Theory and its prequel, Young Sheldon, on Sept. 24 to launch its reboot of Magnum P.I. that night, followed by relocated drama Bull.
Its new Monday sitcoms, The Neighborhood and Happy Together, will premiere a week later, on Oct. 1.
Most-watched drama NCIS has its season premiere on Sept. 25, leading into new drama FBI and NCIS: New Orleans.
On Sept. 26, Survivor returns with a 90-minute season premiere followed by the Big Brother season finale at 9:30 p.m. Regular Survivor companions SEAL Team and Criminal Minds will debut a week later on Oct. 3.
With no more Thursday Night Football delays, CBS will premiere its Thursday shows a month and a half earlier than usual, on Sept. 27. Comedies The Big Bang Theory, Young Sheldon, Mom and the revival of Murphy Brown will be followed by S.W.A.T.
CBS’ MacGwyer/Hawaii-Five-O/Blue Bloods Friday night schedule returns on Sept. 28.
48 Hours debuts on Saturday, Sept. 29, with a special two-hour premiere.
And Sept. 30 sees the return of three of the network’s four Sunday shows: 60 Minutes (at 7:30 p.m. after a football doubleheader), new drama God Friended Me (at 8:30 p.m.) and NCIS: Los Angeles (at 9:30 p.m.). The shows shift to their usual time slots the following week, on Oct. 7, with Madam Secretary joining them at 10 p.m.
CBS is setting its fall plans as the company is engaged in a legal battle with majority owners Sumner and Shari Redstone over control of its future, as CBS Corp. chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves is balking at the Redstones’ efforts to storm-arm a merger between CBS and Viacom (which the Redstones also oversee).
Three weeks ago, CBS put the finishing touches on its upfront negotiations, with double-digit CPM increases in all dayparts.
Here is the entire premiere schedule for CBS’ fall shows (new programs are in all caps):
8-8:30 p.m. — THE NEIGHBORHOOD (Oct. 1)
8:30-9 p.m. — HAPPY TOGETHER (Oct. 1)
9-10 p.m. — MAGNUM P.I. (Sept. 24)
10-11 p.m. — Bull (Sept. 24)
8-9 p.m. — NCIS (Sept. 25)
9-10 p.m. — FBI (Sept. 25)
10-11 p.m. — NCIS: New Orleans (Sept. 25)
8-9 p.m. — Survivor (Sept. 26, special 90-minute premiere)
9-10 p.m. — SEAL Team (Oct. 3)
10-11 p.m. — Criminal Minds (Oct. 3)
8-8:30 p.m. — The Big Bang Theory (season premiere on Monday, Sept. 24; time slot premiere Sept. 27)
8:30-9 p.m. — Young Sheldon (season premiere on Monday, Sept. 24; time slot premiere Sept. 27)
9-9:30 p.m. — Mom (Sept. 27)
9:30-10 p.m. — MURPHY BROWN (Sept. 27)
10-11 p.m. — S.W.A.T. (Sept. 27)
8-9 p.m. — MacGyver (Sept. 28)
9-10 p.m. — Hawaii Five-O (Sept. 28)
10-11 p.m. — Blue Bloods (Sept. 28)
8-10 p.m. — Crimetime Saturday
10-11 p.m. — 48 Hours (Sept. 28, special two-hour premiere at 9 p.m.)
7-8 p.m. — 60 Minutes (Sept. 30, premiere at 7:30)
8-9 p.m. — GOD FRIENDED ME (Sept. 30, premiere at 8:30)
9-10 p.m. — NCIS: Los Angeles (Sept. 30, premiere at 9:30)
10-11 p.m. — Madam Secretary (Oct. 7)