As the only network whose audience increased (12 percent) during the 2008-09 television season, CBS (WTVF-5) had an abundance of riches. So it was only natural there wouldn’t be many changes in its fall lineup.
But it also meant some shows with only slightly above-average ratings would be sacrificed to make room for new offerings and that was definitely the case with longtime staples Without a Trace (seven years) and The Unit (four years), which were both canceled.
The first-year show Eleventh Hour was also canned, while CBS renewed a trio of comedies The New Adventures of Old Christine, Gary Unmarried and Rules of Engagement. None of the programs had the appeal of Without a Trace, which won its 9 p.m. Tuesday time slot almost every week during the season.
But the trio of renewed shows don’t cost as much to produce. Plus Without a Trace is now making millions for CBS in both weekday and weekend syndication.
It came down to a choice for super-producer Jerry Bruckheimer between Without a Trace and Cold Case, and a deal to lower the latter’s expenses proved its salvation. CBS is also going to add Medium, a program canned earlier in the week by NBC and one that is produced by CBS studios.
The legion of Alex O’Loughlin fans won’t get his vampire detective show Moonlight back, but he will be the centerpiece of a new CBS program Three Rivers about a team of organ-transplant surgeons. It joins the still unnamed NCIS spin-off, a Julianna Margulies legal saga The Good Wife, and a Jenna Elfman comedy Accidentally on Purpose among new CBS shows.
Also coming are new reality offering Undercover Boss and another medical number Miami Trauma from the Bruckheimer empire.