Robert posted earlier about CBS's new 2008 fall schedule. I'll compare the Eye's Fall 2008 schedule to its Fall 2007 schedule, and look at what worked, what didn't work and what might happen next fall.
Unlike ABC who is introducing only 2 new shows next fall, CBS is introducing 5 new shows (and four hours of shows) (Worst Week, The Mentalist, Project Gary, Eleventh Hour, and The Ex-List). That's pretty close to the 5 new shows (and 4.5 hours of shows) introduced in fall 2007 (The Big Bang Theory, Cane, Kid Nation, Moonlight, and Viva Laughlin)
There will be just 4 hours of unscripted programming in Fall 2008 compared to 6 hours in Fall 2007, but no more employment for striking writers, since CBS is simply replacing the 2 Crimetime Saturday hours with drama reruns. CBS won't be introducing any new unscripted programming next fall.
CBS started last fall down about 8% vs. the previous season, but the strike hit them the hardest of the big networks, as they sunk to almost 20% behind 2006-7 at one point. The failure of their new shows was a big factor. Only one new show from their Fall 2007 lineup, The Big Bang Theory, returns for Fall 2008.
Next fall, CBS is betting more heavily on comedies, introducing 3 shows/ 2 hours (Worst Week, The Ex-List, Project Gary) likely as at attempt to grab a somewhat younger demographic. Last fall CBS introduced only one comedy.
CBS will introduce 2 new drama hours (The Mentalist, Eleventh Hour) vs. 3 new drama hours last fall. Based on past experience, yet knowing little about those shows, I'm going to guess that we'll be seeing "Save Our Eleventh Hour" letter writing campaigns underway next season. Here's a quote that future fans can feel free to use "Eleventh Hour is the only show I watch on CBS, the rest of their schedule is garbage. If they drop Eleventh Hour, I'll never watch another CBS show again." You've been warned.
CBS Fall 2007 Schedule Shows vs. Fall 2008 Schedule Shows
|8-8:30p||HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER||THE BIG BANG THEORY|
|8:30-9p||THE BIG BANG THEORY||HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER|
|9-9:30p||TWO AND A HALF MEN||TWO AND A HALF MEN|
|9:30-10p||RULES OF ENGAGEMENT||WORST WEEK|
|10-11p||CSI: MIAMI||CSI: MIAMI|
|9-10p||THE UNIT||THE MENTALIST|
|10-11p||CANE||WITHOUT A TRACE|
|8-8:30p||KID NATION (8-9p)||NEW ADVENTURES OF OLD CHRISTINE|
|9-10p||CRIMINAL MINDS||CRIMINAL MINDS|
|10-11p||WITHOUT A TRACE||ELEVENTH HOUR|
|8-9p||GHOST WHISPERER||GHOST WHISPERER|
|8-9p||CRIMETIME SATURDAY||Drama rerun|
|9-10p||CRIMETIME SATURDAY||Drama rerun|
|10-11p||48 HOURS MYSTERY||48 HOURS MYSTERY|
|7-8p||60 MINUTES||60 MINUTES|
|8-9p||VIVA LAUGHLIN||THE AMAZING RACE|
|9-10p||COLD CASE||THE UNIT|
Shows in BOLD CAPS are/were new, shows in italics are unscripted, 2007 shows in strikethrough did not return.
Rules of Engagement and Harper's Island are slated as mid-season replacements.
I didn't think it was worthwhile to compare the announced Winter 2009 and future schedules to this years for two reasons. One, this years Winter and Spring schedules were somewhat cobbled together in response to the writers strike. Two, schedules announced so far in advance have a habit of changing.