Look who’s bragging now! (Well, okay — we guess they’re entitled.) CBS is the only network to return six freshman shows for fall — more than NBC and ABC combined — which is why it only had to order three new dramas and one sitcom. The good news is the hourlongs don’t look anything like CSI or Criminal Minds. The bad news is that some look similar to shows already on TV. You decide!
The first new drama is Smith, starring Ray Liotta, about a high-class thief who hides his so-called profession from his suburban-housewife mate (Virginia Madsen). With an attractive supporting cast that includes Amy Baker and Simon Baker (it’s about time McYummy returned to TV!), Smith looks a lot like FX’s struggling drama Thief (with Andre Braugher) — but is smart and spiffy, nonetheless. It’ll air on Tuesdays at 10 p.m., behind the midseason hit The Unit.
The drama Jericho, about a nuclear blast near a small town, will serve as the 8 p.m. lead-in to Criminal Minds and CSI: New York on Wednesdays this fall. It stars Skeet Ulrich and Gerald McRaney, and will focus on the disaster’s aftermath.
CBS moved Without a Trace to 10 p.m. Sundays, clearing out the Thursday 10 p.m. slot for Shark, a crime drama starring the always intriguing James Woods as a defense attorney turned good-guy DA who only tries high-profile cases. Like House on Fox, Shark (Woods) is a charming bad boy surrounded by a bunch of greenies who look to him for guidance. Also like House, the drama features a hot femme fatale who’s a thorn in Shark’s side, played by the comely Jeri Ryan.
The network’s only new comedy for fall is The Class, a series by Friends co-creator David Crane that focuses on the reunion of several twentysomethings who first met in third grade. The comedy, which stars Joan of Arcadia‘s Jason Ritter, airs at 8:30 p.m. on Thursdays and is a fitting lead-out from the thirtysomething ensemble How I Met Your Mother at 8 p.m.
For midseason, the Eye picked up a medical drama about New York neurosurgeons called 3 lbs, a drama about a Providence, R.I., mayor called Waterfront, and a comedy about two couples and a single guy called Rules of Engagement. King of Queens will also return sometime this winter. And check out the new Sunday time slot for The Amazing Race!
CBS’ schedule at a glance:
NEW TIME SLOT The Amazing Race
NEW TIME SLOT Cold Case
NEW TIME SLOT Without a Trace
NEW TIME SLOT How I Met Your Mother
NEW SERIES The Class
Two and a Half Men
The New Adventures of Old Christine
NEW SERIES Smith
NEW SERIES Jericho
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
NEW SERIES Shark
Close to Home
48 Hours: Mystery
New midseason series: 3 lbs, Waterfront, Rules of Engagement
Returning later in the season: The King of Queens