By James Hibberd
Updated January 12, 2015 at 05:06 PM EST
Credit: Sonja Flemming/CBS
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CBS has given early renewals to three of its freshman drama series. Scorpion, NCIS: New Orleans, and Madam Secretary have all been renewed for second seasons, the network’s entertainment chairman Nina Tassler announced Monday at the Television Critics Association’s press tour in Pasadena.

“These freshman dramas have each made a big impact on key nights of the week,” Tassler said. “Creatively distinctive, the series are backed by strong showrunners with amazingly talented casts, and have resonated with a big, broad audience.”

Among total viewers—a measurement that CBS tends to emphasize—NCIS: NO (18.1 million viewers) is the season’s most-watched new drama. Madam Secretary (14.9 million) is the second, and Scorpion (14.5 million) is the third.

Another freshman drama, Stalker, is still in consideration for another season, the executive added.

Freshman comedy The McCarthys has not been renewed and was given a short order this season. “The McCarthys did one of their best numbers last week,” said Tassler. “It’s certainly a contender for next year. You have to make decisions limiting certain orders of some shows in order to get new shows on the air, which is [what we had to do to launch] Odd Couple.”

The executive also revealed that two lesser-rated shows might see some creative changes in the future. Longtime veteran The Amazing Race has been struggling on Friday nights, and Tassler said, “We’ve encouraged [executive producer Bertram van Munster]and his team, and they’ve responded, in terms of making changes and adjustments—there’s going to be surprises.” And summer series Extant will also see some changes for its second season this year. “Molly’s character is going to be much more proactive,” she said.

CBS also has two long-running shows definitely ending this season — The Mentalist and Two and a Half Men. Tassler said the Men finale will be a “mystery sandwich” and wouldn’t say if former star Charlie Sheen will make an appearance.

CBS also announced that Stephen Colbert will start his run as the new host of Late Show on Sept. 8.

The news comes on the heels of CBS’ sister network The CW renewing eight shows on Sunday.


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Madam Secretary

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