CBS: Key Shifts for'Two and a Half Men,''2 Broke Girls'

Entertainment chief Tassler focuses on protecting freshmen, growing time periods

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STRATEGY: Protect new shows with highly rated lead-ins and improve time periods by moving existing hits.

These days, CBS' schedule is the most stable from year to year. And next season will be no different, with the Eye's biggest headline of last week being time period moves for two of its key comedies, along with the four new series it will premiere this fall.

"We have one goal, and that is to continue making hit TV shows," CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler said at the network's upfront press breakfast last week.

The net will shift Two and a Half Men to Thursday this fall for its 10th season, where it will follow comedy juggernaut The Big Bang Theory at 8:30 p.m. In turn, sophomore 2 Broke Girls will take over Men's former Monday at 9 p.m. time period, where it will anchor the network's top-rated comedy block.

"We like to put shows that have momentum, and we like to catch shows on the way up, [in] key time periods," Kelly Kahl, CBS senior executive VP of primetime, said of 2 Broke Girls' move. "We think this will continue to be the No. 1 comedy block for years to come now."

Since moving Big Bang to Thursday two years ago, the network has struggled to find a suitably broad comedy to pair with it. Shifting Men not only fills that criteria, it gives Person of Interest at 9 p.m. a strong lead-in to help pump ratings in its sophomore season.

"We've kind of created a super comedy hour," Kahl said. "That is kind of unparalleled on any schedule in some time."

While CBS said it had the guns to go to four comedies on Thursday, as had been rumored for months, "This is simply the way it felt strongest and looked best to us," Kahl said.

The network's sole new comedy for fall, the male bromance-themed Partners from Will & Grace creators David Kohan and Max Mutchnick, will lead out of How I Met Your Mother on Monday at 8:30 p.m., allowing 2 Broke Girls to lead into the returning Mike & Molly.

"We don't want to put pressure on it right away," Kahl said of not using 2 Broke Girls to launch a new series.

The rest of CBS' fall schedule remains largely intact, with the few moves made to support new series and improve time periods-"development never stops with the pilot," Tassler told the network's upfront audience last week. New drama Vegas, starring Dennis Quaid as a sheriff tasked with bringing order to the popular gambling mecca in the 1960s, will follow the NCIS franchises on Tuesday at 10 p.m.

The Mentalist
will shift to Sunday at 10 p.m. (replacing the canceled CSI: Miami) to make way for the modern- day Sherlock Holmes series Elementary, starring Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu, which will launch out of Person of Interest at 10 p.m. Thursday. Tassler said Elementary will "fit like a glove into the time slot."

CSI: NY, which earned a renewal over the Miami franchise in what Tassler called a "jump ball," will move up an hour to Friday at 8 p.m., leading into new legal drama Made in Jersey, about a young working-class woman who uses her street smarts to compete among her pedigreed colleagues at a prestigious New York law firm.

New midseason series on the CBS bench are Golden Boy, about the meteoric rise of an ambitious cop who becomes the youngest police commissioner in the history of New York City, and comedy Friend Me, about two twenty-something best friends adjusting to life in Los Angeles after moving from Indiana to start new jobs.

On the reality side, CBS has The Job, from Michael Davies and Mark Burnett, where candidates compete for their dream job. Undercover Boss will also return in midseason.

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