May 15 (Bloomberg) -- CBS Corp., relying on a prime-time schedule that already outdraws all competitors, will introduce four new comedies and one drama for the new television season.
The network’s 2013-2014 schedule includes series featuring Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar, and the new serialized drama “Hostages,” the network said today in a statement. CBS is creating a two-hour comedy block on Thursdays.
Come September, CBS is bringing back 20 shows. With a schedule that already includes “NCIS,” the most-viewed drama on television, the network has fewer slots for new programs. For the first time in two decades, CBS is poised to finish the current season as most-watched in total viewers and in the marketer-sought 18-to-49-year-old category.
“This isn’t a fluky thing where one show drives everything,” Senior Vice President Kelly Kahl said at a presentation of the new schedule today in New York, where CBS is based. “This is a schedule that’s built to last.”
CBS, controlled by Chairman Sumner Redstone, rose 0.7 percent to $50.40 at the close in New York. The stock has advanced 32 percent this year, compared with a 16 percent gain for the Standard & Poor’s 500 index.
The Thursday comedy block starts with the network’s top-rated “The Big Bang Theory,” a lead-in for “The Millers” featuring Will Arnett as a recently divorced local news reporter. It’s followed by “The Crazy Ones,” with the film and TV comic Williams as the head of an advertising agency. Gellar, best-known as “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” from the TV series, plays his daughter.
On Mondays CBS is introducing the new comedies “We Are Men” and “Mom.” “Men” focuses on missteps in love for four bachelors living in a temporary housing complex and includes Tony Shalhoub in one of the title roles. “Mom” stars Anna Faris as a newly sober single mother.
The network’s new drama for the first half of the season, “Hostages,” is a suspense thriller from producer Jerry Bruckheimer scheduled for Monday nights. The show stars Toni Collette as a surgeon whose family is taken by a rogue FBI agent played by Dylan McDermott.
The network plans to introduce two dramas and one comedy in the second half of the season next year, according to today’s statement.
Through May 12, CBS is averaging 11.9 million viewers a night, 1.4 percent more than a year earlier, according to Nielsen data. It’s attracting 3.68 million nightly in the 18-to-49 demographic, a decline of 3.4 percent.
U.S. TV networks are introducing new shows ahead of meetings with their biggest advertisers to obtain commitments and set ad rates for the TV season that begins in September.
Comcast Corp.’s NBC, which announced its schedule on May 12, picked up three dramas and three comedies, including “The Michael J. Fox Show.” News Corp.’s Fox said on May 13 it will add nine programs, including the comedy “Dads” from Seth MacFarlane and the drama “Almost Human” from “Star Trek” producer J.J. Abrams. Walt Disney Co.’s ABC added five comedies and seven dramas, including “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” based on the secret agency from Marvel’s “The Avengers” movie.
Ad spending on network television is projected to decline 2 percent this year to $16.9 billion, and total TV advertising, including cable networks, will increase 2.8 percent to $63.9 billion, slowing from 7.1 percent in 2012, according to ZenithOptimedia, Publicis Groupe SA’s research division.
CBS TELEVISION NETWORK 2013-2014 PRIME TIME SCHEDULE (N=New, NT=New Time, all times ET/PT) MONDAY 8:00-8:30 HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER 8:30-9:00 WE ARE MEN (N) 9:00-9:30 2 BROKE GIRLS 9:30-10:00 MOM (N) 10:00-11:00 HOSTAGES (N) INTELLIGENCE (Mid-Season) (N) TUESDAY 8:00-9:00 NCIS 9:00-10:00 NCIS: LOS ANGELES 10:00-11:00 PERSON OF INTEREST (NT) WEDNESDAY 8:00-9:00 SURVIVOR 9:00-10:00 CRIMINAL MINDS 10:00-11:00 CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION THURSDAY 8:00-8:30 THE BIG BANG THEORY 8:30-9:00 THE MILLERS (N) 9:00-9:30 THE CRAZY ONES (N) 9:30-10:00 TWO AND A HALF MEN (NT) 10:00-11:00 ELEMENTARY FRIDAY 8:00-9:00 UNDERCOVER BOSS 9:00-10:00 HAWAII FIVE-0 (NT) 10:00-11:00 BLUE BLOODS SATURDAY 8:00-8:30 COMEDYTIME SATURDAY (N) 8:30-9:00 COMEDYTIME SATURDAY (N) 9:00-10:00 CRIMETIME SATURDAY 10:00-11:00 48 HOURS SUNDAY 7:00-8:00 60 MINUTES 8:00-9:00 THE AMAZING RACE 9:00-10:00 THE GOOD WIFE 10:00-11:00 THE MENTALIST
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