CBS Charters New Ground at Upfronts 2014

CBS Upfront 2014On Wednesday, CBS Upfronts announced a much-anticipated full year of original programming for its 2014-15 television season. Nina Tassler, Chairman of CBS Entertainment, and Kelly Kahl, Senior Executive VP of CBS Primetime, presented the 2014-15 lineup.

Under the Dome, declared by President and Chief Executive Officer Les Moonves as the most watched new show of the past year, will premiere its second season on June 30, with an episode penned by Stephen King.

New programming brings the likes of Oscar-winning actors Halle Berry and Morgan Freeman to CBS. Both were in attendance at Carnegie Hall’s Upfronts.

On July 2, Berry stars in Extant, an opportunity for CBS that Tassler described as “out of this world.” Tassler previewed the Steven Spielberg science fiction drama series as “one of the most anticipated shows of the year. It’s about a powerful, emotionally strong woman who returns to earth from a mission in space and tries to reconnect with her family back home.” The broadcast clip was especially enlightening in regard to the “almost human” aspect of Astronaut Molly Woods’ (Berry) family.

Freeman is one of the producers behind Madam Secretary, whichteams him with Tea Leoni. Leoni plays Elizabeth McCord, a former CIA analyst who unexpectedly finds herself appointed by the President of the United States as Secretary of State. The series also stars Tim Daly. It airs in the Fall on Sundays at 8:00.

Hawaii Five-0 EP’s Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci’s genius drama, Scorpion airs in the Fall on Monday at 9:00. Scorpion is based on the life of Walter O’Brien, the man with the fourth highest documented IQ, and his recruitment and training of a team of other geniuses that work to solve modern-day crimes.

According to Tassler, Stalker is “easily the scariest show CBS has ever done.” The series comes from Kevin Williamson (Scream, Dawson’s Creek, The Vampire Diaries), who pitched the project to the network as a companion Criminal Minds series. Tassler said this show will “keep audiences up all night.” With the rise in social media, stalking is much more common. This psychological thriller stars Dylan McDermott and Maggie Q. Stalker airs in the Fall on Wednesdays at 10:00.

The McCarthys is a new comedy that highlights the distinct Bostonian accent. Laurie Metcalf (The Big Bang Theory, Roseanne), Jake Lacy (The Office), and Joey McIntyre star. Tassler boasted that with Joey McIntyre in The McCarthys and Donnie Wahlberg in Blue Bloods, 2/5 of New Kids on the Block are on CBS. Two and a Half Men will air a year-long event as the series airs its twelfth and final season on Thursdays at 9:00, followed by The McCarthys at 9:30 (after October 30). Thursday Night Football will air from 8:00-11:00 from September 11 through October 23.

Kahl announced that The Big Bang Theory will open its eighth season in September on Monday nights at 8:00 as a lead-in to Mom, which airs at 8:30. Big Bang will return to its regular timeslot on Thursdays following football season. 2 Broke Girls will take over the 8:00 Monday timeslot. NCIS: Los Angeles will air on Monday nights at 10:00, a night Kahl admitted has not been as strong as the network would like.

The Mark Harmon/Gary Glasberg NCIS: New Orleans will air immediately following TV’s number one drama, NCIS on Tuesday nights.

Hawaii Five-0, along with Blue Bloods, bolstered its Friday night timeslot to a 30% increase. In the 2014-15 season, The Amazing Race will serve as lead-in series at 8:00 to bring in the younger audience.

In other news, CBS’ daytime garnered 60 Emmy nominations, with every series being nominated.

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