CBS Announces Fall 2021 Schedule
CBS today announced its 2021-2022 primetime programming lineup of CBS Originals, featuring the expansion of television’s biggest franchises, the launch of a distinctive and highly “spirited” new comedy, plus bold scheduling moves on key nights. The new schedule includes four new dramas, two new comedies, special event programming, and 22 returning series. For 2020-2021, the Network finished #1 for the 13th straight season, winning 18 of the past 19 seasons.
The three highly anticipated new dramas for fall with marquee value and built-in viewer appeal include new chapters in the Network’s most successful brands: NCIS: HAWAI ‘ I, starring Vanessa Lachey as the first female Special Agent in Charge of the NCIS Pearl Harbor field office; FBI: INTERNATIONAL, from Emmy Award-winning producer Dick Wolf; and CSI: VEGAS, the sequel to the Network’s global hit “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” with original cast members William Petersen and Jorja Fox joining forces with the new team lead by Paula Newsome.
Fall’s distinctive new comedy is GHOSTS, based on the critically acclaimed BBC series, starring Rose McIver and Utkarsh Ambudkar as the new owners of a country estate inhabited by an eclectic group of deceased residents.
The fall schedule also includes the return of #1 Series NCIS, #1 comedy YOUNG SHELDON, #1 new comedy UNITED STATES OF AL, #1 new series THE EQUALIZER, and the #1 news program 60 MINUTES. In addition, the groundbreaking reality show SURVIVOR returns with new editions in the fall and spring.
New series debuting later in the season include the medical drama GOOD SAM, starring Sophia Bush and Jason Isaacs; SMALLWOOD, a comedy based on professional bowler Tom Smallwood’s life, starring Pete Holmes, Katie Lowes and Chi McBride; and the family competition series executive produced by LL COOL J and Chris O’Donnell, COME DANCE WITH ME, hosted by Philip Lawrence. Returning shows include the Emmy Award-winning UNDERCOVER BOSS, Emmy Award-winning THE AMAZING RACE (pending its return to production), and the action-adventure drama BLOOD & TREASURE.
Also this season, CBS will feature special-event programming, including THE ACTIVIST, a competition series aimed at bringing change to important world causes; and two CBS Original Movies: A CHRISTMAS PROPOSAL, starring Adam Rodriguez and Jessica Camacho; and CHRISTMAS TAKES FLIGHT.
“This season, we proved we could create a winning schedule against seemingly insurmountable odds,” said Kelly Kahl, President, CBS Entertainment. “Next season, we aim to repeat that success with bold, strategic scheduling moves designed to strengthen nights and maximize flow across the week. We’re expanding three of our biggest, globally popular franchises, returning 22 fan favorites while nurturing our newer rising hits, and adding a host of year-round original programming that will appeal to viewers and advertisers alike.”
CBS’ fall schedule highlights include NCIS: HAWAI ‘ I paired with NCIS on Monday; FBI: INTERNATIONAL on Tuesday, between FBI and FBI: MOST WANTED; CSI: VEGAS on Wednesday, following SURVIVOR and TOUGH AS NAILS; and on Thursday, GHOSTS joins the night’s solid two-hour comedy block, with top performer BULL capping the night. Also, SEAL TEAM will have a four-episode special event on Sunday before it moves to Paramount+, with S.W.A.T. taking the 10:00 PM slot later in the season.
MONDAYS – A bold scheduling move and a high-profile new series highlight CBS’ Monday. The successful one-hour comedy block of TV’s #2 and #3 returning comedies, THE NEIGHBORHOOD and BOB ♥ ABISHOLA, opens the night from 8:00-9:00 PM. At 9:00 PM, television’s #1 scripted series, NCIS, moves to its new night for season 19, providing a potent launch pad and creating a compelling two-hour drama block with the newest iteration in the NCIS franchise, NCIS: HAWAI ‘ I, at 10:00 PM.
TUESDAYS – Two established hits bracket an exciting new series on a night of three Dick Wolf dramas. A proven top performer, FBI takes the 8:00 PM mantel, giving a dominant lead-in for the new series in the FBI brand, FBI: INTERNATIONAL, at 9:00 PM. FBI: MOST WANTED remains in its winning 10:00 PM slot, bookending a formidable night of programming that will launch with a three-hour crossover premiere event in the fall.
WEDNESDAYS – SURVIVOR and CSI are back on a night featuring masterful strategy and teamwork! Drop your buffs! SURVIVOR, hosted by Jeff Probst, returns to outwit, outplay and outlast, kicking off the night at 8:00 PM, with two new seasons in fall and spring. At 9:00 PM, the torch is passed to competition series TOUGH AS NAILS, which celebrates hardworking everyday Americans who consider the calluses on their hands a badge of honor, hosted by Phil Keoghan. Then, the new chapter of one of the most-watched drama series of the 21st century, CSI: VEGAS, caps the night at 10:00 PM.
THURSDAYS – Thursday’s schedule adds a “high-spirited” comedy and BULL to its winning lineup. YOUNG SHELDON, television’s #1 comedy, once again anchors the night at 8:00 PM, leading into the #1 new comedy, UNITED STATES OF AL, at 8:30 PM. Next, at 9:00 PM is GHOSTS, a unique “extra-ordinary” new series, followed by the #2 new comedy, B POSITIVE, at 9:30 PM. At 10:00 PM, an established top drama, BULL, moves to Thursday to power the time period and the night.
FRIDAYS – CBS’ most dominant night adds a top player. S.W.A.T. starts its fifth season on its new night at 8:00 PM, with new unscripted programming coming later in the season. Time-period winner MAGNUM P.I. returns for its fourth season at 9:00 PM. Friday’s #1 program, BLUE BLOODS, returns at 10:00 PM, where it will celebrate its 250th family dinner and close out one of television’s strongest nights.
SATURDAYS – CBS’ Saturday night lineup features encore broadcasts of the Network’s popular dramas at 8:00 PM and 9:00 PM, followed at 10:00 PM by the true crime docuseries 48 HOURS, Saturday’s #1 non-sports primetime series.
SUNDAYS – CBS’ Sunday night has been #1 for six of the last seven seasons with regularly scheduled programming. 60 MINUTES, television’s acclaimed #1 news program, returns at 7:00 PM, providing a dominant lead-in for season two of television’s #1 new show, THE EQUALIZER, starring Queen Latifah, at 8:00 PM, which is also TV’s top show among African American viewers. At 9:00 PM, steady performer NCIS: LOS ANGELES returns for its 13th season and 300th episode, followed by the four-episode event of SEAL TEAM at 10:00 PM, before it moves to Paramount+. S.W.A.T. takes over the 10:00 PM time period later in the season.
THE NEW FALL DRAMAS:
NCIS: HAWAI ‘ I (Monday, 10:00-11:00 PM)
The world’s most successful television series continues on the seductive shores of the Aloha State with NCIS: HAWAI ‘ I, where the first female Special Agent in Charge of NCIS Pearl Harbor, Jane Tennant (Vanessa Lachey), has thrived and risen through the ranks by equal parts confidence and strategy in a system that has pushed back on her every step of the way. Together with her unwavering team of specialists, they balance duty to family and country while investigating high-stakes crimes involving military personnel, national security and the mysteries of the sun-drenched island paradise itself. Matt Bosack, Jan Nash and Christopher Silber serve as executive producers for CBS Studios. Larry Teng is an executive producer and directed (initial episode only) from a script by Bosack, Nash and Silber.
NCIS: HAWAI ‘ I stars Vanessa Lachey as Special Agent in Charge Jane Tennant, Yasmine Al-Bustami as Lucy, Jason Antoon as Ernie, and Noah Mills as Jesse.
FBI: INTERNATIONAL (Tuesday, 9:00-10:00 PM)
From Emmy Award-winning executive producer Dick Wolf, fast-paced drama FBI: INTERNATIONAL is the third iteration of the successful FBI brand that follows the elite operatives of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s International Fly Team. Headquartered in Prague, they travel the world with the mission of tracking and neutralizing threats against American citizens wherever they may be. Not allowed to carry guns, the Fly Team relies on intelligence, quick thinking and pure brawn as they put their lives on the line to protect the U.S. and its people. Dick Wolf, Derek Haas, Matt Olmstead, Arthur Forney and Peter Jankowski are the executive producers. The series is produced by Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group, in association with CBS Studios.
CSI: VEGAS (Wednesday, 10:00-11:00 PM)
CSI: VEGAS, the sequel to the Network’s global hit “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” opens a brand-new chapter in Las Vegas—the city where it all began. Facing an existential threat that could bring down the entire Crime Lab and release thousands of convicted killers back onto the neon-lit streets of Vegas, a brilliant new team of investigators led by Maxine Roby (Paula Newsome) must enlist the help of old friends, Gil Grissom (William Petersen), Sara Sidle (Jorja Fox) and David Hodges (Wallace Langham). This combined force will deploy the latest forensic techniques to do what they do best—follow the evidence—in order to preserve and serve justice in Sin City. Jason Tracey serves as executive producer and showrunner; Jerry Bruckheimer, Jonathan Littman, KristieAnne Reed, Anthony Zuiker, Carol Mendelsohn, Ann Donahue, Craig O’Neill, William Petersen and Cindy Chvatal are also executive producers. Uta Briesewitz is an executive producer and directed (initial episode only) from a script by Tracey. The series is produced by CBS Studios in association with Jerry Bruckheimer Television.
CSI: VEGAS stars original “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” cast members William Petersen, Jorja Fox and Wallace Langham, who will reprise their roles as Gil Grissom, Sara Sidle and David Hodges, respectively; Paula Newsome as Maxine Roby; Matt Lauria as Joshua Folsom; Mandeep Dhillon as Allie Rajan; and Mel Rodriguez as Hugo Ramirez.
NEW FALL COMEDY
GHOSTS (Thursday, 9:00-9:30 PM)
GHOSTS is a single-camera comedy about Samantha (Rose McIver) and Jay (Utkarsh Ambudkar), a cheerful freelance journalist and up-and-coming chef from the city, respectively, who throw both caution and money to the wind when they decide to convert a huge rundown country estate they inherited into a bed & breakfast—only to find it’s inhabited by the many spirits of deceased residents who now call it home. The departed souls are a close-knit, eclectic group that includes a saucy Prohibition-era lounge singer, a pompous 1700’s Militiaman, a ‘60s hippie fond of hallucinogens, an overly upbeat ‘80s scout troop leader, a cod-obsessed Viking explorer from 1009, a slick ‘90s finance bro, a sarcastic and witty Native from the 1500s, and a society woman and wife of an 1800’s robber baron who is Samantha’s ancestor, to name a few. If the spirits were anxious about the commotion a renovation and B&B will create in their home, it’s nothing compared to when they realize Samantha is the first live person who can see and hear them. Joe Port & Joe Wiseman, Mathew Baynton, Jim Howick, Simon Farnaby, Laurence Rickard, Ben Willbond and Martha Howe-Douglas; Alison Carpenter, Debra Hayward, and Alison Owen (Monumental Television); and Angie Stephenson (BBC Studios) are the executive producers for CBS Studios in association with Lionsgate Television and BBC Studios’ Los Angeles production arm. Trent O’Donnell is an executive producer (pilot only) and directed the pilot from a script by Port & Wiseman. Based on the BBC Studios distributed format.
GHOSTS stars Rose McIver as Samantha, Utkarsh Ambudkar as Jay, Danielle Pinnock as Alberta, Brandon Scott Jones as Isaac, Richie Moriarty as Pete, Asher Grodman as Trevor, Sheila Carrasco as Flower, Román Zaragoza as Sasappis, Devan Chandler Long as Thorfinn, and Rebecca Wisocky as Hetty.
NEW COMEDY FOR MID-SEASON
SMALLWOOD, based on professional bowler Tom Smallwood’s life, stars Pete Holmes as Tom, a stoic Midwest husband and dad who gets laid off from a car assembly line and makes the extraordinary decision to provide for his family by following his dream of becoming a professional bowler. As a skilled player, Tom knows that in bowling you get two chances; no matter what you do with the first ball, you get another one to make it right—the ultimate second chance. Keeping that in mind, Tom begins his new career with the loving okay from his wife, Jen (Katie Lowes), and the unfaltering support of Archie (Chi McBride), his mentor and the proud owner of Archie’s Lanes: Home of the Curly Fry. It remains to be seen if Tom will strike it big on the Pro Bowler circuit, but right now, the pins are set, he’s taking his second shot and it’s 300 or bust! Mark Gross, David Hollander and Brian D’Arcy James serve as executive producers for CBS Studios. Mark Cendrowski directed the pilot from a script by Gross.
NEW DRAMA FOR MID-SEASON:
GOOD SAM stars Sophia Bush (“Chicago” franchise, “One Tree Hill”) and Jason Isaacs (STAR TREK: DISCOVERY, “Harry Potter” films) in a drama about Dr. Sam Griffith (Bush), a gifted heart surgeon who excels in her new leadership role as Chief of Surgery after her renowned boss falls into a coma. When her former boss wakes up months later demanding to resume his duties, Sam is tasked with supervising this egotistical expert with a scalpel who never acknowledged her stellar talent. Complicating matters is that the caustic and arrogant Dr. Rob “Griff” Griffith (Isaacs) also happens to be her father. As Griff defies Sam’s authority and challenges her medical expertise, the big question becomes whether this father and daughter will ever be able to mend their own relationship as expertly as they heal the hearts of their patients. Katie Wech, Jennie Snyder Urman and Joanna Klein serve as executive producers for CBS Studios. Tamra Davis is an executive producer (pilot only) and directed the pilot from a script by Wech.
GOOD SAM stars Sophia Bush as Dr. Sam Griffith, Jason Isaacs as Dr. Rob “Griff” Griffith, Skye P. Marshall as Dr. Lex Trulie, Michael Stahl-David as Dr. Caleb Tucker, Davi Santos as Dr. Joey Costa, Omar Maskati as Dr. Isan M. Shah, Wendy Crewson as Vivian Katz, and Edwin Hodge as Malcolm A. Kingsley.
In COME DANCE WITH ME, exceptionally talented young dancers from across the country invite one inspirational, untrained family member or other adult who has supported their dance dreams, to become their dance partner for a chance to strut their stuff for a grand prize. The series is hosted by Philip Lawrence with judges Jenna Dewan, Tricia Miranda and Dexter Mayfield. Each week, these aspiring kids will share their love of dance with their mother, father, grandparent or other hero on an uplifting and emotional journey to learn and perform challenging routines, with the assistance of professional choreographers, in a competition with other duos. COME DANCE WITH ME is produced by CBS Studios and 3 Ball Productions. LL COOL J, Chris O’Donnell, Reinout Oerlemans, Ross Weintraub and Jeff Altrock, Jeff Thacker, Nick Florez and RJ Durell are executive producers.
SPECIAL EVENT PROGRAMMING
THE ACTIVIST is a competition series featuring six inspiring activists teamed with three high-profile public figures working together to bring meaningful change to one of three vitally important world causes: health, education and environment. Activists go head-to-head in challenges to promote their causes, with their success measured via online engagement, social metrics and hosts’ input. The three teams have one ultimate goal: to create impactful movements that amplify their message, drive action, and advance them to the G20 Summit in Rome, Italy. There, they will meet with world leaders in the hope of securing funding and awareness for their causes. The team that receives the largest commitment is celebrated as the overall winner at the finale, which will also feature musical performances by some of the world’s most passionate artists. The series is produced by Global Citizen (“Vax Live: A Concert to Reunite the World”), and Deviant Media, Inc.
A CHRISTMAS PROPOSAL
A down-on-her-luck chef who dreams of starting her own line of food trucks agrees to pose as the girlfriend of a hotshot Seattle attorney visiting his family for Christmas. Working together, they try to prove he’s the ideal candidate to take over the family firm, but their business arrangement is complicated by the magic of the season as real sparks begin to fly. The movie is produced by Motion Picture Corporation of America. Adam Rodriguez (“CSI: Miami,” “Criminal Minds”) and Jessica Camacho (“All Rise”) star.
CHRISTMAS TAKES FLIGHT
When a handsome but frugal CEO takes over a family-owned regional airline and plans to cut their annual Christmas charity event, the original owner’s daughter, who is a pilot for the airline, rallies the community to save the event, and finds unexpected love in the process. The movie is produced by Motion Picture Corporation of America.