CBS Wins May Sweeps, Nielsen Says

For the eighth time in the last nine years, CBS will live up to its slogan, “America’s Most Watched Network.”

That’s according to estimates from Nielsen, the company that measures television ratings, released on Tuesday.

The Network placed second behind Fox in the Adults 18-49 demographic for the fifth straight year. And CBS also airs the top-rated scripted program on all seven nights of the week. Those programs, night by night starting with Monday, are TWO AND A HALF MEN, NCIS, CRIMINAL MINDS, THE MENTALIST, BLUE BLOODS, CRIMETIME SATURDAY and CSI:MIAMI.

It also holds the distinction of holding more top 10 scripted shows in Adults 18-49 than any other network. Those four are BIG BANG THEORY in 2nd place, NCIS in 4th, TWO AND A HALF MEN in 6th and CRIMINAL MINDS in the 10th place slot.

In household ratings, and as of Sunday night, CBS had an overall 7.1 rating. Fox had a 5.5, just two-tenths of a point above ABC. NBC trailed with a 4.4.

May ratings information is important to television stations because they help stations set ad rates for the fall holiday season.

Fourth Freshman Series Bites the Dust

CBS decided the fate of two more shows said to be “on the bubble,” or having an uncertain future, on Tuesday.

Though CSI:NY was renewed for another season, the midseason replacement that took its old time slot, CRIMINAL MINDS: SUSPECT BEHAVIOR, won’t be back in the fall.

The program aired Wednesdays at 10:00pm, immediately following the series it spun off from, CRIMINAL MINDS.  But ratings for the sequel just weren’t strong enough to warrant a second season.

The news follows CBS’s announcement on Monday that three other first-year series were also canceled.

The Network is expected to announce its full fall season plan to prospective advertisers on Wednesday.

CBS Cancels Three Freshmen Series

Three series that made their debut this season have gotten the ax from CBS.

S#*! MY DAD SAYS, which starred William Shatner as a cantankerous father full of clever things to say, was one of the first shows to wrap up its season commitment, and quietly disappeared from the schedule months ago.  The show was based on a wildly popular Twitter feed, but never got the huge audience executives would have hoped a big name like Shatner might deliver.

After 19 episodes, the legal drama THE DEFENDERS is also out.  Though it initially performed well on its Wednesday night premiere slot, when the network moved the show to Friday nights, that changed.  The show featured Jerry O’Connell and Jim Belushi as Las Vegas lawyers who take a lot of the more offbeat cases that most attorneys would pass on.

And one of the network’s newest sitcoms, midseason replacement MAD LOVE, starring Jason Biggs, won’t be back next season.  Its finale airs tonight on LIVE 5 WCSC.

TV Squad reports that there are still several CBS shows whose fate isn’t known, yet, including CSI:NY, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT, and HAWAII FIVE-0.

The Network is expected to present its official new season schedule to advertisers this Wednesday, so we’ll keep you updated on the fate of other shows currently on the schedule.

Couric Set to Depart Evening News Thursday

Katie Couric’s last day as anchor of the CBS EVENING NEWS will be this Thursday.

Couric made the announcement at the conclusion of Friday’s broadcast, ending speculation on how close to the end of her contract she’d actually remain at the big desk.

Her replacement, 60 MINUTES correspondent Scott Pelley, won’t take over anchoring duties until June 6th, which will leave a hole to be filled by rotating anchors.  One likely fill-in will be Harry Smith, who was appointed the show’s primary fill-in anchor when he was taken off THE EARLY SHOW in January.

Couric also said that on Thursday’s broadcast, she would relive some of the big stories covered during her five years at CBS News.

Kutcher Joining ‘Men,’ CBS Confirms

Only days after rumors that actor Hugh Grant passed up an offer of a million bucks per episode to star in CBS’s hit comedy TWO AND A HALF MEN, the network and Warner Brothers have confirmed that Ashton Kutcher will replace Charlie Sheen.

It’s not a very big leap of logic, then, to also conclude that the show has not been canceled, as many fans feared would happen without Sheen.

“I can’t wait to get to work with this ridiculously talented 2.5 team and I believe we can fill the stage with laughter that will echo in viewers’ homes,” Kutcher said in a statement.

Production on the show’s ninth season is scheduled to begin this summer.

At 33, Kutcher is 12 years Sheen’s junior, so it would be hard to believe that he would take over the same role Sheen held for eight years.

Show producer Chuck Lorre is said to have devised a concept to introduce Kutcher into the program that pleases both the network and the studio, though no one is saying what that concept actually is.

Meanwhile, Sheen is predicting that the show will flop without him.  But then, what else would any of us expect Sheen to say?

Live 5 WCSC Planning Third Channel This Fall

Later this year, Lowcountry viewers will have another new channel of programming to choose from.  The newly-formed Bounce TV Network, which is targeted to the African-American audience, is set to launch this fall.

Bounce TV received its first major carriage deal with Raycom, the parent company of Live 5 WCSC last week.    That one deal alone will put the new network in 10 percent of US homes.  Executives expect their network to reach at least half of the country by the time it begins broadcasting.

In addition to the Charleston market, Raycom will carry Bounce TV in 25 other local markets, including Columbia, Myrtle Beach-Florence and Charlotte.

“Bounce TV is the right network at the right time for our stations,” Raycom president-CEO Paul McTear said in a statement.  “Bounce TV will allow us to better serve our communities, giving underserved African-American consumers a new local television brand designed specifically for them while also providing our local stations an ideal companion network for their digital spectrum.”

We’ll update you with details about programming on the new channel and a start date in the coming weeks.

CBS Cuts Ties with 60-Year-Old TV Franchise

CBS has parted ways with the HALLMARK HALL OF FAME, a legendary television movie franchise that began in 1951, according to MediaPost.

The greeting card maker reportedly passed on the network’s offer to air the films on more of an “as needed” basis, preferring the current three-times-a-year deal they had. But CBS, which already has a successful Sunday night lineup, sometimes has a problem justifying pre-empting that lineup for a one-time telefilm.

The HALLMARK HALL OF FAME began on NBC, where it stayed for 30 years before switching over to ABC and CBS. Its current partnership with CBS has lasted for sixteen years.

Its most recent offering, “Beyond the Blackboard,” aired on Live 5 WCSC on April 24th and told the story of a young teacher whose first job takes place in a homeless shelter that has been converted into a classroom for students between the ages of six and 12.

In 60 years, more than 240 films have been produced, earning the company 80 Emmy awards, nine Golden Globes, 11 Peabody Awards and others.

Hallmark is reportedly shopping its movie package elsewhere.

Pelley Officially Named Evening News Anchor

CBS has finally made official the announcement everyone already expected:  60 MINUTES correspondent Scott Pelley will become the next anchor of the CBS EVENING NEWS when current anchor Katie Couric departs.

The change will take effect on June 6th, according to new information from the network.  Pelley will continue to report on 60 MINUTES.

“Scott has it all. He has the experience, the credibility and he is among the very best reporters ever to work at CBS News,” said CBS News Chairman Jeff Fager. “In more than two decades at CBS News, he has distinguished himself at every level, right up to his current role at ’60 Minutes,’ where his work has been incomparable. We like to think of CBS News as the ‘reporter’s network’ and I can’t think of anybody in this business better suited for the anchor chair than Scott.”

“I am delighted to join the terrific team at the ‘CBS Evening News,’” Pelley said. “It’s a privilege to work alongside the most gifted and talented journalists in the industry.”

Pelley, 53, joined CBS News in 1989, and has been a correspondent on the venerable 60 MINUTES since 2004.  Couric, 54, leaves the broadcast following a five year run in the anchor chair that never boosted the program’s ratings as network executives hoped.

Despite that, Couric’s CBS EVENING NEWS pulled higher household ratings in the Lowcountry than nationally-top-ranked NBC Nightly News. 

Mark Your Calendars! Season Finales Are On the Way!

With the start of May comes a parade of season finales of your favorite sitcoms and dramas. You’ll also see cliffhangers and a few surprises along the way, too.

Here’s a quick rundown of when to catch the final new episodes of the season for some of your most-watched shows. Continue reading

‘The Talk’ Honoring Moms All Week

CBS’s THE TALK is celebrating Mother’s Day with a special series of reports called “Moms Who Move Us” all this week.

In addition to taped reports highlighting compelling and motivational stories about exceptional moms, the hosts of the program will pay tribute to their own mothers.

On Monday, the show will feature Carolyn Glaspy, whose son, NFL player Chris Henry, had been involved in a terrible accident that left him brain dead. Glaspy made a courageous decision following her son’s death that allowed several others to see another Mother’s Day. Continue reading