20 CBS Shows Renewed So Far

CBS’s crime drama CRIMINAL MINDS will be back for its 11th season in the fall, an announcement that marks CBS’s 20th renewal for the 2013-14 season.

Here’s a complete list of the shows the network confirmed for renewal so far:

  • 48 HOURS
  • NCIS
  • 60 MINUTES

Last week, the network announced the renewal of TWO AND A HALF MEN for an 11th season, although the fate of co-star Angus T. Jones, who plays the “half” man, Jake, was still subject to contract negotiations. TWO-AND-A-HALF-MEN-KUTCHERHe didn’t appear as often this past season because of a military storyline. He is said to be interested in pursuing college and music, but after a controversial religious video in which he slammed the show went viral, many have speculated about what his future with the show might be.

Only newcomers PARTNERS and MADE IN JERSEY were canceled from last season.

The remaining shows on CBS’s prime time lineup are still waiting to hear their fates. Those shows are RULES OF ENGAGEMENT, VEGAS, THE GOLDEN BOY and CSI:NY.

Which shows are you most excited to see returning for another season?


Pelley Debut Wins Acclaim

Scott Pelley’s first newscast is behind him, and for the most part, critics seem to be pleased with what they saw.

Several have praised the Texas-born Pelley for not leading Monday’s CBS EVENING NEWS with the Rep. Anthony Weiner drama.  NBC’s Bryan Williams led with the story of the New York politician who held a press conference to confirm that a suggestive body photo sent via Twitter was, in fact, of himself.

At the Washington Post, Hank Stuever praised Pelley for taking the high road, leading with a six-minute-long report on Afghanistan, the five American soldiers who were just killed there, and the future of America’s involvement in the region.  Stuever described it as “a ray of serious sunshine on the future of TV journalism.”

At the New York Times, Allesandra Stanley was happy that Pelley resisted leading with the late-breaking sex drama, adding that by the time Pelley did get around to mentioning the story, he asked a congressional correspondent why Weiner even mattered.  Stanley says Pelley signaled that he’s a “no-nonsense news man.”

At the same time, she questioned whether he could really bring “world-class reporting” of 60 MINUTES to the nightly broadcast.  She also questioned whether CBS might be subtly trying to suggest that Pelley is a return to the “glory days” of CBS News, mentioning that the gold world map behind Pelley is a replica of the map that hung behind Walter Cronkite when he was anchor of the broadcast.

Unmentioned was the fact that the network even returned to the  theme music it used from 1987 until 1991.

Whether Pelley will accomplish that return to the network’s glory days remains to be seen, and that’s a question that will likely to take a long time to answer.  But if his debut is any indication, the new man at the anchor desk doesn’t want it to be all about him, but about the stories and what they mean to the audience.

And isn’t that what we all want in a news anchor?

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.

It’s Official…Sort of.

An unnamed CBS source confirmed over the weekend that Katie Couric will leave her CBS EVENING NEWS anchor slot.

I’ll give you a moment to compose yourself from the shock of that announcement.

Couric, who has been rumored to be “this close” to leaving for more than a year now, hasn’t announced any official plans. The source, who spoke to the Associated Press anonymously because Couric has made no such announcement, couldn’t provide a date that Couric would step down or the name of her replacement.

Her contract expires in early June. Speculation of late has placed 60 MINUTES correspondent Scott Pelley as the leading contender to replace her. But there’s also Harry Smith, who left CBS’s EARLY SHOW in January to become the primary substitute anchor for Couric, Bob Schieffer on FACE THE NATION and Charles Osgood on SUNDAY MORNING.

Russ Mitchell may also be an internal candidate, the AP reports.

But even with three solid options in-house, that doesn’t mean that CBS wouldn’t seriously consider bringing in someone from outside CBS News.

So we’re left with only a slightly more credible story that the 54-year-old Couric’s tenure on the evening newscast is coming to an end.

Some time. Likely soon.

Or not.

Insiders: Couric offered ’60 Minutes’ slot

Katie Couric/©CBS, Inc.

Over the weekend, speculation began circulating that 60 MINUTES correspondent Scott Pelley was a leading contender to take over the CBS EVENING NEWS when Katie Couric’s contract is up.  Insiders at the network told the New York Post that Couric has been offered a package that would move her to the venerable news magazine.

The offer could be attractive enough to persuade Couric to do a possible syndicated daytime talk show through CBS, which is the largest syndicator.

Pelley, 53, has been with CBS since 1989, and has been a 60 MINUTES correspondent since 2004.  Before that, he contributed to 60 MINUTES II, and previously served as the network’s chief White House correspondent.

Couric, 54, who left NBC’s Today show to take over the CBS EVENING NEWS in 2006, is wrapping up a five-year contract which expires this June.  Early speculation suggested that CBS would ask Couric to remain in that position through the 2012 elections, but the newest rumors say Couric and Pelley could trade places sooner than that.

Curiously unmentioned in the rumor mill is CBS Senior Correspondent Harry Smith, who left THE EARLY SHOW this past January to become the primary substitute anchor for Couric, and also for Bob Schieffer on FACE THE NATION and Charles Osgood on SUNDAY MORNING.  Couric is said to be on vacation this week, so Smith is the likely fill-in.

Though Couric never brought CBS the evening news ratings success executives were hoping for, here in the Lowcountry, the CBS EVENING NEWS scored better in February in household viewers than the nationally top-rated NBC Nightly News.

Conan O’Brien to Break Silence on 60 Minutes

When Conan O’Brien left NBC after being told he’d have to move his Tonight Show back one half hour under a plan that would have moved Jay Leno back to late night, part of his severance deal prohibited him from conducting interviews about the situation until May 1st.

Sunday is May 2nd.

And it’s also the date that 60 MINUTES gets O’Brien’s first interview since leaving his show.

O’Brien is currently on a 32-city tour and recently signed a deal to bring a new late-night show to TBS.

Further restrictions as part of O’Brien’s reported $32 million severance package, according to The Wrap, prevent him from disparaging his former network and Jay Leno, but CBS’s Steve Kroft says O’Brien “flirts” with those restrictions.

But don’t expect a lot of extra promos with O’Brien for the weekly newsmagazine: since the promos will air before May 1st, CBS isn’t allowed to use O’Brien’s face in promoting his appearance. It’ll be interesting to see how the Network handles that.

You can see O’Brien’s interview this Sunday night at 7:00pm on LIVE 5 WCSC.

CBS Scores Big in Premiere Week

The first week of the new fall television season was a banner week for CBS.

The network not only won the week overall, but claimed the top-rated program and premiered the most-watched new show, according to Nielsen ratings.

CBS_2008_09The highest-rated program of the week was the season premiere of NCIS last Tuesday. Its spinoff, NCIS: LOS ANGELES, took second place for the week, and THE GOOD WIFE ranked 15th for the week. Both ‘LA’ and ‘Wife’ are new shows.

CBS had 11 of its shows in the top 20 for the week, including CSI, CRIMINAL MINDS, and THE MENTALIST.

The venerable 60 MINUTES launched its 42 season ranking 13th for the week.

TWO AND A HALF MEN ranked 17th and BIG BANG THEORY ranked 19th for the week.

Thanks to everyone who watched LIVE 5 WCSC during premiere week and we hope you’re as excited about the new season as we are!

CBS News Wins 5 Emmy Awards

CBS News was honored with five Emmys at the 30th Annual News & Documentary Awards. THE CBS EVENING NEWS WITH KATIE COURIC, CBS NEWS SUNDAY MORNING and 60 MINUTES were winners, with the three Emmys won by 60 MINUTES constituting the most for a network news magazine.

“It has been an extraordinary year of critical acclaim for CBS News and we are gratified to have won Emmys in five of the most distinguished categories,” said Sean McManus, President, CBS News and Sports. “The diversity of subject matter for which CBS News won awards is indicative of our strength and leadership in every area of journalism.”

The Emmy for Best Report in a News Magazine, won by Scott Pelley’s 60 MINUTES investigation “The Wasteland,” was the report’s sixth major award – a record for the news magazine. The investigation into the disposal of ’s electronic waste overseas has already won the Polk, Investigative Reporters and Editors, Sigma Delta Chi, Loeb Business and RTNDA Murrow awards since its broadcast on Nov. 9, 2008.

The other 60 MINUTES winning reports are for Outstanding Coverage of a Breaking News Story in a News Magazine, “The Bailout,” Pelley’s look at then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson as he dealt with the economic crisis; and Outstanding Continuing Coverage of a News Story in a News Magazine, CNN Anchor Anderson Cooper’s “War Against Women,” on the use of rape as a weapon in a civil war in The Democratic Republic of Congo.

THE CBS EVENING NEWS WITH KATIE COURIC won in the Outstanding Investigative Journalism in a Regularly Scheduled Newscast for Armen Keteyian’s “VA Suicides: Cover-up Exposed,” on how the Veterans Administration was hiding the true number of suicides among veterans.

CBS NEWS SUNDAY MORNING was awarded in the Outstanding Feature Story in a Regularly Scheduled Newscast category for “RFK,” Jeff Greenfield’s historic look at Robert F. Kennedy on the eve of the 40th anniversary of his death.

60 Minutes Salutes Guiding Light

Odds are that most of the people actually reading this blog weren’t alive during a time that GUIDING LIGHT wasn’t on the air, either on radio or television. But next week, after 72 years, the CBS soap goes dark.

Guidling_Light_LogoAnything could happen and it usually did over the course of its more than 15,000 episodes. Characters would disappear and re-emerge after years, become entangled in the most outrageous plots writers could fathom – they could even die and come back to life. Morley Safer talks to the people who produced and appeared on GUIDING LIGHT, some for decades, as they celebrate the life and now accept the breakup of what has for them become a family, Sunday on 60 MINUTES.

First on the radio in 1937, “Guiding Light” made the transition to television in 1952 and rode the soap-opera success train to its peak in the 1970s, when the networks ran 16 of them. Its demise leaves just seven on the networks now.

“I’m 54 years old. I will never have a job like this again, ever in my life,” says actress Kim Zimmer, who played Reva Shayne – a character who married nine times on the show. “Nothing this steady and this stable and this wonderful.”

Executive producer Ellen Wheeler says it’s more than a job. “We have to say goodbye to the characters and we have to say goodbye to the town, the whole town. We have to say goodbye to each other. Our working relationships are over,” she says.

Beth Chamberlin, who went from a teenager to middle age on the broadcast as Beth Raines, is a little bit in denial. “I think it won’t sink in for maybe a month later that we’re actually not going back. We’re not just light on story right now, there is no story to be told,” she tells Safer.

In addition, Safer also speaks to ‘GL’ writer Jill Lorie Hurst and longtime actors Ron Raines, Tina Sloan and Grant Aleksander.

60 MINUTES airs Sunday at 7:00pm on LIVE 5 WCSC.

Don Hewitt: 1922-2009

Don Hewitt, recognized as a father of modern television news and the creator of the medium’s most successful broadcast, 60 MINUTES, died of pancreatic cancer today. He was 86 and was with family at the time of death.

60MinutesLogoHewitt was executive producer of CBS News, the title he took when he stepped down from his post as executive producer of 60 MINUTES in 2004.

Hewitt’s remarkable career in journalism spanned over 60 years, virtually all of it at CBS.  As a young producer/director assisting at the birth of television news, it was usually Hewitt behind the scenes directing legendary CBS News reporters like Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite, using a playbook he had to write himself. He played an integral role in all of CBS News’ coverage of major news events from the late 1940s through the 1960s, putting him in the middle of some of history’s biggest events, including one of politics’ seminal moments:  Continue reading