CarterMatt remembers a time when CBS Monday night was the most dominant night in comedy on television. You had shows like Two and a Half Men, the early seasons of The Big Bang Theory, Everybody Loves Raymond, and many other shows that were soaking up huge numbers. How I Met Your Mother may not have been a runaway hit right out of the gate, but it managed to find a way to achieve that status over time.
Now, you look at the CBS Monday schedule and it’s a shell of its former self. What it looks like is more or less akin to a former high school quarterback still going to the stadium during the summer to throw the football around, desperate to reclaim some element of its former glory. This is a network living in the past. Kevin Can Wait, (for example) may be a somewhat funny show, yet everything about it is outdated. 9JKL, (as great as Mark Feuerstein is) is the same comedy you’ve seen for the past 25 years in a more derivative form. Superior Donuts is a little bit tired format-wise, but we actually do feel like Jermaine Fowler is a breath of fresh air and at least it has a different setting.
The problem that CBS has with its Monday night lineup is that they are lacking a single show that you can look at and say that it demands immediate viewing. On Monday night no show performed better than the 1.2 in the 18-49 demographic (posted by Kevin Can Wait, and 9JKL) weeks removed from having decent numbers after The Big Bang Theory, ended up with a 0.8. Me, Myself & I, (a show that attempted some innovation, but couldn’t quite execute its premise) is already effectively canceled.
Scorpion is the drama following these comedies, and without much help in the way of a lead-in, it’s also sinking.
How can CBS stop the bleeding?
It’s going to be hard during the season since they already have their schedule mapped out, but they need to cast a wider net with their comedies and look for something that is unique, funny, and can get critics on their side. Basically, they need the comedic version of ABC’s The Good Doctor, a new hit that manages to mix the old with the new and can market to people from every demographic. Because of the political environment it’s so much more difficult to find shows that appeal to people from all walks of life, but it’s possible. They need a fresh face and a reasonably-fresh premise. Recycling comedy vets like Kevin James and Matt LeBlanc is not going to be the way to do it.
Why do you think the CBS comedy lineup is falling off a cliff, and do you think that there is a way in which it can be fixed? Share now in the attached comments below.
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