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Upfronts 2009: CBS Touts Growth, Aims Young with 2009-10 Slate

Filed at 9:32 a.m. EST on May 20, 2009

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Upfronts 2009: Complete Coverage from B&C

CBS did not let its bragging rights as the only broadcast network to add viewers season-to-season go to waste.

"We are the only network that is up a single demographic," said Leslie Moonves, CBS Corp. President and CEO. "Nobody else is up in anything."

And while acknowledging that the severe ad spending contraction, especially in the automotive sector, has affected CBS' bottom line, he predicted "light at the end of the tunnel." Hope springs eternal, especially during upfront week.

Moonves and his team stressed their success in reaching younger viewers this season. (CBS is up 3% among viewers 18-49 for a season-average 3 rating, putting the network in a tie for second with ABC. Fox will finish the season as the top-rated network in the demo.) And CBS unveiled a 2009-10 schedule that it hopes will add even more young viewers next season.

The network will debut one new comedy and three new dramas in the fall, and also add the NBC drama Medium to its Friday night lineup between Ghost Whisperer and Numbers.

New comedy Accidentally On Purpose stars Jenna Elfman as a film critic who becomes pregnant after a one-night stand with a much younger man. It will get a lead-in from How I Met Your Mother, which moves to the 8 p.m. leadoff spot on Monday night. Two and a Half Men moves to 9 p.m., with The Big Bang Theory at 9:30 p.m.

CBS Entertainment chief Nina Tassler described Accidentally On Purpose as "a little sexy, a little in your face," but still in CBS' family-friendly wheelhouse, adding, "We have a great track record with non-traditional family shows."

The network also has an enviable record with procedurals. Tuesdays will bring a two-hour NCIS block, with the original at 8 p.m. and spinoff NCIS: Los Angeles at 9 p.m., which will make it the only scripted program in the time period. The new Julianna Margulies drama The Good Wife will follow at 10 p.m.

Wednesday is status quo with The New Adventures of Old Christine, Gary Unmarried, Criminal Minds and CSI: NY.

Freshman hit The Mentalist will move to Thursdays at 10 p.m. following CSI, to create what scheduling chief Kelly Kahl described as a "super block" on one of the week's most high-profile nights. New drama Three Rivers, about surgeons at a leading transplant hospital in Pittsburgh, will take the 9 p.m. Sunday slot, following The Amazing Race and leading into Cold Case.

For midseason, CBS has picked up Jerry Bruckheimer medical drama Miami Trauma; Canadian import The Bridge; two unscripted series, Undercover Boss and Arranged Marriage; and Rules of Engagement.
Without a Trace, The Unit and freshman series Eleventh Hour have been cancelled.

The full schedule is below:


8 p.m. - "How I Met Your Mother"

8:30 p.m. - "Accidentally on Purpose" (new comedy)

9 p.m. - "Two and a Half Men"

9:30 p.m. - "The Big Bang Theory"

10 p.m. - "CSI: Miami"


8 p.m. - "NCIS"

9 p.m. - "NCIS: Los Angeles"

10 p.m. - "The Good Wife" (new drama)


8 p.m. - "The New Adventures of Old Christine"

8:30 p.m. - "Gary Unmarried"

9 p.m. - "Criminal Minds"

10 p.m. - "CSI: NY"


8 p.m. - "Survivor"

9 p.m. - "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation"

10 p.m. - "The Mentalist"


8 p.m. - "Ghost Whisperer"

9 p.m. - "Medium"

10 p.m. - "Numbers"


8 p.m. - Drama repeats

9 p.m. - Drama repeats

10 p.m. - "48 Hours Investigations"


7 p.m. - "60 Minutes"

8 p.m. - "The Amazing Race"

9 p.m. - "Three Rivers" (new drama)

10 p.m. - "Cold Case"

Alex Weprin contributed reporting to this article.