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Blue Bloods, Forest Whitaker up, Defenders and Jim Belushi down in CBS' new midseason schedule



blue-bloods-cbs-poster-550x689.jpgWhen the network having the most successful fall season announces serious changes in its winter schedule, you pay attention.

CBS revealed today some interesting changes for early 2011, including: giving Tom Selleck's successful Friday drama Blue Bloods a monthlong tryout on Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. starting Jan. 19, setting a Feb. 16 debut for Forest Whitaker's Criminal Minds spin off series, now called Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior and moving Jim Belushi's lawyer drama The Defenders to Fridays at 8 p.m. when Medium finishes its series run.

It's tough more for Belushi -- even CBS has trouble scaring up crowds on Fridays. Kicking the Defenders out of Wednesdays to make room for Selleck's new drama reminds one the moment CSI moved from Fridays to Thursdays, where it has flourished for more than decade.

CBS benefited this year from being a smart, old school TV network at a time when all its competitors are in flux. With its new fall shows, Fox tried to go too complex, ABC was hit-and-miss and NBC green lighted too many losing propositions. Small wonder the top five new TV shows of the fall season were all CBS programs.

Now the network is taking on American Idol with alum Paula Abdul's new dance competition show, Live to Dance, debuting Jan. 4; targeting NBC's only successful new show, the Los Angeles-set Law & Order spinoff, by moving Blue Bloods to Wednesdays and debuting a new drama and comedy besides.

Interesting to see if CBS' golden touch can keep going through the rest of the year; check out the new promo for Abdul's show below and click "see more" for more details on CBS midseason:

BLUE BLOODS, the season's #2 freshman series among viewers and Friday's top program in both viewers and adults 25-54, will move to Wednesdays (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) for four consecutive weeks beginning Jan. 19.  BLUE BLOODS returns to its regular Friday time period (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on Feb. 11. 

CRIMINAL MINDS: SUSPECT BEHAVIOR, a spin-off of CBS's top 10 hit, CRIMINAL MINDS, premieres Wednesday, Feb. 16 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT). 

THE DEFENDERS, currently airing Wednesdays (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) and ranking as the third-highest-rated new drama, relocates to Fridays (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) effective Feb. 4.  

MAD LOVE, a comedy about a quartet of New Yorkers, two of whom are falling in love while the other two despise each other, premieres Monday, Feb. 21 (8:30-9:00 PM, ET/PT).

 RULES OF ENGAGEMENT will move from Monday (8:30-9:00 PM, ET/PT) to Thursdays (8:30-9:00 PM, ET/PT) beginning Feb. 24, reuniting with another former Monday comedy, THE BIG BANG THEORY, to form a new Thursday comedy block. This season, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT has improved its time period by +13% in both viewers and adults 18-49 and by +17% in adults 25-54.  RULES OF ENGAGEMENT will succeed $#*! MY DAD SAYS, which will have completed its on-air order for the season.

CHAOS, a comedic drama about a group of rogue CIA spies in the Clandestine Administration and Oversight Services, premieres Friday, April 1 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT).  CHAOS will succeed THE DEFENDERS, which will have completed its on-air order for the season.

CBS will close the first half of the 2010-2011 season as the #1 network in viewers (12.29m, up +3%), adults 25-54 (4.2/10, up +2%) and adults 18-49 (3.2/09, even with last year).  Season-to-date, CBS has six of the season's top 10 programs, the top seven scripted programs and the top five new programs.  CBS also has the two most played-back series—HAWAII FIVE-0 and THE MENTALIST—with both gaining nearly three million additional viewers each week after 7-day playback is factored in.

CBS's Mid-Season Lineup:

Wednesdays, Effective Jan. 19

8:00-9:00 PM              LIVE TO DANCE

9:00-10:00 PM            CRIMINAL MINDS

10:00-11:00 PM          BLUE BLOODS (ntp)


Fridays, Effective Feb. 4

8:00-9:00 PM              THE DEFENDERS (ntp)

9:00-10:00 PM            CSI: NY


Fridays, Effective Feb. 11

8:00-9:00 PM              THE DEFENDERS

9:00-10:00 PM            CSI: NY

10:00-11:00 PM          BLUE BLOODS


Wednesday, Effective Feb. 16

8:00-9:00 PM              SURVIVOR: REDEMPTION ISLAND (Premiere)

9:00-10:00 PM            CRIMINAL MINDS

10:00-11:00 PM          CRIMINAL MINDS: SUSPECT BEHAVIOR (Series Debut)


Monday, Effective Feb. 21

8:00-8:30 PM              HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER

8:30-9:00 PM              MAD LOVE (Series Debut)

9:00-9:30 PM              TWO AND A HALF MEN

9:30-10:00 PM            MIKE & MOLLY

10:00-11:00 PM          HAWAII FIVE-0


Thursday, Effective Feb. 24

8:00-8:30 PM              THE BIG BANG THEORY

8:30-9:00 PM              RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (ntp)

9:00-10:00 PM            CSI

10:00-11:00 PM          THE MENTALIST


Friday, Effective April 1

8:00-9:00 PM              CHAOS (Series Debut)

9:00-10:00 PM            CSI: NY

10:00-11:00 PM          BLUE BLOODS


[Last modified: Wednesday, December 22, 2010 5:40pm]


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