New CBS TV lineup: more female roles, more laughs

Wed May 14, 2008 8:51pm EDT
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By Paul Thomasch

NEW YORK (Reuters) - CBS Corp unveiled three new dramas and two comedies for its fall prime-time lineup on Wednesday, with executives promising more laughs and female faces from a network known for its popular crime dramas.

In rolling out five new shows for the fall, CBS, which often trumpets the stability of its lineup, introduced far more changes than Walt Disney Co's ABC after a development season abbreviated by the 14-week screenwriters' strike.

News Corp's Fox will take the wraps off its 2008-09 schedule on Thursday. General Electric Co's NBC did so last month, in a departure from the traditional announcement during the so-called "upfront week" in May.

Next, over the coming weeks, the broadcast networks will get down to signing around $9 billion worth of commercial deals with advertisers for the new season.

At CBS, executives added the comedies "Worst Week" and "Project Gary," giving it blocks of comedy two nights a week. CBS also picked up the dramas "Eleventh Hour" and "The Mentalist" as well as "The Ex List," another overseas hit coming to the United States in what is one notable trend of the shortened development season.

"When the strike was done, the day after, we hit the ground running," Chief Executive Les Moonves said at a news conference. "The compressed development schedule forced people to concentrate more and work harder."


Another executive, CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler, said the network sought to add more and bigger roles for women to its lineup, which is best known for its "CSI" crime series, comedies "Two and a Half Men" and "How I Met Your Mother," and the long-running reality series "Survivor."   Continued...

<p>File photo shows Julia Louis-Dreyfus walking the red carpet at the 59th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, California September 16, 2007. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson</p>