CBS's 2013-14 Season: Mork, the Beek, and Lots of the Same Old, Same Old

Robin Williams, Sarah Michelle Gellar, James Van Der Beek, Anna Faris, and Will Arnett (Getty Images, Wireimage)

CBS has the luxury of adding just eight new series to its primetime lineup -- only five that will premiere in the fall -- as broadcast TV's No. 1 network unveiled its 2013-14 roster to advertisers at its annual upfront presentation in New York City Wednesday afternoon.

The network's highest-profile new series features Oscar winner Robin Williams in the comedy "The Crazy Ones." "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" alum Sarah Michelle Gellar co-stars with Williams as his daughter and co-worker. He's the brilliant but quirky leader of an advertising agency, and she's equally talented but also tasked with keeping him grounded. The series is produced by David E. Kelley.

[Related: See Which New Shows Are Joining the Fox Lineup This Fall]

"Dawson's Creek" and "Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23" star James Van Der Beek will star in the ensemble comedy "Friends With Better Lives," and "The Big Bang Theory" producer Chuck Lorre will add a fourth show (including "Big Bang," "Two and a Half Men," and "Mike & Molly") to the network with the new comedy "Mom."

Will Arnett, Toni Collette, "Lost" alum Josh Holloway, "Monk" star Tony Shaloub, and Dylan McDermott are also starring in new CBS series.

[Related: See Which New Shows Are Joining The CW Lineup This Fall]

As for the network's schedule, CBS has done a bit of tinkering, following "The Big Bang Theory" with three comedies on Thursday night to build a two-hour comedy block. It is also moving "Person of Interest" to Tuesday, where it will follow "NCIS" and "NCIS: Los Angeles" to build a powerhouse drama lineup that will go up against ABC's highly anticipated new Joss Whedon drama "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." and "The Voice" on NBC.

[Related: See Which New Shows Are Joining the ABC Lineup This Fall]

In total, CBS will have 20 returning shows on its schedule for the new season, after canceling "CSI: New York," "Golden Boy," "The Job," "Made in Jersey," "Partners," "Rules of Engagement," and "Vegas." The Melissa McCarthy Monday night sitcom "Mike & Molly," which is MIA from the fall schedule, will return at midseason.

[Related: CBS Execs Come Out Swinging at the Network's Upfront]

Among the high-profile pilots that CBS passed on for next season were the Eddie Murphy-produced TV adaptation of "Beverly Hills Cop," in which Murphy also planned to make guest appearances as Axel Foley, while actor Brandon T. Jackson's Aaron (Axel's son) would be the focus of the series. "Cop" is now being shopped to other networks.

[Related: See Which New Shows Are Joining the NBC Lineup This Fall]

CBS's deep bench of hits also allowed the network to pass on "Mother's Day," a comedy starring "Will and Grace" and "Smash" alum Debra Messing, and a comedy with Matthew Broderick as a widowed dad who starts dating again (Kristin Chenoweth co-starred).

A description of the new CBS series, along with our first impressions about which ones might make our must-see list next fall:


"Hostages" (Drama)

Stars: Dylan McDermott, Toni Collette, Tate Donovan ("Deception"), Rhys Coiro ("Entourage" and "24"), James Naughton ("Gossip Girl"), and Billy Brown ("The Following" and "Sons of Anarchy")

Producer: Jerry Bruckheimer

Plot: This political-conspiracy drama involves a kidnapping and a surgeon (Collette) who's ordered to operate on, and ultimately kill, the president of the United States to save her family.

First Impression: Great cast and storyline, though this kind of show always reminds us of "24" or "Homeland" and sets those kinds of expectations for the level of drama and action.


"Intelligence" (Drama -- Midseason)

Stars: Josh Holloway, Marg Helgenberger ("CSI"), James Martinez ("Gravity"), John Billingsley ("True Blood"), Meghan Ory ("Once Upon a Time"), Michael Rady ("The Mentalist"), and P.J. Byrne ("The Game")

Producers: Michael Seitzman, Rene Echevarria ("Terra Nova"), Paul Goldman ("The Gates"), Tripp Vinson, and David Semel ("No Ordinary Family")

Plot: The drama revolves around U.S. Cyber Command agent Gabriel Black (Holloway), whose brain carries a microchip that allows him to access the entire electromagnetic spectrum. What does that mean? Well, ostensibly that he would be able to access police and military communications, interface with WiFi networks, directly interface with computers, remotely control anything that's controlled by computers...

First Impression: It's a good thing the show has a star as beloved as "Lost" alum Holloway, because that is a pretty crazy concept. Aside from a chip malfunction, what can't Gabriel Black do? Can his brain explode from info overload? And is this kinda like the Intersect that Chuck Bartowski had stuck in his head on "Chuck"?


"Reckless" (Drama -- Midseason)

Stars: Cam Gigandet ("Twilight" and "The O.C."), Shawn Hatosy ("Southland"), Gregory Harrison ("One Tree Hill" and "Trapper John, M.D."), Adam Rodriguez ("CSI: Miami"), Anna Wood ("Deception"), Kim Wayans ("In Living Color"), Michael Gladis ("Mad Men"), and Georgina Haig ("Fringe")

Producers: Dana Stevens ("What About Brian"), and Ian Sander and Kim Moses ("Ghost Whisperer"); pilot directed by "Twilight" director Catherine Hardwicke.

Plot: A police sex scandal in Charleston, South Carolina, causes turmoil in the city, and also between a "gorgeous Yankee litigator" (Wood) and the Southern city attorney (Gigandet), who are attracted to each other even though they're opposing each other in court.

First Impression: CBS may have found a way to get the "Twilight" demo to watch the network. Besides "The Big Bang Theory," of course.


"The Crazy Ones" (Comedy)

Stars: Robin Williams, Sarah Michelle Gellar, James Wolk ("Mad Men"), Hamish Linklater ("The New Adventures of Old Christine"), and Amanda Setton ("The Mindy Project")

Producers: David E. Kelley and Bill D'Elia

Plot: Simon Roberts (Williams) is the "brilliant but slightly out-of-his-mind" head of an ad agency, and his creative but saner daughter (Gellar) not only works with him but also helps prevent him from spinning completely out of control.

First Impression: TV made Williams a star on "Mork and Mindy," and, 30 years after that show ended, he's back ... please let this comedy be worthy of his talents.


NEXT: Preview the new comedies from Faris and Arnett, and see CBS's full fall 2013 schedule.


"Friends With Better Lives" (Comedy -- Midseason)

Stars: James Van Der Beek, Brooklyn Decker ("The League"), Kevin Connolly ("Entourage"), Majandra Delfino ("The Office"), Rick Donald, and Zoe Lister-Jones ("Whitney")

Producers: Aaron Kaplan ("The Neighbors") and Dana Klein ("Friends"); pilot directed by James Burrows.

Plot: A group of 30-something friends each think the others have better lives than they do.

First Impression: The Beek has proved himself to be quite the comedy actor, and though playing himself (or a version thereof) on "Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23" was genius, we're excited to see what he can do in this comedy ensemble.


"The Millers" (Comedy)

Stars: Will Arnett, Margo Martindale ("The Americans" and "Justified"), Beau Bridges, J.B. Smoove ("Curb Your Enthusiasm"); Michael Rapaport ("The Mob Doctor") and Mary Elizabeth Ellis ("It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia") starred in the pilot episode, but their roles will be recast for the series, reports.

Producer: Greg Garcia ("My Name Is Earl" and "Raising Hope"); pilot directed by James Burrows.

Plot: A recently divorced man (Arnett) is already living a pretty complicated life, when his parents (Martindale and Bridges) move in with him.

First Impression: Good cast, promising series, and we mean that even if Martindale might not be available to continue her scene-stealing role on "The Americans."


"Mom" (Comedy)

Stars: Anna Faris, Allison Janney ("The West Wing"), Matt Jones ("Breaking Bad"), French Stewart ("3rd Rock From the Sun"), Nate Corddry ("Childrens Hospital"), Spencer Daniels ("The Office"), Blake Garrett Rosenthal ("The Office"), and Sadie Calvano ("Melissa & Joey")

Producer: Chuck Lorre

Plot: A newly sober single mom tries to start her life over as a waitress in Napa Valley.

First Impression: Newly sober, in Napa Valley? Well, those jokes write themselves, don't they? Plus, it's a Chuck Lorre comedy, on CBS, so the odds are in his favor.


"We Are Men" (Comedy)

Stars: Tony Shaloub, Jerry O'Connell, Kal Penn ("House"), Rebecca Breeds ("Home and Away"), and Christopher Nicholas Smith ("30 Rock")

Producers: Eric and Kim Tannenbaum ("Two and a Half Men"), and Rob Greenberg ("How I Met Your Mother"), who also directed the pilot

Plot: A guy who's suddenly single after his bride-to-be ditched him before their wedding moves into a short-term housing complex, where he makes friends with a bunch of divorced, more experienced guys.

First Impression: "First Husbands Club"? Here's hoping the very funny O'Connell, who's been in more than his share of failed sitcoms, finally finds a comedy that sticks.



(All times ET)


8 PM -- "How I Met Your Mother"
8:30 PM -- "We Are Men"
9 PM -- "2 Broke Girls"
9:30 PM -- "Mom"
10 PM -- "Hostages"/"Intelligence" (midseason)


8 PM -- "NCIS"
9 PM -- "NCIS: Los Angeles"
10 PM -- "Person of Interest"


8 PM -- "Survivor"
9 PM -- "Criminal Minds"
10 PM -- "CSI"


8 PM -- "The Big Bang Theory"
8:30 PM -- "The Millers"
9 PM -- "The Crazy Ones"
9:30 PM -- "Two and a Half Men"
10 PM -- "Elementary"


8 PM -- "Undercover Boss"
9 PM -- "Hawaii Five-0"
10 PM -- "Blue Bloods"


8 PM -- Comedytime Saturday
8:30 PM -- Comedytime Saturday
9 PM -- Crimetime Saturday
10 PM -- "48 Hours"


7 PM -- "60 Minutes"
8 PM -- "The Amazing Race"
9 PM -- "The Good Wife"
10 PM -- "The Mentalist"