CBS Midseason Schedule: ‘Ransom’ To Air Saturdays, ‘Training Day’ & ‘Doubt’ Slotted

Nellie Andreeva
Deadline

Original entertainment programming is returning to Saturday night. In unveiling the bulk of its midseason schedule today, CBS announced that Frank Spotnitz’s suspense drama Ransom will air Saturdays at 8 PM. The network also slotted new dramas Training Day, which will succeed Pure Genius in the Thursday 10 PM hour, and Doubt, which will replace Code Black Wednesdays at 10 PM.

Ransom will move into its Saturday 8 PM slot on Jan. 7 after getting a Sunday premiere after a football doubleheader on Jan. 1. Ransom — a Canada-France treaty co-production — is a lower-cost acquisition, allowing CBS to use it on a night with little ratings upside like Saturday. CBS actually is the only broadcast network to air original non-sports programming on the night with 48 Hours at 10 PM. It is looking to bolster its nightly (and weekly) ratings averages with the addition of Ransom.

CBS also was the only broadcast network to attempt launching in-season scripted series on Saturday that are not burnoffs relocated from another night. At the 2012 upfront, the network announced a fall schedule that featured sitcom veteran Rules of Engagement on Saturdays, but that turned out to be just a place holder, and Rules was summoned to Thursdays that fall when How To Be A Gentleman fizzled.

The demise of Saturday night over the past couple of decades has been staggering. Consider the 1973 CBS Saturday lineup of All In The Family, M*A*S*H*, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Bob Newhart Show and Carol Burnett Show. The decline has been puzzling as Saturday night continues to be the biggest night of television in most of Europe.

Drama Training Day, based on the feature, will premiere Feb. 2, after freshman Pure Genius, which did not get a back order, finishes its 13-episode run. CBS is counter-programming the hour with the male-skewing Training Day set to face ABC’s female-friendly dramas. New CBS legal drama Doubt starring Katherine Heigl will debut Feb. 15 in the Wednesday 10 PM slot, following the 16-episode Season 2 run of medical drama Code Black.

CBS is yet to slot the second season of Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, which could relieve the original series on Wednesday toward the end of the season, allowing for more Criminal Minds originals in a row. The network also is expected to announce soon its launch plans for new comedy series Superior Donuts, which could land behind The Big Bang Theory.

As part of its midseason announcements today, CBS also assigned Undercover Boss for a run in Survivor‘s Wednesday 8 PM slot until the debut in the hour of new competition reality series Hunted, which will be followed by the spring cycle of Survivor. Another unscripted veteran, The Amazing Race, will return to its Friday 8 PM slot on April 28 as new drama MacGyver will produce fewer episodes than its companions, Hawaii Five-0 and Blue Bloods, as it had to be redeveloped and redo its pilot. Here are CBS’ winter and spring premiere dates so far:

Wednesday, Dec. 21
8:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT
UNDERCOVER BOSS (8th Season Premiere)

Wednesday, Dec. 28
8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT
UNDERCOVER BOSS (Time Period Premiere)

Sunday, Jan. 1 (Football Doubleheader)
8:30-9:30 PM, ET/8:00-9:00 PM, PT
RANSOM (Series Premiere)

Saturday, Jan. 7
8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT
RANSOM (Time Period Premiere)

Sunday, Jan. 22
10:00-11:00 PM, ET/
7:00-8:00 PM, PT
HUNTED (Series Premiere)

Wednesday, Jan. 25
8:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT
HUNTED (2-Hour Episode)
10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT
CODE BLACK

Wednesday, Effective Feb. 1
8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT
HUNTED (Time Period Premiere)
9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT
CRIMINAL MINDS
10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT
CODE BLACK

Thursday, Effective Feb. 2
8:00-8:30 PM, ET/PT
THE BIG BANG THEORY
8:30-9:00 PM, ET/PT
THE GREAT INDOORS
9:00-9:30 PM, ET/PT
MOM
9:30-10:00 PM, ET/PT
LIFE IN PIECES
10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT
TRAINING DAY (Series Premiere)

Wednesday, Effective Feb. 15
8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT
HUNTED
9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT
CRIMINAL MINDS
10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT
DOUBT (Series Premiere)

Wednesday, March 8
8:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT
SURVIVOR (2-Hour Premiere)
10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT
DOUBT

Wednesday, Effective March 15
8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT
SURVIVOR (Time Period Premiere)
9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT
CRIMINAL MINDS
10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT
DOUBT

Friday, April 21
8:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT
THE AMAZING RACE (2-Hour Premiere)
10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT
BLUE BLOODS

Friday, April 28
8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT
THE AMAZING RACE (Time Period Premiere)
9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT
HAWAII FIVE-0
10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT
BLUE BLOODS

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