CBS Sets ‘Ransom’ for Saturdays, Schedules ‘Doubt’ and ‘Training Day’ Premieres

Daniel Holloway
Variety

CBS is back in business on Saturday nights.

The broadcast network announced Wednesday that it will schedule drama “Ransom,” an international co-production from executive producer Frank Spotnitz, for 8 p.m. Saturdays — making it the first CBS scripted series to air regularly on Saturday nights in-season in several years. The show will premiere Sunday, Jan. 1 at roughly 8:30 p.m., following an NFL double-header, then move to its regular Saturday-night time period the following week.

CBS also revealed the premiere dates for two other new dramas. “Training Day,” starring Bill Paxton and Justin Cornwell, will premiere Thursday, Feb. 2 at 10 p.m., taking over the time period currently occupied by fellow freshman “Pure Genius,” which is not having its order extended beyond 13 episodes. “Doubt,” starring Katherine Heigl and Laverne Cox, will debut Wednesday, Feb. 15 at 10 p.m., taking over for “Code Black,” whose season will run 16 episodes.

In addition, “Undercover Boss” will return Wednesday, Dec. 21 at 8 p.m. and “The Amazing Race” will return Friday, April 21 at 8 p.m. “Survivor” will return to its 8 p.m. Wednesday time period March 8, following the end of the first season of new unscripted series “Hunted,” which CBS had previously announced would premieres, Sunday, Jan. 22, then move to Wednesdays three days later following the end of “Undercover Boss.”

Not yet on the midseason schedule are freshman comedy “Superior Donuts” and returning drama “Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders.”

CBS ordered “Ransom” in June, well after announcing its 2016-17 slate at upfronts in New York. Hailing from Entertainment One, Big Light Productions and producers Sienna Films and Wildcats Productions, the series is a partnership with France’s TF1 and Canada’s Global. Thus it provides CBS with a lower-cost option for experimenting with original drama on Saturdays, which the broadcast networks have in recent years ceded to reruns, news magazines, and college sports.

CBS had originally eyed “Ransom” as a possibility for summer or midseason. By scheduling it for Saturdays beginning in January, the Eye hopes to get a boost to its in-season ratings, particularly in delayed viewing, where reruns provide little assistance.

View the full CBS midseason slate below:

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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