julianna-margulies-dennis-quaid-gary-sinise-cbs-fall-2012-predictions.jpgCBS took much of the suspense out of its upfront by renewing the great majority of its lineup back in March. “Two and a Half Men” wasn’t on that list, but it’s a lock to return.

The only questions now are, where does the network put all those shows? And of the remaining shows not yet renewed, will both “CSI: Miami” and “CSI: NY” make it to next season?

“The Good Wife” is already picked up for 2012-13, but there’s been a lot of speculation that CBS will find a new timeslot for it. We don’t mind it staying at 9 on Sundays — but in our schedule, it waits until midseason so it A) doesn’t get pushed back by NFL overruns in the fall and B) can have a mostly uninterrupted run starting in January. The network is also reportedly considering expanding its Thursday comedy block, which would move one of the two current Thursday dramas (most likely “The Mentalist”) to a different night.

As for which “CSI” show joins the original in returning to the lineup, it’s kind of a tossup. “Miami” had better ratings than “NY” this season, but it also aired on a night with higher overall viewership (Sunday vs. Friday). “NY” is two years younger than its counterpart (and therefore probably a little cheaper to produce). Our coin flip gives the spot to “CSI: NY,” but we wouldn’t be surprised to see “Miami” — or even both shows — make the cut.

Here’s what we think CBS’ schedule for fall will shake out. All times are ET/PT, and new shows are in italics.


8 p.m. “How I Met Your Mother”
8:30 p.m. Untitled Nicholas Stoller comedy (aka “My Idiotic Twenties”)
9 p.m. “Two and a Half Men”
9:30 p.m. “Mike & Molly”
10 p.m. “Hawaii Five-0”

The 8:30 spot was a good place for “2 Broke Girls” this season, and if CBS expands its Thursday comedy block, we figure it will move there. In its place goes the Nicholas Stoller show, about a guy whose girlfriend breaks up with him — but still works in the next cubicle. Stoller is a Judd Apatow protege who has worked a couple times with “HIMYM” star Jason Segel, so we’d expect the new show to be a tonal match with its lead-in.


8 p.m. “NCIS”
9 p.m. “NCIS: Los Angeles”
10 p.m. “Ralph Lamb”

“Unforgettable” didn’t take full advantage of its potent two-hour lead-in this season, which is why you don’t see it here or anywhere else (the bar is simply higher at CBS). “Ralph Lamb” has a big-name cast led by Dennis Quaid, Michael Chiklis and Carrie-Anne Moss, which could offset the potentially tricky period setting (1960s Las Vegas).


8 p.m. “Survivor”
9 p.m. “Criminal Minds”
10 p.m. “Elementary”

“CSI” moves out of the 10 o’clock spot to make way for “Elementary,” a modern Sherlock Holmes tale starring Jonny Lee Miller as the great detective and Lucy Liu as his Watson. “Criminal Minds” is still a strong enough lead-in to give a new show a good foundation.


8 p.m. “The Big Bang Theory”
8:30 p.m. “Super Fun Night”
9 p.m. “2 Broke Girls”
9:30 p.m. “Partners”
10 p.m. “Person of Interest”

“Big Bang” and “2 Broke Girls” are CBS’ No. 1 and No. 3 comedies among adults 18-49 (sandwiching “Two and a Half Men”), so they anchor each hour of the new Thursday block. “Super Fun Night” sounds almost like a female-lead “Big Bang Theory” to us, so it makes a good fit there, and the network is said to be high on “Partners,” which comes from “Will & Grace” creators David Kohan and Max Mutchnick. “Person of Interest” should do just fine at a later hour.


8 p.m. “Undercover Boss”
9 p.m. “CSI: NY”
10 p.m. “Blue Bloods”

Status quo here — unless CBS renews “CSI: Miami” instead of “NY.”


8 p.m. Drama repeats
10 p.m. “48 Hours”

‘Twere ever thus — or at least it seems that way.


7 p.m. “60 Minutes”
8 p.m. “The Amazing Race”
9 p.m. “CSI”
10 p.m. “The Mentalist”

Although the original “CSI” was revitalized some creatively this season, it’s still getting a little long in the tooth. It could slide to another night when “The Good Wife” comes back.

Midseason: As we said above, we’d like to see “The Good Wife” get an unbroken run in the second half of the season. “Rules of Engagement” will likely continue to be a utility player for either comedy block. We’d also figure at least one more new drama — female private-eye show “Applebaum” and “Trooper,” starring Mira Sorvino, are seen as contenders — and one new comedy, possibly the Martin Lawrence vehicle, to get a pickup.

Posted by:Rick Porter