In the 2017-2018 season, CBS had three reboots on its schedule: MacGyver, Hawaii Five-O, and S.W.A.T., and that’s not even considering the new Star Trek series they launched on CBS All Access. Not only are all of those back, they’re being joined by even more reboots, being added to a schedule of shows that are mostly on extremely long runs.
Magnum PI (9:00 pm Mondays) and Murphy Brown (9:30 pm Thursdays) are the official reboots. The former is pretty much what you fondly remember: Hawaii, Ferrari, confidently masculine lead (Jay Hernandez) who will probably go on to seduce younger women in a beloved sitcom. The latter has Brown (Candace Bergen) anchoring a morning news show, in rivalry to her son, who is anchoring a morning news show on a Fox News parody.
Not a reboot, but a show that sure feels like one (and you can easily guess what show it could reboot), is FBI, from Law & Order maestro Dick Wolf, starring Missy Peregrym (Law & Order SVU), Jeremy Sisto (Law & Order) Connie Nielsen (Law & Order SVU), and Ebonee Noel (Law & Order SVU), and that may be because originally Wolf intended it to be a spin-off for NBC.
Beyond that, CBS has two new sitcoms, The Neighborhood, starring Max Greenfield as a very nice man in a very tough neighborhood, and Happy Together, about a suburban couple (Damon Wayans Jr. and Amber Stevens West) who have a pop singer move into their suburban house taking up the 8:00 pm-9:00 pm Monday block, and the hourlong dramedy God Friended Me (8:00 pm Sundays), about an atheist who gets friended by God and finds himself stumbling into improving the lives of the people around him, sort of like Touched By An Angel — if the angel in question just told you what to do via Messenger.
If that doesn’t sound like a lot of shows, and despite CBS completely reconfiguring its Monday schedule, it isn’t. That’s because CBS has kept almost everything. In addition to the three reboots above, it renewed almost everything that wasn’t on Mondays and that wasn’t a sitcom, although Matt LeBlanc’s Man With A Plan survived the comedy purge. A fair chunk of the network’s programming, like NCIS (itself a spinoff of the ’90s legal drama JAG), Survivor, Criminal Minds, and The Big Bang Theory have been on for more than a decade, and Blue Bloods will cross the decade mark this year.
To be fair, it works: CBS and NBC fought it out for number one last year, and it’s telling that NBC is leaning into comedy harder right as CBS has largely decided to go for hour-long dramas in various forms. But every TV show goes off the air at some point, even if only for a little time to let another network reboot it, and one has to wonder how CBS will approach this problem when it comes up. But for this year, at least, it can lean on its long-runners.