CBS brass also won’t have to deal with any debates about who has the America’s most-watched network. After engaging in something of a public pissing match with NBC over their the audience battle for the 2017-18 season, CBS is closing out this TV calendar with an easy advantage of nearly 2 million viewers. So when the network isn’t skirting around the seismic void left by ousted parent company chief Leslie Moonves at its May 15 presentation at Carnegie Hall, expect programming and sales execs shouting that from the proverbial hilltops and doing their damnedest to answer the following: What will possibly take the place of The Big Bang Theory?
Long the network’s flagship, ad sales centerpiece and biggest revenue driver, the celebrated sitcom will air its series finale just one night after the upfront — one that, people on stage and in the audience, are hoping will include the announcement of one or two viable heirs. (Oddsmakers should favor a pickup for pilot Carol’s Second Act, another sitcom vehicle for Everybody Loves Raymond star Patricia Heaton.) Big Bang spinoff Young Sheldon has been an unquestioned hit, but it’s not clear how it will perform without its parent series.
Speaking of renewals, CBS heads into its upfront month with remarkably few of those locked down — at least compared to years past, where the majority of the schedule has gotten the green light weeks or months earlier.
America’s most cautious network might be on the verge of shaking things up.