The Good: As much as we like to poke fun at CBS for its slightly-older skewing lineup of shows, the Tiffany Network continued to get the last laugh — all the way to the bank — having officially ended the 2011-12 season first in total viewers (11.7 million, +1%), and second in the pivotal 18-49 demographic (3.0, +3%). Showing both remarkable staying and drawing power, the Network’s Monday night comedy lineup (HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, 2 BROKE GIRLS, TWO AND A HALF MEN and MIKE & MOLLY) staved off increased competition from reality juggernauts THE VOICE and DANCING WITH THE STARS, Thursday night continued to steal eyeballs from ABC and NBC thanks the success of THE BIG BANG THEORY and the fantastic freshman drama that was PERSON OF INTEREST, while veteran performers TWO AND A HALF MEN and CSI ended off their respective seasons on solid ground after some fairly substantial cast shakeups that you may have read about in the news.
The Bad: Much in the same way NBC failed to capitalize on the juggernauts that were FRIENDS and SEINFELD during their 90’s heyday, CBS once again dropped the ball when it came to finding lead-outs for both THE BIG BANG THEORY and NCIS: LOS ANGELES. UNFORGETTABLE, A GIFTED MAN, NYC 22, ROB and HOW TO BE A GENTLEMEN were all summarily rejected by the viewing public, while reality properties SURVIVOR and THE AMAZING RACE continued to show signs of their age. Also falling under the category of “bad” was our continued frustration with NFL Football constantly wreaking havoc on our Sunday night schedule. Suffice it to say, THE GOOD WIFE deserves so much better.
Prognosis for the Coming Season: Positive! Particularly because it would appear CBS just solved its biggest problem thanks to the decision to pair TWO AND HALF MEN with THE BIG BANG THEORY on Thursday and the pick-up of the Dennis Quaid, Michael Chiklis, Carrie-Anne Moss VEGAS vehicle that is scheduled to air following NCIS: LOS ANGELES. Add to that the Network’s modern-day take on Sherlock Holmes (ELEMENTARY) and David Kohan/Max Mutchnick’s WILL & GRACE follow-up (PARTNERS), and we have a sneaking suspicion that it looks to be another banner year for America’s most watched Network.