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Scott D. Pierce: Aggressive CBS really shakes things up

SHARE Scott D. Pierce: Aggressive CBS really shakes things up

The last of the Big Four networks to announce its fall schedule, CBS is the one that caused jaws to drop.

Not because of the five new shows on the slate, all of which were expected. But because of some major moves — huge moves — CBS made with returning series.

After three years on Mondays, "Big Bang Theory" is moving to Thursdays. After six years on Wednesdays, "CSI: NY" is moving to Fridays.

After eight years on Mondays, "CSI: Miami" is moving to Sundays. After almost 10 years on Thursdays, "Survivor" is moving to Wednesdays.

The goal is to "spread the strength across the schedule," and it just might do that. CBS stands a chance of improving its ratings on all four nights where returning hits were moved.

But it's a risky move, no doubt. Viewers don't always follow shows to new nights.

NEW SHOWS: "Mike & Molly" (Mondays, 8:30 p.m.) is a new sitcom from Chuck Lorre, the mastermind behind "Two and a Half Men" and "Big Bang Theory." It's about a working class Chicago couple (Billy Gardell and Melissa McCarthy), who find love at an Overeaters Anonymous meeting. The cast includes Reno Wilson and Swoosie Kurtz.

"Hawaii Five-O" (Mondays, 9 p.m.) is an update of the 1968-79 police drama. Detective Steve McGarrett (Alex O'Loughlin) returns to Oahu to investigate his father's murder, and the governor persuades him to head up an elite investigative unit. Scott Caan, Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park also star. From the producers of the 2009 "Star Trek" movie."

"The Defenders" (Wednesdays, 9 p.m.) shares the title of the classic 1961-65 legal drama, but it is not the same show. Jim Belushi and Jerry O'Connell star in this comedy/drama as "two colorful Las Vegas defense attorneys who go all-in when it comes to representing their clients." From the producer of "CSI."

"$#*! My Dad Says" (Thursdays, 7:30 p.m.) is a sitcom based on the popular Twitter feed by Justin Halpern. William Shatner stars as "a forthright and opinionated dad who relishes expressing his unsolicited and often wildly politically incorrect observations to anyone within earshot." From the producers of "Will & Grace."

"Blue Bloods" (Fridays, 9 p.m.) is a drama about a multigenerational family of New York cops. Tom Selleck heads the ensemble cast as the chief of police and patriarch of the Reagan family, which includes his ex-police chief father (Len Cariou); his detective son (Donnie Wahlberg); his assistant district attorney daughter (Bridget Moynahan); and his recent law school grad/new cop son (Will Estes). From Emmy-winning writers/producers Mitchell Burgess and Robin Green ("The Sopranos").

MIDSEASON REPLACEMENTS: CBS announced only one new back-up show — an as-yet untitled "Criminal Minds" spinoff about an elite team of agents within the FBI's behavioral analysis unit. Forest Whitaker stars.

CANCELED SHOWS: There were a couple of minor surprises here as well, with "Ghost Whisperer" and "New Adventures of Old Christine" both getting the ax.

Also canceled were "Accidentally on Purpose," "Cold Case," "Gary Unmarried," "Miami Medical," "Numb3rs" and "Three Rivers."

e-mail: pierce@desnews.com