You can say that again … and again

CBS re­vis­it­ing the past for its re­boot-heavy new tele­vi­sion sea­son


Glance at next sea­son’s sched­ule for CBS and you could be for­given for won­der­ing what decade it is.

The net­work is adding re­makes of 1980s se­ries Mur­phy Brown and Mag­num, P.I. to a lineup that al­ready in­cludes blasts-from-thep­ast Hawaii Five-0 and MacGyver. CBS ex­ecs said the Mur­phy Brown re­boot, which again stars Candice Ber­gen, moves TV an­chor Mur­phy out of prime time. She hosts a morn­ing cable show and faces off against her son on an­other net­work. A change Mag­num fans should watch for, be­side a miss­ing comma in the re­vamp’s ti­tle: The pri­vate de­tec­tive has a goa­tee in­stead of the sig­na­ture mous­tache of orig­i­nal star Tom Sel­leck. Jay Her­nan­dez plays the new Thomas Mag­num. While ABC and NBC have found com­edy re­boot suc­cess with, re­spec­tively, Roseanne and Will & Grace, CBS En­ter­tain­ment pres­i­dent Kelly Kahl ac­knowl­edged it’s not a slam-dunk. That’s why Mur­phy Brown is get­ting a sup­port­ive Thurs­day berth, air­ing af­ter es­tab­lished com­edy hits in­clud­ing The Big Bang The­ory and Mom.


New Mag­num star Her­nan­dez, who is of Latino de­scent, is among the ac­tors of colour join­ing the CBS lineup, long crit­i­cized for a lack of in­clu­sion.

A num­ber of fresh­man shows fea­ture African-Amer­i­cans leads, in­clud­ing God Friended Me, a com­edy-drama with Bran­don Micheal Hall as an athe­ist who does God’s work af­ter they be­come Face­book friends. In the sit­com The Neigh­bor­hood, Cedric the En­ter­tainer stars as an opin­ion­ated man who has to ad­just to new white neigh- bours, and Da­mon Wayans Jr. and Am­ber Stevens West play young mar­rieds in an­other com­edy, Happy To­gether. Mid­sea­son will bring the com­edy Fam, star­ring Tone Bell, and The Red Line from pro­duc­ers Ava DuVer­nay (Selma, Queen Sugar) and Greg Ber­lanti, about the mis­taken shoot­ing of an African-Amer­i­can doc­tor by a white po­lice of­fi­cer. Along with Noah Wyle, the se­ries stars in­clude Howard Charles and Emay­atzy Corinealdi.


The Big Bang The­ory en­ters its 12th year this fall, and is still a draw: This sea­son’s fi­nale, in which the Amy and Shel­don char­ac­ters wed, was the most-watched show in the U.S. last week. Kahl and pro­gram­ming chief Thom Sher­man said they see no end in sight, as long as the pro­duc­ers feel they still have sto­ries to tell. It’s in “peak form” and CBS hopes to get a few more years out of it, the ex­ec­u­tives said.


In 1996 when he ran CBS’s en­ter­tain­ment divi­sion, Les­lie Moonves started an an­nual break­fast meet­ing with re­porters on the day CBS pre­sented its fall sched­ule to ad­ver­tis­ers. He con­tin­ued com­ing to the ses­sion, in­for­mally known as “lox with Les,” even when he be­came cor­po­rate boss and un­der­lings pre­sented the sched­ule. He loved to shmooz.

But with Moonves in the midst of a cor­po­rate bat­tle over con­trol over CBS Corp., even he was con­vinced that show­ing up to a room­ful of re­porters wasn’t a par­tic­u­larly good idea.

“When the num­ber of ques­tions he couldn’t an­swer out­num­bered the num­ber of ques­tions he could, he felt it was bet­ter to sit this one out,” said Kahl.


Latino ac­tor Jay Her­nan­dez will star in the new ver­sion of Mag­num P.I. He is among the ac­tors of colour join­ing CBS, a net­work that has long been crit­i­cized for its lack of di­ver­sity.

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