The Runway – Your 2015 Pilot Survival Guide: CBS Dramas


CBS is the Don Draper of television networks. Despite the changing times, CBS remains the same. They really really really love procedural. Be it FBI agents, police officers, or a bunch of uber nerds — they’re all in on solving a crime in 60 minutes. And I guess I don’t blame them. The Nielsen numbers at CBS are still pretty strong, relatively speaking. But you have to wonder if Les Moonves and company want to go for a home run? Something like Empire or How to Get Away With Murder? Or are solid doubles enough to keep them happy?

Last development season at the network was a mixed bag. That’s to be expected when you greenlight the volume of shows that they did. Battle Creek and Stalker are both essentially dead. CSI:Cyber is squarely on the bubble. And Madam Secretary, NCIS: New Orleans and Scorpion all got early renewals. But among those shows, only Scorpion can really be considered a hit.

CBS is definitely favoring drama this year. Even with only a few time slots open, they can greenlight 3-4 shows, in addition to their series order for Supergirl. Their pilot choices seem to favor a bake-off approach.  It looks like they might pick one each from dueling doctor shows (Code Black vs. LFE), FBI shows (Criminal Minds spinoff vs. For Justice) and movie adaptations (Limitless vs. Rush Hour).

Let’s start reading…

                              Code Black     Criminal Minds Spinoff     Doubt     For Justice   

                                        LFE    Limitless    Rush Hour   Sneaky Pete

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