LOS ANGELES – TV viewers craving familiarity will find it on CBS, which is renewing nearly two-dozen series including newcomers “The Unicorn" and “All Rise” and stalwarts “Blue Bloods” and “The Amazing Race.”
CBS said Wednesday that 23 returning shows will be part of the network’s lineup for the 2020-21 season, along with new series to be unveiled in the coming weeks.
Also returning are “Young Sheldon,” “Bob Hearts Abishola” and “Evil.”
CBS is dropping some big-name stars and their shows: the Edie Falco drama “Tommy” and sitcoms “Carol’s Second Act” with Patricia Heaton, “Man with a Plan” starring Matt LeBlanc and “Broke” with Pauley Perrette. Previously canceled shows include “God Friended Me,” “Hawaii Five-0” and “Criminal Minds.”
That leaves relatively scant room for freshman entries, not surprising for the network with long-running, popular series including the “NCIS” franchise. Last year, CBS brought back 24 series.
The network’s low-key announcement was a sign of how much the coronavirus pandemic has unsettled the TV industry, which traditionally presents its fall schedules each May with fanfare and meet-and-greets with stars to lure commitments from ad buyers.
CBS and other broadcast networks have said that the splashy presentations that pack New York City theaters and other venues would be turned into virtual events to safeguard against the virus's spread.
How the shows will be made remains an open question, given the TV and movie production shutdown prompted in March by the coronavirus. The shutdown remains in effect.
ABC, Fox and NBC have yet to announce their plans for next season.
Kelly Kahl, president of CBS Entertainment, said the returning shows gave CBS the edge in viewers this season and will put it in an “incredibly stable position” for the coming one, which will include the ratings powerhouse Super Bowl.