CBS will remain CBS for the foreseeable future: The network renewed 18 series today, including every Chuck Lorre comedy it didn’t order three seasons of yesterday and no-brainers like NCIS and 60 Minutes. (Or, as those two programs are known to CBS’ target demographic—your parents—“everything that’s on TV.”) The mass stay of execution leaves only four series in a state of uncertainty: The Mentalist, The Crazy Ones, Intelligence, and Friends With Better Lives. And the last of those four shows hasn’t even premiered yet, so the network is really only biding its time with The Simon Baker Observes That “Red John” Is Probably Still Out There Hour, Robin Williams Pulls Crazy Faces To The Dismay Of Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Chuck (Not Chuck).
But as The Hollywood Reporter notes, CBS’ generosity has its drawbacks: 19 pilots are currently vying for the empty spots that the network’s schedule just doesn’t have. And while that might ensure that only the best of the best of the best of the best of those new shows gets the greenlight, they’ll then have to contend with Vince Gilligan’s Battle Creek—which was ordered straight to series—and the massive, 300-pound gorilla in a football helmet that is Thursday Night Football. That NFL package will be easier to negotiate around if The Crazy Ones loses its Thursday-night real estate. Also, there’s room for at least one more Monday-night comedy (or two more, if programmers swap Mom, 2 Broke Girls, or Mike & Molly into The Big Bang Theory and The Millers’ protective embrace on Thursday) once How I Met Your Mother wraps. Of course, that show’s spot is almost guaranteed to go to How I Met Your Dad, so… best of luck if you’re developing a pilot with CBS this spring. Especially if this renewal fever reaches its logical conclusion, and Nina Tassler and company decide they’re going to reach into the archives and renew Designing Women, Major Dad, and Jake And The Fatman while they’re at it.
Still, with a variety of popular shows in multiple formats at varying stages in their runs, there’s at least one sure thing for CBS’ 2014-15 season: More writeups like this one resigning to the network’s taken-for-granted success.