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Familiar TV stars rejoin/join CBS in new 2019-20 lineup


Patricia Heaton goes for a trifecta in Carol’s Second Act. CBS photo

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Former CBS sitcom stars Patricia Heaton and Billy Gardell are getting new whirls while a familiar face from cable’s FX, Walter Goggins, moves to a new address this fall.

Number one in prime-time total viewers for 11 consecutive seasons, CBS announced that its new fall lineup will have five additions. Entertainment president Kerry Kahl says that some of them “push the boundaries of what you might expect from us.” In other words, nary a straight up new crime hour -- at least this fall -- for a network that traditionally has loaded up on them.

On the downside, the latest cancellation corral is occupied by the Murphy Brown reboot, Life In Pieces, The Code, Happy Together, Fam and The Big Bang Theory, which signs off on Thursday, May 16th after 12 very gainful seasons. Macgyver, which had been Friday’s leadoff hitter since its fall 2016 premiere, will have to wait for a midseason berth. Another returning CBS do-over, Hawaii Five-0 is taking its spot in September while fellow CBS do-over Magnum P.I. moves from Mondays to become the new appetizer for rock solid Blue Bloods.

Here are CBS’ five new fall series:

Carol’s Second Act (comedy) -- Heaton hopes to breath the rarefied air of three long-running sitcoms after making her name in CBS’ Everybody Loves Raymond and then prospering on ABC’s The Middle. In this outing, she’s divorcee and retired teacher Carol Kenney, who at age 50 decides to embrace her dream of becoming a doctor. Kyle MacLachlan of Twin Peaks fame co-stars as Dr. Frost.

Bob (Hearts) Abishola (comedy) -- Gardell, formerly of CBS’ Mike & Molly, re-teams with both the network and ace sitcom creator/producer/writer Chuck Lorre in this saga of a middle-aged compression sock salesman who falls in love with his cardiac nurse. She’s played by newcomer Folake Olowofoyeku. CBS calls it a “comedic examination of immigrant life in America.”

The Unicorn (comedy) -- A father named Wade (Goggins from The Shield and Justified) loses his wife and a year later embraces a “new normal” with help of friends and family. He’s surprised to learn he’s a “unicorn” -- employed, good-looking and with a past history of commitment. He also has two adolescent daughters. Rob Corddry (The Daily Show/Hot Tub Time Machine) is among the co-stars.

All Rise (drama) -- Newly appointed judge Lola Carmichael (Simone Missick) pushes boundaries in the midst of legal system chaos. Marg Helgenberger (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation) helps to populate the ensemble cast.

Evil (drama) -- A skeptical woman psychologist partners with a carpenter and a “priest-in-training” to investigate the Church’s backlog of unexplained mysteries, alleged miracles, demonic possessions and hauntings. Is it all perfectly logical or are supernatural forces at work? Katja Herbers, Mike “Luke Cage” Colter and Aasif Mandvi head the cast.

Here is CBS’ night-by-night fall lineup:

The Neighborhood
Bob (Hearts) Abishola
All Rise

NCIS: Los Angeles

Seal Team

Young Sheldon
The Unicorn
Carol’s Second Act

Hawaii Five-0
Magnum P.I.
Blue Bloods

Crimetime Saturday
Crimetime Saturday
48 Hours

60 Minutes
God Friended Me
NCIS: Los Angeles
Madam Secretary

CBS also has announced these midseason series:

Tommy (drama) -- Edie Falco (The Sopranos, Nurse Jackie) tries to achieve Heaton’s goal, but with three long-running dramas instead of comedies. She plays Abigail “Tommy” Thomas, a former high-ranking NYPD officer who becomes Los Angeles’ first female police chief.

FBI: Most Wanted (drama) -- This spinoff is headed by Julian McMahon (former co-star of Nip/Tuck) as veteran agent Jess LaCroix, who heads a team. Which also means that producer Dick Wolf (NBC’s Law & Order and Chicago franchises) strikes yet again.

Broke (comedy) -- NCIS alum Pauley Perrette returns to CBS as a single suburban mom named Jackie. In a premise older than Tom Selleck’s neckties, she’s shocked when her estranged sister and wealthy hubby invade her home after they go bankrupt. Friction ensues but family bonds can only be strengthened. I’ve gotta go now.

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