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Mindful of the Sunday night clock, CBS making football-prompted adjustments to prime-time lineup

Julianna Margulies, star of The Good Wife. CBS photo

Do you and your DVR (or other preferred recording device) get the blues on NFL football Sundays?

CBS in particular wants to help, in large part because all four of its Sunday prime-time shows are one hour in length. So it's not as easy as preempting a mere half-hour cartoon on Fox's "Animation Domination" lineup.

A two-pronged attack was announced Tuesday for those alternating Sundays in which CBS has the second "doubleheader" game. The initiative also is in response to later 3:25 p.m (central) starting times for those second games.

For one, CBS is moving its entire lineup back to a 6:30 p.m. start time when it has a double helping of NFL games. Specifically, those dates are Sept. 16th and 23rd; Oct. 7th and 21st; Nov. 14th and 18th; and Dec. 2nd, 16th and 30th. The lineup, as it now stands, is 60 Minutes, Big Brother 14 (to be replaced on Sept. 30th by The Amazing Race), The Good Wife and The Mentalist. The latter now will stretch until at least 10:30 p.m. on those dates.

CBS also is upgrading its "Eye-lert" system in case there are further delays from football run-overs. Which surely there will be. Confused viewers who have no interest in the NFL can go here to sign up for various updates on when CBS' prime-time programming actually will start.

The network also promises to "aggressively use on-air graphics" to further alert inert viewers of re-adjusted start times.

This is of no small concern during the NFL season. Football may be king, but it also can throw CBS' Sunday prime-time schedule for big losses. Overtime games in particular are the devil's work for those who only want to watch the network's prime-time attractions. And there's no telling how many ratings points this may subtract during the key early stages of a prime-time season.

So there you have it. Synchronize your watches accordingly, beginning this Sunday. CBS doesn't want you throwing things when up pops a Big Brother vote-off or a finishing kick on Amazing Race instead of the scripted lawyerly intrigue on Good Wife.