CBS has ordered additional episodes of all five of its freshman series. Drama Evil, which was designed to produce 13-episode seasons, has been renewed for a second season to premiere in 2020-2021. New drama All Rise and comedies Carol’s Second Act, The Unicorn and Bob ♥ Abishola all have received back orders for the 2019-2020 broadcast season.
Per usual, CBS calls them full-season orders, though I hear at least some are partial ones. Like all Chuck Lorre-CBS series, Bob ♥ Abishola is believed to have received a Back 9 pickup; the orders for the others are about five episode each, I hear.
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While none has been a breakout hit, CBS’ freshman series have been solid performers in total viewers by this fall’s ratings standards.
Boosted by a delayed viewing bump, Evil, created by Michelle and Robert King, is averaging more than 7.1 million viewers in Nielsen Live+7. The thriller drama will wrap its 13-episode first season on January 30.
Courtroom drama All Rise ranks as the most watched new series on broadcast TV this season, averaging more than 8 million viewers each week, and just matched a Live+Same Day demo season high last night. Comedies Carol’s Second Act and The Unicorn, along with Monday’s Bob ♥ Abishola, are all averaging well over 7 million viewers in Live+7.
“These terrific new series have attracted a passionate base of viewers and consistent ratings while delivering entertaining, inclusive and relevant storytelling every week,” CBS Entertainment president Kelly Kahl said. “They’re off to strong starts and are still being discovered on the many catch-up and playback options available to our viewers today. We’re proud of this freshman class and excited about their potential to tell more great stories and further expand their audiences.”
Details of the five series, per CBS, follow below.
ALL RISE stars Simone Missick in a courthouse drama that follows the chaotic, hopeful and sometimes absurd lives of its judges, prosecutors and public defenders, as they work with bailiffs, clerks and cops to get justice for the people of Los Angeles amidst a flawed legal process. Among them is newly appointed Judge Lola Carmichael (Missick), a highly regarded and impressive deputy district attorney who doesn’t intend to sit back on the bench in her new role, but instead leans in, immediately pushing the boundaries and challenging the expectations of what a judge can be. The series also stars Wilson Bethel, Marg Helgenberger, Jessica Camacho, J. Alex Brinson, Lindsay Mendez and Ruthie Ann Miles. Greg Spottiswood, Len Goldstein, Michael Robin and Sunil Nayar are executive producers for Warner Bros Television. It airs Mondays (9-10 PM ET/PT).
BOB ♥ ABISHOLA is a love story about a middle-aged compression-sock businessman from Detroit who unexpectedly falls for his cardiac nurse, a Nigerian immigrant, while recovering from a heart attack and sets his sights on winning her over. Undaunted by Abishola’s lack of initial interest or the vast differences in their backgrounds, Bob is determined to win Abishola’s heart, in this comedic examination of immigrant life in America. The series stars Billy Gardell, Folake Olowofoyeku, Christine Ebersole, Matt Jones, Maribeth Monroe, Vernee Watson, Shola Adewusi, Barry Shabaka Henley, Travis Wolfe, Jr. and Gina Yashere, who is also a co-creator, writer and producer. Chuck Lorre and Al Higgins are executive producers and co-creators for Chuck Lorre Productions in association with Warner Bros Television. It airs Mondays (8:30-9:00 PM ET/PT).
CAROL’S SECOND ACT stars Emmy Award winner Patricia Heaton as a woman who embarks on a unique second act after raising her children, getting divorced and retiring from teaching: pursuing her dream of becoming a doctor. At age 50, Carol is a medical intern and must sink or swim with peers who are half her age. It’s her enthusiasm, perspective and, yes, even her age that may be exactly what will make her second act a great success. The series also stars Kyle MacLachlan, Ashley Tisdale, Ito Aghayere, Jean-Luc Bilodeau, Sabrina Jalees and Lucas Neff. Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins; Heaton, Adam Griffin, David Hunt, Rebecca Stay, Aaron Kaplan and Dana Honor are executive producers for CBS Television Studios. It airs Thursdays (9:30-10 PM ET/PT).
EVIL is a psychological mystery that examines the origins of evil along the dividing line between science and religion. The series focuses on a skeptical female psychologist who joins a priest-in-training and a contractor as they investigate the Church’s backlog of unexplained mysteries, including supposed miracles, demonic possessions and hauntings. Their job is to assess if there is a logical explanation or if something truly supernatural is at work. The series stars Katja Herbers, Mike Colter, Aasif Mandvi, Michael Emerson, Christine Lahti, Kurt Fuller, Brooklyn Shuck, Skylar Gray, Maddy Crocco and Dalya Knapp. Michelle King, Robert King and Liz Glotzer are executive producers for CBS Television Studios. It airs Thursdays (10-11 PM ET/PT).
THE UNICORN is about a tight-knit group of best friends and family who help Wade (Walton Goggins) embrace his “new normal” in the wake of the loss of his wife one year ago. As a sometimes ill-equipped but always devoted single parent to his two adolescent daughters, he is taking the major step of dating again. To Wade’s amazement, he’s a hot commodity with women, and his friends explain that he’s the perfect single guy – a “unicorn”: employed, attractive, and with a proven track record of commitment. With his daughters and best friends rooting him on and hoping he’ll find happiness again, Wade and his healing heart are ready to try life… and love… a second time. The series also stars Rob Corddry, Michaela Watkins, Omar Miller, Maya Lynne Robinson, Ruby Jay, Makenzie Moss and Devin Bright. Bill Martin, Mike Schiff, Aaron Kaplan, Dana Honor, Wendi Trilling, Peyton Reed and John Hamburg are executive producers for CBS Television Studios. It airs Thursdays (8:30-9 PM ET/PT).