Thursday, February 17, 2011

CBS Adds Another Spin Off

I remember when CBS used to be a forest of spinoffs.
Sometime in the mid1970s CBS threw a gigantic press party at legendary Chasen's for all the MTM series then running on the network.
Let's see, of course, Mary Tyler Moore and her gang all had tables. I sat at Cloris Leachman's table --her character of Phyllis had just been spun off.
Ed Asner and Valerie Harper also had tables --both their shows were spin offs.
It got quite congested, I can tell you.
And nights later CBS threw a similar fete for producer Norman Lear and all the sitcoms spun off from All In The Family including Maude, Good Times, The Jeffersons. Later on there'd be another, Gloria, with Sally Struthers.
And this is exactly what CBS is doing these days.
Only now the number one rated U.S. network is spinning off its investigative dramas.
CBS begat CBS: Miami and CSI: New York and CBS wound up with three very similar procedurals.
After JAG drooped in the ratings a spin off with Mark Harmon, NCIS, flourished and in time begat NCIS: LA.
Now along comes a spin off of Criminal Minds called Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior.
I find th\ie original very gory and rarely watch but 2.5 million Canadian viewers caught the CTV premiere Wednesday night making it CTV's number one new series of the season.
Of course CTV had a little help from CRTC's blackout policy meaning the CBS signal in Buffalo gets blacked out on the cable package you're paying for so a duplicate CTV signal can be imposed.
But still Criminal Minds: SB did better than the combined competition from Global, CBC and Citytv.
Of course cloning TV style doesn't always work.
NBC tried it this season with Law & Order: Los Angeles but the cast never jelled and the situations seemed overly familiar.
Let's see, what other CBS shows could be cloned?
How about a spin off from The Good Wife titled The Bad Husband?
Or why not take Neil Patrick Harris's character from How I Met Your Mother, set him loose in another city in a little something called How I Left Your Mother?
Or just maybe CBS could clone another drama series and present us with Before Flashpoint casting younger versions of the characters when they were at police academy?
Just thinking, that's all.

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