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ViacomCBS Touts Spinoffs of Old Franchises During Company’s Upfront

75 percent of the network's new fall programming stems from its "NCIS," "FBI," and "CSI" standard-bearers.




Rejoice, fans of police procedurals and crime dramas, ViacomCBS has you covered. ViacomCBS doubled down on several of its most popular and long-running series during the company’s virtual upfront event on Wednesday, which included several new series announcements.

ViacomCBS announced four new shows during its upfront event, three of which are spin-offs of existing crime franchises. “NCIS: Hawai’i” will air on CBS on Monday at 9 p.m., while “FBI: International” will air on Tuesday at 9 p.m. “CSI: Vegas” will air at 10 p.m. on Wednesday. The half-hour “Ghosts,” the company’s fourth new show, will air on Thursday at 9 p.m. Though “Ghosts” is not based on a crime franchise, it bares the same name as a BBC comedy that centered on a young couple who inherit a mansion inhabited by ghosts, and the British network serves as one of the production companies on the ViacomCBS series.

While ViacomCBS is not breaking new ground with its upcoming series, its past “NCIS,” “CSI,” and “FBI” shows have served as solid ratings drivers for the company. Most of the company’s other leading titles, including “Survivor,” “Young Sheldon,” “Bob Hearts Abishola,” and the Queen Latifah-led “The Equalizer,” the lattermost of which premiered earlier in the year, will also be coming back in the fall during their usual timeslots.

“You have to objectively look at what is working on broadcast television; it is these kinds of shows, it is franchises,” CBS Entertainment president Kelly Kahl told Deadline in a Wednesday interview. “In my mind, franchises hit the trifecta: they have terrific live viewing, they have significant delayed viewing and they also do very well on streaming. If you look at any streamer, what pops up? You see ‘Criminal Minds,’ ‘NCISes,’ these are shows that work for us on several different levels. In terms of putting them on the air, it is a tougher environment so having shows with name values that the viewers have experience with, gives you a leg up in this very crowded environment.”

ViacomCBS’ upfront was light on news about Paramount+, the company’s streaming service that was rebranded from CBS All Access earlier in the year. Paramount+ is one of several streaming services that offer cheaper ad-supported tiers; others include NBCUniversal’s Peacock and Discovery+. WarnerMedia announced during its upfront earlier in the week that an ad-supported subscription tier for HBO Max would launch in June.

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