WHAT WENT RIGHT: Say what you will about CBS, but the Eye knows its audience. Procedurals continue to rule at CBS, but considering most of the schedule contains consistent ratings performers, why not?
"The Mentalist" is TV's No. 1 higest-rated new drama, while "NCIS" not only continues to grow ratings, but is adding a spinoff, "NCIS: Los Angeles" next fall. The "CSI" franchise remains strong. CBS has a nice Monday night sitcom lineup going with "The Big Bang Theory," "How I Met Your Mother," and "Two and a Half Men."
WHAT WENT WRONG: Despite pretty solid ratings, "Eleventh Hour" -- the No. 2 new drama behind "The Mentalist" -- didn't survive to a second season. Nor did the goofily charming "Worst Week." Despite an audience of 13 million per week, "Without a Trace" had the plug pulled.
The network continues not to have success builing dramas outside of its comfort zone, as "Harper's Island" proved to be a big bust. And for a reason that no one seems to get, CBS picked up NBC's "Medium" to pair with its clone show "Ghost Whisperer."
OVERALL: People poke fun at CBS for appealing to a mostly older lineup, but the fact remains is that the network knows its audience and has built arguably the most consistent lineup on the air. CBS seems pretty risk-averse in varying away from that theme, yet still cut consistent ratings performers as a sign of the nation's poor economy.
TUESDAY'S BEST BETS: What is it with nurses that they become such popular fodder for TV shows? Last week, Showtime began "Nurse Jackie." Tonight, TNT debuts "Hawthorne" at 9 p.m. as part of its really-strong-women lineup. Jada Pinkett-Smith stars as the title character, the head nurse at a Richmond hospital.
Unlike "Nurse Jackie," which pokes fun at the way hospital runs through dark humor, "Hawthorne" takes itself way too seriously, as Hawthrone is presented as a veritable put-upon saint trying to juggle her patient load, butting heads with bureaucrats and being a single mom to a spoiled brat. The "crisis" in the pilot episode, over a diabetic patient, is something I could have solved without going to medical school, and Hawthorne's constant one-sided conversations with her dead husband's ashes proved to be irritating. You can skip "Hawthorne," but may want to catch the season premiere of "Saving Grace" (TNT, 10 p.m.)
If TNT's cable shows were as good as "Rescue Me" (FX, 10 p.m.) they might be forgiven. Tommy reveals he is drinking again, while Sean tells Needles about his upcoming cancer surgery. And a woman from Kenny's past resurfaces.
On the networks, "Mental" (Fox, 9 p.m.) is brand new, while ABC airs a brand-new, unaired episode of "Cupid" at 10 p.m. since the NBA finals are over.
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