‘The Early Show’ to be replaced by new ‘CBS This Morning,’ old name

December 1, 2011

After much thought, CBS News has picked a name for its new morning infotainment show.

The program — which will replace “The Early Show” starting Jan. 9 and which will star Charlie Rose at 7 and Gayle King at 8 — will be called . . .

“CBS This Morning.”

Yes, that’s the same name that the CBS network morning infotainment show had from the late ’80s through the late ’90s, when Harry Smith, Kathleen Sullivan, Mark McEwan and Paula Zahn were among the on-air faces.

That name stuck until CBS decided to nuke the show by coming up with a new format and headlining the program with the “Today” show’s least likable on-air talent, Bryant Gumbel, who was teamed with Jane Clayson.


Kiefer Sutherland, right, returns to FOX as Martin Bohm, a widower and single father haunted by an inability to connect to his mute 11-year-old son, played by David Mazouz, on “Touch.” (Brian Bowen Smith/FOX)

CBS confirmed last month that “The Early Show” was being scrubbed and that Rose and King would be joined by Erica Hill. The network said the new show would have a new format featuring more hard news, less pap, no weather — and definitely no cooking.

Fox’s midseason juggle

The day after Fox premiered its last “fall” series — the sitcom “I Hate My Teenage Daughter” — the network unveiled its midseason plans. They include the return of “American Idol” on Wednesday and Thursday nights, and a Monday-night-at-9 time-share of the network’s new J.J. Abrams series and its new Kiefer Sutherland drama.

“Idol” kicks off its 11th season Jan. 18-19. There will then be a special telecast of “Idol” on Jan. 22 — scheduled for 10 to 11 p.m., after that Sunday night’s NFC Championship game.

Sutherland’s new drama, “Touch,” will preview Jan. 25, right after “Idol.” “Touch” officially premieres March 19, after “House,” in its regular Monday time slot.

J.J.’s new drama, “Alcatraz,” will debut Jan. 16 with a two-hour broadcast. The next week, “Alcatraz’” will air in its regular time slot: Mondays at 9 after “House.” Its last episode will be March 12.

In “Touch,” Sutherland plays a widower and single dad who discovers that his 11-year-old mute son possesses the ability to see things no one else can — and to detect patterns that connect seemingly unrelated events. (His son, for instance, would have known immediately that when “Tower Heist” director Brett Ratner’s family jewels became the topic of conversation on Howard Stern’s radio show, Billy Crystal would become host of the next Academy Awards.)

In “Alcatraz,” Sarah Jones (“Sons of Anarchy”), Jorge Garcia (“Lost”) and Sam Neill (“Jurassic Park”) are investigating the sudden reappearance of the island’s prisoners, years after they’d disappeared — they’re like the “CBS This Morning” of Alcatraz.

“Breaking In” — last season’s Christian Slater comedy that narrowly escaped being tossed in the tumbrel — is getting a Tuesday berth in mid-March, when “Glee” goes on hiatus to plot its latest comeback plans before returning “in the spring.”

Megan Mullally has been added to “Breaking In” in hopes of jump-starting the show’s ratings.

“Breaking In” is about a bunch of brainiacs and thieves who work at a security firm; they were hired to break into high-tech security systems to discover flaws. Hilarity ensues.

“I Hate My Teenage Daughter,” the worst sitcom perpetrated on broadcast TV since — well, since the last time “CBS This Morning” was on the air — will have a mercifully short run before being taken off Fox’s schedule. But the network still threatens to return it, as originally announced, in the spring, after an “Idol” broadcast.

The “Bones” fill-in “The Finder” debuts Jan. 12.

“The Finder” — about a guy with the ability to help people find the un-findable — will debut right after Fox reruns that episode of “Bones,” in which “The Finder’s” Walter Sherman (Geoff Stults) and Leo Knox (Michael Clarke Duncan) were introduced to prepare us for this spin-off.

And an animated “Napoleon Dynamite” — featuring the voices of the original movie cast — joins Fox’s Sunday cartoon block Jan. 15.

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