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As TV upfronts week rolls on, we arrived at the presentation of the new season from the last of the four major networks: CBS, which is at the top of the network game and has every reason to be more confident than the competition. In a press conference this morning CBS chief Les Moonves embraced the "smug motherf--kers" title that Jimmy Kimmel adorned upon his No. 1 rated network at Tuesday's ABC upfront. "You don't call somebody 'smug motherf–kers' unless they're smug and they're winning, so we'll try to be a little less smug and a little more gracious," Moonves said. "But that's hard for me, as you know."

At Carnegie Hall in New York this afternoon, CBS rolled out a new lineup that includes a new Chuck Lorre comedy and a show starring Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar (yes, both of them). But there was also a ton of arrogant talk about the success of the network's established shows. Check out the interactive now-and-then schedule below, scroll down for details and first-look video clips, and click here for Richard Lawson's take.


2013 | 2012

  8:00 p 8:30 p 9:00 p 9:30 p 10:00 p 10:30 p
Monday How I Met Your Mother We Are Men 2 Broke Girls Mom Hostages
Tuesday NCIS NCIS: Los Angeles Person of Interest
Wednesday Survivor Criminal Minds CSI
Thursday The Big Bang Theory The Millers The Crazy Ones Two and a Half Men Elementary
Friday Undercover Boss Hawaii 5-0 Blue Bloods
Saturday Comedytime Saturday Crimetime Saturday 48 Hours
Sunday The Amazing Race The Good Wife The Mentalist


The Presentation

5:36 We're done. Finally. That felt long. 

5:30 Doesn't look like we're getting previews of the midseason offerings. 

5:29 SMG gets to stand and wave from the audience. 

5:27 He's doing standup about the upfronts. Tere's a bit about people doing pitches on cocaine. 

5:26 They are trotting Williams out, but not SMG. Poor, SMG. Williams does schtick. 

5:20 And finally, the Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar vehicle: The Crazy Ones. The two play father-daughter duo at an advertising agency. Williams does accents! There's a Kelly Clarkson cameo! SMG sings! (Seriously, this upfront is giving us so many Buffy musical flashbacks.)  Oddly enough James Wolk, currently on Mad Men, is also on this. 

5:14 Now onto The Millers with Will Arnett and Margo Martindale and Beau Bridges as his parents. Arnett is recently divorced, which gives his dad, Bridges, the idea to divorce his mother. Two other people on the show are set to be recast. Martindale takes sleeping pills, farts and does the finale dance from Dirty Dancing with Arnett. 

5:06 Next up Mom, the latest from Chuck Lorre. Anna Faris is a recently sober single mom who is kind of a mess. She runs into her mother—a former mess played by Allison Janney—at AA. Janney and Faris are talented, but Lorre of course is the mind behind Two and a Half Men

5:01 The first new comedy is We Are Men. It's about a bunch of guys who live in the same apartment complex and are either divorced or generally losers. Tony Shaloub, Jerry O'Connell, and Kal Penn are in the cast. Shaloub plays a creepy lothario.  

4:59 The Big Bang Theory cast comes out for a little self-congratulation. 

4:55 And we're onto comedy. With another endless clip reel...

4:49 And now Intelligence starring Lost's Josh Holloway. Holloway's character has a chip in his brain which allows him to access the Internet and information grid. 

4:43 Finally some new stuff. The first drama up is Hostages from Jerry Bruckheimer with Dylan McDermott. Don't confuse this with the NBC show Crisis with a hostage plot starring Dermot Mulroney. McDermott is a FBI agent/terrorist (?) is trying to convince surgeon Toni Collette to help kill the president or he'll kill her family. How can this sustain itself for an extended period of time? (Update: Apparently it's a limited-run series. That's how.)

4:41 And the cast of NCIS is out. Harmon chuckles after he says they are the number one show on network television. 

4:40 CBS more than any other network is trying to pitch their establish shows. After (what seemed like an overly long) drama montage, Tassler is talking about NCIS

4:31 Tassler is calling this the "most ambitious" summer programming slate ever. There's a reality series The American Baking Competition and Stephen King's Under the Dome produced by Spielberg's Amblin. There's the possibility for some good creepy fun there in the story about a mysterious dome that covers a town. 

4:29 Nina Tassler, the president of CBS Entertainment, is now out. 

4:27 Apparently there was some concern Letterman would announce his retirement. He didn't. 

4:26 Broadcast is not being left behind by new mediums, Moonves says. 

4:23 Letterman gives Moonves an extended, awkward hug.

4:22 Moonves on late night: "All of a sudden everybody's got a Jimmy." Who are they considering? Jimmy Buffett? Jimmy Carter? Jimmy Hoffa? Har. Har. And then he announces Dave Letterman. 

4:17 After a news presentation, Scott Pelley and Norah O'Donnell come out. Pelley: "What has kept CBS news ahead is original reporting." 

4:13 Moonves says CBS doesn't think drama belows at 7 in the morning or 11:30 at night. Pictures of Ann Curry crying and Jay Leno smiling appear on the screen. 

4:12 They've renewed 20 shows. Moonves explains that this means "stability" and that the new shows are the "best of the best." 

4:10 They are doing bits with tweets and viral videos. This is a victory lap for them. 

4:08 Moonves makes a Super Bowl blackout joke.

4:07 And the cast ended up out onstage surrounded by yellow umbrellas to welcome Les Moonves. 

4:04 The cast of How I Met Your Mother is doing a Les Miz parody to "One Day More" changing it to "One Year More." Unfortunately, NBC did this with Jay Leno and Jimmy Fallon. Alyson Hannigan still can't sing even after all these years after the Buffy musical. Jason Segel and Neil Patrick Harris have been waiting for this.  

4:02 The first bit was a bad lip reading/CSI parody involving the president of network sales Jo Ann Ross. Ross then emerged. Her dress lit up with the CBS logo and other phrases like "Your Ad Here." 

4:00 And we're off with a countdown! 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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