Network TV’s fondness for reality fare and reboots combine in “The Real Love Boat,” a sea-going dating show that’s part of the CBS fall schedule announced Wednesday.
Described as a “romance adventure competition,” the series credits as its inspiration the popular and kitschy comedy-drama “The Love Boat,” which aired from 1977-86 on ABC. “The Real Love Boat” will follow returning shows “Survivor” and “The Amazing Race” on Wednesday, a rare all-reality night for CBS.
With so much programming available to viewers, “flow is important, lead-ins are important, compatible programming is important,” said Kelly Kahl, CBS Entertainment president. “This looked like a real good bet to us. It also looks like a real competitive kind of counter-programming move.”
By contrast, network rivals NBC and ABC have stocked their Wednesday lineups with comedies and dramas. There’s more to guard against than just other broadcasters, given the rise of streaming services with splashy shows and on-demand convenience.
That’s prompted growing broadcast reliance on fare known to viewers, including spinoffs and reboots. But CBS, which leans on the scripted “NCIS” and “FBI” franchises, is also placing bets on a trio of unpedigreed dramas this fall.
“East New York” stars Amanda Warren as the newly promoted head of a police precinct in the working-class neighborhood where she has roots. Jimmy Smits co-stars. “Fire Country” follows young convict (Max Thieriot, “Seal Team”) who joins a California prison-release firefighting program for a second chance.
The other scripted addition, “So Help Me Todd,” is described as a “humorous legal drama.” Oscar-winner Marcia Gay Harden (“Pollock”) stars as a successful attorney who hires her less-driven son, a private detective played by Skylar Astin, to work for her law firm.
The shows canceled by CBS are “Magnum P.I.”; “United States of Al”; “B Positive”; “Good Sam” and “How We Roll.”