NEW YORK (AP) — CBS is saying goodbye to its long-running hit "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" with a two-hour finale this fall and hello to "Supergirl," an unusual genre show for the network.
Television's most popular network will wrap one of its most pivotal hits — the CSI that started the franchise in 2000 — on Sept. 27, with original cast members William Petersen and Marg Helgenberger returning for the finale.
"CSI" star Ted Danson will be sticking around, with his character joining the spinoff "CSI: Cyber" when it returns for its second season with star Patricia Arquette.
CBS will introduce five new programs in the fall, including the uncharacteristic comic-book based "Supergirl" and a comedy with Jane Lynch as a less-than-saintly guardian angel.
The network is the most watched for the seventh year in a row.
THE REAL COLBERT
"Late Show" heir Stephen Colbert opened CBS' Carnegie Hall presentation to advertisers on-screen and in person. In a video, Colbert talked about leaving behind the conservative pundit he played on "The Colbert Report" and finding a new persona. "Just be yourself," advised CBS President and CEO Leslie Moonves. "You're a white male comedian with a nice haircut and a suit."
Colbert's response: "Oh, I'm a talk show host."
Appearing on stage, he paid tribute to David Letterman, who's leaving "Late Show" May 20. He called it an enormous privilege to take over a show that Letterman "built from scratch."
While comfortably successful CBS is bringing back 22 series for the 2015-16 season, it's found room for three new dramas: In addition to "Supergirl," the medical series "Code Black" and "Limitless," based on the movie, are joining the schedule. "Angel from Hell," with Lynch as the title character, and "Life in Pieces" are the comedy newcomers.
"The Mentalist," ''Stalker," ''Battle Creek" and "The McCarthys" were all canceled.
For CBS, a key one is "big," according to CBS Entertainment Chairman Nina Tassler. The network's season will include the 50th anniversary edition of the NFL Super Bowl and Colbert's debut, and with "that kind of opportunity you have to make sure the series you're launching are big," Tassler said.
Bradley Cooper, the lead in the big-screen version of "Limitless," is an executive producer for the drama that stars Jake McDorman as a reluctant crimefighter with drug-boosted smarts. Cooper will reappear on the drama, his busy schedule permitting, CBS said.
Calista Flockhart is a media mogul who's boss to Kara Zor-El (Melissa Benoist) in "Supergirl," with another TV veteran, James Brolin, in the cast of "Life in Pieces."
The sitcom also features Academy Award winner Dianne Wiest, while fellow Oscar winner Marcia Gay Harden tops the cast in "Code Black."
With football on Thursday night in the early fall, CBS is starting "The Big Bang Theory" on Monday, paired with "Life in Pieces," and then moving the shows to Thursday starting in November. That clears the way for "Supergirl" in the 8-9 p.m. Eastern Monday time slot.
When Supergirl" is paired with "Scorpion" and "NCIS: Los Angeles," it will be the first time since 1949 that CBS has not featured a comedy on Monday night, the network research gurus said.
While rumors abound that the upcoming season may be the last for "The Good Wife" starring Julianna Margulies, Tassler said that as long as husband-and-wife creators Michelle and Robert King want to continue producing and writing it, "we love having that show on our air."
Kevin Reilly ran the entertainment division at Fox for several years and he's bringing the same feisty attitude to the Turner Networks.
At a presentation to advertisers on Wednesday, Reilly explained that he's looking to transform the comedy-oriented TBS, known best for Conan O'Brien and reruns of "The Big Bang Theory." He said he wants TBS to appeal to a much younger audience with original programming "wrapped in a millennial vibe."
He said he hopes to introduce some 15 new series at TBS by 2017. Among them will be a late-night show hosted by Samantha Bee, late of "The Daily Show," who appeared in a short film pointedly noting the lack of women in those time slots.
AP Television Writer David Bauder contributed to this report.