CBS has just announced its summer plans for “Big Brother.”
The show debuts June 25-26 and soon settles into a Wednesday-Thursday-Sunday pattern.
We’ll hold our applause on that, but we will praise something else: The network is taking some impressive steps to move beyond reruns in the summertime.
It doesn’t have to do that, you know. CBS shows do fairly well as reruns, simply because they aren’t serialized. Viewers can grab a random episode of “Big Bang” and “NCIS” and such; they can’t do that with “This Is Us” or “Empire” or “How To Get Away With Murder.”
Still, CBS freshens itself in several ways:
— Summer-only scripted shows. “Blood & Treasure”(shown here with Matt Barr and Sofia Pernas) is an ambitious global adventure, with a two-hour debut at 9 p.m. Tuesday (May 21) and then a regular spot at 10 p.m. Tuesdays. Also, “Elementary” will be at 10 p.m. Thursdays, starting May 23. But restrain your expectations: The “Blood” opener is moderately entertaining; the “Elementary” opener is so-so.
— Spring-summer crossovers: Two well-made shows had late starts this year, letting them sprawl deep into the summer. “Amazing Race” is 8 p.m. Wednesdays, with two episodes May 22; “Life in Pieces” is 9:30 p.m. Thursdays.
— Reality show: “Big Brother” is back for its 21st year, for good or bad.
— More non-fiction: Whistleblower” is 8 p.m. Fridays, starting May 24. And “NCIS: The Cases They Can’t Forget” will be 9 p.m. Wednesdays, with a two-hour opener May 29. Rocky Carroll of “NCIS” hosts the show, which previously was “48 Hours: The Real NCIS.”