Earlier this week, CBS announced the bulk of its midseason schedule and premiere dates now that the dual Hollywood strikes have concluded. Missing from the schedule were “Matlock” and “Poppa’s House,” two high-profile shows spearheaded by Kathy Bates and Damon Wayans, respectively. Tucked into the network’s announcement was news that the two shows would be moving to the 2024-2025 broadcast television season.
According to Deadline, the network had limited shelf space on its midseason schedule due to the strike, which prolonged productions across the United States for about six months. The outlet noted the “longer prep time and scheduling runway needed for new series” as another major factor in the network’s decision to push the shows to the next broadcast season.
“Tracker” and “Elsbeth,” two other scripted shows ordered in May alongside “Matlock” and “Poppa’s House,” were given slots on the current season’s schedule but will have their premieres staggered so that the network can dedicate ample promotional time for each.
“Tracker” will launch after Super Bowl LVIII on Sunday, February 11, before moving to its regular slot on Sunday nights at 9:00 p.m. beginning Sunday, February 18. Encore airings of the show’s first two episodes will occupy the Thursday at 10:00 p.m. time slot on February 15 (episode one; series premiere) and February 22 (episode two). “Elsbeth” will then take over the slot when it premieres on Thursday, February 29.
Originally slated for Sunday at 8:00 p.m. following “60 Minutes,” “Matlock” was to take over the slot currently occupied by the veteran drama “The Equalizer,” which was to move to 9:00 p.m. The show will instead remain at 8:00 p.m., followed by the aforementioned “Tracker” and “CSI: Vegas,” which retained its 10:00 p.m. slot in the revamped schedule debuting February 18.
At present, it’s unclear what day CBS eventually plans to schedule “Matlock” and “Poppa’s House,” but it wouldn’t be surprising to see the comedy series moving to Mondays or Thursdays with the network announcing the seventh and final season of “Young Sheldon,” and this being potentially the fifth and final season of “Bob Hearts Abishola” after the series received a reduced episode order days before the dual Hollywood strikes were called. As noted above, “Matlock” was to air on Sunday nights.
In “Matlock,” Kathy Bates stars as Madeline “Matty” Matlock, a brilliant septuagenarian who achieved success in her younger years and decides to rejoin the workforce at a prestigious law firm where she uses her unassuming demeanor and wily tactics to win cases. Matty is assigned to Olympia (Skye P. Marshall), a senior attorney and key rainmaker thirsty for justice. Olympia’s ex-husband, Julian (Jason Ritter), the son of the head of the firm, is intrigued by Matty and her clever skills. As Matty endeavors to establish herself in her new high-stakes world, she works alongside the firm’s younger associates – the charismatic Billy (David Del Rio) and the uber-ambitious Sarah (Leah Lewis). While technically not a reboot of the original series of the same name, this “Matlock” is inspired by the classic television series and will even make references to it on occasion.
“Poppa’s House” sees Damon Wayans as a legendary talk radio host and happily divorced “Poppa” who has his point of view challenged at work when a new female co-host (Essence Atkins) is hired and at home where he finds himself still parenting his adult son (Damon Wayans Jr.), a brilliant dreamer who is trying to pursue his passion while being a responsible father and husband.