Now, there used to be a time and place in the world of sitcoms to rest on your laurels. If you've made it through about three or four seasons—specifically the 100 episode mark—you've done pretty well for yourself. At that point, you enter into syndication and you can pretty much phone it in for the remainder of your show's run, because networks will be chomping at the bit for the rerun rights.
But CBS doesn't believe in letting things fade into the land of reruns without a fight. Take a look at their current lineup! They're sporting some of the longest actively-running TV programs on the air these days. With Two and a Half Men holding a strong 13.78 million viewership for the 2012-2013 season, The Bing Bang Theory being signed for an additional three seasons, and the long-running How I Met Your Mother getting a spinoff after a nine-season run, CBS has no problem backing the veterans of TV.
Not only does CBS have some of the longest-running sitcoms on air today, they also have the longest-running consistent late night hosts. David Letterman became the longest-running late night show host in the 11:30 p.m. EST block when Jay Leno was bumped from The Tonight Show for a younger Fallon. With Fallon taking ownership of The Tonight Show, Craig Ferguson became the veteran of the 12:30 a.m. EST block. Granted, the viewership of the Late Show has not be able to keep up with Fallon's style, and Dave is most likely in his final years on the air.
Not only does CBS have vets in both sitcoms and talk shows, but they also hold many of the top spots in longest active shows overall. NBC's Law and Order: Special Victims Unit holds the top spot, but CBS's CSI: Crime Scene Investigation only trails by 24 episodes. CBS also has six of the top ten longest-running active sitcoms. And in scripted television, their reality show Survivor is tied for first with MTV's The Real World.
|Number of||Network||Series||Episodes counted to date|
|336||NBC||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||3/12/2014|
|312||CBS||CSI: Crime Scene Investigation||3/12/2014|
|241||CBS||Two and a Half Men||3/13/2014|
|205||CBS||How I Met Your Mother||3/17/2013|
|153||CBS||The Big Bang Theory||3/18/2014|
As you can see, CBS is not shy at all when it come to backing the heavy hitters until they can't swing any more. With shows like CSI and Two and A Half Men, where they have proven they can swap out cast members and still come out successful, there's no chance of CBS relinquishing their lead. For the millions of viewers that tune into these shows week after week, there's no doubt that their favorite characters will entertain them for years to come. As for all you up-and-coming screen writers out there... I suggest you pitch your ideas to CBS execs.
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