It’s a funny thing about a global pandemic shutting down most television and film production for the better part of a year: It tends to cut down on the amount of new content available to feed into the maw of the ever-insatiable autumn TV schedule. Hence news today that CBS is turning to some of its streaming properties to help bulk up its fall schedule—including the news that Star Trek: Discovery will air its entire first season the network this fall, starting on September 24.
As Variety points out, this isn’t, technically, the first time the series has aired on the network; CBS ran a few episodes of the series in its early running to stoke excitement for its move to CBS All Access, back when we were all laughing and gay, and there was so much TV out there that you could relegate a show like Discovery over to the streaming folks. Meanwhile, the series is just one of several already-extant shows to be making the jump to CBS to keep the sweet sweet distraction juice flowing; as part of a previously arranged deal, PopTV’s One Day At A Time (formerly Netflix’s One Day At A Time) will run its fourth season on CBS, starting in October. The network is also expanding its upcoming seasons of Love Island and Big Brother, because folks, the well is dry.
Various networks have attempted to bridge the gap to safe production in various ways over recent months; The CW, for instance, opted for a strategy of first raising, and then breaking, our hearts, by flirting with a run of the U.K.’s Taskmaster that it quickly pulled the plug on. (Also, lots of other acquisitions and unscripted content.) CBS was really hoping to get some actual new shows—Chuck Lorre’s B Positive and Queen Latifah’s The Equalizer—up and running, but the coronavirus has refused to play along with the network’s very modest and reasonable Q3 aims.