CBS Entertainment’s Amy Reisenbach Says She’s Looking Far Into the Future, Already Developing Shows for 2026-2027

The fate of CBS owner Paramount Global remains way up in the air, and the future of broadcast TV in general remains a big question mark. But as CBS Entertainment president Amy Reisenbach said on Tuesday at the Banff World Media Festival, that’s not stopping her from plotting her primetime development plans way into the future.

“What’s great as we’re talking about 2025-26, in some cases, we’ve even pinpointed places where we want to be developing for 2026-27 already,” she said. “That’s the joy of working at CBS, and with the schedule and the stability that we have on the schedule, that we can think that far in advance. We’re crazy if we’re not taking advantage of that.”

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Reisenbach noted that the move away from a dedicated pilot season has allowed her to take time in developing shows like “Tracker” — which was picked up a year before its premiere — and straight-to-series entries like “Sheriff Country,” which was picked up on the same day (for 2025-2026) that CBS announced its fall 2024 schedule.

“That’s a show that we’re putting together a room on and we’ll be going into production soon on straight to series because we have all the many of the pieces in place,” she said of “Sheriff Country.” “We do expect to be picking up some rooms or potentially even a comedy pilot or two. I do expect some announcements within the month or two months this summer of kind of the next steps.”

Reisenbach opened the panel by noting that she isn’t able to comment about the status of the sale of Paramount Global. “I can’t comment on anything regarding M&A,” she said. “It’s very much above my head but what I can say is that it’s obviously incredibly comforting to know that George Cheeks is part of the co-CEO office. It gives us the opportunity at CBS to feel really secure and stable and focus on what we’re doing, which is the business of CBS. We make big, broad hits and we’ve had a ton of momentum coming off of last season. And we’re really focused on the future right now, which is launching summer and launching these great shows.”

The exec also addressed the cancellation of shows including “NCIS: Hawai’i,” “CSI: Vegas” and “So Help Me Todd.”

“They’re extremely tough calls to make,” she said. “I’m a big fan of TV first and I sympathize and relate to all of the fans out there who are disappointed in the fact that these shows are ending. But at the end of the day, our job at CBS is to make those really tough calls. We toss and turn and have sleepless nights and have endless discussions but we look at all of the numbers. We look at what our projections are for the future, we look at where we see opportunities to potentially have even bigger success on the schedule. And we make those tough decisions.”

In the case of “S.W.A.T.,” which has been canceled and uncanceled now several times, she added, “every negotiation is different. Sometimes they’re a roller coaster. I personally enjoy it. I’m competitive person and we always want to find the best outcome that works for everyone. The show continues to do well. We’re so proud of it. Shemar [Moore] is obviously a great star for us. and the fact that we were able to come to a deal with Sony again, we’re really happy about.”

Reisenbach, who was named CBS Entertainment prexy in November 2022, credited Cheeks for the mandate for “doing things little differently.” The first tweak was the decision — as recommended by alternative series head Mitch Graham — to supersize “Survivor” and “The Amazing Race” to 90 minutes each. “That was the first kind of long term decision we made and it’s really paid off creatively and in the ratings,” she said. “Those shows always have so much footage that we got left on the floor, and we felt like yes, it could potentially be great opportunity to be prepared in case of this strikes happening, but even more so to give the audience more of what they want — which is more ‘Survivor,’ more ‘Race.’ The producers loved the idea. It’s given these shows the ability to work different things with the format, try new things.” The network is already looking ahead to the 50th season of “Survivor,” which CBS plans to tout with a year-long celebration.

In unscripted, Reisenbach said the network is looking to add its take on a cooking show to the network’s roster, in addition to more game shows. Also, she announced that “CBS Mornings” co-host Nate Burleson would host the previously announced revival of “Hollywood Squares,” exec produced by Drew Barrymore (who will serve as center square). The show will air on Wednesdays in January. Reisenbach also announced the Season 2 renewal of “After Midnight,” hosted by Taylor Tomlinson.

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