CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- Citing a host of concerns about its upcoming Wednesday schedule, CBS announced yesterday it will push back its freshman comedy "The Stones" until midseason. In its place at 9:30/8:30c, the Eye has promoted "Becker" to a fall start. The network had previously ordered 13 episodes of the veteran comedy for midseason.
The news comes after growing nervousness by the network about pairing "King of Queens" with an unfamiliar sitcom on Wednesdays. CBS has had little success on the night with comedies and hopes that "Queens" and "Becker" combined will bring enough recognition to carve out an audience. "Queens" closed this past season in the lead-off spot on Monday nights while "Becker" aired on Sundays. CBS executives also hope the addition of "Becker" will provide a better lead-in to its new drama "The Brotherhood of Poland, N.H." at 10:00/9:00c.
This isn't the first time "Becker" has been pushed into a larger role than originally imagined. Last season the Ted Danson-led comedy was set to air Sundays at 8:30/7:30c following newcomer "Bram & Alice." As the fall approached, the Eye decided to put "Becker" at 8:00/7:00c in front of "Bram & Alice" over concerns that the new comedy couldn't tentpole the 8:00/7:00c spot. It turns out they were right: the freshman laffer was axed after four weeks on the air.
As for "The Stones," the comedy about two adult children (Jay Baruchel and Lindsay Sloane) who live with their divorcing parents (Robert Klein and Judith Light) will bow at some point during midseason.