CBS has been scheduling its hit Sunday evening show The Good Wife at 9:30pm, following an 8:30 showing of the rising Tea Leoni drama Madam Secretary. It seemed like a sensible concession by CBS, which airs NFL football on Sundays at 4pm. The NFL games rarely end on time. So CBS’s Sunday night slate of shows — a necklace strung with the network’s jewels (60 Minutes, Madam Secretary, The Good Wife and the new CSI Cyber entry) — usually get off to a late start. 60 Minutes waits for football to end and triggers a chain of lateness for each subsequent show. It’s been frustrating for viewers — especially Alicia Florrick fans who don’t care much about the Patriots or the Broncos.
But CBS is back to its old ways, promising start times that viewers want but that the network isn’t always able to deliver. They’ve moved The Good Wife from 9:30 to a 9pm start this week, with the other shows falling into line. Maybe CBS has a hunch about the Oakland Raiders vs. San Diego Chargers game it’s airing in the 4:05pm EST slot on Sunday. They must think it’ll be a quicker game than usual. Or else they just focused grouped viewers who don’t like the scheduled late starts, and would rather tune in and wait.