The 5 best CBS shows to watch (and 5 to skip) in fall 2023

A Dutton family portrait - John Dutton (C-Kevin Costner), Kayce Dutton (L - Luke Grimes), Jamie Dutton (Wes Bentley) and Beth Dutton (R-Kelly Reilly). YELLOWSTONE returns to Paramount Network for a second season starting Wednesday, June 19 at 10 p.m., ET/PT.
A Dutton family portrait - John Dutton (C-Kevin Costner), Kayce Dutton (L - Luke Grimes), Jamie Dutton (Wes Bentley) and Beth Dutton (R-Kelly Reilly). YELLOWSTONE returns to Paramount Network for a second season starting Wednesday, June 19 at 10 p.m., ET/PT. /
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Updated: Sept. 21, 2023 – If you’ve been paying attention to the industry the last few weeks then you know that one, Fall TV is here and two, it’s going to look real different from what you’re used to. That comes with the territory of the production halt in Hollywood due to the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes as creatives fight for a fair agreement between them and the studios. But this doesn’t mean there won’t be shows to tune into. In fact, when it comes to CBS shows, there are a fair amount to choose from.

The difference is that, with exception to NCIS: Sydney, the fall slate is filled with previously aired (or streamed) scripted content, new unscripted competition series, primetime versions of beloved game show staples, and new game series to watch. With so much on offer, narrowing down what to watch and what to skip (or at least save for next day streaming) can be difficult. But we’re here to help.

Below you’ll find a selection of CBS offerings that are on everyone’s radar as well as our opinion on what you should have on your watch list. Check it out!

The best CBS shows to watch in fall 2023

Josh Duhamel in the CBS Original Series BUDDY GAMES, scheduled to air on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Robert Voets/CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Josh Duhamel in the CBS Original Series BUDDY GAMES, scheduled to air on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Robert Voets/CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

Buddy Games

SKIP! This reality competition, which premieres Thursday, Sept. 14 at 9 p.m. ET, is all about nostalgia and it’s adapted from the 2019 film host Josh Duhamel starred in bearing the same name. Just like the movie, teams of friends will engage in wild and absurd “buddy games” meant to test their physical and mental acumen as they compete while living together in the same lake house.

The premise of Buddy Games is heart warming, it gives long-standing friendships the opportunity to deepen and, of course, friendly rivalries will ignite, too. A cash prize is on the line as well as the Buddy Games trophy but a camp themed competition series gives us flashbacks to The CW’s Killer Camp which got cringey and corny quickly. But if you’re a fan of that short lived series or Big Brother, you may like it.

Yellowstone season 5
Yellowstone. Image courtesy Paramount Network /

Yellowstone

WATCH! The hit Paramount Network series makes its CBS premiere on Sunday, Sept. 17 at 8:30 p.m. ET. Fans of the show will notice there’s a stark difference between the broadcast version and its cable counterpart but the broad strokes of Yellowstone will remain the same.

Starting from the beginning with season 1, new and old viewers alike will be along for the ride with the Dutton family. Created by Taylor Sheridan, this universe which has spawned successful spin-offs on Paramount+, revolves around the largest ranch in Montana and the family who runs it. The Duttons have to contend with Broken Rock Indian Reservation and the Yellowstone National Park bordering their land as well as developers looking to profit from it.

The ranch has been in their family since the 19th century and they have no intention on relinquishing it or allowing unchecked modernization from changing the beauty and bounty of the land.

Photo: CBS ©2023 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: CBS ©2023 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

Survivor

WATCH! It’s the 45th season, we’re not walking away from Survivor, especially after season 44 had us on the edge of our seats with its impeccable gameplay. Premiering Wednesday, Sept. 27 at 8 p.m. ET, the new season will introduce viewers to the 18 castaways stranded in Fiji.

As is typical with this series, the contestants vying for the $1 million dollar prize will have to deal with food scarcity and minimal supplies as they compete in mental and physical challenges that test their will to carry on in the competition. The social game they must play with one another is also of high importance because excelling in the challenges doesn’t mean they’ll clinch victory for themselves. This season is markedly different because Survivor will air 90 minute episodes weekly instead of the usual 60 minute program.

“Season 35 Kickoff – Los Angeles” — Coverage of the CBS Original Series THE AMAZING RACE, scheduled to air on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS ©2023 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
“Season 35 Kickoff – Los Angeles” — Coverage of the CBS Original Series THE AMAZING RACE, scheduled to air on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS ©2023 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

Amazing Race

SKIP! Don’t get us wrong. There’s a reason The Amazing Race is headed into its 35th season. The competition series treks the globe, pushing the teams of two that participate to their physical and mental limits as they navigate cities they’ve never traveled in before. They have to keep their wits about them as they complete tasks that will further their progress and get them to the next location they need to stay ahead of their competition and win the $1 million dollar grand prize.

But season 35 premieres Wednesday, Sept. 27 at 9:30 p.m. ET and, due to the the increased runtime of 90 minutes, it won’t finish until 11 p.m. If you’ve already tuned into Survivor 45, signing up for another long format program full of intense, nerve-wracking moments could grow tiresome. There’s always next day streaming on Paramount+ to consider if you find you can’t watch both on Wednesdays.

Pictured: Jamie Camil Photo Credit: Fer Piña.
Pictured: Jamie Camil Photo Credit: Fer Piña. /

Lotería Loca

WATCH! CBS is introducing a new game show this fall to its audience and it’s definitely one to tune into. Hosted by actor Jamie Camil, the game has a bingo-style of play to it. Two players face-off in the hopes that they’ll be able to get four-in-a-row the fastest after picking cards. If they get a match, that’s called Lotería and they bank money.

When a player lands on a “Loca Card,” the game twists, allowing them to earn more money by competing in interactive challenges that are described as “wild.” The player who gets the most matches on the board move on to the final round and have an opportunity to win the ultimate cash prize. The series premieres Monday, Oct. 2, 2023 at 9 p.m. ET and adds something different to the typical game show format on offer.

FBI TRUE Photo: CBS ©2023 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
FBI TRUE Photo: CBS ©2023 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

FBI True

SKIP! FBI True, a Paramount+ original docuseries from FBI co-creator Craig Turk, makes its broadcast debut on Tuesday, Oct. 3 at 9 p.m. ET. The series follows real-life FBI agents as they investigate cases. It includes never-before-seen surveillance video, personal photos, and interrogations with hostage takers and terrorists that law enforcement are working to bring in.

FBI True has been streaming on Paramount+ since February and, while its broadcast premiere will certainly bring in a new audience, you could simply binge the docuseries’ three seasons on the platform rather than watch it weekly.

Damon Wayans Jr. and Jeannie Mai Jenkins, from the CBS Original Series RAID THE CAGE, scheduled to air on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Pepe Molina/CBS ©2023 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Damon Wayans Jr. and Jeannie Mai Jenkins, from the CBS Original Series RAID THE CAGE, scheduled to air on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Pepe Molina/CBS ©2023 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

Raid the Cage

SKIP! Raid the Cage is the second game show premiering this fall. Debuting Friday, Oct. 13 at 9 p.m. ET, this game series has a grab-and-go style format that sees two teams of two competing to grab prizes in the cage before the clock runs out and the doors close. However, they’re not just running around, they’ll also have to answer trivia questions. Correct answers add seconds to the timer and, by the end of three rounds, the team with highest dollar total in prizes wins. That team gets to keep what they grabbed and play in the final round to “beat the cage” to win the biggest prizes.

Raid the Cage has a Supermarket Sweep kind of vibe, which could be entertaining, but there are a lot of game shows on where trivia is a component as is running like mad for prizes. If you’re already watching game series with a similar format, this one may be more of the same and worth skipping.

SEAL Team Season 5, Episode 2
Photo: Ron Jaffe/CBS ©2021 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

SEAL Team

SKIP! Here us out! While it’s great that SEAL Team will be returning to broadcast in the fall on Thursday, Nov. 2 at 10 p.m. ET, CBS isn’t starting the series over from the beginning. They’ll be kicking things off with season 5, the first season of the show that began streaming on Paramount+. That’s going to make it difficult for new viewers to really latch onto the series since it’ll be in media res with four seasons worth of story to get caught up on.

This entry on the line-up is better suited for SEAL Team fans who want to watch one of their favorite programs weekly, those who fell off the show when it made the leap to streaming and now want to pick it back up because it’s returned to broadcast, or Max Thieriot fans who don’t have Fire Country season 2 to tune into so they can watch him on the military drama instead.

PHOTO CREDIT: Daniel Asher Smith/Paramount+   © TM & © 2023 CBS Studios Inc. NCIS: Sydney and related marks and logos are trademarks of CBS Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.
PHOTO CREDIT: Daniel Asher Smith/Paramount+   © TM & © 2023 CBS Studios Inc. NCIS: Sydney and related marks and logos are trademarks of CBS Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

NCIS: Sydney

WATCH! Who wouldn’t be excited to dive into a new iteration of the beloved NCIS franchise? Especially when the first season has only eight episodes, so you wouldn’t be committing to a full 22 episode season.

NCIS: Sydney, which was actually filmed in Australia, premieres Tuesday, Nov. 14 at 8 p.m. ET. It follows the partnership between U.S. NCIS agents and the Australian Federal Police (AFP) as both agencies work to quell the rising international tensions in the Indo-Pacific. The multinational taskforce investigates naval crimes in what’s described as “the most contested patch of ocean on the planet.”

Programme Name: Ghosts – TX: n/a – Episode: n/a (No. n/a) – Button Hall Productions – Photographer: *
Programme Name: Ghosts – TX: n/a – Episode: n/a (No. n/a) – Button Hall Productions – Photographer: * /

Ghosts UK

WATCH! The American Ghosts won’t be coming back in the fall so, instead, the CBS has acquired the rights to the UK program the series is adapted from for its audience to enjoy. The premise, of course, is exactly the same. A married couple inherit a house that happens to be haunted by ghosts from different periods in history and now they must share the space with them.

If you’re in need of a laugh, and you’ve always wanted to check out the original UK version of Ghosts, you’ll be able to indulge in the sitcom starting Thursday, Nov. 16 at 9 p.m. ET. The series will be airing from the beginning with its first season.

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