CBS is bringing back an old staple of its programming lineup to help fill the void. The network has announced the return of its Sunday movie tradition, which was a mainstay for years up until about 15 years ago. But it's making a comeback, as CBS will air a series of classic blockbuster hits produced by Paramount Pictures every Sunday night throughout the month of May, starting with Steven Spielberg's iconic Raiders of the Lost Ark.

The network is calling the program Sunday Night at the Movies this time around. Other movies included in the first month will be 1994's Best Picture winner Forrest Gump, 1996's Mission: Impossible, which kicked off the long-running Tom Cruise action Franchise, 1997's Titanic, which remains one of the highest-grossing movies of all time, and lastly Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, the third entry in the beloved franchise. Here is the full schedule.

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  • CBS' Sunday Night at the Movies May Schedule
  •  May 3 - Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (8:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT)
  •  May 10 - Forrest Gump (8:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT)
  •  May 17 - Mission: Impossible (8:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT)
  •  May 24 - Titanic (7:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT)
  •  May 31 - Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (8:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT)

Theatrical movies haven't been a big part of broadcast television for some time now. With cable becoming what it is and streaming giving people options to stream what they want, when they want, it made more sense for traditional networks like CBS to air its own programming. However, given what's going on in the world right now, virtually every production in Hollywood has been shut down. This is going to provide a major interruption on the programming side for many networks, which will leave them with holes in the schedule.

By bringing back the Sunday movie tradition, CBS has a chance to make the best of it. Most people are stuck in self-isolation and practicing social distancing for the foreseeable future. That leaves many families at home on the weekend with few options. Watching a tried and true classic could end up being a good option. And these are all movies that have stood the test of time in many ways, which makes them safe bets to bring in an audience.

The other important element here is that movie theaters all around the world are closed down, with no word on when they might reopen. That has left many movie lovers searching for a communal experience. While watching an old favorite such as Forrest Gump on TV certainly isn't going to be anywhere close to what a movie theater can offer, it will be communal, in that, people all around the country will be watching the same thing at the same time, and that simply doesn't happen as often anymore, given the nature of on-demand content. Sunday Night at the Movies kicks off May 3 on CBS.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb
Ryan Scott