Live-Blogging the CBS Executive Session
July 18, 2008 8:57 AM
Three broadcast channels left! Today we have CBS' Nina Tassler, president of entertainment, in front of the critical firing squad. Prediction for this session: spinoff announcement of "Greatest American Cat."
9:11 a.m.: Ms. Tassler on stage. The big news according to her this TCA is William Petersen leaving "CSI."
9:13 a.m.: "Audiences are watching more television," Ms. Tassler says. "I think viewers are really looking forward to watching their shows."
9:14 a.m.: Ms. Tassler proud of "Swingtown," still behind the show.
Ms. Tassler talks about loving vampires, "Moonlight," and the evil gene after the jump.
9:15 a.m.: This upcoming season of "CSI" is "DVR-proof," she says.
9:19 a.m.: Last season, audiences were looking for comedies, Ms. Tassler says, and the network's "Big Bang Theory" definitely filled that void.
9:21 a.m.: Diversity on CBS: "Cane" was the centerpiece of that last year. Now, diversity is in the slate, but not so much in the pilots. Characters of diversity are being added to existing shows.
9:23 a.m.: Mr. Petersen is leaving after episode 10 of "CSI" next season, but it won't be the last time viewers see Gil Grissom.
9:26 a.m.: "Given the current climate, I think people want to be entertained, people want to laugh," Ms. Tassler says. People will gravitate toward their television sets for that distraction this fall.
9:28 a.m.: Hey, the Internet is important, and nice to keep an ear to the ground on. "But it's still about the creative vision," Ms. Tassler says.
9:29 a.m.: Britney Spears did not save "How I Met Your Mother." "It was never in danger," Ms. Tassler says.
9:30 a.m.: No more "Dexter" on CBS, and we probably won't see any other Showtime material on the network, either.
9:30 a.m.: "MOONLIGHT" QUESTION: "Oh my God," Ms. Tassler says in response to the show's name being mentioned. "Everybody knows I love vampires." Ms. Tassler says the response from fans was more actor-centric than anything else, but "I don't question the choice we made." Please address your letters to CBS, not TelevisionWeek.
9:33 a.m.: Any rumors of an overhaul of "The Price Is Right" are false.
9:35 a.m.: Sarah Chalke is returning to "How I Met Your Mother," and Jason Alexander and Luke Perry are doing "Criminal Minds."
9:36 a.m.: The new character on "CSI" has some wacky genetic code that gives him a predisposition toward being a serial killer. To paraphrase Dr. Hibbert: "Well, only one in 2 million people has what we call the 'evil gene.' Hitler had it, Walt Disney had it, and ... this new guy on 'CSI' has it."
9:40 a.m.: "MOONLIGHT" FOLLOW-UP: "We'd love to" keep Alex O'Loughlin on CBS.
Well, that's it for the session. Join us later today for panels on "Worst Week," "Eleventh Hour," "The Mentalist," "The Ex List" and some Showtime material.