CBS Entertainment chief Nina Tassler presided over one of the most hotly anticipated sessions at TCA on Wednesday, fielding questions about what is an unusually unstable period for the traditionally stable network, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Tassler talked about changes in the lead roles at two of the network’s most important shows, “Two and a Half Men” and “CSI.” Referring to the contentious departure of Charlie Sheen from “Men,” the executive said, “I’m just happy to be where we are today.”
Tassler revealed that the character played by Sheen’s replacement, Ashton Kutcher, will be a heartbroken Internet billionaire named Walden Schmidt — a name credited to “Men” co-creator Chuck Lorre. She refrained from providing much in the way of additional details about the rebooted show, choosing instead to let the speculation feed into the show’s marketing.
“What she would cough up is that the show would be just as racy and irreverent as ever, claiming CBS’s ‘programming standards and practices team is already on high alert,’" the story reports.
Turning to ‘CSI,’ where sitcom veteran Ted Danson takes over for Laurence Fishburne, Tassler said of Danson: "When his name came up we jumped at it."
“When one journalist inquired whether CBS had considered plucking a younger actor to fill Fishburne’s shoes, Tassler didn’t skip a beat: ‘We went for the best actor,’" the story adds.
The THR piece also reports: “She used the remainder of her time on stage addressing a smattering of other questions, including what went wrong with the ‘Criminal Minds’ spinoff and the need for a fresher unscripted hit on the network’s schedule. ‘I just don’t think [“Suspect Behavior”] found its rhythm … it didn’t click,’ admitted Tassler of the former. ‘I think it has nothing to do with spinoffs … a spinoff has to work on its own and [this one] just didn’t.’ As for the latter, Tassler is actively looking, acknowledging that she’s very eager to get a noisy competition event show a la ‘Dancing With the Stars,’ ‘American Idol’ or ‘The Voice’ on CBS’s schedule.”