[01/15/14 - 11:03 AM]
CBS at TCA: Tassler Talks "Frustrating, Exciting" Pilot Season
By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)

LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- CBS always has plenty to crow about and its executive session at the TCA Winter Press Tour was no different. "Our overall audience is up versus a year ago, and we're coming off the biggest ratings week by any network this season," Nina Tassler, President, CBS Entertainment, told reporters in her opening remarks. "We continue to deliver the deepest schedule with the most hit shows, 15 of the top 20 last week alone. CBS is also home to the top scripted series in each genre. 'NCIS' is the most watched show on television. 'Big Bang' is TV's number one show in 18-49, and 'The Millers,' 'Crazy Ones' and 'Mom' are the number one, two and three new comedies on television."

Tassler nevertheless had to spend the bulk of its session responding to Kevin Reilly's declaration on Monday that FOX is bypassing pilot season. "I thought a lot about this and had to look back and say, look, pilot season isn't perfect, and it certainly is a very difficult time," she said. "It's frustrating, but it's also exciting." Tassler went on to detail that without the pilot process they would never have arrived at "The Big Bang Theory" ("we shot a second pilot and we added Kaley Cuoco"), "CSI" ("[it] was the last script in, and those producers had to get that script in because of pilot season") and "The Talk" (which was originally "a 15 minute presentation").

She added that CBS isn't a slave to the traditional development cycle either, citing the unique straight-to-series arrangements that lead to its summer series "Under the Dome" (returning Monday, June 30) and the upcoming "Extant" (premiering Wednesday, July 2) as well as Vince Gilligan and David Shore's "Battle Creek," which has a 13-episode commitment out of the gate ("[It] was a script, by the way, we bought in 2002," she quipped. "It's been sitting on my desk for about 14 years.").

Beyond pilot talk, Tassler affirmed her commitments to drama "Reckless" and comedy "Bad Teacher," which have yet to be scheduled. "One of the things that's kind of exciting about both those shows is we will have 13 episodes in the can before we schedule, so where we schedule, where we put it, it gives us some unique opportunities."

Other topics included the future of the "Jesse Stone" movies ("It's not to say that we wouldn't do [another one] at some point, but right now, like I said, our event programming ['The Dovekeepers'], we're looking for a bigger headline right now.") and the decision to kill off Taraji P. Henson's character on "Person of Interest" ("Jonah Nolan came in last year and said to us that he was going to kill Carter. I almost killed myself... but sort of the role that she plays in terms of the relationship between Reese and Finch has changed. And he said something so clever. He said, 'I need to bring Catwoman into the mix of this relationship between these two guys.' And he talked about the Shaw character.").

  [january 2014]  


[12/04/19 - 10:46 AM]
The "Ghost Adventures" Crew Gets Candid as They Revisit Their Most Intense Investigations in "Ghost Adventures: Screaming Room"
Paranormal investigators Zak Bagans, Aaron Goodwin, Jay Wasley and Billy Tolley are opening up to viewers as they've never done before.

[12/04/19 - 10:35 AM]
Video: "AJ and the Queen" - Official Trailer - Netflix
RuPaul stars in this outrageous series as a down-on-her-luck drag queen traveling across America in a RV with a tough-talking 10-year-old stowaway.

[12/04/19 - 10:05 AM]
Florida's Python Problem Threatens to Sweep America - "Guardians of the Glades" Returns January 7 on Discovery
Florida's python problem is threatening to sweep north into the rest of America; but snake hunter Dusty Crum and his crew are ready to take on some of the biggest, deadliest snakes in the Everglades.

[12/04/19 - 09:34 AM]
Video: Teaser Trailer - Hulu's "Shrill" Season Two
The Aidy Bryant-led comedy returns with eight all-new episodes on Friday, January 24.

[12/04/19 - 09:21 AM]
WE tv's Outrageous Original Docuseries "Extreme Love" Returns for a Jaw-Dropping Second Season January 3
The eight hour-long episodes continue to prove that there truly is someone for everyone.

[12/04/19 - 09:16 AM]
"CMT Crossroads: Gavin DeGraw & Chris Young" Premieres Friday, December 13 at 10PM ET/PT
The show was filmed recently in Nashville in front of a standing room-only crowd.

[12/04/19 - 09:04 AM]
Stripped Down and Stranded: "Naked and Afraid" Returns Jan. 5 with the Most Isolating Challenge to Date
The series takes the challenge to a new level by bringing the best of the best to the most isolated areas around the globe, leaving them there with nothing on their backs and no one by their side.

[12/04/19 - 09:01 AM]
America Ferrera and Danai Gurira to Announce the 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards(R) Nominations
The nominations announcement will be carried live on TNT, TBS, truTV, tntdrama.com/sag-awards, truTV.com and sagawards.org on Wednesday, December 11.

[12/04/19 - 08:18 AM]
Tuesday's Broadcast Ratings: "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" Wins Demo Race for NBC
The network's annual telecast leads the evening among adults 18-49.

[12/04/19 - 08:02 AM]
What Will You Unlock? "Locke & Key" Premieres February 7
The long-in-the-works comics adaptation bows next year on Netflix.

[12/04/19 - 08:01 AM]
BET Networks Announces New Scripted Miniseries "Uptown"
The three-part television event will tell the comprehensive story of Andre Harrell's iconic New York City record label, Uptown Records.

[12/04/19 - 07:59 AM]
Cartoon Network's "Infinity Train" - Season Two Set for Jan. 6
The mind-bending mysterious and critically acclaimed series introduced fans to Tulip's harrowing journey earlier this fall, and is one of the year's breakout animated shows.

[12/04/19 - 07:31 AM]
Video: "Don't F**k with Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer" - Official Trailer - Netflix
When a video is posted online of a mysterious man killing two kittens, internet users across the world leap into action to find the perpetrator.

[12/04/19 - 06:25 AM]
ABC News' Primetime Special "Celebrating Marvel's Stan Lee" to Air Friday, Dec. 20
During the special, stars Tom Hiddleston, Paul Bettany, Cobie Smulders, Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Saquon Barkley, Mark Hamill, Jimmy Kimmel, Method Man, Darryl "DMC" McDaniels, Lauren Ridloff, Kevin Smith, Deborah Ann Woll, Joe Quesada, Seth Green, Bob Iger, CB Cebulski, Todd McFarlane, Kevin Feige, Gerry Conway and more share their memories of Lee.

[12/04/19 - 03:21 AM]
Netflix Announces "Suburra - The Series" Season 3 Officially Started the Principal Photography
Look for the next installment to bow in 2020 on the streaming service.