LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- "It is the best drama on television, hands down. We believe in that. The viewers tell us that," CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler told reporters about its Sunday-bound drama "The Good Wife" following today's announcement of the network's 2011-12 season lineup (read the full release).
And With its new time period comes a new strategy. "A lot of what we talked about sort of before the upfronts this year was our marketing and how we can really be strategic and creative and how we can try some different ways to get out in front of it a little bit more," Tassler continued. "Usually there's a more traditional way of 'don't tell, don't give away secrets' but, you know, sometimes if you give people a little bit, you let them in on the secret a little bit that doesn't help them a little bit more. So we've been talking about that and especially... leading into the finale it was important for us to let people peek behind the certain a little bit more. So you're going to see a change in the marketing of the show next season and certainly with the time period you're going to see... a lot of promo weight behind it as well."
Other highlights from Tassler and CBS Primetime Senior Executive Vice President Kelly Kahl's press conference:
-- Tassler on if "Person of Interest," from executive producer J.J. Abrams, has too limited an appeal for CBS: "It was developed under J.J.'s banner. He is absolutely a part of the show. But Jonathan Nolan pitched the show, created the show, he developed the show and actually brought Greg Plageman on board kind of midway, towards the end of development. Greg ran 'Cold Case' for us for years so he is a proven established showrunner... This comes from Jonathan Nolan who is an inspired devotee of television... It's based on, I mean it's inspired by 'The Equalizer.' You've got kind of high tech meets street vigilante and they both are very vivid, real characters, very accessible. It's a strong franchise... It's got all of the bells and whistles of a [CBS] procedural but it's torqued a little bit so it's got some, a little bit of genre to it which is good. Just enough for our audience."
-- Kahl likewise on "Person of Interest": "This is a best of both worlds show. There's not a complicated mythology which would take a more traditional viewer and scare them off yet I think there are some cool things that J.J. Abrams does bring to the table that could bring maybe a younger and maybe more non-traditional CBS viewer to the table. So that's why it's [Thursdays at 9:00/8:00c] because we think it's a hugely broad appeal show."
-- Kahl on if they had a backup scheduling plan if they didn't sign Ashton Kutcher for "Two and a Half Men": "We kind of worked on the assumption that we would [have the show] because we simply thought if we tried to do two schedules we would just be talking all day and all night... If we didn't did we have backup plans? Yeah, we had ideas but we never really had to go there."
-- Tassler on if FOX's "The X Factor" will be the next "Death Star": "Who knows - I don't make predictions. I don't know what's in store. For us we feel, we're very excited about ['The Big Bang Theory'] and 'Gentleman' and think that they've, 'Big Bang' has a loyal following. So I don't know what it's going to do. We don't make predictions."
-- Kahl on moving "Rules of Engagement" to Saturdays: "It was that we had 13 episodes, we were going to order 13 episodes regardless. We liked the idea of bringing something new to Saturday night. Is the expectation sky high? No, it's Saturday night." Tassler adds that "Rules" actually has a 22-episode order. "Wherever you put 'Rules' on the schedule, people go. So having it there to help promote the new shows [encores of which will follow at 8:30/7:30c], it was a smart move."
-- Tassler on the "CSI" franchise: "What's important about all three of our 'CSI's - all three of the showrunners that have been there from the beginning with that show are there today. I mean that's really important. We support them, we support the show. They do well creatively for us. And because you've got those original showrunners there from the beginning, you know, it allows you to be a little more flexible creatively going season to season."
-- Tassler on how "Ringer" went to The CW: "I can only speak from my point of view. I don't how what happened behind the scenes at The CW but I know for us we were really excited about developing the show. It was a spec script that we got our hands on. We thought it was a very unique concept. We were really excited about Sarah Michelle Gellar. And it could have been on our schedule. I mean, like I said, we had no more time periods. And it tested well, it screened well, people really liked it... and Sarah Michelle Gellar is a force to be reckoned with. I mean she's got a huge fanbase. I kid you not, when we bought the script the e-mails started coming in: pick it up. I'm like, we just bought it."
-- Tassler on if they plan to order any midseason comedies: "We do have midseason comedies that we're going to be discussing in a couple of days. [We'll pick them up] probably in a couple of days. Soon, very soon. Maybe next week, [in] two weeks. Soon."