[07/29/12 - 10:37 AM]
CBS at TCA: Tassler Wants More "How I Met Your Mother," Not Monkeys
By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)

LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler had a little fun with the events to date at the TCA Summer Press Tour, taking the stage for the executive session with a stuffed monkey. "It's been a TCA full of cell phone announcements from the stage, monkeys, Sarah Palin, renegotiations. I couldn't resist," she quipped.

As usual, Tassler had plenty to crow about, whether it be finishing number one in adults 25-54 last season; beating ABC and NBC in 18-49 for the sixth straight season; being home to the number one new drama in "Person of Interest" and number one new comedy in "2 Broke Girls"; or continuing its streak of having a freshman show sold into syndication before the second season even started ("NCIS: LA," "Hawaii Five-0" and "2 Broke Girls"). "And according to [FOX Entertainment President] Kevin Reilly... we've just been awarded the 18-49 crown for next year. Thanks, Kevin, but I think we'll try to earn it before we claim it."

Other developments from the session:

-- Tassler wants a ninth season of "How I Met Your Mother." "We've got a great relationship with Craig [Thomas] and Carter [Bays], and certainly they have a very strategic wrap up to the show," she said. "They know we want the show to come back next year. We are having conversations right now about extending it... We want the show to come back next year."

-- On the network's bemoaned NFL overruns on Sunday nights: "One of the things we've done going into this season, we're developing new SMS texting technology to make sure our audience knows that the show is going to be delayed. For us anyway, having NFL overruns, it's great. I mean, all of our numbers are up on Sunday night as a result of it."

-- Tassler reiterated her rationale for keeping "CSI: NY" over "CSI: Miami" from the upfronts. "It was a jump ball. What we looked at was Friday night versus Sunday night. We looked at the flow on Friday night for 'New York' versus 'Miami.' So it was a very tough choice. But as I said, it was really a jump ball and just had to do with the schedule." She added that this season "NY" will "have a little bit more humor this year... and a lot more New York, fun, event type stories."

-- On the poor sampling for its summer entry "3": "It was a show we tried, we were excited about. It didn't quite get traction. I think overall the summer has been a little bit soft for everybody. For us, we usually have a steady diet of repeats and reality, which is which still is good business for us. Even with repeats being a little bit softer, it's still, for us, a real profit center for the company. We do very well."

-- Tassler affirmed that "Elementary" wasn't a reaction to not being able to secure the rights to import "Sherlock." "Rob Doherty came in and pitched it. He came in from the studio. So, you know, we're the network. He was with the studio. I had no conversations with the studio about it, so until, I mean, they walked in with the pitch."

-- On what she hopes for the second season of "Unforgettable": "I can't predict what our expectations will be for the show next summer, but it did perform well for us during this season. I'm not good at predicting. I can only say that I think it will fare well. I think it will fare well next summer."

-- And lastly, Tassler revealed they pushed for a larger mob component in "Vegas." "We also actually approached Nick Pileggi and Greg Walker and Jim Mangold and the rest of the producers about sort of bumping up, if you will, the mob character, the Vinnie Savino character, which is Michael Chiklis's character," she said. "When we saw the script, it was really solely Ralph Lamb, and we asked could this be this iconic story of Ralph Lamb but introducing his battles, if you will, his relationship with the encroaching mob presence in Las Vegas."

  [july 2012]  

· 3 (CBS)

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