[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]  


[12/12/19 - 03:15 PM]
Amazon Studios Orders Fourth Season of the Award-Winning Comedy "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel"
"We were thrilled to hear that for the fourth time, we do not have to pack up and vacate the premises," said Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino.

[12/12/19 - 01:50 PM]
Lifetime's New Documentary Film Series "Hopelessly in Love" Explores Iconic and Tragic Celebrity Unions in Pop Culture History as a Three-Week Event This January
Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes and Andre Rison; Faith Evans and Notorious B.I.G.; and Anna Nicole Smith and Larry Birkhead are the featured topics.

[12/12/19 - 01:01 PM]
IFC's "Brockmire" Swings for the Fences in Its Fourth and Final Season Premiering in March 2020
Returning for the series' final season are Amanda Peet, Tyrel Jackson Williams and Katie Finneran.

[12/12/19 - 12:55 PM]
HBO Documentary Films Acquires David France's "Welcome to Chechnya" Ahead of Its World Premiere at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival
This searing documentary shadows a group of brave activists risking their lives to confront the ongoing anti-LGBTQ persecution in the repressive and closed Russian republic of Chechnya.

[12/12/19 - 12:29 PM]
USA Network Reveals Premiere Dates for Rosario Dawson Led Anthology Series "Briarpatch" and New Story of Critically-Acclaimed Series "The Sinner"
Look for both series back-to-back beginning Thursday, February 6 at 9:00/8:00c.

[12/12/19 - 12:26 PM]
Walt Disney Television Renews "Tamron Hall" for a Second Season
"As one of the highest-rated new talk shows in five years, 'Tamron Hall' is connecting with audiences in such a powerful and unique way, and we are thrilled to build on that momentum with a second season," said Karey Burke.

[12/12/19 - 11:54 AM]
HGTV Picks Up a New Season of "Flip or Flop" with Christina Anstead and Tarek El Moussa
The season finale will air on Thursday, December 12, with the new episodes slated to premiere in August 2020.

[12/12/19 - 11:12 AM]
Bravo's "Top Chef" Returns with All Stars LA Premiering Thursday, March 19 at 10 PM ET/PT
All Stars LA features the fiercest group of competitors the show has seen with 15 finalists, front runners and fan favorites from seasons past who have all returned to finish what they started and battle it out for the coveted title.

[12/12/19 - 11:00 AM]
New HBO Drama Series "The Outsider" Debuts January 12
The 10-episode series follows police detective Ralph Anderson (Ben Mendelsohn), as he sets out to investigate the mutilated body of 11-year-old Frankie Peterson found in the Georgia woods.

[12/12/19 - 11:00 AM]
CBS Announces the First Four Episodes of the Ninth Season of "Undercover Boss," Beginning Wednesday, Jan. 8
The companies, in order of their air dates, are Walk-On's Bistreaux & Bar, Anytime Fitness, Dippin' Dots and Clean Harbors.

[12/12/19 - 10:47 AM]
Showtime(R) to Air the Television Premiere of "Pavarotti" from Academy Award(R)-Winning Director Ron Howard
Featuring Pavarotti's iconic performances and never-before-seen footage, the film is an intimate portrait of the most beloved opera singer of all time.

[12/12/19 - 10:29 AM]
CBS All Access' True-Crime Series "Interrogation" to Premiere Thursday, Feb. 6
With all episodes dropping at once, viewers will see the day of the crime and then follow the evidence like a cold case detective, abandon the linear narrative and determine their own investigative path by watching the episodes leading up to the finale in any order.

[12/12/19 - 10:22 AM]
Ovation TV Sets Premiere Date for a Lucky 13th Season of "Murdoch Mysteries"; Celebrates 200th Episode Mid-Season
Airing back to back episodes all season long, the 13th season premiere will air on Ovation starting Saturday, February 1.

[12/12/19 - 10:18 AM]
Video: BBC America Releases Trailer for "Seven Worlds, One Planet"
The seven-part series marks the first time BBC Studio's Natural History Unit has explored all the planet's continents in a single series.

[12/12/19 - 10:11 AM]
"The Paley Center Salutes Law & Order: SVU" Celebrates TV's Longest-Running Drama
Look for the one-hour special on Thursday, January 2 at 9:00/8:00c.