CBS at TCA press tour: ‘We’re No. 1!’

Jonny Lee Miller stars as Sherlock Holmes and Lucy Liu as Watson on the new CBS series "Elementary."

As head of the top-rated broadcast network, Nina Tassler, President of CBS Entertainment, didn’t have many announcements to make when addressing journalists at the Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Sunday, other than one clear message: The network is on top, and plans to stay there.

“We’re No. 1 in viewers.  We’re No. 1 in upfront revenue.  We’re No. 1 in Emmy nominations,” Tassler said. “Good performance, good business, and outstanding quality on the screen. I’m really proud of the environment we’ve created for launching and sustaining hit shows, from development, to scheduling, to marketing, to current programming,” she added.

In a “not broke, not gonna fix it” move, the CBS slate this fall includes just four new series: “Elementary,” a modern take on Sherlock Holmes; “Vegas,” about the politics and crime that shaped the Strip in the 1960s; “Made in Jersey,” a crime procedural following a Jersey girl working her way up at a high-end Manhattan law firm; and the buddy comedy “Partners.”

Regarding the pickup of “Elementary” at a time when there are many other versions of Sherlock Holmes on the pop culture scene (the BBC series “Sherlock” and the “Sherlock Holmes” movie franchise included), Tassler said, “when you have an opportunity to build a show around one of the greatest detectives in all of literature, you’re going to jump at that opportunity.” She called the BBC series, which airs on PBS in the States, “extraordinary,” and is confident “there’s plenty of room for another Holmes in our world.”

When questioned about “Vegas” and the recent failure of other period dramas on broadcast networks (“The Playboy Club,” “Pan Am”) Tassler insisted her ’60s-set series goes beyond a nostalgia factor. It is foremost about the fascinating character of real-life Sheriff Ralph Lamb, who fought to bring order to the mob-run casino scene, she said.

“The fact that it was set in the ’60s certainly informed the show, but it’s not about the ’60s, per se,” Tassler said. “It’s about these two forces that were battling for the heart and soul of Las Vegas at a very key moment in the history of the city.”

Most questions posed to the CBS exec, however, involved returning series.


On renewing “How I Met Your Mother” and allowing the creators to tell the entire story:

“Well, they had an incredible year last year. We’ve got a great relationship with [creators] Craig [Thomas] and Carter [Bays], and certainly they have a very strategic wrap up to the show. 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 football games running late and pushing back the start time of scripted series such as “The Good Wife”:
“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. Between texting, between online notification, between Facebook technology, I mean, literally, we do everything possible, and will continue to do everything, to make sure that the audience knows that the show will be on later as a result of [football].”


On cancelling “CSI: Miami” …

“Saying goodbye to a ‘CSI’ this year was — it was a very big deal. That show has been extraordinarily successful for us. So it was a difficult decision. What we looked at — 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.”


… And changes to “CSI: New York”:

“We’ve added Natalie Martinez to the cast. The show has, as I said, a lot more humor and a lot more New York, fun, event type stories.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Girl, 10, dies after being pulled from water…

A 10-year-old girl died after being pulled from the waters off Coney Island Beach in Brooklyn on Tuesday night, police said.

News

NY judge throws out lawsuit by Empire State…

A New York state judge has thrown out a lawsuit in which longtime investors in the Empire State Building claimed they were shortchanged out of hundreds of millions of dollars…

Local

Mysterious white flags appear over Brooklyn Bridge

Two white flags mysteriously appeared over the towers of the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday in place of the American flags that are a traditional fixture.

National

Judge sets January start for murder trial of…

By Elizabeth BarberBOSTON (Reuters) - Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez will be tried in January for the murder of semi-professional football player Odin…

Movies

From 'La Femme Nikita' to 'Lucy,' a list…

French filmmaker Luc Besson has created a cottage industry of junk cinema. Here are his many unique action heroes, including Liam Neeson and "Lucy"'s Lucy.

Movies

Review: 'Lucy,' with Scarlett Johansson, is smart, stupid…

Luc Besson's "Lucy," in which Scarlett Johansson gains increased control over her brain, is a film about smart and stupid but always enjoyable.

Television

'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 7,…

Drunk girls and ghost brownies: here’s your weekly ‘Pretty Little Liars’ recap by way of Q&A. Q: do they really not check for feet under…

Arts

Don't miss 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' at the…

Have you been meaning to see "Charles James: Beyond Fashion"? There are only two weeks left to get to the Met and catch this amazing American fashion designer's collection.

NFL

David Tyree hiring has gay rights advocates angry

Former Giants Super Bowl hero David Tyree will re-join the franchise as its new director of player development.

NFL

Ben McAdoo's new offense has Giants excited to…

Even Tom Coughlin feels he has a lot to learn about offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s new offense, which makes the veteran coach very excited.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead…

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead pack

NFL

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will…

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will win Super Bowl?

Tech

Learn Braille with these gloves

U.S. scientists have designed high-tech gloves to help users understand Braille in a matter of minutes.

Home

5 New Ikea products that will change your…

We round-up the latest must-have products.

Food

Recipe: Wolfgang Puck's Buttermilk French Toast

We recently spent some time chatting with restauranteur/celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck at his Wolfgang Puck American Grille in the Borgata in Atlantic City. Puck wanted…

Style

Go retro with your sneakers

The best of wacky new sneakers.