Programming

TCA: CBS' Tassler 'Optimistic' About Ninth Season of 'How I Met Your Mother'

Entertainment president also weighs in on premiere week, football overrun at exec session 7/29/2012 02:04:34 PM Eastern

Complete
Coverage: TCA Summer Press Tour 2012

Los Angeles -- Fans of How
I Met Your Mother
may have to wait another season to find out the answer to
the series' central question.

CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler said the network is
in conversation with creators Craig Thomas and Carter Bays for a ninth season
of the sitcom and is bullish on the chances of another renewal.

"They had an incredible year last year.
They know we want the show to come back next year," Tassler said at the TCA
press tour here Sunday.  "We're not there
yet in terms of resolving the season. We're in early conversations and we're
pretty optimistic."

Other highlights from Tassler's
executive session:

On
premiere week:
CBS is sticking with tradition and
launching all of its fall debuts in premiere week while other networks have
opted for scattered premieres, a tactic Tassler said the network is sticking to
because it's not broken. "It works for us. We like premiere week, we like the
excitement and the energy and the marketing and promotional machine that leads
up to fall," she said. "We launch that way because it works and our audience
expects it."

On
football overrun:
Tassler said CBS is developing new SMS
texting technology to alert viewers when a Sunday night show will have a
delayed start because of football games. While she said CBS is very sensitive
to how the overruns affect a show, CBS is still pleased to have football on its
schedule. "It's great, all of our numbers are up on Sunday night because of it."

On
CBS' digital strategy:
Tassler fought the notion that CBS'
digital strategy for putting its show online is conservative, preferring to
call it strategic. She said decisions about which shows to put on which
platforms is made on a show-by-show basis, being mindful of protecting the
brands on air. You look at the individual show -- where does that show need to
be exposed, who in our audience needs to get access to our shows," Tassler
said. "Across the board it's motivated by what's in the best interest of show,
what's in best interest of the network and depending on where the show is
available, that we are effectively compensated."

On
Vegas' period setting:

Last season's two period dramas -- The
Playboy Club
and Pan Am -- were
both canceled by January, but Tassler doesn't see Vegas, about a Las Vegas
sheriff in the 1960s - as being in that same period genre. "The fact that it
was set in the ‘60s certainly informed the show but it's not about the ‘60s,"
she said.

On
broadcast's soft summer ratings:
CBS' premiere of new
dating reality show 3 drew a paltry
two million viewers in its first airing last week, and the fact that it didn't
get traction continues the trend of broadcast being unable to launch any new
reality hits this summer. "I think overall the summer has been a bit soft for
everybody," Tassler said, saying that the network is always trying to find
fresh concepts. "I think reality is challenging and intriguing in so many ways."
She said softening reality ratings is causing the network is looking into what
it can do with scripted programming in the summer, which is why it is bringing
Unforgettable back for summer 2013.

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