Moonves: 'Men' Suspension A Financial Gain for CBS

Costs lower this season; longer term, ‘we'll see'
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CBS CEO Les Moonves said that the suspension of production of its hit comedy Two and a Half Men will result in higher profits for the company this year.

Over the longer term, Moonves, speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom investor conference Tuesday, said "I hope it's back. We'll see."

CBS and producer Warner Bros. stopped production of Two and a Half Men because of the behavior and comments of its star Charlie Sheen, the highest paid star in television.

Moonves said that for this year, stopping production of Men will be  "a gainer for us" because while repeats get "somewhat less revenue" from advertisers, it's a show that repeats fairly well and buying eight fewer episodes "costs us less money."

He noted that Monday, a rerun of Men was the fourth-highest rated show of the night.

Men's ratings strength has helped CBS launch new comedies Mike & Molly and The Big Bang Theory, which are performing well, he said.

Moonves said he didn't want to spend too much time on the Sheen situation, but he did comment that the actor has been on the air quite a bit these days. "I wish he'd worked this hard to promote himself for the Emmy," he said.

Also when discussing CBS' negotiations with Netflix, he said Netflix at first wanted CBS' family jewels, CSI and NCIS and Two and a Half Men. "Maybe they don't want Two and a Half Men so much this week," he quipped.

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