Moonves: Still working on Hillbillies - Broadcasting & Cable

Moonves: Still working on Hillbillies

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CBS chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves told critics meeting in Los Angeles
Sunday at the annual press tour that the network still hasn't dropped the idea
of a reality-based version of The Beverly Hillbillies, despite criticism
from some Southerners and others.

"Obviously, there's a lot more controversy involved with the show than I
would have ever imagined there would be, including from many labor unions," he
said.

Moonves said he was amazed that in the midst of Senate debate over whether
the United States should invade Iraq, Sen. Zell Miller (D-Ga.) "made a 15-minute
speech berating CBS and me personally for this, which sort of shocked me
considering the world events and what I always thought the United States Senate
was supposed to do."

On another matter, Moonves said he hopes series star Ray Romano and Phil
Rosenthal, the executive producer of Everybody Loves Raymond, stay for
another season past the one upcoming, although both have made noise about
leaving.

"We're working on them. We're doing everything we can, but it very well may
be the last year for Raymond," Moonves said.

"What would keep them going?" a critic asked Moonves, who deadpanned: "I would
think money should have an effect ... It's very hard to walk away from that.
We're working on Ray's wife and kids, as well."

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