CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler could have been
speaking for everyone in the room at the Television Critics Association press
tour Wednesday when she answered "Oh where do I begin" when asked about what
she learned from the network's Two and a Half Men/Charlie Sheen debacle.
Tassler was careful to keep the focus on the future when
answering many, many questions from critics about the troubled former sitcom
"Our whole focus right now is moving forward," she said.
"I'm just happy to be where we are today."
Tassler announced the name and occupation of Ashton
Kutcher's character who will be introduced in a two-part episode over two
weeks, but she declined to reveal how Sheen's character would be written out of
"The mystery is part of the marketing," Tassler said.
"It's going to be a big event."
Although Kutcher replacing Sheen is CBS' most
high-profile casting change this fall, the network has another in Ted Danson
joining CSI. Tassler called both instances a positive, not a negative
for the network.
"The addition of a new cast member can bring about
wonderful opportunity to reveal elements of a show to a whole new audience,"
CBS didn't reveal much about its midseason plans at
upfront time, and Tassler mostly stuck to that Wednesday, besides saying that
the network is shooting a new pilot with Rob Schneider, in addition to its
pickup of rookie cop drama 2-2 and the return of Undercover Boss.
assler also said CBS has a lot in development on the
performance competition front, a genre from which CBS is notably missing a hit
where its competitors have American Idol, Dancing With the Stars
and The Voice.
"We would love to have one," Tassler said. "It's very
important. In order for a schedule to grow and be balanced, we have to havethat
piece of the puzzle."
When asked about the cancellation of Criminal Minds:
Suspect Behavior, Tassler characterized the series' failure as an isolated
example rather than some larger comment on the strength of the genre.
"It was specific to the show itself," she said. "I don't
think it found its rhythm. It has nothing to do with spinoffs. A spinoff still
has to be successful on its own."
Tassler also reiterated some points she made during the
network's upfront in May, including that CBS' scheduling of Rules of
Engagement on Saturdays reflects its view of the opportunity on that
mostly-abandoned night. She also expressed confidence in The Good Wife's
new higher-profile timeslot on Sunday night, despite the competition from
"We have plans in place to accommodate the show when
there are overruns," she said.