TCA: CBS’ Tassler: No Strike Contingency Plan

CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler: Strike by Screen Actors Guild would further damage industry still recovering from 100-day Writers Guild of America work stoppage.

Beverly Hills -- A strike by the Screen Actors Guild would further damage an industry still recovering from a 100-day strike by members of the Writers Guild of America, CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler said.

"We [would] all lose. It would be a big lose-fest," Tassler said, adding that the network does not have a contingency plan in place in the (unlikely) event that the 120,000-member SAG stages a work stoppage.

After three weeks, talks between SAG and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers hit a stalemate. Many actors, including Emmy Award nominees Ted Danson and Kevin Spacey, have been outspoken about the need for SAG representatives to continue to try to hammer out a deal with the AMPTP.

Tassler also echoed the sentiments of her fellow broadcast chiefs, acknowledging the realities of an increasingly fragmented multiplatform universe in a Friday-morning Q&A at the Television Critics Association press tour here.

"Audiences are watching more television," she said, "but the reality is that more than two-thirds of American homes have over 160 channels to choose from."

CBS' strategy for keeping viewers tuned in is a renewed commitment to the pilot season -- which was decimated by the WGA strike. "We need to have a pilot season," Tassler said.

CBS was the only network to have any amount of completed pilots for TV critics to view in advance of the press tour.

"There is anticipation for the fall season, which is really important," Tassler added. "It was [important] for us to create new shows to give the audience something to look forward to."

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