Nellie Andreeva

No doubt CBS would’ve liked to announce a ninth season renewal for How I Met Your Mother at TCA today but it didn’t as the network and producer 20th Century Fox TV are still haggling over some license fee deal points. (The pacts with creators/showrunners Craig Thomas and Carter Bays and the cast, including Jason Segel are done.) Things are very close. “I will be happy to report in a very few days (a renewal),” CBS’ Nina Tassler said. “I’m confident and excited that all will be resolved. Almost everything is completed.” As for where the show will go next season story-wise, “(Bays and Thomas) had two CBSplans in place — if they had to resolve this year and or if they came back next year,” Tassler said after the session. “So we’ll sit down and talk to them in about a month about their plans for next year.” She assured that “this would be the end as designed by Carter and Craig.

Tassler was asked about the network’s reputation of being tough on actors on procedural dramas in light of the recent decision to sideline and eventually drop Jennifer Esposito from Blue Bloods. “Oh, I don’t think we are tougher on our actors,” she said. “We employ them for many, many years. In a situation like this we are sorry to see her go, we tried to resolve it, it didn’t quite work out and we wish her the best.”

Related: CBS’ Nina Tassler: TV Violence Conversation Shouldn’t “Devolve Into Discussion Of One Show Vs. The Other”

CBS gave a rare “shout out” to veteran Rules Of Engagement, which has been used to successfully plug holes on the schedule for most of its run, summoned to do it again this midseason on Mondays where it will replace cancelled Partners. “A show that serves us well, it is the best utility warrior on television.”

Asked whether there is a point where CBS would ask 2 Broke Girls executive producer Michael Patrick King to curb the racy content on the show, Tassler said, “I say to Michael as long as you keep us laughing, and as long as we vet stuff through standards and practices, we’re good. It’s an adult comedy. People enjoy it.”

Tassler spent a long time talking about summer series Under The Dome, a Steven Spielberg-produced adaptation of Stephen King’s novel, which was originally developed for sibling pay cable network Showtime. After the project’s option at Showtime lapsed, Tassler was given the script, about a small town sealed off from the rest of the world.”I read it over the weekend and I just loved it,” she said. “Every since Jericho for us, we loved these big-idea shows. And the auspices aren’t too shabby… “It provides an unique opportunity, if we package it properly to do a big summer event. In summers you have to makes some noise.” While Under The Dome is envisioned as an ongoing series, in case there is no second season, “there will be a key piece of information that the audience will have by the end of the summer,” Tassler said.

There is no decision yet on midseason comedy Friend Me, whose co-creator Alan Kirschenbaum died tragically in late October, towards the end of the production. “It was a very painful situation, which slowed things down a little bit,” Tassler said. “We’re still in post, it is an unique situation, when we look at it we’ll make a decision at that time.”

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