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CBS Drama ‘Extant’ Moves To 10 PM

By | Monday July 28, 2014 @ 11:59am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

CBS Drama ‘Extant’ Moves To 10 PMThree weeks into its freshman run, CBS‘ new sci-fi drama series Extant is sliding an hour from the post-Big Brother 9 PM berth to 10 PM starting this Wednesday. The Halle Berry-starrer, which has been sliding in Live+Same Day viewing since the premiere, most recently logging a 1.1 in 18-49, will switch places with the Criminal Minds repeats that had been airing at 10 PM.

CBS is making the change after a similar switcheroo worked well on Sunday. There, new drama Reckless too was falling hard in the ratings at 9 PM, behind Big Brother, leading to returning Unforgettable at 10 PM. After CBS switched Unforgettable and Reckless, Unforgettable‘s numbers naturally went up (+43% in 18-49) with a stronger lead-in from Big Brother. But Reckless didn’t suffer any further drop among adults 18-49 in its transition to 10 PM, staying consistent in the demo and even picking up 5% in viewers. CBS is hoping for a similar outcome on Wednesday, with an established drama lead-in from a stronger, Big Brother-buoyed Criminal Minds stabilizing Extant.

The scheduling change is made with enough lead time for this Wednesday’s DVR listings to be updated, which is important for Extant. The series debut of the mystery drama has seen a 50% bump in 18-49 from Live+SD to Live+7.

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Comic-Con: ‘Big Bang Theory’ Writers Avoid Cast Negotiation-Elephant In The Room (Video)

By | Friday July 25, 2014 @ 11:12am PDT

Comic-Con: ‘Big Bang Theory’ Writers Avoid Cast Negotiation-Elephant In The Room (Video)From the upbeat mood of The Big Bang Theory writers at this morning’s Comic-Con panel for the series, you wouldn’t think that there was an intense cast negotiation going on, potentially delaying production of the show. All signals transmitted to fans in Ballroom 20 today are that Big Bang is moving forward. A Warner Bros TV rep told the crowd that the show is returning September 22 with a full-hour premiere, as CBS has planned. “I’ve thought about how I want the show to end, but I’m not going to say right now,” said executive producer Steve Molaro. He also mentioned to another fan that he doesn’t know when they’ll reveal Penny’s last name; it might be when she marries Leonard. However, the Comic-Con hall monitors, who typically let most questions through to the panel, were definitely on guard. When a Deadline reporter tried to ask Bill Prady and Molaro a question about the cast negotiation, the monitor exclaimed, “We can’t let you ask about that — it’s a legal question.” Read More »

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Does Time Warner Need CBS To Thwart A Fox Takeover?

Does Time Warner Need CBS To Thwart A Fox Takeover?Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes has a problem. Fox CEO Rupert Murdoch is preparing to sweeten his offer for the owner of Warner Bros, CNN, and HBO after it rejected an $80B cash-and-stock proposal last month. And Bewkes, who says he wants to keep Time Warner independent, has few takeover defenses. What can he do? Here are a few of the leading options that Time Warner execs and their advisors at Citigroup are weighing.

Corporate And Media Leaders Attend Allen & Company Media And Technology Conf.Combine with CBS: This would make Time Warner toxic for Fox: The FCC would not allow Murdoch to control two of the four biggest networks, and two of the largest TV station groups with overlaps in the nation’s largest markets.

And the business logic of a Time Warner-CBS combination is compelling. CBS chief Les Moonves would like to diversify his company to make it less dependent on domestic TV advertising. (He has already said that he’d like to buy CNN if Fox prevails with Time Warner and puts the news channel on the block.) Moonves also has made it clear that he’d like to play a bigger role in movies — his CBS Films appears to be struggling to figure out its identity. CBS could address these concerns by blending with Time Warner’s cable channels and movie studio.

The chief obstacle is that CBS is controlled by Sumner Redstone, who also owns Viacom. He hasn’t wanted to give up either property, and some bankers believe he’d prefer to … Read More »

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Comic-Con: ‘Under The Dome’ Panel Offers Sneak Peek But No Real Spoilers

By | Thursday July 24, 2014 @ 12:09pm PDT

Comic-Con: ‘Under The Dome’ Panel Offers Sneak Peek But No Real SpoilersFrom the clips they showed today at Comic-Con, the second season of Under The Dome is about to get a lot harsher. Big Jim is on the warpath, Barbie is on the move and what’s underneath Chester’s Mill might turn out to be as deadly as the dome that’s over top of it. ”No one is safe under the dome,” said executive produce Neal Baer today about whether more characters would die on the CBS summer drama.

“We kept the body count down for the beginning of the season so we can rev it up towards the end,” Baer added during today’s panel discussion. “There are no set rules,” the EP also remarked about whether killed-off characters could come back.

UNDER THE DOME COMIC CON 2014A five-minute clip of Episode 7 was shown during the panel, hinting with Mike Vogel’s character Dale “Barbie” Barbara falling into a deep cavern that the dome may prove not to so impregnable. “One of our characters might get out of the dome this season, literally,” said Baer. “We just finished shooting last week and we know the ending but we won’t tell you.” The episode airs August 11. Read More »

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‘Big Bang Theory’ Cast Negotiations Update: Little Progress Raises Odds Of Delayed Production Start

By | Wednesday July 23, 2014 @ 3:01pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

‘Big Bang Theory’ Cast Negotiations Update: Little Progress Raises Odds Of Delayed Production StartOn the eve of Comic-Con, where The Big Bang Theory has always been a top draw, the uncertainty surrounding the production of the mega-hit CBS comedy’s eighth season intensifies. With only one week left until the actors on the Warner Bros TV-produced show are scheduled to convene for the first table read of Season 8 on July 30, none of the Big Bang original cast members are close to new deals. The contracts of Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar all expired at the end of last season, and no one would go to work without a contract in place. Modern Family co-creator/co-showrunner Christopher Lloyd was in a similar position recently and sat out the first week of work in the writers room until his reps reached a new deal with producer 20th Century Fox TV. In both cases, talks between the studio and talent started pretty late, leading to the missed deadline.

While the Modern Family writers proceeded without Lloyd, with fellow co-creator/co-showrunner Steve Levitan at the helm, keeping up production on Big Bang with only the two cast members who have contracts — Melissa Rauch and Mayim Bialik — would be impossible. Read More »

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CBS Makes It Official: ‘Late Show With Stephen Colbert’ Staying In New York At Ed Sullivan Theater

By | Wednesday July 23, 2014 @ 11:14am PDT

CBS Makes It Official: ‘Late Show With Stephen Colbert’ Staying In New York At Ed Sullivan TheaterNew York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and CBS president and CEO Leslie Moonves officially announced that the Late Show With Stephen Colbert will remain in New York and continue broadcasting from the historic Ed Sullivan Theater. The agreement includes a commitment by CBS for approximately 200 New York-based jobs to support the daily program’s year-round production schedule. Here’s how CBS spun it this morning: Read More »

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Elisabeth Rohm Joins New CBS Drama ‘Stalker’ As New Regular

By | Tuesday July 22, 2014 @ 2:59pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Elisabeth Rohm Joins New CBS Drama ‘Stalker’ As New RegularEXCLUSIVE: Elisabeth Rohm, who played Rohm will play Amanda, a Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney who works with the Threat Assessment Unit and a mother to a 10-year-old boy, whose attempt at a new life in L.A. suddenly is derailed when she discovers her past (aka McDermott’s Jack Larsen) has followed her cross-country. The role was listed as a lead on the pilot’s breakdown, but the character only briefly appears in the pilot and ended up as a guest spot played by Elizabeth Bogush. Rohm, who co-starred in American Hustle, is with Mavrick Artists, Untitled, Hilary Shore and Felker, Toczek,.

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UPDATE: Networks Break In Again For Obama News Conference On Shot-Down Malaysia Airlines Plane

By | Friday July 18, 2014 @ 8:57am PDT

UPDATE: Networks Break In Again For Obama News Conference On Shot-Down Malaysia Airlines PlaneUPDATE, 8:57 AM: ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC as well as the cable networks have just broken away from normal programming to cover President Obama‘s remarks live from the White House on the latest from yesterday’s Malaysia Airlines disaster over the Ukraine. Obama said one U.S. citizen was among the 298 passengers killed from what is suspected to be a surface-to-air missile launched by pro-Russian rebels. He called for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine and demanded a credible investigation, saying a UN investigation is already underway with Ukraine and Russia expected to cooperate fully. Read More »

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TCA: Kevin Williamson Says His ‘Stalker’ Is Different From His ‘The Following’

By | Thursday July 17, 2014 @ 6:23pm PDT

TCA: Kevin Williamson Says His ‘Stalker’ Is Different From His ‘The Following’Maybe it was because the preceding panel dealt with NFL football, but TV journalists butted heads repeatedly at today’s TCA panel with executive producer Kevin Williamson, asking how his new series Stalker is different from his older show on another network that features many similar elements. The EP/creator appeared with stars Maggie Q and Dylan McDermott, but Williamson spent most of his time on the panel explaining why the drama about detectives tracking stalkers is different from his Fox series The Following, which is about an FBI agent tracking a serial killer and his murderous cult (Williamson said Jennifer Johnson has taken over as showrunner of the Fox series).

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TCA: CBS’s ‘Battle Creek’ Q&A Creates Its Own Drama

By | Thursday July 17, 2014 @ 5:47pm PDT

TCA: CBS’s ‘Battle Creek’ Q&A Creates Its Own DramaVince Gilligan wrote the pilot for CBS’s new cop drama Battle Creek so long ago – 12 years – that he can’t remember why he decided to call it Battle Creek. Star Josh Duhamel reminded Gilligan he’d told him that when he was a kid he was eating breakfast cereal and saw the name on the side of the box.

Gilligan let it stand, adding, “I’m fascinated by the name — it’s got ‘Battle’ and yet it’s cereal.”

Duhamel plays FBI agent Milton Chamberlain, who teams up in the series with Detective Russ Agnew (Dean Winters) to clean up the semi-mean streets of Battle Creek, Mich.

TCA New Logo GridCBS is selling Battle Creek to viewers as the Next Big Series from the creator of Breaking Bad. Gilligan is selling it as the pilot he wrote 12 years ago and does not have time to bring to series at CBS because of his commitment on his AMC Breaking Bad spinoff, Better Call Saul. He said as much last week when he appeared at the tour to plug the spinoff.  Today’s version went like this: “I’m sorry I’m not a bigger part of [Battle Creek] as I would like to be because of my duties on Better Call Saul,” adding, “I’m lucky to be up here on this stage” with the cast and exec producers, “who do a great job.”

Critics seemed disappointed too, which, in turn, seemed … Read More »

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TCA: CBS CEO Leslie Moonves Confident NFL Will Extend One-Year Thursday Football Deal

By | Thursday July 17, 2014 @ 5:02pm PDT

TCA: CBS CEO Leslie Moonves Confident NFL Will Extend One-Year Thursday Football Deal“This is the program we know is going to be on the air for many, many years,” CBS CEO Leslie Moonves said of his network’s new Thursday NFL package, to TV critics he noted have slogged through about two weeks of Q&A’s for new TV series,  almost all of which will die quick deaths — “even ours.”

“This, however, is a sure thing,” Moonves boasted at his Q&A session at TCA Summer TV Press Tour 2014. “This is the single best product on television anywhere.”

That said, the deal is a one-year pact only, after which the NFL could take all that increased awareness CBS has ginned up for the franchise and slap it back on NFL Network exclusively. “We have not made a determination beyond one year,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said when asked this afternoon if he’d commit to more. “We made the decision knowing it’s a short term, for what we think is a long-term strategy to build Thursday night [for NFL]. We believe the awareness of Thursday football will go up significantly,” he said, stating the obvious.

“We knew going in this was a one-year deal,” Moonves jumped in. “It’s our job to show the NFL what we can do. And we’re confident they’re going to feel like CBS did a tremendous job; we’re confident after this year is over they’ll sit down and hopefully give us a longer deal than that,” he said. Read More »

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TCA: CBS’ ‘Scorpion’ – “It’s A Fun-Cedural”, Exec Producer Says

By | Thursday July 17, 2014 @ 3:14pm PDT

TCA: CBS’ ‘Scorpion’ – “It’s A Fun-Cedural”, Exec Producer SaysDoes network TV really need more jargon? Just in case, producers of CBS’ new drama series Scorpion offered a new one at today’s TCA: Fun-cedural.

The series2014 Summer TCA Tour - Day 10 — based on the true story of genius Walter O’Brien (IQ 197) who created a company to defend the world against high-tech threats — has a “procedural engine” but is not really a procedural, said executive producer Nick Santora. “It’s a fun-cedural”, he said.

There was a lot of talk on today’s Scorpion panel about how the socially-awkward geniuses of the company, including O’Brien, would connect with an audience. The real Walter O’Brien, who serves as executive producer with Santora, Orci, Nicholas Wootton and director/EP Justin Lin, appeared on the panel along with the other EPS and cast members.
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TCA: Rob Kerkovich Joins ‘NCIS: New Orleans’ As Shooting Starts Next Week

By | Thursday July 17, 2014 @ 1:20pm PDT

TCA: Rob Kerkovich Joins ‘NCIS: New Orleans’ As Shooting Starts Next WeekGary Glasberg, executive producer/creator of CBS’ new drama NCIS: New Orleanssaid at the new series’ TCA panel today that Rob Kerkovich (Cloverfield, The Rebound) will join the cast as a forensic scientist. Glasberg, who appeared on the panel with co-EPs Jeffrey Lieber and Mark Harmon and cast members Zoe McLellan, Scott Bakula, CCH Pounder and Lucas Black, said the series will begin shooting in New Orleans on Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, CBS entertainment chief Nina Tassler called NCIS and its spinoffs a “billion-dollar franchise.” The newest member of the club was introduced as a planted spinoff via two episodes of NCIS earlier this year. Read More »

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TCA: CBS’ ‘The McCarthys’ Too “Dark” As Single-Cam Comedy, Says Creator Brian Gallivan

By | Thursday July 17, 2014 @ 12:51pm PDT

TCA: CBS’ ‘The McCarthys’ Too “Dark” As Single-Cam Comedy, Says Creator Brian GallivanBrian Gallivan began a Q&A for his semi-autobiographical CBS sitcom The McCarthys by announcing his family never actually had a DUI, and never carried a dead man’s baby. Addressing TV critics at TCA Summer TV Press Tour 2014, Gallivan said he’d explained to his family that a TV comedy requires the characters have flaws –  so he had to add them, and “that sitcoms also require heartwarming moments so I had to add those.” His family has not yet seen the pilot, and won’t until the series debuts on CBS because, he said, he’d like to continue his relationship with his family until then.

2014 Summer TCA Tour - Day 10The McCarthys revolves around a big, sports-crazed Irish Catholic family in Boston, and the gay son (Tyler Ritter) who is anxious to spend less time with them.

The series was first shot as a single-camera pilot for the season previous to the one that just wrapped, Gallivan said “because my family expresses love through insulting each other and being hateful….” The single-cam format wound up being too dark.
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TCA: CBS’ ‘Madam Secretary’ Sprang From Hillary Clinton And Benghazi, Exec Producer Says

TCA: CBS’ ‘Madam Secretary’ Sprang From Hillary Clinton And Benghazi, Exec Producer SaysCBS‘ new drama series Madam Secretary, in which Tea Leoni plays the Secretary of State, came about because of Hillary Clinton and Benghazi, exec producer Lori McCreary told TV critics today at TCA Summer TV Press Tour 2014.

McCreary said she and Morgan Freeman had lunch with CBS Entertainment chairman Nina Tassler about producing a scripted series for the network, after which, McCreary says, they set about “trying to come up with a great character…And then, guess what happened — the Benghazi hearings,” McCreary said. They went back to Tassler with the idea of a series about what it’s like to be the female Secretary of State, “and how it translates overseas when rights for women are not what they are here,” she said. Tassler introduced them to Joan Of Arcadia creator Barbara Hall, who “took that kernel of an idea” and ran with it.
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TCA: CBS’ Nina Tassler Pressed On Diversity Of Network’s Fall Schedule, Supports Reexamining Emmy Rules

By | Thursday July 17, 2014 @ 10:44am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

TCA: CBS’ Nina Tassler Pressed On Diversity Of Network’s Fall Schedule, Supports Reexamining Emmy RulesABC is a tough act to follow at TCA this summer when it comes to diversity. ABC has new comedies about a Mexican family, an Asian family and a Black family and a new drama starring Viola Davis. Next at TCA is CBS, which has a new comedy series about an Irish American clan and dramas starring Tea Leoni, Josh Duhamel and Scott Bakula. Its only minority lead is Maggie Q, who plays the co-lead to Dylan McDermott on drama Stalker. CBS Chairman Nina Tassler faced multiple questions about the lack of diversity on the network’s new series.”We don’t look at fall as the defining mark of giving us our diversity quota,” Tassler said, noting the cast of daytime talk show The Talk, Lucy Liu on Elementary and summer series Extant, headlined by Halle Berry. (She faced criticism even on Extant, with a critic arguing that the entire supporting cast of the sci-fi drama is White, down to Berry’s artificial son.) Tassler also pointed at different elements of diversity, like a gay main character on The McCarthys. Additionally, on the final season of Two And A Half Men, Walden and Alan are going to get married as a gay couple in order to adopt a child because Walden finds it difficult to adopt as a straight single man. Tassler called it a “positive statement”about the fact that gay couples can adopt children. Read More »

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TCA: CBS’ Nina Tassler “Very Confident” That ‘Big Bang’ Cast Members Will Close Deals On Time

By | Thursday July 17, 2014 @ 9:27am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

TCA: CBS’ Nina Tassler “Very Confident” That ‘Big Bang’ Cast Members Will Close Deals On TimeWith only two weeks until The Big Bang Theory is slated to go back into production, the entire original cast, Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar, have no contracts and are not close to signing one. But CBS Entertainment chairman is not worried. “We’re feeling very confident that everything will work out,” she said. “These deals always get miraculously done.”

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‘The Big Bang Theory’ Production Start In Limbo As Cast Contract Negotiations Drag On

By | Wednesday July 16, 2014 @ 4:46pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

‘The Big Bang Theory’ Production Start In Limbo As Cast Contract Negotiations Drag OnFlagship CBS comedy series The Big Bang Theory is slated to go into production on its upcoming eighth season on July 30. But with only two weeks to go, the entire original cast of the hit comedy is still without contracts. I hear the two sides are still far apart and there has been little dialogue.

Image (2) Big-Bang-Theory-april-11__140411160624.jpg for post 713463The situation resembles the 2010 salary renegotiations when Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar too faced the start of production in the midst of talks with producing studio Warner Bros. TV. The difference is that back then, they had existing contracts and were obligated to show up for work, which they did while their teams were negotiating big pay bumps behind the scenes. This time around, none of the five Image (1) cuoco__121009154747.png for post 350358have deals in place as their contracts on the show expired at the end of last season. Big Bang‘s newest cast members, Melissa Rauch and Mayim Bialik, who renegotiated their contracts last fall with substantial salary increases, are the only actors currently under contracts.

That means that, if new deals with the Original Five are not reached in the next two weeks, production on Season 8 may be pushed. I hear that even if Big Bang doesn’t start start production until after Labor Day, it still is expected to be able to deliver an hourlong season premiere for September 22 but insiders do not think things would go that far. (Big Bang‘s 2010 salary renegotiations didn’t wrap until September.) Warner Bros. TV is known for going down to the wire but being able to close big cast deals on time, including multiple negotiations on Two And A Half Men. Read More »

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Cote De Pablo To Star In CBS Event Series ‘The Dovekeepers’ From Mark Burnett, Roma Downey

By | Wednesday July 16, 2014 @ 11:55am PDT

Cote De Pablo To Star In CBS Event Series ‘The Dovekeepers’ From Mark Burnett, Roma DowneyNCIS alum Cote de Pablo has been tapped to star in CBS’ The Dovekeepers, a four-hour miniseries from Mark Burnett and Roma Downey to air in 2015. The project is based on Alice Hoffman’s acclaimed historical novel about four extraordinary women whose lives intersect in a fight for survival at the siege of Masada. De Pablo, repped by Paradigm, Management 360, and attorneys Melanie Cook and Jamie Asifi, will play Shirah, one of the four women, who is a sensual, mysterious and fiercely independent single mother with uncanny insights and a quiet and mysterious power. She is derided by many as the “Witch of Moab,” as she covertly practices forbidden ancient rites of magic and is keenly knowledgeable about herbal remedies. However, those in need don’t hesitate to approach her for her help and generosity of spirit.

Related: Cote De Pablo To Depart CBS’ ‘NCIS’
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