CBS Reveals Ashton Kutcher’s ‘Men’ Character’s Name And Background
During TCA’s CBS executive session, the network’s entertainment president Nina Tassler was asked about lessons the network has learned from the Charlie Sheen debacle that culminated in his public firing. “Oh, where do I begin…,” she said. “What we learned is that we have an extraordinary cast — I was at the table red on Monday — we have extraordinary writers and actors, and there is a great value in hiring an actor like Ashton Kutcher, a talented, funny, gifted actor coming in with tremendous commitment and enthusiasm. What you learn is that the show is brilliantly written, extraordinary produced and you have the opportunity to move forward to create this exciting new character and do a great show.” She later added that Men will be as “smart, irreverent and risque” as it’s ever been. “Standards and Practices is already on high alert.” After the session, Tassler was asked to elaborate on her line from the Q&A that “you could cut the air with a knife” at the Monday table read. “The anticipation was great,” she said. “Hearing an actor utter the first line was a relief.” She also revealed that Men co-creator/executive producer Chuck Lorre opened the table read with what she described as “touching speech.”
CBS Reveals Ashton Kutcher’s ‘Men’ Character’s Name And Background
It might not be the sexiest of this year’s new U.S. shows, but Blood Bloods has proved the most commercial at home and internationally combined. The Tom Selleck cop show has topped a chart of how this season’s freshman shows have performed. Blue Bloods has sold around the world, and not just to tiny channels but to big ones like Sky Atlantic in the UK, Australia’s Network Ten and Discovery Latin America. Armando Nunez, president CBS Studios International, has told TV trade Television Business International, “It’s perhaps not as sexy to talk about, but it has proven a success both on the network and in terms of global distribution.” TBI is due to publish its survey of U.S. network pick-ups Monday. Indeed, CBS’ strategy of showing procedurals might hug the shore creatively, but it has paid off globally. Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, another CBS procedural, is in second place. Says Nunez, “The road is littered with pilots and broken series and high concepts that didn’t work. We are in broadcasting.”
The Event, NBC Universal’s mystery sci-fi show, would probably have been cancelled by now has it not sold so strongly around the world, TBI deputy editor Peter White tells me. NBC Universal sold The Event to more than 200 territories early on, and it has gone on to have a full U.S. season. Of course, some of this year’s new shows still haven’t aired yet, including Fox’s Terra Nova, due to air …
With a two-hour American Idol (7.4/21 in adults 18-49, 24.9 million viewers), Fox easily won last night in 18-49 and total viewers. Versus last Wednesday’s performance show, Idol was down 9% in the demo. (All week-to-week comparisons this week are probably affected by the switch to daylight saving time. TV use in the 8-10 slot last night was down 4% from last week.) Compared with the comparable telecast last year, Idol was down also 9% in 18-49.
The time shift also likely impacted the rest of the 8 PM shows last night. CBS’ Survivor: Redemption Island (3.1/10) was down a tenth from last week for a new series low; NBC’s Minute to Win It (0.9/3) was down 10%, also for a series low; and the CW’s America’s Next Top Model (0.8/3) was down 27%. (ABC aired comedy repeats in the 8 PM hour.)
CBS’ Criminal Minds (3.6/10) was flat with its most recent original two weeks ago, while its spinoff Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior (2.6/7) shot up 18% with an original Minds as a lead-in versus a repeat last week. Following a Modern Family repeat, midseason ABC comedy Mr. Sunshine (1.8/5) was flat with last week and tied a series low. Ditto for midseason drama Off the Map (1.4/4) at 10 PM. NBC aired Law & Order: SVU repeats at 9 PM and 10 PM.
My colleague Michael Ausiello already scooped CBS’ biggest scheduling change this midseason: freshman cop family drama Blue Bloods will get a four-week trial run in the Wednesday 10 PM slot beginning Jan. 19, while the current occupant of the Wednesday 10 PM time period, freshman legal dramedy The Defenders, will relocate to the Friday 8 PM berth on Feb. 4, following the series finale of veteran paranormal drama Medium. No surprise in the launch strategy for CBS’ midseason drama Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, which will succeed Blue Bloods in the Wednesday 10 PM slot beginning Feb. 16 when Blue Bloods will return to its Friday 10 PM home. The Criminal Minds spinoff was widely expected to air behind the mothership series the way NCIS: LA follows NCIS on Tuesday. But somewhat unexpected was the harsh treatment of CBS’ other midseason drama series Chaos. CBS brass fought hard for the series, whose midseason pickup originally fell through after a deal with producing studio 20th Century Fox TV could not be reached. The project was later resurrected, picked up and made a co-production with CBS TV Studios. But now, the comedic drama about a group of rogue CIA spies has been assigned the tough Friday 8 PM slot where it will succeed The Defenders on April 1 when the freshman will have completed its reduced first-season order. (I’m sure the producers of the series starring Freddy Rodriguez are hoping …
I hear Criminal Minds co-star Kirsten Vangsness’ deal is done and she will be a regular both on the main series and on its upcoming spinoff Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, playing FBI computer analyst Penelope Garcia.
UPDATE: CBS just issued a press release confirming Vangsness’ deal:
LOS ANGELES – July 19, 2010 — Kirsten Vangsness, who stars as Penelope Garcia in the CBS drama CRIMINAL MINDS, will also join the midseason series CRIMINAL MINDS: SUSPECT BEHAVIOR as a series regular. Garcia, a computer wizard who helps research cases, will play the same role and support the “Suspect Behavior” BAU team headed up by Special Agent Sam Cooper, played by Academy Award-winner Forest Whitaker.
“In reality, the real BAU teams share analysts, so it made sense for us to combine the positions on TV,” explained CRIMINAL MINDS: SUSPECT BEHAVIOR Executive Producer Chris Mundy. “On a personal note, Kirsten is amazing, both personally and professionally. Her talent will make our new series that much better both on screen and behind the scenes.”
“I’m super excited to be invited onto the series,” said Vangsness. “The cast is astounding and I love playing this character.”
CRIMINAL MINDS: SUSPECT BEHAVIOR will star Forest Whitaker, Janeane Garofolo, Matt Ryan, Michael Kelly and Beau Garrett. CRIMINAL MINDS and CRIMINAL MINDS: SUSPECT BEHAVIOR are produced by ABC Television Studios in association with CBS Television Studios. The executive producers are Chris Mundy, Edward
EXCLUSIVE: Quirky FBI computer technician Penelope Garcia may be pulling a double duty this coming season. I hear that CBS has approached Criminal Minds co-star Kirsten Vangsness to also appear on the upcoming Criminal Minds spinoff, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, on a regular or recurring basis. The network is already employing such cross-pollinating on NCIS and its spinoff NCIS: Los Angeles. Rocky Carroll, regular on the original series, also recurs on the spinoff, playing the same character, NCIS director Leon Vance.
With her multi-colored hair, sassy attitude and street smarts, Garcia is one of the standout characters on Criminal Minds with devoted following. The network no doubt hopes her popularity among Criminal Minds fans would give a boost to the new series, slated to launch in midseason. Because of the mostly stationary setup – her character spends most of her time behind her computer desk – I hear Vangsness usually works one day a week on the mothership series and could fit in filming scenes for the spinoff too. Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior stars Forest Whitaker as Cooper, a former star profiler in the Behavioral Analysis Unit who now runs a team that exists outside of FBI bureaucracy. Janeane Garofalo recently joined the cast of the series as a new female lead, a highly competent FBI agent on Cooper’s team.
Criminal Minds made headlines last month with the network’s decision not to pick up series regular A.J. Cook, who will wrap up her character’s …