While they weren’t busy having new WXRT-FM part-timer Tom Marker drive an “investigative reporter” around so he can have his Taco Bell and Gin & Juice fixes, The Church of Tisch was presenting their wares at the TCA Press Tour Tuesday at Pasadena.
– Executive session: Nina Tassler made her first appearance in front of the critics in nearly a year (she was unable to attend last summer’s TCA tour), and defended “pilot season”, something rival Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly said he was doing away with. She noted CBS would have success with CSI, How I Met Your Mother, or The Big Bang Theory without the pilot process. Tassler also discussed the Big Brother racism controversy from last summer, saying she was mortified by the comments some of the contestants said, but stood by the show saying Big Brother is a social experiment.
Tassler also touched on the time-shifting phenomenon, noting that time-shifting TV shows “continues to soar”.
– Cast members of the new CBS drama Intelligence had to face the music of sorts Tuesday morning: after premiering to 17 million viewers out of NCIS, ratings plunged considerably after moving to a Monday night slot after Mom, and opposite NBC’s Blacklist. Creator and EP Michael Seltzman acknowledged this: “Did something happen in the ratings?” he asked reporters at TCA.
After moving to its regular 9 p.m. (CT) slot on Monday, Intelligence dropped to six million viewers, and a third-place finish among broadcast networks in the time period.
Despite the huge ratings loss, the show has support from CBS brass, including Ms. Tassler.
– The showrunners of CSI, Elementary, NCIS, Person Of Interest, and The Good Wife took the stage and talked about game-changing scenarios, killing off characters, and their break down point. Among the things discussed was Alicia’s decision to depart the lawfirm on The Good Wife and the killing of Taraji P. Henson’s character on Interest – the second such action this TV season, after Brian on Family Guy (who of course, came back after three weeks.)
The panel also discussed the large number of episodes they have to deal with (22-26 for broadcast, as opposed to 13 or so for cable.) The panel noted having a larger episode order eats up a lot of story.
– When you talk about the quality of your average CBS Monday sitcom these days, you have something closer to The Beverly Hillbillies than All in the Family or M*A*S*H. When the last quality Monday sitcom exits March 31 (How I Met your Mother), in comes Friends With Better Lives, which debuts immediately following it.
Creator Dana Klein defended the show, which is about six friends – each in a different stage of his/her life. “It’s impossible not to compare our lives to friends,” noted Klein.
The show’s actors seemed ready for the critics’ snippy responses. Asked whether or not a mother should be drinking while breast-feeding, James Van Der Beek shot back: “I drink while I breast feed”.
Must be the holy wine they serve at The Church Of Tisch.
Quick Hits & Bits:
– CBS announced it has renewed its entire daytime lineup for next fall.
– Quote of the week: After the conclusion of the executive session, Tassler has this retort to say after former Lost writer Damon Lindelof said cable was far superior to broadcast during a recent TCA session: “I want to hear Damon Lindelof complain about broadcast when he goes to the bank and cash his Lost checks.”
I suppose he’ll have to find them first.
– In a Deadline article on Tuesday, Lisa De Morres noted “the surging sea of unhappy critics”, referring to the press sitting through the Friends Without Better Lives Panel. Well, since this is a presentation by The Church Of Tisch, ushers went around the room earlier asking for donations to help fund production and to help pay for a marble shower for James Van Der Beek – not to mention future bail money for “investigative reporter” Dave Savini.