TCA: CBS and The CW

CBS Corp. held panels for its CBS and The CW (which it partly owns with Time Warner) and its syndicated series The Doctors on Monday and Tuesday. Among the highlights:


– An executive session with Nina Tassler kicked off the CBS portion of the tour on Monday. She talked about improved ratings for Letterman (thanks to Leno’s departure from late night), blasted NBC for handling Medium poorly (it moves to CBS this fall), explained why the network didn’t renew Without A Trace (skewed too old), and refused to comment on Ben Silverman’s departure from NBC, but did say she’s really “a D girl”, whatever that means.

But if she can keep a network Numero Uno in the ratings, we know this: D doesn’t stand for dumb.

– The network unveiled its new shows to the press, including Accidentally on Purpose, The Good Wife, Three Rivers, and NCIS: Los Angleles. (the latter two were actually repensented at the set vists the critics attended.)

While some think Wife and the NCIS spin-off will do well, they said boo to Purpose (a really dumb concept) and Rivers.

The CW

The CW had its portion of the press tour on Tuesday, and had an exec session with Dawn Ostroff.

– Don’t ask how The CW has stayed afloat in an economy where even Arena Football can’t survive. But the show must go on, and Ostroff is forging ahead with the focus on women 18-34 as the net’s main demo.

– CW is programming only ten hours in prime-time this fall, but with new shows that are actually generating buzz – Vampire Diaries, Beautiful Life, The New Melrose Place, and midseason entry Life Unexpected.

– Ostroff said the net is staying out of the sitcom business for now. Probably a wise strategy – it has never had a hit in this category.

– She also said she is looking for more retro programs to revive – but if it only fits the core demo of women 18-34. That means no revivals of The Dukes of Hazard or My Name Is Earl.

– If Melrose Place 2009 and Vampire Diaries bring it in the ratings department, it will likely save this struggling network. But even if these shows flop, strong support from the ad community will likely keep The CW afloat. After all, the demo target is also the most likely to go shopping and spend money. Like it or not, the network is here to stay.

LOL: The CW also announced celebrity judges to fill in once a week on America’s Next Top Model this fall. Among the names are Iman, Lauren Conrad, and JosieMaran. But one poster at was not impressed when Kim Kardashian was announced as a guest judge (scroll down):

“Why is Kim a judge? Are they doing sex tapes as part of a challenge this season?”

Man, you can’t make stuff like this up.