As you are probably aware, the so-called Press Tour gets underway today, and that means I got underway yesterday to get here.
A few simple pointers before we proceed: Expect a number of posts over the next few days on new shows, and glowing things that are said of them. But...you can also check tweets for the occassional breaking news soundbite too, and my handle is Vernejgay at Twitter.
So without further ado...
Much said this morning by CBS Entertainment chief Nina Tassler, and let's quickly go to the questions.
She was asked about "Hawaii 5-O:" "You have to look at the audience that is going to remember the original show. And you want to be respectful in a way, a kind of homage. But I think -- for us, we loved the pitch so much. When [the producers] came in and said, "Look, we've reimagined it. We've basically deconstructed the elements of the original show, looked at the characters, retooled the franchise a little bit, and reassembled it in a
great, hip, smart, fun character show," it was just the right coming together of elements.
Asked about unexpected departure of her competitor ABC Entertainment boss Steve McPherson, who quit (or was told to quit; unclear at this point) yesterday: "And as far as Steve goes, I said, "Damn it, he got out of doing press tour." I think that was his whole motivation and "I'd like a case of chardonnay over the holidays." [McPherson owns his own wine label.] He's a great guy. He's a good friend, and I wish him the best."
Asked about the unusual concept of a sitcom that revolves around plus-sizers - "Mike & Molly," with Billy Gardell and Melissa McCarthy: "I thought, "It's Chuck Lorre." That was a good thing going in. Chuck has consistently delivered big hits to us. Mark Roberts is a terrific writer. He comes off of "Two and a Half Men." I think what I thought was these are two people I relate to. These are two people I care about. It's a romantic comedy. It was charming. It has heart, and it was really funny."
And of course was asked about the new "View" - which CBS is calling "The Talk:"
Well, first of all, the show was developed in -- we bought it in August of last year. Sara Gilbert, who I happen to have represented as an actress 25 years ago -- I've known Sara a long time, and she came in and she pitched the show. I don't think there is a place you can go in this country right now where you don't see an article about a new mother and a child, a parent and a child, a parenting relationship or so on, so certainly we think it's in the zeitgeist. So Sara pitched the show, developed the show. It went through I can't even tell you the number of... I said, "Sara, I'm going to come to your house and I'll film you." It literally started like that. And then it picked up momentum and we started talking about topics and subject matter and so on. And they'll be here later and you can ask them. And then when we started getting into casting process, it was Sara's idea, and we talked about people who have a profile, who are in this media.
And was of course of course asked about Julie Chen, wife of CBS CEO Leslie Moonves, and who is now involved with three shows but will drop one in the fall - "Early" - when this launches..."the bottom line is the executive producer of the show, Sara Gilbert, said, "What about Julie? Do you think she would be interested?" And we followed her lead. And truth is I was involved. I made the decision. I don't think Leslie's unhappy with the decision, but we're thrilled to have her."