TCA 2008: CBS President Nina Tassler Talks MOONLIGHT’s Cancellation and CSI’s Grissom Replacement

By: Kevin Kelly, Special TCA Correspondent

Minutes ago, CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler filled us in — and by ‘us’ I mean the hundred or so journalists attending the 2008 Television Critics Association Press Tour — with regards to what fans can expect from the character replacing William Peterson’s Gil Grissom on CSI this upcoming season. According to Tassler, Grissom’s replacement will be a doctor, who not only is a bit of an outsider and must work his way onto the team, but has somewhat of a complex dual identity. One that DEXTER fans might be intimately [or is it eerily] familiar with.

In other news, Tassler pretty much put a final stake into MOONLIGHT’s chances for survival by revealing that she stands by her decision to cancel this season’s JERICHO. Said Tassler, “We love Alex and the rest of the cast, but we’re okay to let the show go.” Adding that most of the comments she received from viewers were aimed at the actors and not the show itself.

Which naturally got us thinking. If Alex O’Loughlin is currently unemployed and the gang from CSI are on the look out for a dark and mysterious investigator. It doesn’t take THE BIG BANG THEORY’s Sheldon and/or Leonard to connect the dots here! Match made in television heaven? You be the judge.

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  • zortil

    Nina is such a liar! Of course we mentioned the show in ALL of our correspondence. Pre-cancellation: to praise Moonlight. Post-cancellation: to save Moonlight. How else would she know what we fans were talking about?!

  • Moonlighter

    FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, DO NOT PUT ALEX O’LOUGHLIN IN A CSI PROGRAM!! That is most definitely NOT a match made in heaven!! Nina’s statement is utterly confusing — it seems she’s trying to say that people liked the actors on Moonlight but not the show itself — but she couldn’t be more wrong. People LOVED Moonlight once it got rolling, DESPITE the writer’s strike and DESPITE the fact that the stations airing Moonlight monkeyed with the schedule so much that only diehard fans, like myself, would be willing and able to follow the story. Alex O’Loughlin has leading man status and should not be relegated to a program that has passed its prime. I watched the original CSI until about 2 years ago when it started to get tired and dull, and now believe it should be allowed to fade into the sunset. It would make me sick to see Alex stuck in some dead-beat role on a dead-beat show. There is a much brighter future out there for him and I hope he and his managers and agents realized this. Nina Tassler may be an “Entertainment President,” but she is one misinformed woman who seems to only be after her own personal entertainment, that’s why we must tolerate shows like Swingtown. Alex, if they offer you CSI, RUN LIKE HELL! You can do better.

  • moonstruck1

    Nina Tassler’s nose is getting longer & longer by the days for NOT speaking the truth about Moonlight’s cancellation. First, she blamed “poor rating” about the cancellation. That, we devoted fans know it’s not true because Moonlight had consistently won the Friday night timeslot and had the minimal loss of viewers after the writers’ strike. Now, Nina Tassler lied again by saying that most of the Moonlight fans’ comments were about the actors, not the show. I can guarantee that many of us passionate Moonlight fans have written numerous Letters of Praise about the SHOW and the actors, before and after the cancellation. The magical romance between Mick and Beth was the main draw for many of us Moonlight fans. The bottom line is that Nina Tassler really doesn’t care about what the fans want, it is what she wants, CSI format.

  • Sandra

    You have got to be kidding! What planet does Nina Tassler live on? She’s either got her head in an unspeakable place or she’s a flat out liar. No one is more passionate about the SHOW than Moonlight fans! And believe you me, the fans that wrote her loved BOTH the show AND the actors! Alex and Sophia and Jason had something magical going and apparently it’s only someone who could kill that who could say that the fans only liked the actors! We will follow Alex wherever he goes, of course, as well as Sophia and Jason, but CSI????? It’s TIRED. It’s OLD. Let’s pray to God Alex gets better offers than that.

  • SimplyKimberly

    Oh so no one cared that Moonlight got canceled? And the sky isn’t blue, grass isn’t green and Starbucks doesn’t charge too much for coffee. Is Nina fancying herself to be a writer, weaving such a tale?

  • twodogs

    I guess if you are an Entertainment President you think you can say anything and get away with it. Make up your mind Nina, what was it? Ratings? Advertizers? Now it’s comments aimed at the actors? Do you just make this up as you go along or what? You must wake up to a blank slate everyday because you haven’t stuck to one of your stories yet. Everytime you turn around it’s a different excuse. Well 8 million fans know better. they wrote nothng but words of praise for Moonlight and the actors via snail mail, email, blogs and phone calls. You are not fooling anybody and you don’t care about the viewers. It’s clear you think CBS is your own personal network to play with. Maybe that’s why your ratings have gone down since you canceled Moonlight. At least according to Nielson.

  • OMG first off I don’t trust this person but I have to say that we all know that Moonlight is over there will not be another moonlight anytime soon. Maybe a movie or something but I do not see a show coming back.

    With that being said Alex has to work to live and he has the acting ability to go far in this business and I think that putting him on C.S.I. would be a great outlet to allow him to show more of his abilities and get more people to looking at him as a true actor not just a vampire angle wanna be.

    I hope that they do put him on this show they just lost two of there most prominent actors and now William is leaving. They need new talent in there. Who better then a sex man as he is to bring it back to life and give him the ability to go further in his career.

    AND before everyone gets there panties in a twist I MISS MOONLIGHT…I LOVE MOONLIGHT and I too am heartbroken that it is over with but I will support Alex no matter what choices he makes in his career.

  • I can almost hear the crack of lightning waiting to strike Nina at such a lie. Everyone wrote to CBS about Moonlight – the show everyone loved for it’s originality, intrigue, action and above all romance. She doesn’t seem to know what to say anymore to justify her gaff for cancelling Moonlight. Moonlight was loved by all, young and old, male and female and won it’s very difficult timeslot week after week. Now that the Vampire theme is becoming hot, which I think was generated recently by Moonlight, she thinks she can cash in on our loyalty to the actors of Moonlight by putting Alex in one of her tired CSI shows. He’s worth more than that. Moonlight was his own show, he was the lead and she took that away from him and all of us. We want Moonlight back with Alex and the gang.

    Move over Nina and give your job to someone who actually knows what they’re doing. Your flushing your network down the nearest toilet with your shortsighted narrowminded schemes.

  • SeleneCoudray

    Last time I looked Nina you were president of entertainment at big network…not sure why you enjoy cntinually throwing nasty and mean comments to the fans of a TV show you cancelled. A show that was voted Viewers Choice for best new drama – continually won it’s time slot, the one you gave it – called the dead zone. Don’t know how much more you wanted from a show. Hot cast with an amazing up and coming new sex idol. Why did you say the show was cancelled?

    Speaking from my own heart, loved the show, the story line, ALL the cast. My heart melted over the forbidden love of Mick and Beth, but felt the pain with love lost over Coraline. Josef, a 400 year old vampire – charming baby face but oh the lure of this charasmatic soul. The whole cast and whole story – loved it! And if you’ve been following any of the fan boards/radio shows you would see just that.

    We will supprt Alex O’Loughlin wherever he goes along with Sophia Myles, Jason Dohring, and David Blue. By the way have I have never followed a show like this before – never blogged – never replied to sites like this.

  • This article really tears me up how can she say state horrible lies. You know CBS doesn’t care who we are or for it’s viewers because if they did they would put back on this great show. It is possible I know, I just read that Lifetime uncanceled Bloodties and plans to bring back this show. They seem to care more about their viewers. I can;t believe CBS won’t bring back Moolight.

  • PokeybeeVS

    Could Nina BE more full of crap? We rallied to renew MOONLIGHT. We rallied to bring back MOONLIGHT! While we certainly love Alex, it was the entire cast and stories that had us begging for more.

    Just how DID this woman get to such a high position in the network? Because as far as I can see, she is totally clueless as to what the American Public, especially women, want. A show about swingers (which some sponsors refuse to sponsor)? Nope, don’t think so. A show about a woman who must go through her exes to find the right one; and if she doesn’t, well, she’ll be **GASP!** single forever? Nope, not that either. We want our Moonlight, with it’s wonderful cast, great storylines, romance and intrigue – not the drivel that Nina is coming up with. No wonder CBS’s rating have declined.

  • Karen

    Nina, Nina, Nina shame on you for trying to lie to everyone about Moonlight and for that matter Jericho. I was and still am a big fan of both shows. I love the theme of what both shows were dealing with. First what may someday happen with this country (Jericho) and the fantasy of vampires living among us. Especially with Moonlight was the forbidden love between Beth and Mick. Don’t sat there and tell us and all the reporters there that is just about the actors. Give me a break – 8 million of us was wrong. Maybe 8 million of us don’t matter to CBS. Thank goodness for the DVR (since Moonlight for some odd reason has not come out in DVD) and for the DVDS of Jericho. There really is no good shows left for us 8 million viewers to watch.

    Hey Nina,,,watch for all the swingers that will be popping up everywhere thanks to your televison tastes!

  • ladykate1

    I am going to try to be polite. Okay, yes I admit it, I think Alex O’Loughlin is a very attractive man…I don’t think that should be a reason to cancel a show. I am sure that Ms. Tassler’s email address must have crashed and that there was a flood in the CBS Studio City mail room that prevented her from getting all the correspondence praising the show and the entire cast of actors…that is the only explanation for Nina Tassler not to have gotten innundated with MOONLIGHT mail.

    There are so many people out there, like me, that are writing, blogging, and voting on sites like this for the first time in our lives. Maybe we don’t fit into her demographic, maybe she is afraid to admit she made a mistake but whatever the reason when viewers do not feel appreciated they will go elsewhere and network television does not need to alienate any more of it’s audience.

    So, please Ms. Tassler, investigate where all that mail went and take another look, we are intelligent, and for the most part, polite people asking for a show, that we waited eagerly for each week, to be given a real chance and be returned to the TV schedule!

  • sexyvampohmy

    Nina, you are the biggest flip flopper I’ve ever seen. You have blamed Moonlights cancellation on low ratings, too expensive to make, demographics and now the actors and its fans. Not sure what smail, email, blogs or whatever you were reading, but from all I’ve read and believe me it’s been alot, fans loved the show and all of the incredible actors/actresses in it. With all the vampire books and shows coming out, I think the PTB know they screwed up and are trying to place the blame on anyone or anything but them.. Hey Nina, take a look in the mirror you’ll see whose to blame.

    I will continue to support Alex, Jason, Sophia, David, and everyone who gave us this great show. But I will also continue to fight to bring Moonlight and all the characters we loved back.

  • Sean

    Nina Tassler and her cohort in crime, Les Moonves, are really two of the dumbest people in TV biz if they believe we’re buying their latest excuse for cancelling the most-promising freshman series on CBS in years. Just how stupid does she believe we, the viewers, and the TV critics ARE? I had zero respect for her before this statement…now she’s on the sub-zero scale.

    Still wondering, Tassler, what’s your excuse for not moving a series with 8-million loyal viewers over to The CW, which CBS owns half of? My theory, and correct me if I’m wrong: CBS does not want the CW to compete with it for viewers in ANY way, shape or form. As long as the CW caters to young viewers (of which CBS has none), it’s okay. But if a successful show like Moonlight starts siphoning off viewers who once watched CBS….well, that’s a problem. Right? Why not consider that two successful networks—CBS and CW—would be good for everyone, you morons.

  • Bornhart

    Sigh! Same-ole same-ole. Alex made it clear to his millions of loyal fans that CBS was pushing to turn MOONLIGHT into a CSI: Vampires type formula. He did everything he could to prevent a format change because MOONLIGHT was UNIQUE!!

    I cringe at the thought of our beloved Alex as the “new” guy on CSI: Las Vegas – Alex deserves better!!! He deserves his OWN show back – MOONLIGHT – where he was knocking a broad base of fan’s socks off!!

    IMO CBS executives didn’t notice the HUGE resurgence in the popularity of the vampire genre, and prematurely staked a show that had all the potential to keep them in the numero uno spot on TV for years! CBS didn’t even seem to notice the growing popularity of ALL the actors on MOONLIGHT – not just Alex, but Sophia, Jason, Shannyn, David…. and they will find themselves much poorer for their short-sightedness.

    Nina, I truly wish you would stick to ONE story as your credibility decreases with each new excuse. Why not just swallow hard and admit that you made a mistake?? We ALL make mistakes….. now bring back MOONLIGHT and watch how much happier you (and we) will be!!

  • VampsRock

    Sure. Fine. Whatever.

    Nina, you made a mistake. We forgive you. Moonlight is not Jericho. Heck, Jericho would have done much better if not for the writers’ strike (It wasn’t the writers’ fault. It was unfortunate timing).

    Lose the sad oh-my-gosh-I-need-a-man-to-complete-me-let’s-go-through-the-exes-one-more-time-because-some-psychic-told-me-to show. Women don’t want to watch that. Sure, it’s different. But it’s sad. Really, really, sad.

  • nick C

    I admire you Moonlight fans dedication,i do,but to call MOONLIGHT UNIQUE or
    original is crazy talk.Have you ever heard of a show called ANGEL…

  • peggy

    with everything being written about vampires, new shows coming out (HBO,etc) this Fall, the movie Twilight, Johnny Depp’s new movie, new vampire books, and CBS had the best, Moonlight, and they let it go. what can one say How sad it is to be so out of touch with the wants of the public. When you had the best and let it go it is so, so so sad.

  • Stormy Goddess

    Nick C, hon, Moonlight was NOTHING like Angel. Angel was a good show in it’s own right, but it was nothing but a bunch of high school crap. Moonlight, on the other fang, was WAY more mature. It had better writing, greater cast (again, nothing against Angel) but the actors and actresses that were in Moonlight were more real. The story lines were better, more creative, and the cast was way better. For Nina to say that the mail she’s been getting has been slow is ridiculous. For her to also state that it’s all about Alex, is also a load of BS. It wasn’t just Alex, it was Sophia, Jason, and Shannyn too. They ALL make the show what it is! Nina just needs to get off her broom stick and bring back Moonlight, because without it, CBS has nothing on friday nights.

  • Mitchell Lee

    i loved moonlight it always happens like this i get to loving a show and some piencil neck dose a wack job on it like my spelling sweet………

  • Tarn

    Tassler doesn’t say she wants O’Loughlin for CSI – that’s Kevin Kelly’s suggestion. Whatever, I hope he can do better. Aren’t viewers bored with CSI?

    “Angel was a good show in it’s own right, but it was nothing but a bunch of high school crap.”
    Which one was it, Stormy Goddess – a good show or high school crap? Because I agree with the former, but certainly not the latter. Angel was meant as a darker, more adult take on Buffy, and on the whole I think it managed that just fine.

    I enjoyed both Moonlight and Angel. On balance I think Angel was the better show, but then it had five seasons to prove itself. Who knows what Moonlight might have become, given anything like the same chance? It had a lot of potential, for sure. Assuming Tassler had left it alone to grow, that is, rather than messing with it. (Vampire CSI – pshaw!!)

    I miss Josef… 😉

  • Nick C

    uummm,Stormy Goddess is it?High school crap?That shows you never watched Angel ever.My point was that Angel was about a Vampire detective in LA.Wasn’t that the premise of Moonlight?People were saying it was original .Maybe other parts of the show were but the main idea was not,sorry,hon?
    I also gave props to the fans for being so dedicated to it but people like myself were put off by the unoriginalities of the premise,and i did try to watch it.For you to dis Angel’s writing and cast shows how delusional you are.(not to mention you used the term,on the other fang?)Joss Whedon,David Greenwalt are very talented writer/producers(you might want to google them)And the cast(David Boreanaz(Bones),Charisma Carpenter,Alexis Denisof,Amy Acker,and ,Vincent Kartheiser(Mad Men) were pretty damn good!….
    I think you need to put down the pipe.I was not dissing the FANS or the shows quality,just the originality of the concept.

  • Sean

    Stormy Goddess, you’re flat-out nuts. ANGEL was ions better than Moonlight could ever hope to be, sweetie. This comes from a Moonlight fan. I recognized Alex & Co. for what they were: a pale imitation of Angel, but still the only vampire on free TV. (FYI, there were no high school plots on Angel.)

    Any dissing of ANGEL or BUFFY just shows your ignorance or complete lack of TV taste. We get it, you like Moonlight. But c’mon girl, the stories were already “lacking” in season one.

  • Caryl

    I just fon’t get it. So much devotion to this show. So much ignoring of that devotion. STUPID!

    It’s not too late.,..change your minds, will ya? I love this sharp show and all the directions it “could” go!

  • Tina Cantrell

    I think Mrs.Tassler has seriously misinterpreted the many responses received regarding Moonlight. It seems to me that a person qualified in this position would be wise enough to see the underlining intent of the intense response to this decision and take appropriate action. I myself work in the TV entertainment industry and it is my position to research the reactions to these decisions and Although it is not often that I disagree with these decisions, I have to admit that judging from what I have experienced from the many reaction outlets regarding this series, Mrs. Tassler has “jumped the gun” so to speak on this one and I fear it could have serious bearing on CBS’s ratings. In my opinion, she would be wise to reconsider on this one.

  • Gottahaveml

    Nina Tassler continues to speak from her leaky yacht now cruising down the River of Denial. One, I have no doubt that she received many letters regarding the actors of Moonlight…butJUST as many were focused on the show itself. I wonder how many she ACTUALLY read. Two, this show had the devoted fans, a People’s Choice Award, and many critical endorsements, not to mention big-name sponsors. The replacement shows Tassler offers for the fall are rehashed or poorly developed concepts; we can see that from the very lame promos, just as so many folks were drawn to Moonlight from that (now) classic, “Interview with a Vampire”. Three, I think we can agree that this behind-the-scenes cancellation—after so many indications that the show WOULD be renewed—smacks of a last-minute, hastily-made, subjective, kneejerk reaction–namely, Tassler’s—-and the powers-that-be at CBS refused to check her high-handed, arbitrary methods. Fourth, her appalling lack of loyalty to the cast and crew of Moonlight—who had done nothing but support the show, the network and its’ executives in every article/interview I ever saw—indicates that CBS truly has no regard for the very people who keep them on the air. This entire debacle has left me so disenfranchised with CBS that it will be a long time, if ever, before I tune in to that network again. Rah rah rah!!

  • Christine

    Alot of Moonlight fans are highly intelligent and seemed to have voiced there opinions of the cancellation very clearly. From what I have read on tons of websites and various forums, Moonlight fans want the show back because it was a very unique bunch of (actors) individuals that when put together with a great story line made a fantastic show. Alex O’Loughlin is really something else…..whew!!…..but he is only as good as his counterparts. Everyone completmented each other so so well. The show was awesome …..let’s face it. There is a real reason why Nina Tassler let it go….personal or otherwise….I would love to know. My question is: Isn’t there anyone else at CBS that is even higher up than Nina that can see what a huge mistake this is. CBS is tanking itself. When they stop listening to what the viewers really really want to watch…….. then what is it really about? Clearly not us! Hmmmmmmm !!! Another station should surely pick up this show………you won’t believe your ratings. Bring Moonlight back to us!!! I fell in love with watching t.v. all over again. I have not felt that way toward a show in years.

  • Yes, they did it again.Cancelled a show I liked. So dissapointed. Bring it back. PLEASE !!!!!!!!!