TCA Press Tour Roundup: CBS Edition

Despite the fact that the entire MIKE & MOLLY pilot plays out like one giant fat joke (albeit a funny and heartwarming with the occasional pot gag thrown in for good measure!), co-creator Chuck Lorre wants to set the record straight: His new CBS series about two people (Melissa McCarthy and Billy Gradell) who meet in an Overeaters Anonymous meeting “is a show about people trying to make their lives better and find someone that they can have a committed relationship with.” Concurs co-creator Mark Roborts. “I didn’t set out to write a show about Overeaters Anonymous. I wanted to write a show about two people at the beginning of a relationship, and that was the part of it that intrigued me the most.”

Hot on the heels of receiving a failing grade in GLAAD’s annual report on gay and lesbian visibility on television, CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler, speaking to members of the press during day 1 of the semi-annual Television Critics Association (TCA) Press Tour promises big changes. “We’re adding a few characters to this season because we’re very disappointed in our track record so far.” To that end, expect Alicia to get a gay brother on THE GOOD WIFE, a lesbian softball player to play surrogate for Jeff and AUdrey on RULES OF ENGAGEMENT and a recurring character on $#*! MY DAD SAYS. That said, one character not coming our of the closet anytime soon will be THE GOOD WIFE’s breakout star, Kalinda (Archie Panjabi). Said Tassler, “People love speculating about her personal life and her sexuality, so, I think, as long as people keep talking about it, we don’t want to spill the beans just yet.”

Move over Barbara Walters, Whoopi et al, there’s a new gaggle of highly opinionated woman coming to your living room this Fall. And while we have absolutely no idea if we’ll prefer CBS’ mommy-centric version of THE VIEW entitled THE TALK, of this we are sure: We already like each and every panelist (including Leah Remini, Sara Gilbert, Marissa Jaret Winokur, Holly Robinson Peete, Sharon Osbourne and Julie Chen) more than Elisabeth Hasselbeck. We’re just sayin’

MOONLIGHT and THREE RIVERS alum Alex O’Loughlin certainly things so when asked if he feels more confident this time around about his latest CBS project, the highly anticipated HAWAII FIVE-0 reboot. “I don’t want to take anything away from the other shows I’ve done. I’ve worked with some incredible people and some wonderful showrunners and some — well, MOONLIGHT — don’t know if I ever met the showrunners. There were about 17 of them. But the thing is there’s a reason things either work or don’t work in television. And I don’t know what the answer is. I just sort of keep blundering along to the next thing and hoping. But this has — the team behind this, I mean, the two men here who are at the helm of this show, Peter [Lenkov] and Alex [Kurtzman], and the writing staff that we have, it just feels — everyone feels so capable. There’s also something — I don’t know. Like I saw the pilot. I read the pilot, I did the pilot, and I saw what they did with it. And there’s something special about it. So I mean, if this one doesn’t go, I’m completely bewildered. I have no idea how television works at all.”

CBS’ latest legal procedural THE DEFENDERS and ACCORDING TO JIM have more than just star Jim Belushi in common. Turns out, both shows shoot on Studio City’s Radford Lot. “Same stage. Same dressing room. I’m so excited,” said Belushi, adding There’s a Starbucks on the lot. Five sushi restaurants on Ventura Boulevard. You know, it’s about the life, too, you know!”

About twitter that is. Turns out, William Shatner, star of the new CBS twitcom $#*! MY DAD SAYS isn’t actually tweeting @williamshatner. While he “very carefully modulates” what appears on his feed, “I don’t do twitter.” Explains the actor, “I can’t even remember my password name. So I have problems with electronics. So what I’ve done is I’ve hired a young man out of college, whose very fingers are the extension of computer keys and he Twitters. It’s been an exploration in the immediate language of being short-termed and pithy, and I have had a growing and glowing experience with Twitter.”