9:06AM: After touting her Network’s number one status in viewers, upfront ad sales and Emmy nods for a Broadcast Network, Nina Tassler, CBS Entertainment President opens the floodgates to an inevitable barrage of Charlie Sheen related questions. Ready… set… go!
9:07AM: According to Tassler, THE GOOD WIFE’s demotion to Sunday (Our words, not hers) is a “new higher profile time period” that will bring with it a very interesting character transformation for Alicia.
9:09AM: Shocker of the session thus far, 6 minutes in and still no Charlie Sheen related question!
9:10AM: Tassler, or as we really should be referring to her from here on in as “the spin doctor,” calls RULES OF ENGAGEMENT’s move to Saturday an “opportunity.” In related news, contrary to popular belief, she is aware of RULES OF ENGAGEMENT’s existence.
9:11AM: So just how does Tassler deflect the first Charlie Sheen related question… by extolling the virtues of TWO AND A HALF MEN’s newest addition. Evidently Ashton Kutcher is not just extraordinarily funny, he’s professional, talented, did we mention funny… and get this… comes with a tremendous amount of commitment and enthusiasm. Continuing to evade mentioning he-who-must-not-be-named, Tassler reveals that Kutcher’s new character is named Walden Schmidt and is an internet billionaire with a broken heart. According to Tassler, TWO AND A HALF MEN’s season premiere will be a two parter over two consecutive weeks. According to us, Kutcher’s new character is totally going to be the long-lost son that Charlie never knew he had!
9:13AM: “Well you know we looked at a number of different choices, the arc of the stories this season and what [executive producers] Carol Mendelsohn and Don McGill wanted to do,” said Tassler when asked about the decision making process surrounding bringing Ted Danson to CSI. “He just seemed like the right choice, he’s a huge TV star, has a tremendous amount of charisma and when his name came up we just jumped at it.”
9:14AM: Tassler evades another Charlie Sheen related question by claiming, “Our whole focus is moving forward.” In related news, Tassler won’t confirm or deny that Sheen’s character is being killed off.
9:17AM: Despite our personal hope that the failure of CRIMINAL MINDS: SUSPECT BEHAVIOR might be indicative of an audience tiring of gruesome criminal procedurals, Tassler believes the show simply didn’t click, “A spinoff has to work on its own and it didn’t.”
9:19AM: When asked as to whether or not she’s concerned about the changing face of CBS on both TWO AND A HALF MEN and CSI, Tassler sights anecdotal evidence that she’s talked to “people,” who are “very excited” for new characters on all these show. Sold!
9:20AM: According to Tassler, the trajectory of Ted Danson’s new character on CSI named D.B. Russell will be one of reconnection. Unlike Laurence Fishburne, whose character fragmented the team post-Peterson and had really big shoes to fill (Editor’s Note: That’s code for a complete and utter failure!), Danson will bring them back together.
9:22AM: For those who insist on continuing to make only-old-people-watch CBS jokes (Yes, we’re talking to you @bastardmachine), Tassler reiterates that the network has more viewers in the coveted 18-49 demo than both NBC and ABC.
9:23AM: Good News: Robert De Niro’s police drama THE 2-2 is still on track for a midseason premiere. Bad News: So to is Rob Schneider’s comedy, which is currently undergoing reshoots.
9:26AM: Much to both our chagrin and Bill Carter’s pocketbook, and Tassler declines to ignite another late night war, saying, “Between Dave and Craig, I think they’re the two best guys in late-night,” Claiming that Ferguson is perhaps one of the most imaginative and innovative voices in late night.