TCA 2012 Live Blog: CBS President Nina Tassler Talks HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, ELEMENTARY, VEGAS & More!

9:35AM: In deference to her “competition,” President of CBS Entertainment Nina Tassler kicks of her CBS Executive Session Panel by brining out a stuffed monkey complete with HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER ducky tie. Following which Tassler rattles off a number of ones touting CBS’ continued dominance over the competition. Specifically, the fact that CBS is number one in viewers, upfront revenue, Emmy nominations, the 25-54 demographic. Equally exciting for Tassler is that CBS continues to defeat both ABC and NBC in the all-important 18-49 demographic and boasts bragging rights to last season’s number one new drama (PERSON OF INTEREST) and comedy ( BROKE GIRLS).

9:40AM: Tassler is confident that the Network will be able to reach an agreement for a ninth season of HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, thus ensuring co-creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas will not have to scramble to finish their story in this upcoming eighth season.

9:41AM: Fully aware of the Networks’ penchant for infuriating fans of CBS’ Sunday night lineup with NFL Football overruns, Tassler claims that the network will do everything possible (read: tweet, text, Facebook) to notify their audience that shows such like 60 MINUTES, THE GOOD WIFE and THE MENTALIST will air later than usual.

9:43AM: Despite her personal affinity for CSI: MIAMI, having personally greenlit the original recipe years earlier, Tassler calls the decision to cancel the series over the NEW YORK edition a “jump ball.” Promises that NEW YORK’s earlier 8PM timeslot won’t affect the series, promising the start of the season will feature, “Big, New York-centric event stories with a little bit more humor.”

9:44AM: Tassler isn’t too concerned about the soft summer her mix of reruns and reality are having. But concerned enough to greenlight a second season of UNFORGETTABLE for next summer.

9:47AM: On the topic of moving TWO AND A HALF MEN to Thursday at 8:30PM versus using the plum-post BIG BANG THEORY timelsot to launch a brand new series. “It was a strategic move. We have the hottest comedy on the air at 8PM and it’s just smart to put a very top rated comedy behind it,” Tassler explains. “It gives Thursday a whole new boost. We’re excited at the performance of TWO AND A HALF MEN last year and looking forward to a strong performance this season.”

9:48AM: Tassler characterizes CBS conservative digital strategy as one that is first and foremost about protecting brands on the air and is in the best interest of the network.

9:51AM: “When you have an opportunity to build a show around greatest detective in all of literature you’re going to jump at that opportunity,” Tassler explains on the Network’s decision to produce ELEMENTARY hot on the heels of the success BBC America has had with SHERLOCK. “So many of the shows currently on the air owe their origins to Sherlock Holmes and Rob Doherty (Executive Producer) came in with a pitch that we immediately gravitated towards.”

9:56AM: Although Tassler is quick to point out that CBS News is not her jurisdiction, as a viewer she is excited by the changes in the morning landscape.

9:58AM: “We like premiere week and it works for us,” Tassler says when asked why CBS continues to stick with the traditional third-week-in-September premiere week. “We like the excitement, the energy and the marketing and promotional machine that leads up into the Fall. Our audience expects it and it works.”

9:59AM: Tassler doesn’t seem to be the least bit concerned with recent period flops like THE PLAYBOY CLUB and PAN AM. Calling VEGAS — a story that pits cowboy turned sheriff Ralph Lamb (Dennis Quaid) against mobster Johnny Savino (Michael Chiklis) — the story of two forces battling for the heart and soul of Las Vegas at a very key moment in the city’s history. And speaking of battles…

10:01AM: Tassler won’t comment on the ongoing legal squabble between CBS and ABC over THE GLASS HOUSE, except to say, we’re incredibly protective of our brands and creative infrastructure.”