OK, now that’s what I call a presentation — crisp, succinct and LOTS of David Caruso.

Seriously, though, and call me old-fashioned, but CBS is thus far the only network that still discusses scheduling strategy in its presentations, recognizing that even with DVRs and alternative platforms, concepts like "lead-ins" and compatibility continue to matter. Each new series, CBS Entertainment Prez Nina Tassler enthused in between drooling over the net’s hot leading men, is "paired with a compatible proven hit."

Granted, lead-ins don’t mean what the once did, but they still count for something — a fact that ABC and NBC virtually ignored. If I were Fox, meanwhile, after this year’s mostly deceased development, I’d preface every new show by saying, "Which we will introduce after ‘American Idol’ or ‘House,’" just to get media buyers’ attention.

Tassler also expressed a desire to "get America talking" with new series like "Viva Laughlin" and the midseason "Swingtown," though the former, in particular, has all the makings of a show that will get critics talking, but not necessarily much of America. Then again, no guts, no glory — and, remarkably, not a single joke calling NBC’s Jeff Zucker a boob, which probably lopped 15 minutes off the presentation alone.

Gee, maybe this really isn’t your grandmother’s CBS.

— Brian Lowry

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