WB TV Group chief says succession issues won't distract him

Warner Bros. TV Group prexy Bruce Rosenblum said Tuesday that “we fully expect” “Two and a Half Men” to be back on CBS next season, and stressed that he wasn’t going to be distracted by succession issues regarding the studio’s three-member office of the president.

Speaking at the NAB Show in Las Vegas, Rosenblum said he wasn’t aware of a specific timetable to anoint a successor to studio chief Barry Meyer from among the trio of film chief Jeff Robinov, home entertainment head Kevin Tsujihara and himself. “Whatever happens, happens,” he said, stressing his goal not to be “distracted or diverted” by speculation.

As for “Men,” discussions continue, but even with ratings having eroded since its strong start with Ashton Kutcher, the sitcom remains a valuable linchpin to CBS’ Monday lineup.

Otherwise, Rosenblum painted a very rosy picture of the current TV business, downplaying concerns about a fragmented marketplace and increased competition.

Calling Time Warner primarily a TV company, the exec said all of its more than two dozen primetime series offset production deficits thanks to robust international sales. He also cited a strong programming appetite in syndication — with WB’s CBS sitcom “The Big Bang Theory” a huge hit for TBS — and stressed the studio is essentially agnostic about exploiting its content on a variety of platforms.

“We’re thinking about the Apple Store as much as we’re thinking about Best Buy,” he said, referring to a potential long-term decline in TV viewing, a concern at this year’s convention.

That said, the exec said he was not seriously looking to budding online services to “save” low-rated series or passed-on pilots.

Rosenblum did express a measure of frustration with Nielsen, saying the ratings system has to “find a better way,” noting in regard to the youth-oriented CW, “We know more consumers are engaged with that content than we’re getting credit for.”

As the newly elected chairman of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Rosenblum was asked why he wanted to take on what has in the past been a fractious organization. The exec said he saw the job “as an opportunity,” noting there are a host of issues in which the TV Academy “can and should be playing a meaningful role.”

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